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1603, 269; in 1625, 170; and in the terrible year hackney carriages which were the immediate 1665, as many as 225.
forerunners of the London cabriolet, it is simply a In the early part of the eighteenth century fact that the word “hackney” may be traced to Hackney was much infested by robbers, which ren- the Dutch, French, Spanish, and Italian languages. dered travelling after dark very insecure. The In our own tongue it is at least as old as Chaucer roads between London and this rural suburb were and Froissart, who borrowed it from the French then lonely and unprotected; and it was not until haquenée, a slow-paced nag. At all events, in January, 1756, that lamps were placed between Chaucer's “Romaunt of the Rose,” we find the Shoreditch and Hackney, and patrols, armed with phrase thus used :guns and bayonets, placed on the road. In the
“Dame Richesse on her hand gan lede Marshes towards Hackney Wick were low public
A yonge man full of semely hede, houses, the haunt of highwaymen and their Dul
That she best loved of any thing,
His lust was much in householdyng; cineas. Dick Turpin was a constant guest at the
In clothyng was he full fetyse, “White House,” or “Tyler's Ferry,"near Joe Sowter's
And loved wel to have horse of prise ; cock-pit, at Temple Mills; and few police officers
He wende to have reproved be were bold enough to approach the spot.
Of thrifte or murdre, if that be Maitland, in his “History of London,” says,
Had in his stable an hackenay." “The village of Hackney being anciently cele- Froissart, in one of his Chronicles, says, “The brated for the numerous seats of the nobility knights are well horsed, and the common people and gentry, occasioned a mighty resort thither of and others on litell hakeneys and geldyngs.” The persons of all conditions from the City of London, word subsequently acquired the meaning of "let whereby so great a number of horses were daily for hire," and was soon applied to other matters hired in the City on that account, that at length than horses. In Love's Labour's Lost Shakespeare all horses to be let received the common appellation says, “Your love, perhaps, is a hacknie." In of 'Hackney horses ;' which denomination has “ Hudibras” we meet with "a broom, the nag and since communicated itself both to public coaches hackney of a Lapland hag.” Pope calls himself and chairs; and though this place at present be “a hackney scribbler.” Addison and Steele, in deserted by the nobility, yet it so greatly abounds the Spectator and Tatler, speak of “ driving in with merchants and persons of distinction, that it a hack,” and our readers surely remember the excels all other villages in the kingdom, and hackney coach in which Sir Roger de Coverley probably on earth, in the riches and opulence of went to Westminster Abbey. Hogarth gave the its inhabitants, as may be judged from the great expressive name of “ Kate Hackabout” to the number of persons who keep coaches there.” But poor harlot whose progress he depicted. Cowper, it is to be feared that in this matter Maitland is in the “Task," uses “hackneyed” as an active not to be trusted; for though it has often been verb; and Churchill employs it as an adjective. supposed, and occasionally assumed even by well. So there are authorities enough for the meaning of informed writers, that as Sedan-chairs and Bath-“hackney;" and the pleasant village, now the chairs were named from the places where they were centre of a suburban town, must, we fear, be first respectively used, so the village of Hackney | deprived of the honour of having invented hackney has had the honour of giving the name to those coaches.
HOXTON, KINGSLAND, DALSTON, &c. "Dalston, or Shacklewell, or some other suburban retreat northerly."-C. Lamb, " Essays of Elia.” Kingsland Road-Harmer's Almshouses-Gefferey's Almshouses—The Almshouses of the Framework Knitters-Shoreditch Workhouse
St. Columba's Church-Hoxton—“Pimlico "-Discovery of a Medicinal Spring-Charles Square-Aske's Hospital-Balmes, or Baumes House --The Practising Ground of the Artillery Company-De Beauvoir Town- The Tyssen Family--St. Peter's Church, De Beauvoir Square-The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St. Joseph-Ball's Pond--Kingsland-A Hospital for Lepers-Dalston-The
Refuge for Destitute Females-The German Hospital-Shacklewell. HERE, it is true, we have no historian or old not old enough to have a history. Its records are annalist to guide our steps, for the district had no the annals of a “quiet neighbourhood.” Beyond entity of its own till quite a recent date, and it is an occasional remark, too, we can glean nothing
of interest about the neighbourhood from the pages remembrance by Pimlico Walk, near the junction of Strype, Maitland, or honest John Stow; of the New North Road and Pitfield Street. The
“The quaint and antique Stow, whose words alone origin of the name of Hoxton is somewhat involved Seem letter'd records graven upon stone."
