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to a person named Whashe, by whom, as Strype Chesham, in Buckinghamshire, the ground landlord, tells us, “the same was let to divers persons, who, a descendant of William Lowndes, Secretary to the for their private commodity, did inclose the same Treasury in the reign of Queen Anne.” “The and had made pastures of arable land ; thereby site of this square," as Mr. John Timbs informs us, not only annoying her Majesty in her walks and was once a coppice, which supplied the Abbot passages, but to the hindrance of her game, and and Convent of Westminster with wood for fuel.” great injury to the common, which at Lammas was Lowndes Square has numbered among its resiwont to be laid open.” In Ebury Street there was dents at different times men who have distinguished formerly an open-air skating-rink and club-house, themselves in their several walks of life. Of them
called the “Belgravia.” Its career, however, was we may mention Sir John Rennie, the architect of but of short duration, as the skating-rink mania New London Bridge ; Sir William Tite, another soon passed away. The Manor House of the distinguished architect, and some time M.P. for Eabury Estate stood between Hobart Place and Bath ; General Lord Airey ; Thomas Brassey, the the bottom of Grosvenor Place.
engineer; and the Right Hon. Robert Lowe, M.P. The western limits of Belgravia are Lowndes for London University. Square, Cadogan Place, and the few connecting At the corner of Lowndes Square and Cadogan streets on the east side of Sloane Street. Lowndes Place, we quit the Duke of Westminster's estate. Square itself dates from about the year 1838, when Cadogan Place, which occupies an extensive area it was built on a vacant piece of ground, described of ground, is open on the west side to Sloane Street. in Rocque's “ Map of London and its Environs," en. It is called after the family of Lord Cadogan, into graved in 1746, as then belonging to “— Lowndes, whose hands the manor of Chelsea came, by the Esq. ;" and it was so called, says Mr. Peter Cun- marriage of the first Lord Cadogan with the heiress ningham, “after Mr. Lowndes, of The Bury, near of Sir Hans Sloane.
man, and the last touch was and noble lives. It by 6 the Kings per
Here lived Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Macaulay the best copy of Wilson's celebrated landscape, from about 1818 to 1823, when they removed to together with the 'Children of Niobe,' formerly in Great Ormond Street, as already stated. From the possession of the Duke of Gloucester." Cadogan Place, the young Macaulays used to walk Mr. Wynn Ellis died in 1875, having by his will on a Sunday—or, as they were taught to call the left to the nation, for exhibition in the National day, the “Sabbath "--across the “Five Fields, Gallery, his large collection of the works of the old now Belgrave Square, to the Lock Chapel, then masters. These alone number some four or five situated in Grosvenor Place.
hundred. The mere mention of the names of In a house in Cadogan Place, on the 29th of certain of the artists tell their own tale ; for among July, 1833, died William Wilberforce, the eminent the collection there are more than one painting, in philanthropist, many years M.P. for Yorkshire, who some cases several, from the brushes of Raphael, is best known for his devotion to the abolition of Rubens, Murillo, Claude, Van der Velde, Hobbima, the slave-trade. There is something peculiarly Holbein, Guido, Leonardo da Vinci, the Poussins, touching in the fact that Wilberforce died—felix and a score of others. Mr. Ellis's collection of opportunitate mortis—just as the abolition of the works by modern artists was brought to the hammer slave-trade was in the act of being carried through at Christie's, and the sale formed one of the events Parliament, and the last fetters struck from the of the season. Mr. Ellis began life as a warehouseslaves' hands and feet. His funeral took place man on Ludgate Hill, and accumulated a large on the 3rd of August, in Westminster Abbey. fortune, many thousands of which he left to difOn that day, his friend's son, Thomas Babington ferent charities. Macaulay, writes :-“We have laid him side by Of Sloane Square, at the south end of Cadogan side with Canning, at the feet of Pitt, and within Place, we shall speak in a future chapter, when two steps of Fox and Grattan. He died with the dealing with Sloane Street. promised land full in view.” Before the end of In a map of London and its neighbourhood, the next month the British Parliament formally published in 1804, the whole of the site of Belabolished slavery throughout the dominions of the gravia, between Grosvenor Place and Sloane Street, Crown, and the last touch was put to the work that appears still covered with fields. They are crossed had consumed so many pure and noble lives. It by “the King's private road,” which is now occuwas agreed that he should have been buried in the pied by Hobart Place, the roadway in the centre grave of his friends the Stephens, at Stoke Newing- of Eaton Square, and Westbourne Place, termiton, but the voice of the country ruled otherwise. nating in Sloane Square. About the centre of A subscription was immediately opened among Grosvenor Place, at that time, stood the Lock Mr. Wilberforce's friends in London, and his statue Hospital or Asylum, which was founded in 1787 has been placed in Westminster Abbey. At York, by the Rev. Thomas Scott, the commentator; a a County Asylum for the Blind has been founded little to the south, at the corner of the “King's in honour of him, while his townsmen of Hull | private road," was the Duke's Hospital. What is have raised a column to his memory. Great part now Ebury Street was then an open roadway, called of our coloured population in the West Indies went Ranelagh Street, having a few houses on one side into mourning at the news of his death; and the only. Twenty years later the whole character of same was the case at New York, where also an this locality was considerably changed. Belgrave eulogium was pronounced upon him by a person Square and Wilton Crescent had sprung into publicly selected for the task.
existence, as also had Cadogan Square and CadoIn Cadogan Place lived Sir Herbert Taylor, gan Place, together with a few connecting streets. the Private Secretary and attached friend of King Sir Richard Phillips, in his “Walk from London to William IV. Here, too, was the last London Kew," published in 1817, speaks of the creeks residence of the celebrated actress, Mrs. Jordan. which at that time ran from the Thames “in the Another resident in Cadogan Place, in more recent swamps opposite Belgrave Place," and adds that times, was Mr. Wynn Ellis, of Tankerton Castle, they “once joined the canal in St. James's Park, Whitstable, formerly M.P. for Leicester. He had and, passing through Whitehall, formed by their for many years a mania for collecting pictures, circuit the ancient isle of St. Peter's. Their course," chiefly the works of the old masters, of which he he continues, “has been filled up between the was an excellent connoisseur. Dr. Waagen (1835), wharf of the water-works and the end of the canal in his “ Art and Artists in England,” mentions à in St. James's Park, and the isle of St. Peter's is no visit paid by him to Mr. Wynn Ellis's gallery :- longer to be traced.” The cut on the preceding "He possesses, besides many good old pictures, page shows the locality in 1814.
Derivation of the Name of Knightsbridge-Early History of the Locality–The Old Bridge-Insecurity of the Roads, and Bad Reputation of the
Innkeepers-Historical Events connected with Knightsbridge-The Old "Swan" Inn-Electioneering Riots-An Eccentric Old Lady-The "Spring Garden" and the "World's End"-Knightsbridge Grove,Mrs. Cornelys as a Vendor of Asses' Milk-Albert Gate-The “Fox and Bull "— The French Embassy-George Hudson, the “Railway King"—The Cannon Brewery-Dunn's Chinese Gallery–Trinity Chapel and the Lazar House-"Irregular" Marriages-Knightsbridge Barracks-Smith and Barber's Floor-cloth Manufactory-Edward Stirling, the "Thunderer" of the Times-Kent House-Kingston House-Rutland Gate-Ennismore Place-Brompton Oratory-Brompton ChurchCount Rumford and other Distinguished Residents-New “Tattersall's "The Green-Chalker House-The “Rose and Crown" InnThe "Rising Sun "-Knightsbridge Cattle Market.
