Page images

Within two doors of Falcon Court, is the banking house of Hoare and Co. raised by Sir Richard HOARE, knight, lord mayor, 1713, and established by his grandson, Sir RICHARD Hoare, lord mayor, 1745.

SERJEANT's Inn. Though this place retains its antient name, it can only be considered at present as a respectable court; its principal entrance is from Fleet Street, by a handsome pair of iron gates.

The serjeants at law resided here as early as the reign of Henry VI. ; for, in the year 1442, it was demised as fol. lows : “ unum messuagium cum gardino, in parochia S. Dunstani in Fleet Street, in suburbio ciritatis Lond. quod nuper fuit Johannis Rote, et in quo Joh. Ellerker, et alii servientes ad legem nuper inhabitaruns.

The above was part of a lease granted by the dean and chapter of York, as a portion of their estate, to William Antrobus, citizen and taylor, of London, for a term of years, at a yearly rent of ten marks. Antrobus is 'supposed to have been steward to the serjeants, and to have himself occupied part of the inn; this is confirmed by the tenor of a subsequent lease granted by the same landlords to John Wykes, who is stated to inhabit therein.

In the 15th of Henry VIII. Serjeant's Inn was again demised by the dean and chapter to Sir Lewes Pollard, knight, one of the justices of the Common Pleas; Robert Norwich, and Thomas Inglefield, king's serjeants, and others, for the term of thirty-one years, at an half yearly rent of fiftythree shillings.

Thus it continued till it was destroyed by the great fire in 1666 ; after which the lease being renewed in 1670, the whole was rebuilt by a voluntary subscription of the serjeants, repaid to them by a mode to which they had previously agreed. The chapel, hall, and kitchen, were built at the expence of an overplus of a sum deposited by seventeen newly created serjeants, from which 4001. bad been deducted for their feast. The remaining parts of the structure were rebuilt at the joint charge of lord chief justice Kelynge, Sir Thomas Twysden, Sir Christopher Turner,

5 . Sir


Sir Thomas Tyrrel, Sir William Wilde, judges; and ten serjeants at law, Brome, Holloway, Ellis, and Willmet, who caused the east tide to be erected; the west, by serjeants Goddard, Turnor, Barton, Brampston, Goodfellow, and Powys.

The whole ion has been rebuilt within these few years, and is composed of stately houses, inhabited by some of the dignitaries of the law. On the site of the antient ball, for many years used as a chapel, is a very elegant stone struc- Lama ture, built at the expence of the AMICABLE Society.

This corporation was established by charter, granted by 0. queen Anne, in the 1706, for a perpetual AssURANCE OFFICE, in making provision for wives, children, and other relatives, after an easy; certain, and advantageous manner, with power to purchase lands, &c.

The advantages of becoming members, are reduced to the following heads : To clergymen, physicians, surgeons, lawyers, tradesmen, and particularly persons possessed of places or employments for life; to such parents, husbands, wives, and other relatives, whose income is subject to be determined or diminished at their respective deaths, by insuring their lives by means of this society, may claim a right to receive a certain annual sum proportionably to what has been insured.

Adequate advantages are given to married persons, dependents on superiors, persons borrowing money, creditors, &c.

The regulations of the society are, that all persons at the time of their admission are to be between the ages of twelve and forty-five, and must then appear to be in a good state of health. Persons living in the country may be admitted by certificates and affidavits. Every claimant is empowered to put in a new life in the room of the deceased within twelve calendar months next after the end of the current year, for which his or her claim shall be allowed as often as the same shall happen, upon paying a certain entrance. Any person may have two or three several insurances, or


numbers, on one and the same life, whereby such persons will be entitled to a claim on each number so insured.

The affairs of the company are managed by a court of directors, chosen annually; and the majority of the mem: bers assembled at a general court, &c. are empowered to make laws and ordinances for the good government of the corporation. The charter directs one of the members to be elected Régistrar; who being also receiver and accomptant, is therefore required to give ample security for the trust reposed in him.,

There are other officers belonging to this benevolent institution. ·

Eastward of Serjeant's Inn is a narrow dirty avenue, called Lombard Street, for what reason we are not informed; it seems formerly to have been a place of great irregularity ; for upon complaint made by the Carmelite Friars, to Edward III. it appears that many lewd women harboured there; and their tumults so disturbed the religious, that the king directed his letters to the mayor and aldermen to remove the nuisance. This we imagine to have been denominated Crocker's Lane, which John Lufkin, mayor, and the commonalty of London, granted to build in the west part of White Friars church.

