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sober piety, and of watchfulness and devotion, other publications prove. I can say, too, with wearing off, amidst this unavoidable scene of dissi- pleasure, that I studiously employed my interest, pation, I was not, as at West Ham, the innocent through the connections I had, for the good of man that I lived there. I committed offences others. I never forgot or neglected the cause of against my God, which yet, I bless Him, were the distressed ; many, if need were, could bear me always, on reflection. detestable to me.
witness. Let it suffice to say, that during this “But my greatest evil was expense. To supply period I instituted the Charity for the Discharge of it, I fell into the dreadful and ruinous mode Debtors." of raising money by annuities. The annuities Close by Charlotte Street, in a small gloomy
I committed otocent through that I studiously emocan
devoured me. Still, I exerted myself by every house, inside the gates of Messrs. Elliot's Brewery, means to do what I thought right, and built my between Brewer Street, Pimlico, and York Street, hopes of perfect extrication from all my difficulties Westminster, lived Richard Heber, some time when my young and beloved pupil should come of M.P. for the University of Oxford, and the owner age. But, alas ! during this interval, which was of one of the finest private libraries in the world. not very long, I declare with solemn truth that Here he kept a portion of his library; a second I never varied from the steady belief of the part occupying an entire house in James Street, Christian doctrines. I preached them with all my Buckingham Gate; a third portion, from kitchen power, and kept back nothing from my congre- to attics, was at his country seat at Hodnet, in gations which I thought might tend to their best Shropshire; and a fourth at Paris. “Nobody,” welfare; and I was very successful in this way he used to say, “could do without three copies of during the time. Nor, though I spent in dissi- a book-one for show at his country house, one pation many hours which I ought not, but to for personal use, and the third to lend to his which my connections inevitably led, was I idle friends.” And this library, as we learn from “A during this period; as my · Commentary on the Century of Anecdote,” had but a small beginning Bible,' my 'Sermons to Young Men,' and several | — the accidental purchase of a chance volume
A GIGANTIC LIBRARY.
picked up for a few pence at a bookstall, and drawing the courtiers from Portland Place and about which Mr. Heber was for some time in Portinan Square to the splendid mansions built by doubt whether to buy it or not. The catalogue Messrs. Basevi and Cubitt, in what was known at of Mr. Heber's library was bound up in five thick that time, and long before, as the 'Five Fields.' octavo volumes. Dr. Dibdin once addressed to It seems but the other day,” he adds, “that the him a letter entitled “ Bibliomania ;” but he was writer of this brief notice of the place played at no bibliomaniac, but a ripe and accomplished cricket in the Five Fields, where robbers lie in scholar. Mr. Heber took an active part in founding wait,' or pulled bulrushes in the cuts' of the the Athenæum Club, and he was also a member Willow Walk, in Pimlico.”
of several other literary societies; indeed, to use As might be naturally expected, the removal of the phrase of Dr. Johnson, “He was an excellent King William and his Court from St. James's to clubber.” He was the half-brother of Reginald Buckingham Palace, on his accession to the throne Heber, Bishop of Calcutta, and died a bachelor in in 1830, gave a considerable impetus to the im1833, in the sixtieth year of his age. His extensive prøvement of Pimlico, although a town of palaces library was dispersed by auction in London. The had already been commenced upon the “Five sale commenced upon the 10th of April, 1834, and Fields," as that dreary region had been formerly occupied two hundred and two days, and extended called. The ground landlord of a considerable through a period of more than two years. The portion of the land thus benefited by these metrocatalogue of this remarkable sale filled more than politan improvements was Lord Grosvenor, who, two thousand printed octavo pages, and contained in the year 1831, was created Marquis of Westno less than 52,672 lots.
minster, and who, as we have already stated in our Mr. Peter Cunningham, in noticing the growth description of Grosvenor House in a former chapter, of this locality in his “Hand-book of London," was grandfather of the present ducal owner. * says: “George IV. began the great alterations in Pimlico by rebuilding Buckingham House, and !
• See Vol. IV., P. 371.