In the early Saxon days, when “Chelsey," and I wish no true man to walk too late without good “Kensing town,” and “Charing” were country guard, as did Sir H. Knyvett, Knight, who valiantly villages, there lay between all three a sort of “No defended himself, there being assaulted, and slew Man's Land,” which in process of time came to be the master thief with his own hands.” However, called “Knightsbridge,” although it never assumed, in all probability the name is of older date than or even claimed, parochial honours, nor indeed either of the above events; therefore we may be could be said to have had a recognised existence. content to leave the question for the solution of It was a district of uncertain extent and limits; future topographers, merely remarking that whether but it is, nevertheless, our purpose to try and “beat it was originally“ Knightsbrigg,” or “Kyngesbrigg," the bounds” on behalf of its former inhabitants. King Edward the Confessor held lands here, and
The name of Knightsbridge, then, must be taken possibly may have built a bridge for the use of as indicating, not a parish, nor yet a manor, but the monks of Westminster, to whom he devised only a certain locality adjoining a bridge which a portion of his acres. That such was the case formerly stood on the road between London and we learn from a charter preserved in the British far distant Kensington. There is much difficulty Museum, which conveyed to the monks of Westas to the derivation of the name, for in the time minster, along with the manor of Chelsea, “every of Edward the Confessor, if old records are third tree, and every horse-load of fruit grown in correctly deciphered, it was called “Kyngesburig;" an adjacent wood at Kyngesbyrig, as heretofore while some hundred years or so later we find it by law accustomed.” spoken of as “Knightsbrigg,” in a charter of “Knightsbridge,” observes Mr. Davis, in his Herbert, Abbot of Westminster. A local legend, “History,” “is not mentioned in Domesday Book, recorded by Mr. Davis, in his “History of Knights- neither are Westbourne, or Hyde, or Paddington, bridge,” says that: "In ancient time certain these places being probably included in the knights had occasion to go from London to wage surrounding manors.” Moreover, we read that war for some holy purpose. Light in heart, if “Knightsbridge lies in the manor of Eia or Ea, heavy in arms, they passed through this district on formerly a portion of Cealcyth (Chelcheth or their way to receive the blessing awarded to the Chelsey), and now known as Eabury or Ebury." faithful by the Bishop of London at Fulham. For The manor of Ea, as confirmed to the Abbey of some cause or other, however, a quarrel ensued Westminster by the Conqueror, seems to have between two of the band, and a combat was included all the lands lying between the Westdetermined upon to decide the dispute. They bourne on the west, and the Tyburn on the east, fought on the bridge which spanned the stream of from the great road which ran from Tyburn towards the Westbourne, whilst from its banks the struggle Uxbridge down to the Thames. Yet, curiously was watched by their partisans. Both fell, if the enough, as Mr. Davis tells us, though given thus legend may be trusted ; and the place was ever early to the Abbey, the manor was not included after called Knightsbridge, in remembrance of in the franchise of the city of Westminster, though their fatal feud.”
| Knightsbridge, which lay partly, at least, beyond it, Another possible derivation of the name is was so included. The fact is the more strange, as quoted from Norden, the topographer, by the a large part of Knightsbridge belonged for many Rev. M. Walcott, in his “Memorials of West-centuries, and indeed still in theory belongs to the minster :"_" Kingsbridge, commonly called Stone-parish of St. Margaret, Westminster. bridge, near Hyde Park Corner, [is a place where In the course of time the monks of Westminster appear to have claimed and exercised further land laid open to them for the pasturage of their rights over this district, including the holding of cattle. Be this as it may, however, the manor market and a fair, the erection of a gallows- passed into the hands first of the Whashes, or tree, and those of imprisoning evil-doers, and of Walshes, and then into those of a family named seizing the goods of condemned persons and run- Davis, the last male of whom, Alexander Davis, aways. They further appropriated sundry lay fees left an only daughter and heiress, Mary, who, in in “Knythbrigg, Padyngton, Eya, and Westbourne, 1676, was married, at St. Clement Danes' Church, without licence of the king." In 1222 the Tyburn to Sir Thomas Grosvenor, into whose hands she stream was laid down as the west boundary of carried the manor, as already stated. Her lineal that parish, excepting the hamlet of Knightsbridge, descendants, it is almost needless to state, are the which lay beyond it.
