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the malice of the regular practitioners. Action year 1856, a memorial was erected in front of his after action was commenced against the proprietor establishment in the Euston Road by a penny subfor the sale of “so poisonous an article ;” but scription; “no person was allowed to give more falling to the ground, they only assisted in still than one penny, and no one was to subscribe but further extending his fame and sale, until his very those who had derived some benefit from the name became a “household word,” which no other | Hygeist's medicine.” The memorial consists of a medicine has obtained either before or since. Its granite pedestal, surmounted by the British lion, notoriety was such that Punch of those days con- and on the sides of the pedestal are various poetical tinually referred to it. On Morison's death, in the quotations and remarks.

CHAPTER XXVIII.
AGAR TOWN, AND THE MIDLAND RAILWAY.

Origin of the Midland Railway-Agar Town as it was-A Good Clearance-Underground Operations for the Construction of the Midland

Railway and Terminus-Re-interment of a Roman Catholic Dignitary-The Midland Railway-Mr. William Agar-Tom Sayers, the Pugilist- The English “Connemara"--A Monster Hotel-The Midland Terminus : Vast Size of the Roof of the Station- A Railway Goods Bank- The Imperial Gas Works-York Road.

The Midland Railway, unlike most other long what was termed La Belle Isle, a dreary and unlines, was commenced, not in London, but in the savoury locality, abandoned to mountains of refuse provinces, having been originated in 1832 at a from the metropolitan dust-bins, strewn with decayvillage inn on the borders of Leicestershire and ing vegetables and foul-smelling fragments of what Nottinghamshire, in the necessities of a few coal once had been fish, or occupied by knackers'-yards owners—not of the richest and most influential and manure-making, bone-boiling, and soap-manuclass. It has, however, gradually found its way facturing works, and smoke-belching potteries and from the provinces into London, and has spread brick-kilns. At the broken doors of mutilated out its paths of iron, like a net-work, north and houses canaries still sang, and dogs lay basking in south, east and west, through half the counties of the sun, as if to remind one of the vast colonies of England, till they stretch from the Severn to the bird-fanciers and dog-fanciers who formerly made Humber, from the Wash to the Mersey, from the Agar Town their abode ; and from these dwellings Thames to the Solway Firth. Its construction came out wretched creatures in rags and dirt, and has cost fifty millions of money, bringing in an searched amid the far-extending refuse for the income of five millions a year; and it has before filthy treasure by the aid of which they eked out a it an almost unlimited future. We do not intend miserable livelihood; whilst over the whole neighhere to attempt an account of the entire Midland bourhood the gas-works poured forth their mephitic line; but as we have already given some details vapours, and the canal gave forth its rheumatic about the London and North-Western line in our dampness, extracting in return some of the more account of Euston Square, so our description of poisonous ingredients in the atmosphere, and St. Pancras will not be complete without a few spreading them upon the surface of the water in a particulars about this railway. When this line was thick scum of various and ominous hues. Such brought into London, in 1866, it wrought a mighty was Agar Town before the Midland Railway came revolution in the neighbourhood where we now are. into the midst of it.” “For its passenger station alonę it swept away a The above sketch is slightly—but only slightlychurch and seven streets of three thousand houses,” overdrawn; for the canal still flows where it did, writes Mr. F. Williams, in his “History of the and it is known that gas-works, though unsightly, Midland Railway: a Narrative of Modern Enter are not really unhealthy neighbours. Be this, how. prise.” “Old St. Pancras churchyard was invaded, ever, as it may, a mighty clearance of houses was and Agar Town almost demolished. Yet those made, and a population equal to that of ten small who knew this district at that time have no regret boroughs was swept away, as the first step towards at the change. Time was when the wealthy owner a new order of things. The neighbourhood for of a large estate had lived here in his mansion ; many months presented the appearance of an utter but after his departure the place became a very chaos, with mounds of earth, the débris of houses 'abomination of desolation. In its centre was and tunnels in the course of being dug. By the Agar Town.]

SINGULAR IDENTIFICATION OF A SKELETON.

