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Chelsea

GOUGH HOUSE.

83

vas patronised balls were at first a shout the residence Sick Children.

of 1774 by a simple gardener of the Bois de stitution of the kingdom, and sentenced to be Boulogne as a private speculation, the name, broken alive on the wheel.” of course, being borrowed from Chelsea. The In the Queen's Road, adjoining the Royal Hosgardener was patronised by the Prince de Soubise, pital, with its gardens stretching down towards the and the concerts and balls were at first a great river, and close by the spot where formerly stood success. But the novelty died out, and about the residence of Sir Robert Walpole, is the Victoria nine years afterwards the proprietor was fain to Hospital for Sick Children. The building, which escape ruin by becoming manager to a private was converted to its present use in 1866, was forclub, with a more select clientèle. Thenceforth, merly known as Gough House. It was built by till the Revolution, the place was a success. John, Earl of Carberry—one of the “noble authors' Marie Antoinette had been seen there, and the mentioned by Horace Walpole—at the commenceclub invitations were much sought after. The ment of the last century. The estate afterwards Republic, pure and simple, would have been came into the possession of the Gough family, and fatal to the gardens had not the Directory come the house subsequently was made use of for many to the rescue. Under its less rigid régime came years as a school for young ladies. The house has Trénitz, with his troop of Muscadins and Merveil- lately been raised a storey, and additional wards leuses. Morisart died just before the fall of the have been provided. These improvements were Empire, and in time to escape the sight of the effected at an expense of about £3,000, and the Cossacks trampling his pet flower-beds and lawns. hospital was formally re-opened by the Princess From 1816 to 1830 another aristocratic club held Louise. its réunions at Ranelagh, and under the Orleans At the eastern end of Queen's Road, forming dynasty it became again a public place of enter- one side of a broad and open thoroughfare, connecttainment. At last came M. Thiers' scheme of ing Sloane Street with new Chelsea Bridge, stand fortifying Paris, and his ramparts cut the gardens some fine barracks for the Foot Guards, erected in half. This was in 1840; and twenty years later about the year 1870. They are constructed in a a decree suppressed for ever the last lingering substantial manner with light-coloured brick, revestige of gaiety, and consigned the ground to lieved with rustic quoins of red brick, and they building purposes."

consist of several commodious blocks of buildings, Queen's Road West (formerly called Paradise the largest of which contains quarters for the Row) has been the residence of many of the officers, &c. They afford accommodation for about “nobility and gentry " of Chelsea in former times. 1,000 men. It has been said, perhaps with some In a large mansion adjoining Robinson's Lane, truth till lately, that this is the only handsome lived the Earl of Radnor in the time of Charles II., structure in the way of barracks to be seen in the and here his lordship entertained the king “most entire metropolis. If so, the assertion is not very sumptuously” in September, 1660. The parish creditable to our character as a nation, considering register contains several entries of baptisms and the duties that we owe to those who defend our deaths in the Radnor family.

homes and our commerce in the field. Sir Francis Windham had a house in this road at In 1809, the Serpentine — which joined the the commencement of the last century. After the Thames by Ranelagh-rose so high as to overflow battle of Worcester he entertained Charles II. at its banks, and boats were employed in carrying Trent, where the king remained concealed for passengers between the old Bun-house and Chelsea several days. Dr. Richard Mead, the eminent Hospital. physician, of whom we have already spoken in our Mr. Larwood, in his “ History of Sign-boards,” account of Great Ormond Street,* resided in this says that there is, or, at all events, was in 1866, in neighbourhood for some time, as appears by the Bridge Row, a public-house bearing the sign of the parish books. Another physician of note who “ Chelsea Water-works.” These water-works, after lived here about the same time was Dr. Alexander which it was named, were constructed about the Blackwell, who resided in a house near the Botanic year 1724. A canal was dug from the Thames, near Garden. Dr. Blackwell became involved in diffi- Ranelagh to Pimlico, where an engine was placed culties; and after leaving Chelsea he went to for the purpose of raising the water into pipes, which Sweden, where he was appointed physician to the conveyed it to Chelsea, Westminster, and other king. Subsequently, however, he was found guilty parts of western London. The reservoirs in Hyde of high treason, “in plotting to overturn the con- Park and the Green Park were supplied by pipes

from the Chelsea Waterworks, which, in 1767, * See Vol. IV., P. 560.

yielded daily 1,750 tons of water.

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CHAPTER VIII.
CHELSEA (continued). -CREMORNE GARDENS, &c.