in obscurity. The place was formerly sometimes These close-lying suburbs—which we scarcely called Hogsdon, as we have already seen ;* and know whether to reckon as parts and parcels of Hog Lane, in Norton Folgate, close by, would the great metropolis or not-have been wittily | lead to the inference that it was so named in defined by Mr. G. O. Trevelyan, in his “Life of consequence of the number of hogs that might Lord Macaulay," as “places which, as regards the
have been reared there ; but this seems doubtful, company and the way of living, are little else than for in the “ Domesday” record we find the name sections of London removed into a purer air." of the place entered as Hocheston, and in a lease And so rapidly is London growing year by year of the time of Edward III. it is mentioned as that even Mr. Trevelyan's words will soon prove Hoggeston. Stow, in 1598, describes the place out of date, so far as regards purity of air.
as “a large street with houses on both sides ;" This district is approached from the City by
but it has long since lost all pretensions to a rural Bishopsgate Street and the broad and open or retired character. A medicinal spring was disthoroughfare called Kingsland Road, which runs covered at Hoxton in the seventeenth century, on northward from the end of Old Street Road. digging the cellar for a house near Charles Square; diverging at Shoreditch Church from the road by but it does not appear to have attained any which we have travelled towards Hackney.
eminence or reputation. In Charles Square lived On the east side of the road we pass several
the Rev. John Newton, Cowper's friend and correalmshouses. The first of these belong to the
spondent, many years rector of St. Mary WoolDrapers' Company, and are known as Harmer's noth, in Lombard Street, and who died in 1807. Almshouses. The buildings, which were erected Peter Cunningham, in his “ Handbook of London" in 1713, have a somewhat picturesque appearance, (1850), speaks of the hou and afford homes for twelve single men and women. St. John of Bletsoe, who died in 1618, as still Gefferey's Almshouses and Charity, in the gift of standing. the Ironmongers' Company, are situated close to Hoxton has long been noted for the number of the above ; these were founded in 1703, for the its charitable institutions, among which Aske's purpose of providing homes and pensions for a Hospital, at the upper end of Pitfield Street, held certain number of poor persons. Next we have a prominent place. It consisted of some almsthe almshouses belonging to the Framework houses and schools, founded by Robert Aske, an Knitters' Company. These were established in alderman of London, and a member of the Haberthe early part of the last century as homes, &c., dashers' Company, in 1688, as homes for twenty for twelve poor freemen and widows of the above-poor freemen of that company, and for the educamentioned company.
tion of 220 sons of freemen. The buildings were The only buildings worthy of mention in the extensive, and had in front a piazza upwards of Kingsland Road, which we pass on the west side 300 feet in length. The chapel was consecrated on our way northward, are the Workhouse of the by Archbishop Tillotson in 1695. In 1875–6 the parish of Shoreditch, and St. Columba's Church. almshouses were removed, and a large middle-class The latter building, a large and lofty red-brick school, called Aske's Haberdashers' School, now edifice, with a clergy house adjoining, was built occupies the site. about the year 1868 from the designs of Mr. P. Hoxton in former times boasted of at least one Brooks ; and the services in the church are con- mansion of some importance ; this was Balmes ducted on “Ritualistic” principles.
House-termed in old writings Bawmes, or Hoxton, which lies on the west side of the Baulmes. In the early part of the seventeenth Kingsland Road, and north of Old Street Road. century the old house was rebuilt on a scale of now included in Shoreditch parish, was for great magnificence by Sir George Whitmore, who merly, as we have stated in the previous chapter, was Lord Mayor of London, and a considerable reckoned as part of Hackney. The locality in sufferer for his loyalty to Charles I. The mansion bygone times acquired a certain celebrity from a was purchased about fifty years afterwards by noted tavern or ale-house, called “Pimlico," which Richard de Beauvoir, a Guernsey gentleman, who existed there ; it is referred to by Ben Jonson, lived there in great style. Foreigners visited the Dodsley, and others in plays of the seventeenth century. The name of “Pimlico" is kept in!