369

side of the Euston Road, close under the front of foreigner, the darkest-coloured skull must be his. the Midland Railway Hotel, was dug a large trench Acting upon this idea, the blackest bones were in which was built a tunnel for the use of the sorted and put together, until the requisite number Metropolitan Company whenever it shall need to of lefts and rights were obtained. These were double its present traffic-lines. Further to the reverently screwed up in a new coffin, conveyed to north came sweeping round another large cutting France, and buried again with all the "pomp and in which was to be made the actual junction of circumstance" of the Roman Catholic Church. the Metropolitan and the Midland lines. “So vast, Shortly after passing the churchyard of Old St. indeed, were these subterranean operations," writes Pancras the line crosses the Regent's Canal, and Mr. Williams, “that the St. Pancras Station became then passes under the North London Railway, like an iceberg, the greater portion of it being which is carried above it by a bridge of three below the surface; indeed, remarkable as is the arches. “Their construction,” Mr. Jackson tells engineering skill displayed in the large building us, “was a matter of no ordinary difficulty on which towers so majestically above all its neigh- account of the ceaseless traffic on the line overbours, it is as nothing compared with the works head ; it was, however, accomplished without the concealed below ground. For right underneath interruption of a single hour.” The Midland line the monster railway station are two other separate is here joined by the branch which comes up from constructions, one above the other, none the less the Metropolitan at King's Cross, as mentioned wonderful because they will never see the light of above. The lines actually converge near the Camday, but are irrevocably doomed

den covered-way ; but the transfer of passengers “To waste their sweetness on the desert air.'” usually takes place at Kentish Town Station, half These works are the Underground Railway and

a mile farther from the London Terminus. At the Fleet Sewer, while the branch of the Metro. Kentish Town a line branches off to Holloway politan that joins the Midland not only crosses it and Tottenham, while the main line is carried by at the southern extremity, but thence runs up a long tunnel under Haverstock Hill, whence, under the western side of the station, to re-cross

emerging into open daylight, the trains run on to at its northern end to the eastern side, where it

Hendon and St. Albans, and thence northwards gradually rises to its junction about a mile down

through the “midland” counties. the line.

We have spoken above of the great clearance of Of the difficulty experienced in carrying the houses which was effected in this locality by the railway through the graveyard of Old St. Pancras

formation of the Midland Railway. The district, Church, and also through that of St. Giles's parish

which is—or was—known as Agar Town, consisted which adjoins it, without any unavoidable disturb

mostly of small tenements of the lowest class, ance of the dead, we have spoken in a previous

named after one Mr. William Agar–or, as he was chapter ; * but we may add here, that, though every

commonly called, “Councillor Agar," an eccentric precaution was taken by the agents of the Mid

and miserly lawyer—to whom the site was let on a land Railway Company, a most serio-comic inci- short lease for building purposes, about the year dent occurred during the process. The company

1840. had purchased a new piece of ground in which to

| Twenty years later the fee-simple of the greater re-inter the human remains discovered in the part part of this locality was transferred by the Ecclewhich they required. Among them was the corpse sias

siastical Commissioners, to whom it had reverted, of a high dignitary of the Roman Catholic Church to, the, Midla

to the Midland Railway Company for a conin France. Orders were received for the transship-siderable sum, and most

siderable sum, and most of the houses have been ment of the remains to his native land, and the swept away to form ale and coal stores and other delicate work of exhuming the corpse was entrusted warehouses in connection with the terminus of the to some clever gravediggers. On opening the

Midland Railway, about which we shall speak ground they were surprised to find the bones, not presently. Much of the vacant ground not required of one man, but of several. Three skulls and three for the company's use has been laid out for buildsets of bones were yielded up by the soil in which ing warehouses, and has raised, as it were, another they had lain mouldering. The difficulty was how town in the place of this already overcrowded to identify the bones of a French ecclesiastic amid neighbourhood. so many. After much discussion, the shrewdest! It can hardly be expected that such a district as of the gravediggers suggested that, as he was a

this can have any historical associations worth

recording ; but still the place has not been without * See ante, p. 336.

its “celebrities,” for here lived for many years the

well-known pugilist, Tom Sayers. His notoriety while the critical eye of the student will observe arose from his accepting the challenge of Heenan, touches of Milan and other Italian terra-cotta the American champion, in 1860, to fight for the buildings, interlaced with good reproductions of champion belt of the world. Sayers was com- details from Winchester and Salisbury Cathedrals, paratively small in stature, whilst Heenan was much Westminster Abbey, &c. ; while in the interior and above the ordinary height; and it is said that when exterior may be seen the ornaments of Amiens, Sayers met his monster opponent for the first time Laon, and other French edifices, which, though a he felt a little daunted. The fight, nevertheless, conglomerate, must have required great pains and came off, and in the first round Sayers's right arm skill to properly harmonise in order to produce so was broken ; but still, with this fractured limb, he attractive a result. The designs of the interior, as continued the encounter for some time, and in the well as the apartments (some of which are emend, if he did not obtain the victory, he made it a bellished with almost regal splendour), were the drawn battle, and received with Heenan the honour production of Sir Gilbert Scott, afterwards assisted of a double belt. Henceforth Tom Sayers was by Mr. Sang. The colouring is rich and almost everywhere greeted as a hero ; and at the Stock faultlessly pleasing and harmonious, producing a Exchange a purse of £1,000 was handed to him marked mediæval character. The ceiling of the for his “gallant conduct," on the understanding reading-room glows in an atmosphere of gold and that he at once retired from the Ring. For a time colour, yet free and graceful in its figures and Sayers was the topic of general conversation; but ornaments, designed by Mr. Sang. The large he did not long survive his triumph, if such it may and magnificent coffee-room, the “grand saloon," be called. He died soon afterwards from pul together with the adjoining "state" and reception monary consumption, and was buried, with con- rooms, probably have no equal in point of design siderable ceremony, in the Highgate Cemetery, his or finish in any building of the kind; while profile and a portrait of his dog being the only the corridors and staircases throughout are all memorials on his tombstone to mark the place of decorated in a rich style, at once tasteful and his interment.