“Where smiling Chelsea spreads the cultured lands,

Sacred to Flora, a pavilion stands ;
And yet a second temple neighb'ring near

Nurses the fragrance of the various year."-Anon.
Chelsea Farm, the Residence of Lord Cremorne-Cremorne Gardens-Attempts at Aërial Navigation -Ashburnham House–The Ashburnham

Tournament-The “Captive" Balloon-Turner's Last Home-Noted Residents in Lindsey Row - The King's Road-The Old Burial-ground -St. Mark's College-The “World's End” Tavern - Chelsea Common-Famous Nurseries-Chelsea Park-The "Goat in Boots "— The Queen's Elm-The Jews' Burial-ground-Shaftesbury House—The Workhouse-Sir John Cope-Robert Boyle, the Philosopher and Chemist-The Earl of Orrery-Mr. Adrian Haworth-Dr. Atterbury-Shadwell, the Poet-The “White Horse" Inn-Mr. H. S. Woodfall—The Original of “Strap the Barber" in "Roderick Random”—Danvers Street-Justice Walk-The Old Wesleyan Chapel Chelsea China-Lawrence Street-Tobias Smollett-Old Chelsea Stage-coaches-Sir Richard Steele and other Noted Residents—The Old Clock-house–The Glaciarium-Hospital for Diseases of Women-Chelsea Vestry Hall, and Literary and Scientific Institution-Congregational Church-Royal Avenue Skating-rink-Sloane Square-Bloody Bridge-Chelsea, Brompton, and Belgrave Dispensary-Royal Court Theatre-Hans Town-Sloane Street - Trinity Church-Sloane Terrace Wesleyan Chapel-Sir C. W. Dilke, Bart.- Ladies' Work SocietyHans Town School of Industry for Girls-“Count Cagliostro "-An Anecdote of Professor Porson-Chelsea House-St. Mary's Roman Catholic Chapel—The “Marlborough Tavern"-Hans Place-Miss Letitia E. Landon-The Pavilion-St. Saviour's Church-Prince's Cricket-ground and Skating-rink-The “South Australian."

A few hundred yards to the west of old Battersea by George III., Queen Charlotte, and the Prince of Bridge, on the north side of the river, were the cele- Wales. In 1825 the house and grounds devolved brated Cremorne Gardens, so named after Thomas on Mr. Granville Penn, a cousin of Lady Cremorne, Dawson, Lord Cremorne, the site of whose former who much improved the estate, but subsequently suburban residence and estate they covered. They disposed of it. The natural beauty of the situation proved, to a very great extent, the successors soon afterwards led to the grounds being opened to of “Kuper's," Vauxhall, and Ranelagh. In the the public as the “Stadium,” and a few years later early part of the present century, Lord Cremorne's the gardens were laid out with great taste ; the mansion, known as Chelsea Farm, was often visited tavern adjoining them was enlarged, and the place

Chelsea.)

ASHBURNHAM HOUSE.

85

became the resort of a motley crowd of pleasure- Ashburnham House, which stood on the west seekers, and generally well attended. To a of the gardens, was built about the middle of the last recent period it retained most of its original century by Dr. Benjamin Hoadley, an eminent features. At night during the summer months the | physician, after whose death it was purchased by grounds were illuminated with numberless coloured Sir Richard Glynn, who sold it to the Earl of Ashlamps, and there were various ornamental buildings, burnham, from whom it obtained its present name. grottoes, &c., together with a theatre, concert-room, It was next in the possession of Dr. Cadogan, and dining-hall. The amusements provided were of and again changing hands at different periods, ultia similar character to those which were presented | mately became the residence of the Hon Leicester

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at Vauxhall Gardens in its palmy days : such as Stanhope, afterwards Earl of Harrington. A strip vocal and instrumental concerts, balloon ascents, of waste ground between Ashburnham House an-1 dancing, fireworks, &c. Several remarkable balloon the river, called the “Lots," was for many years ascents were made from these grounds, notably “ a bone of contention” between the residents in among them being that of Mr. Hampton, who, in the neighbourhood and the Chelsea Vestry, in con1839, ascended with a balloon and parachute, by sequence of the disgraceful scenes carried on by a which he descended from a height of about two large number of “roughs” who were in the habit of miles. More recently an attempt at aerial naviga meeting there. Here, in 1863, in a large pavilion tion was made from Cremorne by a foreigner, M. prettily draped with the flags of all nations and a de Groof. The apparatus was suspended beneath variety of heraldic trophies and allegorical devices, the car of a balloon, and when the aeronaut had a sensational entertainment on a scale of great reached a considerable height, the machine was splendour was given, in the shape of a revival liberated; but owing to some defect in its con- of the Eglinton “tournament.” A large number struction, it immediately collapsed and fell to the of persons took part in it as heralds, seneschals, ground with a fearful crash, killing its unfortunate yeomen, pages, men-at-arms, squires, and banneroccupant on the spot.