“The sands of Chelsey Fields." - Ben Jonson. Boundary of the Parish-Etymology of its Name-Charles II. and Colonel Blood-Chelsea Fields-The “Dwarf's Tavern"-Chapels of
French Huguenot Refugee --Gardens and Nurseries-Appearance of Chelsea from the River - Chelsea in the Last Century-A Stag Hunt in Chelsea-History of the Manor-The Old Manor House and its Eminent Residents-Lord Cremorne's Farm at Chelsea-Lady Cremorne · -Lindsey House–The Moravians-The Duchess of Mazarine-Sir Robert Walpole's House--Shrewsbury House-Winchester House
Beaufort House and the “Good " Sir Thomas More-Anecdotes of Sir Thomas More-The Old and New Parish Churches. Few, if any, of the suburban districts of the
“All the grass that Romney yields, metropolis can lay claim to greater interest, bio
Or the sands of Chelsey Fields." graphical as well as topographical, than the locality Macaulay reminds us that, at the end of the upon which we have now entered. In Faulkner's reign of Charles II., Chelsea was a “ quiet country “ History of Chelsea," we read that the parish village, with about a thousand inhabitants; the is “bounded on the north by the Fulliam Road, baptisms averaging little more than forty in the which separates it from Kensington ; on the east year.” At that time the Thames was sufficiently by a rivulet, which divides it from St. George's, clear and pure for bathing above Westminster. Hanover Square, and which enters the Thames We are told that, on one occasion, Charles II. near Ranelagh ; on the west a brook, which rises was bathing at Chelsea, when the notorious Colonel near Wormholt Scrubs, and falls into the Thames Blood lay hid among the reeds at Battersea, in facing Battersea Church, divides this parish from order to shoot him. Notwithstanding its remotethat of Fulham; and on the south it is bounded ness from the metropolis, however, Chelsea does by the Thames.” Lysons observes that the most not appear to have escaped the ravages of the ancient record in which he has seen the name “Great Plague,” for it raged here as well as in of this place mentioned is a charter of Edward other suburbs of London, as Pepys informs us, in the Confessor, in which it is written “Cealchylle."* | his “Diary,” under date of April 9th, 1666:The name seems to have puzzled the Norman “Thinking to have been merry at Chelsey; but, scribes, for in Domesday Book it is written both being almost come to the house by coach, near “ Cercehede” and “ Chelched ;” and in certain the waterside, a house alone, I think the 'Swan,' documents of a later date it is called “Chelcheth,” | a gentleman walking by called out to us that the or “ Chelcith.” “ The word 'Chelsey,'” observes | house was shut up because of the sickness.” Mr. Norris Brewer, in the “ Beauties of England Chelsea Fields must have been quite a rustic and Wales," “ was first adopted in the sixteenth spot even to a yet later date, for Gay thus adcentury, and the present mode of spelling the dresses his friend Pulteney :name appears to have grown into use about a
“When the sweet-breathing spring unfolds the buds, century back.” It may here be remarked that
Love flies the dusty town for shady woods ; the name of Chelsea has been derived by some Then . . . . . . . . . writers from “Shelves” of sand, and “ey,” or ... Chelsea's meads o'erhear perfidious vows, "ea,” land situated near the water. But Lysons
And the press'd grass defrauds the grazing cows." prefers the etymology of Norden, who says that In “Chelsea Fields” was formerly a tavern. “it is so called from the nature of the place, its
| known as “The Dwarf's," kept by John Coan, a strand being like the chesel (ceosel, or cesol], which
diminutive manikin from Norfolk. “It seems to the sea casteth up of sand and pebble stones,
have been a place of some attraction,” says Mr. thereof called Chevelsey, briefly Chelsey." In
Larwood, “since it was honoured by the repeated like manner it may be added that the beach of
visits of an Indian king.” Thus the Daily Adverpebbles thrown up by the action of the sea out
tiser of July 12, 1762, says: “On Friday last the side Weymouth harbour, is styled the Chesil bank.
Cherokee king and his two chiefs were so greatly Perhaps it is the same word at bottom as Selsey,
pleased with the curiosities of the Dwarf's Tavern, the name of a peninsula of pebbles on the Sussex
in Chelsea Fields, that they were there again on coast, near Chichester.
