« PreviousContinue »
The building, which is of brick and stone, is four hundred feet long, with an ambulatory in front of three hun. dred and forty feet, under a piazza, elevated on stone co. lumns of the Tuscan order. In the middle of the building is a chapel, adorned with columns, entablature, and pe. diment of the Ionic order; and under the pediment is a niche, with a statue of the founder in his livery gown. Under him is the following inscription : ROBERTO ASKE Armigero, hujus Hospitii Fundatori, Socie.
Haberda. B. M. P.C. And one side of him is this inscription: Anno Christi MDCLXXXII. Societas Haberdasherorum de London hoc Hospitium condiderunt, ex Legato & Testamento Roberti Aske Armigeri, ejusdam Societatis ; ad viginti Senum Ali menta, & totidum Puerorum Educationem.
On the other side the following:
The worshipful Company of Haberdashers built this Hospital, pursuant to the gift and trust of R. Aske, Esq. a late worthy mem. ber of it, for the relief of twenty poor members, and for the education of twenty boys, sons of decayed freemen of that com. pany.
Fronting the entrance of the chapel is a large pair of very handsome iron gates, and at each end of the hospital is a wing of the same height as the chapel.
This edifice narrowly escaped destruction by fire, which broke out at a feather manufactory adjoining, on Thursday night, August 6, 1807, which destroyed those premises, and the north wing of the hospital.
Old STREET Road continues to the London 'Prentice, a public house, which has borne that sign many years, and is crossed by the Curtain Road, which received its denomination from one of the most antient theatres in the neighbourhood of the metropolis. It is mentioned as early as 1578, in a sermon at Paul's Cross; and in 1579, in Northbroke's “ Treatise against idleness, vain playes, and enterludes.” In 1600 the privy council printed an order for restraining the number of playhouses, and the Curtain
was ordered “ either to be ruined or plucked down, or to be put to some other good use." To shew, however, the inefficacy of this order, it appears that it was open in 1610, and that the Hector of Germany, was performed at it by a company of young men in 1615. The original sign hung out at this playhouse was the painting of a striped curtain.
The performers were stiled the “ Prince's servants, till the accession of Charles I. to the crown, when it diminished to a place for prize fighters; its site is uncertain.”
In this theatre the following eminent persons in their profession exhibited their abilities before the public: Richard TARRELTON, one of the queen's twelve players, with wages and livery, as grooms of the chamber, at BARN Elms, 1588, but discharged for some scurrilous reflections on the earl of Leicester, and Sir Walter Raleigh; he was buried at Shoreditch. RICHARD BURBAGE, called by Cam. den, 66 alta Roscius," buried at Shoreditch. Ben Jon. son, &c. .
Facing the end of Old Street Road is situated the pariska church of
St. LEONARD, SHOREDITCH.
THERE was a church in this place dedicated to the same saint in very early times, and there are records of a dispute concerning it in the reign of Henry II.
On Sunday, December 23, 1716, the walls of the old church rent asunder with a frightful sound, during divine service; and a considerable quantity of mortar falling, the congregation fled on all sides to the doors, where they severely injured each other by their efforts to escape. John Denne, D. D. vicar, and the officers of the parish, after. wards represented the church as built of chalk and rubble; and Flitcroft and Cordwell, surveyors, reported that the walls were utterly decayed, the pavement eight feet lower than the street, and the cieling very low. The present church was erected about the year 1735.
To this church there is an ascent by a double flight of plain steps, which lead to a portico of the angular kind, supported by four Doric columns, and bearing an angular pediment. The body of the edifice is plain, but well en. lightened, and the steeple light, elegant, and lofty. The tower at a proper height has a series of Ionic columns, and on their entablature are scrolls which support as many Corinthian columns on pedestals, and supporting a dome, from whose crown rises a series of columns of the Com. posite order, on whose entablature rests the spire, standing upon four balls, which give it an additional air of lightness, and on the top is a: ball and fane. In the tower is a good ring of ten bells.
The interior is equally handsome, with galleries; in the west gallery is a fine organ. The east is decorated with a window, of painted. glass. One compartment of which represents the Saviour sitting at his last supper, with his dis. ciples upon forms. Judas appears with the purse in his hand, and beneath him is his resemblance in small, re. presented as hanging upon a tree. The table is furnished with a standing eup, candle, saltceller, two small loaves, a knife, square trenchers, and the Paschal Lamb in a dish. In the back ground are small representations of Our Sa. viour washing his disciples' feet, Judas betraying him; his 5