• See ante, p. 39.
ob of Shoreditch, and St. Columba's Churton school called
la s old house at Hoxton, cofed dingy so much pombe large property..
mansion as one of the sights of London ; and it of quality, and published a notice in the Gazette was noticed as a memorable show place in French to the effect that the display “far exceeded the and German works on architecture and landscape quality of the deceased, being only a private gentlegardening. At the end of the last century it was man,” and that “funerals of ignoble persons should surrounded by a moat spanned by drawbridges, not be set forth with such trophies of honour as and there were beautiful gardens, watered by belong only to the peers and gentles of the realm." streams from Canonbury Fields. But Time's pro- The funeral must really have been a grand affair, gress worked strange changes in Baumes; and in for it cost £2,00o, a large sum in those days. the end the “old house at Hoxton," as it was Three days after Tyssen was laid in the grave with popularly called—a melancholy high-roofed dingy so much pomp, his widow was confined of a son, building, enclosed by high walls-came to be occu- the heir to the large property. This his only pied as a private lunatic asylum. Some few years son, Francis John Tyssen, lord of the manor of ago the building was pulled down ; but Whitmore Hackney, died in 1781, leaving a daughter, who Bridge preserves the memory of the hospitable subsequently conveyed the property by marriage alderman of the Stuart days, and the smart De to the Amhursts, of Rochester. At the close of Beauvoir Town, near at hand, is a handsome the last century, through failure of male heirs, the memorial of his successor in the splendour of property passed, by marriage of an heiress, to Mr. Baumes.
William George Daniel, of Foley House, Kent, The fields near the old building appear to have and Westbrook, Dorset, who thereupon assumed, been formerly used by the Artillery Company as a by royal sign-manual, the surname and arms of place of exercise ; and the “Baumes March” is | Tyssen. His eldest son, who inherited the manor said to have been “a favourite exercise at arms." of Hackney, took the additional name of Amhurst, A melancholy interest attaches to the fields here- a name given to one of the principal thoroughfares abouts, from the fact that it was in one of them connecting the main street of Hackney with the that Ben Jonson killed in a duel Gabriel Spenser, high road at Stoke Newington. the player. *
De Beauvoir Town is that part of this neighbourNearly all the land round this part belongs to hood lying on the north side of Hoxton, stretching the Tyssen and De Beauvoir families, after whom away from the Regent's Canal on the south to and their connections and alliances, streets, squares, Ball's Pond Road on the north, and from Kingsand terraces are named in almost endless succes- land Road on the east to the New North Road and sion. One district, indeed, is collectively named Canonbury on the west. Its centre is formed by De Beauvoir Town.
De Beauvoir Square, which is surrounded by a The Tyssens were formerly merchants at Flushing, number of small streets and terraces. St. Peter's in Holland, but about the reign of James II. they Church, in the south-west corner of the square, is settled in London and became naturalised subjects. a pseudo-Gothic edifice, and was erected about the Like many other City merchants at that time, they year 1830. seem to have fixed their abode at Hackney and In Tottenham Road, near the Kingsland main Shacklewell, and several of them were buried in road, is the Roman Catholic church of Our Lady Hackney Church. Francis Tyssen, of Shacklewell, and St. Joseph, which was solemnly opened in the married Rachel, the youngest daughter of Richard year 1856 by the late Cardinal Wiseman. The de Beauvoir, of Guernsey, and subsequently of presbytery, which adjoins the church, fronts the Baumes, as mentioned above; and on his death, Culford Road. The church is a spacious brick in 1717, he was buried at Hackney “with great edifice. It was originally built for manufacturing funeral pomp" by his brother merchants, who had purposes, but was converted to its present use resolved to do honour to his memory. His body under the direction of Mr. Wardell. Externally, lay in state in Goldsmiths' Hall (from which we the building has not much pretensions to beauty may infer that he was very rich indeed), surrounded or ecclesiastical architecture. It is, however, spa. by a magnificent display of plate, gold and silver cious, and will accommodate about six hundred sconces and trophies. Then the corpse was borne worshippers. The division of the chancel from the to Hackney Church with a great procession of body of the church is formed by a flight of steps horse and footmen, and such an abundant follow- of considerable elevation, and on each side is a ing, that the Earl of Suffolk, deputy Earl-Marshal, screened enclosure—the one used for the organbecame alarmed for the funeral privileges of people chamber and choir, and the other for the sacristy.