Sunday, at seven in the evening, to drink tea, and As a symbol of infinity, Ben Jonson, in his
will be there again in a few days.” The reputation “Forest,” speaks of
of the tavern, under its pygmean proprietor, was
but brief, as the “unparalleled " Coan, as he is "Environs of London," vol, ii , p. 70.
styled, died within two years from the above date.
ters from cated near the orden, whoe splace, its know
“HYDE PARK ON THE THAMES.”
ere eaten byk in thirteen acaedens honourabilt, being no
In the reign of William III., the French Hugue that it was frequently called “Hyde Park on the not refugees had two chapels in Chelsea : the | Thames.” one in “Cook's Grounds,” now used by the Con- Bowack thus writes, in an account of Chelsea, gregationalists, and another at Little Chelsea, not published in 1705:“The situation of it upon far from Kensington.
the Thames is very pleasant, and standing in “Chelsea," observes a writer in the Mirror, in a small bay, or angle, made by the meeting of
come writer in the Mirror in Lancman 1833, “though now proverbial for its dulness, Chelsea and Battersea Reaches, it has a most was formerly a place of great gaiety. Thousands delightful prospect on that river for near four flocked to Salter's—or, as it was dubbed, ‘Don miles, as far as Vauxhall eastward, and as WandsSaltero's '-coffee-house in Cheyne Walk; the worth to the west.” Chelsea buns were eaten by princesses; and the In the last century, Chelsea being, in fact, quite public were allowed to walk in thirteen acres of a suburban place, had its own society ; “its many avenues of limes and chestnut-trees in the gardens honourable and worthy inhabitants,” as we are told adjoining the College. This privilege was dis- by Bowack, “ being not more remarkable for their allowed in 1806; but within the last few weeks titles, estates, and employments, than for their these grounds have been again thrown open to civility and condescension, and their kind and the public.” The ground round about Chelsea facetious tempers, living in a perfect amity among and its neighbourhood, like that of Bermondsey, themselves, and having a general meeting every day and other low-lying districts bordering upon the at a coffee-house near the church, well known for Thames, is peculiarly adapted for the growth of a pretty collection of varieties in nature and art, vegetables, fruits, and flowers ; indeed, Chelsea some of which are very curious.” The coffee-house has long been remarkable for its gardens and here mentioned was the renowned Don Saltero's, nurseries. Dr. Mackay, in his “ Extraordinary of which we shall have more to say in the next Popular Delusions," tells us that about the time chapter. of Her Majesty's accession, there was a gardener Mr. Peter Cunningham speaks of Chelsea as "at in the King's Road, Chelsea, in whose catalogue one time the Islington of the West-end," and thus a single tulip was marked at two hundred guineas enumerates the articles for which it has from time -a remnant, perhaps, of the tulip-mania, which, to time been famous :-Its manor house, its college, two centuries before, had ruined half of the its botanic garden, its hospital, its amusements at merchants of Holland, and threatened to prove Ranelagh, its waterworks, its buns, its china, and as disastrous here as the “South Sea Bubble." | its custards. It may be added, too, that the first red geranium “About the year 1796," writes Faulkner, in his seen in England is said to have been raised by “History of Chelsea," " I was present at a staga Mr. Davis here, about the year 1822.
hunt in Chelsea. The animal swam across the river Chelsea, which was once a rustic and retired from Battersea, and made for Lord Cremorne's village, has been gradually absorbed into the grounds. Upon being driven from thence, he ran metropolis by the advance of the army of brick- along the water-side as far as the church, and layers and mortar-layers, and now forms fairly a turning up Church Lane, at last took refuge in portion of London, Pimlico and Belgravia having Mrs. Hutchins's barn, where he was taken alive." supplied the connecting link. Environed though The connection of Chelsea with Westminster, it is by the growing suburbs, the place has still already stated in our account* of the “Monster” an old-fashioned look about it, which the modern, Tavern, Pimlico, is probably of very old standing, trimly-laid-out flower-gardens on the new embank- for even during the rule of our Norman kings it ment only tend to increase. Looked at from the appears to have been one of the manors belonging Battersea side of the river, with the barges floating to the abbey of St. Peter. Little, however, is lazily along past the solid red-brick houses, screened known with certainty of the history of this now by sheltering trees, Chelsea presents such a picture extensive parish till the time of Henry VII., when as the old Dutch “masters” would have revelled the manor was held by Sir Reginald Bray, from in, especially as the Thames here widens into whom it descended to Margaret, only child of his a fine “reach,” well known to oarsmen for the next brother, John, who married William, Lord rough “seas” which they encounter there on Sandys. From Lord Sandys the manor passed, in those occasions when the wind meets the tide ; exchange for other lands, to that rapacious king, in fact, the river is wider at this particular spot Henry VIII., by whom it was assigned to Katharine than anywhere “above bridge." In the reign of Charles II. it was such a fashionable rendezvous
• See above, p. 45.
