« PreviousContinue »
This is the largest and most handsome room in the inns of court ; it is one hundred feet long, including the passage, forty-four feet wide, and upwards of sixty feet in hcight. The roof is constructed of timber, handsomely ornamented ; but what adds particularly to the splendour of its appearance is the fine stained glass windows. These contain the armorial bearings of queen Elizabeth, the duke of Richmond, earl of Northumberland, G. Villars, duke of Buckingham, earls of Devonshire, Shrewsbury, Huntington, Portland, viscount. Montague, lords Stafford, Wallingford, Windsor, Darcy, earl of Clarendon, lords Audley, Strange, Mordaunt, Petre; those of several readers and benchers of the house, &c. surround the ball.
The great buy window at the south-west end, contains thirty coats of arms; and, when illuminated by the sun, has an uncommonly rich affect. Among the modern arms are those of lords chancellor Cowper, Hardwicke, and Somers; lord Kenyon, lord Ashburton, lord Alvanley, and lord chancellor Eldon.
The room also contains excellent busts of the twelve Cæsars, in imitation of bronze; and full length portraits of CHARLES I. and mons. De St. ANTOINE (not the duke D'Epernon,) by Vandyke. CHARLES II. JAMES II. WilLIAM III. queen ANNE, and GEORGE II. A very fine antient painting of THE JUDGMENT of SOLOMON, likewise graces the Hall.
The Music Gallery, at the entrance, is of pure wainscot, supported by Doric fluted columns, the pedestals enriched with figures in alio relievo ; the intercolumns, the pannels over the doors, and all the other parts of this beautiful screen, are most ciaborately carved. Above are suspended a great quantity of armour, which belonged to the Knights Templars, consisting of helmets, breast and back pieces, together with several pikes, a balberd, and two very beautiful shields, with iron spikes in their centres, of the length of six inches in diameter, and each of about twenty pounds weight. The whole curiously engraved, one of them richly inlard with gold: the insides are lined with leather,
stuffed, and the edges adorned with silk fringe ; and broad leathern belts are fixed to them, for the better convenience of being slung on the shoulders.
In GARDEN COURT, is a LIBRARY, founded by the will of Robert Ashley, Esq. in the year 1641, who bequeathed his own library for that purpose, and three hundred pounds to be laid out in a purchase, for the maintenance of a librarian, who must be a student of the society, and be elected into that oflice by the benchers. Sir Bartholomew Shore, and other gentlemen, were liberal benefactors.
This library is regularly kept open (except in the time of the long vacation) from ten in the morning till one in the afternoon ; and from two in the afternoon till six in the summer, and four in winter.
“ Shakespeare (whether from tradition or history) makes the Temple Garden the place in which the badge of the white and red rose originated, the destructive badge of the houses of York and Lancaster, under which the respectire partizans of each arranged themselves in the fatal quarrel which caused such torrents of blood to flow: *
« The brawl to-day Grown to this faction in the Temple Garden, Shall send, between the red rose and the white,
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.”+ Among the eminent persons educated in the Middle Temple, were lord chancellor Rich, in the reign of Henry VIII. Serjeant FLEETWOOD, recorder of London, temp. Elizabeth. EDMUND PLOWDEN, Esq. author of the Reports.' Sir THOMAS SMITH, secretary of state and ambassador, in the reigns of Edward VI. and Elizabeth. Judge DoDDERIDGE. Sir FRANCIS MOORE. Sir JOHN DYER, chief justice of the queen’s bench, in the reign of Elizabeth. Several chief justices of the King's Bench and Common Pleas; chief barons in the Exchequer, recorders of London, speakers of the House of Commous, &c. Among those of modern times are the respected names of lord chan
+ Henry VI. Part I. Act. ii, Sc. 4.
cellors Cowper and HardwICKE, judges lord KENTON, BLACKSTONE, and lord chancellor Eldon.
We pass Middle Temple Lane, to Fleet Street, under the MIDDLE TEMPLE Gate, erected by Sir Christopher Wrea, in the year 1684, in the stile of Inigo Jones. It has a graceful front of brick work, with four large stone pilasters of the Ionic order, and a handsome pediment, with a round in the middle, and these words inscribed in large capitals : SURREXIT IMPENSIS SOCIETAT. MED. TEMPLI, NDCLXXXIV. Beneath, just above the arch, is the figure of a holy lamb, the armorial ensign of the society.