William Cawode, who resided near this place, by his will, about 1416, gave his tenement and garden, called St. Andrew's Cross on the Hoop, in Fleet Street, in the parish of St. Dunstan's, lying between the tenement of the prior and convent of Royston, called the Key on the Hoop, on the east, and the tenements of the Carmelites, on the west, &c. to Robert Cawode, his son *.

The abbot of Vale Royal, had also his inn, about this part of Fleet Street, in the year 1375.

WHITE FRIARS. „The church belonging to the priory of Carmelites, or White Friars *, stood between the Green Dragon, for-,

Stow. of This order originated from the Hermits of Mount Carmel, who inhabited the mountain to which the prophets Elijah and Elisha resorted.


merly a tavern, but at present an obscure public house, and Water Lane. The priory was founded by Sir Richard Gray, in the year 1241 ; for which purpose Edward I. gave to the priory and brethren this plot of ground; was reedified by Hugh Courtenay, earl of Devonshire, in the year 1350; as was the church by Sir Robert Knolles, who was buried here in 1407. Robert Mascall, bishop of Hereford, built the choir, presbytery, and steple, and gave many rich ornaments to the house, where he died in 1416. This was also the place of sepulture for many nobles, &c. whose names are recorded in Stow's Survey.

The priory was valued at the suppression, at the sum of 631. as. 4d. It was then granted by Henry VIII. in the following manner: The chapter house, &c. to Sir William Butts, the king's physician, of whom see under Barber Surgeons' Hall. The library, &c. to Richard Morrison ; a messuage and chamber, with the appurtenances, and the house and buildings under the premises, two gardens, and stables, &c. to lord De la Warr; and one messuage, &c. to Thomas Bochier. Edward VI. granted what belonged to Sir William Butts, and the whole church, with the appurtenances, to the bihop of Worcester, and his successors.

The church was afterwards demolished, with all its stately tombs; and several of the houses became the dwellings of persons of fashion. Among these was Sir John Cheeke, knight, tutor, and afterwards secretary of state to king Ed. ward VI. who was buried in St. Alban's, Wood Street.

In the year 1608, the inhabitants of the precincts of White Friars, and Black Friars, obtained by chatter of James I. certain privileges and exemptions; but some of the inhabitants taking upon them to protect persons from arrests, &c. the gentry left it, and it became a sanctuary to the loose and disorderly inhabitants, which was kept up by force against law and justice, and had the nick-name of Asatia; whence a satirical comedy, by Shadwell, deDominated the SQUIRE OF ALSATIA, had its origin*. But


* This play was acted in 1688, and is founded on the Adelphi of Terence, the characters of the two elder Belmonts being exactly those


however, upon a great concern of debt, the sheriff, witir the posse comitatus, forced his way in to make a search; and yet to little purpose, for the time of the sheriff's coming not being concealed, they having notice thereof, took flight, either to the Mint, in Southwark, another such place, or some other private place, till the disturbance was over, and then they returned.

In the latter end of king William the Third's reign, the parliament taking this great abuse into consideration, an act was made to put down this, the Savoy, and many other pretended privileged places. In process of time the buildings became ruinous, were pulled down, and converted into buildings; they lately contained several courts, lanes, and alleys; as Dogwell Court, Essex Court, Ashen-tree Court, Davis's Yard, converted into a glass-house for making flint glasses ; Watermen's Lane, leading to the river Thames, &c. all ordinary structures.

A very substantial improvement has however taken place in this precinct, most of the ruinous places have been levelled, and an avenue, rather narrow, composed of stately houses, into Fleet Street, denominated BOUVERIE STREET, has risen in their room.

The inhabitants of White Friars maintain their own poor, collect their taxes, have no churchwarden, but two collectors, and chuse their own officers.

Between Lombard Street and Bouverie Street, is the house of Mr. George ADAMS, an eminent mathematician ; editor

of the Micio and Demea; and the two younger Belfords the Eschinus and Ctesipho of that celebrated comedy Mr. Shadwell has however certainly, if not improved on those characters in their intrinsic merit, at least so far modernized and moulded them to the present taste, as to render them much more palatable to an audience in general, than they appear to be in their antient habits. This play met with good success, and is still at times performed to universal satisfaction. The scene lies in Alsatia, the cant name for White Friars; and the author has intraduced so much of the cant, or gamblers' language, as to have rendered it necessary to prefix a glossary for the leading of the reader through a labyrinth of uncommon and unintelligible jargon. Baker's Biographia Dramatica, II. 353.

« PreviousContinue »