beautiful. If the Midland Railway had conferred no other Abroad terraced carriage-drive, 400 feet in benefit on London and Londoners, our thanks length, separates the hotel from the roadway, and would be due to it for having cleared away the leads by various entrances to the building and whole, or nearly the whole, of the above-mentioned archways to the station. Altogether, the hotel has miserable district of mud and hovels, and given us a frontage of about 600 feet; and it is very lofty, something better to look upon. So dreary and consisting of seven storeys, including attics in the dirty indeed was the place—though its creation sloping roofs. At the south-east corner of the was only of so recent date—that it was styled by building is a clock-tower 240 feet high, nearly forty Charles Dickens our “English Connemara." It feet higher than the Monument at London Bridge. was mainly occupied by costermongers, and by dog There are bedrooms for upwards of 500 guests, all and bird fanciers.

most luxuriously furnished; and a uniformly mild Having made these general remarks about the temperature is maintained in all seasons. The line, and of the site which it occupies, we will cost of the hotel, with its fittings and furniture, is proceed with a few details concerning the station said to have been not less than half a million and the “grand hotel” which adjoins it. The pounds sterling. The whole of the arrangements latter building, which abuts upon the Euston Road, for conducting the business of the hotel, it need facing Judd Street, was opened in 1873, and com- hardly be added, are most complete. There are pleted in the spring of 1876. It was erected from speaking-tubes, electric bells, lifts, and dust-shafts; the designs of Sir Gilbert Scott, and is constructed and an apparatus for the extinction of fire is laid chiefly of red brick, with dressings of Bath stone, on at every floor. In the basement are spacious in the most ornate style of Gothic art. It must and extensive cellars, and a laundry; and it may be owned that towering as it does into mid air, it be added that the whole of the washing and drying is a most beautiful structure ; indeed, to quote the is done by steam power. words of the “ Tourist's Guide," " it stands without It was found necessary to raise the level of the a rival in the hotel line, for palatial beauty, comfort, terminus about fifteen feet higher than the Euston and convenience.” The style of architecture is Road, in order to secure good gradients and proper a combination of various mediæval features, the levels for some of the suburban stations. The inspection of which recall to mind the Lombardic space underneath was then utilised as a cellarage and Venetian brick Gothic or Gothic-Italian types, for the Burton and other ale traffic, and thus the

Midland Railway.)

A RAILWAY GOODS BANK.

371

the lines of ? Of|chandi, up with

entire station may be said, seriously as well as Bank :"_“The 'Goods Banks,' as they are called, jestingly, to rest on a substratum of beer. The are three in number. But does the reader know roof of part of the cellarage forms the flooring of what a 'Goods Bank' is ? Let me attempt a dethe terminus and platform of the station, and is so scription. Suppose a building of adequate length constructed as to bear the immense weight of to receive a tolerably long goods train, and about many locomotive engines at the same time. sixty or eighty feet wide, with a platform raised