This gateway was erected on the site of a more antient structure, said to have been constructed by Sir Amias Pawlet, in the reign of Henry VIII. Sir Amias, in the year 1501, for some offence committed by Wolsey, when he was only parson of Lymington, and a schoolmaster, having thought proper to put him in the stocks, the affront was not forgotten when Wolsey came into power; and, in 1515, Sir Amias, on account of the grudge, was sent for to London, to await the cardinal's orders. He therefore "rook up his lodgings for five or six years over this gateway, which he rebuilt; and to pacify his lordly eminence, he adorned the front with the cardinal's hat, badges, cognizance, and other devices, “ in a very glorious manner." This, we suppose, had the desired effect; for we do not hear of any more persecution, in recollection of the stocks.
Fleet STREET, south side. The extremity of the city of London here, is at the antient firm of Messrs. CHILD and Co, bankers.
We have already inade mention of the origin of Banking, in several parts of this work, particularly under the articles Bank of England, and Goldsmith's Ilall. Mr. Child, the father of the firm above-mentioned, having married the daughter of Mr. Blanchard, an eminent goldsmith, took up his business, and afterwards cominenced banking. He was lord mayor, and knighted, in 1699; his son, Sir Francis, was lord mayor in 1732.
Within a few doors is Child's Place, built on the site of the tavern which had for its sign St. Dunstan holding the Devil by the nose, with a pair of tongs. From this circircumstance, the house was denominated “ THE DEVIL TAVERN."
This place has been immortalized by Ben Jonson, who wrote his Leges Conviviales, for a club of wits, who assembled in a room which he dedicated to Apollo, over the chimney of which the laws were preserved. The taveru was then kept by Simon Wadloe, whom he dignificd with the title of King of Skinkers.
In an antient manuscript preserved at Dulwich college, are some of this comic writer's memoranda ; which prove beyond dispute, that he owed a great part of his inspiration to Old Sack. The following justify the opinion:
“ Mem. I laid the plot of my Volpone, and wrote most of it after a present of ten dozen of Palm Sack, from my very good lord T-; that play, I am positive, will last to posterity, and be acted when I and Envy be friends, with applause.
" Mem. The first speech in my Catiline, spoken by Scylla's ghost, was writ after I parted with my friends at the Devil Tarern; I had drank well that night, and had brave notions. There is one scene in that play which I think is flat. I resolve to drink no more water with
wine. “ Meni. Upon the 20th of May, the king, (Heaven reward him) sent me a hundred pounds. At that time I went oftentimes to the Devil; and before I had spent forty of it, wrote my ALCHYMIST.
“ Mem. My lord B-o took me with him into the country ; there was great plenty of excellent Canary. A new character offered itself to me here; upon which I wrote my SILENT WOMAN; my lord was highly delighted; and upon my reading the first act to bin, made me a noble present; ordering, at the same time, a good (portion) of the wine to be sent with me to London.
“ It lasted me until my work was finished.
* Mem. The DIvILL IS AN Asse, the TALE OF A TUB, and some other comedies which did not succeed, by me in the winter honest Ralph died; when I and my boys drank bad wine at the Devil." range
of houses near, PLE Gate, are of the architecture of the reign of James I. Plates and this is evident from the plume of feathers on the housę 134*33 to the east of the gate, intended as a compliment to Henry, prince of Wales, who was the object of popular favour.
The gate itself was erected in 1611, at the expence of John Benet, Esq. king's sergeant, and exhibits obviously the heavy mode of building which prevailed during that period.
It should be remembered that the Cloister chambers, near the Temple church, being burnt down anno 1678, were reerected and elevated on twenty-seven pillars and columns of the Tuscan order, in 1681. Part of the building, between Brick and Essex Court, being burnt down, was re-erected in the year 1704.
Nearly adjoining the Inner Temple Gate, is the banking house of Gosling and Co. the founder of which was Sir Francis Gosling, knight, alderman of Farringdon ward Without, a gentleman of the most amiable character in public and private life. He was elected alderman in 1756, served the office of sheriff in 1758; and having twice declined that of lord mayor, on account of ill health, died on the 23d of December, 1768, and was succeeded as alderman by John Wilkes, Esq.
Farther eastward is FALCON COURT. Pursuant to the will of a gentleman, named Fisher, the Cordwainer's company have possession of this estate. Mr. Fisher had often, out of compliment, been invited to partake of their feasts, and to evince his gratitude, left to that corporation the Falcon Inn, now Falcon Court, under the obligation of having an annual sermon at St. Dunstan's in the West, on the 10th of July, drinking sack in the church to his memory, giving certain sums to the poor, and entertaining the v% their tenants, which custom is still continued. X
70. 603 Vol. IV. No. 78.