two remnant, perhaps, of at two hundred atalogue one time
Parr, as part of her marriage jointure. Faulkner, usually made her abode at one or other of her in his work above quoted, says that “ Henry was jointure houses at Chelsea, or at Hanworth, near probably induced to possess this manor from having Hounslow." observed, in his frequent visits to Sir Thomas More, In the reign of Elizabeth, the Lord High Admiral, the pleasantness of the situation on the bank of the Earl of Effingham, was among the residents of the Thames; and, from the salubrity of the air, this place; and we are told by Bishop Goodman deeming it a fit residence for his infant daughter, that, in her“ progresses " from Richmond to Whitethe Princess Elizabeth, then between three and hall, the “ Virgin Queen" would often dine with his four years of age. But after having obtained it, lordship at Chelsea, and afterwards set out thence finding that the manor house was ancient, and towards London, late at night, by torchlight, in at that time in the possession of the Lawrence order that the Lord Mayor and aldermen, and the family, he erected a new manor house, on the other loyal citizens, might not see those wrinkles eastern side of the spot where Winchester House and that ugly throat of hers, with which Horace lately stood, and supplied it with water from a Walpole has made us familiar in his representation spring at Kensington." The manor was subse- of a coin struck shortly before her death. quently held by John Dudley, Duke of Northum-/ Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who berland; by Anne, Duchess of Somerset, widow of acquired high renown at the battles of Cressy and the “ Protector ;” by John, first Lord Stanhope, Poictiers, appears to have occasionally resided at of Harrington; by Katharine, Lady Howard, wife Chelsea. It is supposed that he occupied a house of the Lord Admiral; by James, first Duke of and premises which afterwards belonged to Richard Hamilton ; by Charles, Viscount Cheyne; and by Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, and which were Sir Hans Sloane, the celebrated physician, who granted by Richard III. to Elizabeth, widow of purchased it in 1712 from the Cheyne family, Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, for life, “to and from whom it passed by marriage to Charles, be held by the service of a red rose.” The site of second Lord Cadogan, of Oakley, through which this mansion, however, is now unknown, as also is alliance the manor of Chelsea became vested in the spot once occupied by a house in Chelsea the Cadogans, with whom it still remains.
which was possessed by William, Marquis of The old manor house stood near the church, and Berkeley, an adherent of the Earl of Richmond was sold by Henry VIII. to the Lawrence family, afterwards Henry VII.). after whom Lawrence Street derives its name. The In April, 1663, we find Lord Sandwich at his new manor house stood on that part of Cheyne Chelsea lodging, eating cakes made by the mistress Walk fronting the Thames, between the Pier Hotel of the house, and, it may be added, the mother of and the house formerly known as “ Don Saltero's his own mistress—cakes so good that, says Pepys, Coffee-house." The building, of which a view of “they were fit to present to my Lady Castlethe north front is engraved in Faulkner's “ History maine”-a curious parody of the lines of the of Chelsea” (see page 49), was of a quadrangular old nursery rhyme :form, enclosing a spacious court, and was partly
“Now was not that a dainty dish embattled. The mansion was pulled down shortly
To set before a king?" after the death of Sir Hans Sloane, in the middle of the last century, and a row of houses erected on Among the residents of Chelsea in the last cen. the site.
tury was Lord Cremorne, who occupied a house Like Kensington, Chelsea has been from time called Chelsea Farm, which was situated at a short to time the residence of many individuals of high distance from the bridge on the site long covered rank, who were attracted to it on account of its | by Cremorne Gardens. Lady Cremorne is celenearness to the Court, and its easiness of access at brated in the “Percy Anecdotes ” as the best misa time when the roads of the suburbs were bad, and tress of a household that ever lived. She had a the Thames was the “silent highway" to families servant, Elizabeth Palfrey, who had lived with her who could afford to keep their barge. So far as for forty-eight years, during the latter half of the rank and station are concerned, perhaps the first time as housekeeper, and who so regulated affairs and foremost of its residents was the Princess that in all that long time not one of the female (afterwards Queen) Elizabeth. After her father's servants was known to have left her place, except death, Miss Lucy Aikin tells us, in her “ Memoirs in order to be married. Such mistresses are rare of the Court” of that sovereign, the princess “had now, and probably were not common even in her been consigned to the care and protection of the day. As late as 1826, the name of Viscountess Queen Dowager (Katharine Parr), with whom she Cremorne appears in the “Royal Blue Book," with