The roof is of glass, supported by huge iron just high enough to load a cart at, or to unload girders, “not unlike lobster's claws, from which a train of trucks without the toil of raising the the shorter nippers have been broken," and forming goods. Fancy this platform running the whole a Gothic arch, not resting on piers, but embedded length of the edifice, and more than half its width, in the ground. It is 100 feet high, 700 feet in packed up with every conceivable sort of merlength, and its width about 240 feet. The span of chandise, with little passages between leading to the roof covers four platforms, eleven lines of rails, the carts, trucks, and various parts of the platform. and a cab-stand twenty-five feet wide ; altogether Then imagine these carts, trucks, and passages all the station occupies a site of nearly ten acres. alive with men, some in uniform, some without, There are twenty-five principal ribs in the roof, some with caps that tell you they are foremen, &c., and the weight of each is about fifty tons. The and all variously employed. Here is a string of very scaffolding, by the help of which the roof them, with handbarrows loaded; there another was raised into its position, contained eight miles with the same articles empty; here are men at the of massive timber, 1,000 tons in weight, besides cranes raising the goods to the height required, about 25,000 cubic feet of wood, and eighty tons while there are men receiving them; then, again, of ironwork. No other roof of so vast a span has over there are the officials with long papers in been attempted. It is double the width of the their hands, that make you wonder where all that Agricultural Hall at Islington, and ten yards wider writing is done, and how they manage to get rid than the two arches of the neighbouring terminus of the goods described on them. But just look of the Great Northern Railway, which, when first around on the goods. You will no longer wonder built, were considered a triumph of engineering that Webster's Dictionary is such a thick volume, skill. Some idea may be formed of the vast but rather stand wondering where the English expanse of the roof of the Midland Terminus when language gets names from to describe the mulwe state that it contains no less than two acres and tiplicity of articles before you, and you go away a half of glass. The gigantic main ribs cost a with a much better idea of the intelligence of the thousand pounds apiece. These and the other railway official who knows how to describe the interior portions of the framework are painted a items in such a miscellaneous collection. Amongst sky-blue, and by this means the roof is made to this endless array I have seen sewing machines, look particularly light and airy. We may add that reaping machines, pianos, harmoniums, holly and in the station and its approaches were absorbed mistletoe, bags and sacks that you could not about sixty millions of bricks, nine thousand tons imagine what was inside, and bags and sacks that of iron, and eighty thousand cubic feet of dressed from their peculiar colour and odour, as well as stone. The consulting engineer was Mr. Barlow. from the appearance of the men handling them,

The opening of the St. Pancras Station in the you know at once to be soot. On one occasion an year 1868, and its connection with the Metropolitan official said to me, 'Do you smell anything parand other lines, gave the Midland Company, for the ticular this morning ?' On my replying negatively, first time, a London terminus. Up to this period he said, “We have just had a large arrival of cats' the Midland trains travelled on the Great Northern meat in a bad condition ;' and I learnt that this line from King's Cross as far as Hitchin, and thence article sometimes came up by tons from Scotlandby a branch line to Bedford and other portions of our friends out north being too canny to waste the Midland Railway system.

anything. At another time I saw the dead carcase At the Midland Railway Goods Station alone of a horse swinging high in the air, as it was about some 1,300 men are employed, and at the Coal to be delivered to a waiting cart or van. But," Depôt in York Road, close by, there are from adds the missionary,“this terrible bustle of business 150 to 200 coal porters and carters. From the makes the ‘Bank' in itself an unfavourable place “ Report of the London City Mission," which gives for religious work.” an account of the work that is being done by the Between the Midland and the Great Northern society's agents among the labourers employed here, lines a large space of ground is covered partly by we quote the following description of a “Goods the Imperial Gas Works, and partly by a coal depôt and the Great Northern Railway Goods Depôt. called Longwich Lane, from whence, leaving HighOn the east side of these various centres of gate on the west, it passed through Tallingdon industry runs northwards the road which forms the Lane, and so on to Crouche Ende, thence through boundary between the parishes of St. Pancras and Hornsey Great Park to Muswell Hill, Coanie Islington. This thoroughfare, as we have stated Hatch, Fryene Barnete, and so on to Whetstone. in a previous volume, * was, till recently, called This anciente waye, by reason of the deepness and Maiden Lane, and it is one of the most ancient dirtieness of the passage in the winter season, was roads in the north of London. The historian refused by wayfaring men, carriers, and travellers, Camden says, “It was opened to the public in the in regard, whereof, it is agreed between the Bishop year 1300, and was then the principal road for all of London and the countrie, that a new waye shall

[graphic][merged small]

he north.” | be laidhgate Hill, to leadwuld be paid

travellers proceeding to Highgate and the north.” | be laide forthe through Bishop's Park, beginning It was formerly called “Longwich Lane," and was at Highgate Hill, to leade directe to Whetstone, for generally kept in such a dirty, disreputable state which a certain tole should be paid to the Bishop, as to be almost impassable in winter, and was and for that purpose has a gate been erected so often complained of that the Bishop of London on the hill, that through the same all travellers was induced to lay out a new road to Highgate should pass, and be the more aptly staide for the Hill, so at a carrier might get to the north by tole.” avoiding Longwich Lane. But of this we shall Before quitting Maiden Lane, we may here menhave more to say when we reach Highgate. tion the fact that for some few months previous

“ The old and anciente highwaye to High to the erection of the Great Northern Terminus at Barnet, from Gray's Inn and Clerkenwell,” writes King's Cross, which occupies the site of the SmallJohn Norden, in his “Speculum Britanniæ," " was pox Hospital, the trains of that company started through a lane to the east of Pancras Church, from a temporary station in Maiden Lane.

From King's Cross as far as Camden Road this * See Vol. II, p. 276.

thoroughfare was some years ago named York Road,

en we reach Highga to High to the Cross, which occupies

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