present Duke of Westminster and Lord Ebury. The manor of Ea, or Eabury, was afterwards The bridge which spanned the Westbourne, and included in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, when the gave its name to the hamlet of Knightsbridge, is latter was cut off from St. Margaret's; but when described by Strype as of stone, and probably is St. George's, Hanover Square, was carved out of the same which lasted down to our own day. It St. Martin's, in 1724, both Knightsbridge and stood where now is Albert Gate, and probably Eabury were assigned to the parish of St. George's. portions of it are still embedded in the high road a The rivulet, however, being made the western few yards south of that entrance, and opposite to boundary between St. George's parish and Chelsea, Lowndes Square. The stream is now little more it came about that Knightsbridge stands partly in than the surplus water of the Serpentine, which all the three parishes above mentioned. When the passes here in a covered drain under the high road; bounds of St. Margaret's and other parishes were but Mr. Davis tells us that, as lately as 1809, it beaten, the parochial authorities passed through one overflowed its banks so much that the “neighbourpart or other of the hamlet ; and we may be sure hood became a lake, and that foot-passengers were that many a Knightsbridge urchin was whipped at for several days rowed from Chelsea by Thames the frontiers in order to impress the exact limits boatmen.” indelibly on his memory. Indeed, in the parish As far back as the reign of Edward III. (1361), books of St. Margaret's there are several entries of we find Knightsbridge spoken of as “a town;" for sums spent by the beadles, &c., at Knightsbridge, during the plague in that reign a royal edict was on the “perambulation.” Knightsbridge was, at issued from the Palace at Westminster, to the effect all events, cut off, at a very early date, from St. " that all bulls, oxen, hogs, and other grass creaMargaret's parish. It would appear, therefore, tures to be slain for the sustenance of the people, that only a portion of the hamlet was within the be led as far as the town of Stratford on the one manor of Ea, including, as nearly as possible, all side of London, and the town of Knightsbridge on that now forms the parish of St. George's, Hanover the other, to be slain.” Square. In Domesday Book it is given as ten In Thornton's "Survey of London,” published hides; it was afterwards divided into three manors in 1780, Knightsbridge is described as “a village a --viz., Neyte, Eabury, and Hyde. The first-named little to the east of Kensington, with many publicmanor was near the Thames; and Hyde, with houses and several new buildings lately erected, certain lands taken from Knightsbridge, formed | but none of them sufficiently remarkable to admit Hyde Park. All these manors belonged to the of particular description.” Indeed, it was not till Abbey till the Reformation, when they “escheated quite the end of the last century, or, perhaps, early to "--j.e., were seized by--the king. They were in the present, that Knightsbridge became fairly afterwards exchanged by his most gracious and joined on to the metropolis. A letter, in 1783, rapacious majesty for the dissolved Priory of describes the place as “quite out of London." Hurley, in Berkshire.
And so it must have been, for as late as that Somehow or other, however, though the time date, writes Mr. Davis, “the stream ran open, the and the way are not known, Knightsbridge reverted streets were unpaved and unlighted, and a Mayto its former owners, the Abbey of Westminster, in pole was still on the village green. It is not ten whose hands it has since remained, with the ex- years she wrote in 1854) since the hawthorn hedge ception of the few years of the Puritan Protectorate, has disappeared entirely from the Gore, and the though the outlying lands about Kensington Gore blackbird and starling might still be heard..... passed into lay hands, as also did the manor of Few persons imagine, perhaps, that within the Eabury, in which it would seem that there was recollection of some who have not long passed abundance of game, and large portions of waste from us, snipes and woodcocks might occasionally
manor was near the Thames.. ondeurst-named little to the east of age is described as “a villager
THE DANGERS OF THE ROAD.