At the western ends of these enclosures are the • Sec Vol. II., P. 195.
side altars. The high altar is arranged with
baldachino, reredos, and frontal; and the roof of Camden Town, is carried by a tunnel under the the chancel is divided into panels of a blue ground, high ground of Islington, and passes hence through relieved with sacred monograms. Underneath the Hackney to Mile End, and so into the Thames at church are spacious and convenient schools. Limehouse. It probably derived its name from
The north end of the De Beauvoir and Culford the royal residence on Stoke Newington Green, of Roads is crossed at right angles by Ball's Pond which we shall have more to say presently. The Road, which connects Kingsland Road and Dalston fields adjoining being occupied by royalty for the Lane with Essex Road, Islington.
chase, came conventionally to be styled the “ King's Ball's Pond was originally a small hamlet belong- lands”-hence Kingsland. ing to the parish of Islington, and abutting upon We get a glimpse of the pastoral scenery that the Newington Road. It consisted of only a at one time lay between London and Kingsland few houses and gardens, and received its name in the “Diary” of the inimitable Pepys. Under from one John Ball, whose memory is preserved date of May 12th, 1667, he writes :—“Walked on a penny token, as the keeper of a house of over the fields to Kingsland and back again; a entertainment called the “Salutation," or more walk, I think, I have not taken these twenty years; commonly the “Boarded House," at this place but puts me in mind of my boy's time, when I about the middle of the seventeenth century. The boarded at Kingsland, and used to shoot with my inscription on the token is as follows: “John Ball, bow and arrow in these fields." at the Boarded House, neere Newington Green : This, and the whole neighbourhood with which his Penny;” and the sign is depicted upon the we are now concerned, must at one time have coin by the representation of two gentlemen been part and parcel of the great northern forest saluting each other. The place was formerly of Middlesex, if there be truth in what Lord famous for the exercise of bull-baiting and other Lyttelton tells us, on the authority of an old brutal sports, and was much resorted to by the chronicler of the reign of Henry II., that the lower orders of society from all parts of the citizens of London once had a chace or forest metropolis. There was, near this spot, a large which extended from Hounsditch nearly twelve pond, which by the frequenters of the place became miles north. The last part of this large forest was coupled with the name of “mine host.” This pond Enfield Chace, the furthest portion from town; and was used, doubtless, like that which we have if it all once belonged to the people, it would be mentioned in our account of May Fair, * for duck- interesting to find out how it passed into the hands hunting and other such cruel and unmanly sports of the sovereign.
When the citizens of London used to take Kingsland is a chapelry partly in Hackney and lodgings for the summer at Islington for the sake partly in Islington parish. It is described by the of its pure and healthy air, the district all around " Ambulator," in 1774, as a hamlet of the parish of us must have consisted of open fields, and nothing Islington, lying between Hoxton and Clapton. It met the eye between Hoxton and Stoke Newington. consists chiefly of rows of houses, extending in a The fields were doubtless used by the Finsbury somewhat monotonous series along the road from archers when Hoxton got too hot, or rather too London to Stamford Hill. populous, to hold them; and probably within this Lewis, in his “Topographical Dictionary” (1835), present century a stray toxophilite may have been writes : “Here are brick-fields, and some part of seen hereabouts stringing his bow, and dreaming the ground is occupied by nurserymen and marketof the days that were past.
gardens. Previously to the middle of the fifteenth In passing through Ball's Pond we have the century there was at Kingsland a hospital for lepers, New River on our left, not, however, any longer, which, after the Reformation, became annexed to as it used to be, open to the view, and reflecting St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and was used as a sort the sky as in a mirror, but stealing along, like the of out-ward to that institution.” mole, underground, being arched over in order to This hospital appears to have been established keep its stream clean and pure, and free from the at a very early period; for, as we learn from smuts and other impurities from which it would be Strype's “Survey of London,” as far back as the difficult to purify it by all the filtration in the year 1437, “ John Pope, citizen and barber, gave world.
by will to the Masters and Governors of the Kingsland lies to the north of the Regent's House of Lepers, called Le Lokes, at Kingeslond Canal, which, after leaving the Regent's Park and without London, an annual rent of 6s. 8d. issuing
out of certain shops, situate in Shirborne Lane, * See Vol. IV., P. 352.
toward the sustentation of the said House at