tt brought up that it was necessary a horse to patrol
be found. Forty years since there was neither a which were fixed between London and Kensington draper's nor a butcher's shop between Hyde Park on both sides, and while coaches and travellers Corner and Sloane Street, and only one in the were passing." Lady Cowper, too, has the folwhole locality, where a newspaper or writing-paper lowing entry in her “ Diary," in October, 1775:could be bought. There was no conveyance to “I was at Kensington, where I intended to stay London but a kind of stage-coach ; the roads were as long as the camp was in Hyde Park, the roads dimly lighted by oil; and the modern paving to be being so secure by it that we might come from seen only along Knightsbridge Terrace. Till about London at any time of the night without danger, 1835 a watch-house and pound remained at the which I did very often." east end of Middle Row; and the stocks were to It is clear, from the Gentleman's Magazine for be seen, as late as 1805, at the end of Park-side, April, 1740, that about a quarter of a century later almost opposite the Conduit.”
matters were as bad as ever. “The Bristol mail,” The high road which led through Knightsbridge writes Sylvanus Urban, “was robbed, a little beyond towards Kensington, and so on to Brentford, was, Knightsbridge, by a man on foot, who took the two centuries ago, very badly kept and maintained, Bath and Bristol bags, and, mounting the postboy's as regards both its repairs and the security of those horse, rode off towards London.” Four years later who passed along it. There was no lack of inns three men were executed for highway robberies about Knightsbridge; but the reputation of their committed here; and in another attempted highkeepers would not bear much inquiry, as it is way robbery, a little westward of the bridge at almost certain that they were in league with the Knightsbridge, we read of a footpad being shot highwaymen who infested the road. As a proof of dead. the former part of our assertion, it may be men- This being the case, we need not be surprised to tioned that when Sir Thomas Wyatt brought up find, from the Morning Chronicle of May 23, 1799, his forces to attack London, this was the route by that it was necessary at the close of last century to which they came. “The state of the road,” we order a party of light horse to patrol every night are told, “materially added to their discomfiture, the road from Hyde Park Corner to Kensington; and so great was the delay thereby occasioned that and Mr. Davis, in his work already quoted, states the Queen's party were able to make every pre- that persons then (1854) alive well remembered paration, and when Wyatt's men reached London, when “pedestrians walked to and from Kensingtheir jaded appearance gained them the name of ton in bands sufficient to ensure mutual protec
Draggle-tails.'” In this condition, however, things tion, starting on their journey only at known remained for more than a century and a half; for, intervals, of which a bell gave due warning.” It in 1736, when the Court had resided at Kensington would, however, be unfair to suppose that Knightsfor nearly fifty years, Lord Hervey writes to his bridge, in this respect, was worse than any other mother thus, under date November 27th :—“ The suburb of London at that time, as we have already road between this place (Kensington) and London shown in our accounts of Marylebone, Tottenham is grown so infamously bad, that we live here in the Court Road, and other parts. same solitude we should do if cast on a rock in the In proof of the bad character of the innkeepers middle of the ocean; and all the Londoners tell of Knightsbridge, we may mention that Sheffield, us there is between them and us a great impassable Duke of Buckingham, tells us that when about to gulf of mud. There are two roads through the be engaged in a duel with the Earl of Rochester, park; but the new one is so convex, and the old he and his second "lay over-night at Knightsbridge one so concave, that by this extreme of faults they privately, to avoid being secured at London upon agree in the common one of being, like the high any suspicion ;" adding, that he and his friend road, impassable."
“had the appearance of highwaymen, for which the As to the danger from footpads to which tra- people of the house liked us all the better.” So vellers were exposed on the high road between also in The Rehearsal, written to satirise Dryden, Kensington and London, we will quote the follow- we find the following dialogue, the drift of which is ing proofs. In the register of burials at Kensing- obvious :ton is the following entry, which speaks for itself:
Smith : But pray, Mr. Bayes, is not this a little difficult, " 1087, 25th November.-Thomas Ridge, of that you were saying e'en now, to keep an army thus conPortsmouth, who was killed by thieves almost at cealed in Knightsbridge ? Knightsbridge." John Evelyn, too, writes in his Bayes : In Knightsbridge? No, not if the innkeeper be “Diary,” November 25th, 1699:-“This week
n. 16'This weel | his friends. robberies were committed between the many lights The "wood at Kyngesbrigg,” of which we have
Por 1687, 25th Noventry, which speakate