bearers, clad in an almost endless variety of shining

armour and mediæval costume. In 1869, a monster bourhood. Soon after the Restoration, however, balloon, nearly 100 feet in diameter, made daily it was found that it might be made to serve as a ascents for some time from these grounds. The more direct road for the king between St. James's balloon, appropriately called “The Captive," was or Whitehall and Hampton Court Palace; and, secured by a rope about 2,000 feet long, which accordingly, after some discussion between the was let out and wound in by steam power. The Government and the parishioners of Chelsea, it Captive balloon, however, one day escaped from was converted into an ordinary coach-road. It its moorings, and the exhibition was discontinued. continued to be the private road of royalty down

In a small house close to Cremorne Pier, Mr. to the reign of George III. Pass tickets, adJ. M. W. Turner, R.A., resided for some time, mitting passengers along it by sufferance, are still under an assumed name, and here, as we have in existence; they bear on the one side a crown already stated, * he died in 1851. Whilst living and “G. R,” and on the other, as a legend, " The here, Turner would not see any person, excepting King's Private Road.” a very few intimate friends, and, in fact, was too Along this road is the burial-ground belonging reserved to allow himself to be recognised. This to the parish of Chelsea, in which lies Andrew inclination at the close of his life, perhaps, was only Millar, the original publisher of Hume's “ History natural. Doubtless, Chelsea is proud to add his of England,” Thomson's “Seasons,” and some name to its list of distinguished residents.

of Fielding's novels. Close by, in Lindsey Row, lived Sir Mark Isam- The Duke of York was thrown from his horse bard Brunel, the originator and designer of the whilst riding along this road towards Fulham; he Thames Tunnel; and Mr. Timothy Bramah, the had two ribs broken. John Timbs records that, distinguished locksmith. Here, too, resided Mr. “near the spot where is now the Vestry Hall, the John Martin, R.A. The Rev. A. C. Coxe, in his Earl of Peterborough was stopped by highwaymen “ Impressions of England," published in 1851, in what was then a narrow lane; and the robbers, speaking of Chelsea, says :—“We landed not far being watched by some soldiers, who formed a from this church, and called upon John ·Martin, part of the guard at Chelsea College, were fired at whose illustrations of Milton and 'Belshazzar's from behind the hedge. One of these highwaymen Feast' have rendered him celebrated as a painter turned out to be a student in the Temple, whose of a certain class of subjects, and in a very peculiar father having lost his estate, his son lived by' play, style. He was engaged on a picture of The Judg. sharping, and a little on the highway '—the despement,' full of his mannerism, and sadly blemished rate resources of the day.” by offences against doctrinal truth, but not devoid Nearly opposite Ashburnham House, on the of merit or of interest. He asked about Allston north side of the King's Road, is St. Mark's College, and his 'Belshazzar,' and also made inquiries which was established in 1841 by the National about Morse, of whose claim as the inventor of the Society, as a training institution for schoolmasters. electric telegraph he was entirely ignorant." The residence of the principal was formerly known

Mr. Henry Constantine Jennings, an antiquary as Stanley House, and was originally built in the and virtuoso, settled in Lindsey Row at the close reign of Queen Elizabeth, by Sir Arthur Gorges, of the last century. His “museum,” which com whose family at that time possessed considerable prised a large collection of shells, minerals, pre- property in Chelsea. About the middle of the last served birds, quadrupeds, &c., was disposed of by century it became the property of the Countess of auction in 1820.

Strathmore, who afterwards married Captain A. R. Leading from the site of Cremorne Gardens Bowes, whose barbarity to her drew on him the eastward through Chelsea, is a broad thorough execration of the country. About the year 1815, fare, called the King's Road; and by this road we Stanley House was sold to Mr. William Hamilton, shall now proceed on our way backward towards from whom it subsequently passed to the National Sloane Street, picking up such scraps of information Society. The college accommodates about no respecting the neighbourhood on either side as the students, and the period of training is for two records of the district have left for our use. Re- years, according to the provisions of the Comspecting the King's Road itself, we may state that, mittee of Council on Education. The chapel, prior to the reign of Charles II., it was only a narrow which abuts on the Fulham Road, is an unprelane through the fields, for the convenience of the 'tending building ; but a certain amount of effect farmers and gardeners who had lands in the neigh- is produced in the interior by the stained-glass

windows. The buildings of the college form a * See Vol. IV., p. 448.

| quadrangle, erected in the Italian style; and there

Chelsea ]

CHELSEA COMMON.

87

is also in the grounds an octagonal building, used as covered, at least in part, with heath and furze, a practising school. The first Principal of the col- therein resembling some of the Surrey commons. lege, and indeed its joint-founder, the Rev. Derwent One of the earliest records concerning Chelsea Coleridge, a son of the poet, died in 1883. Common tells us the fact that the City train-bands

In the King's Road, near Milman Street, is an used to repair to it for exercise, and that, in the inn styled “The World's End.” The old tavern, disturbed times of Charles I., reviews of troops were like the “World's End" at Knightsbridge, already more than once held there. described, * was a noted house of entertainment. This common was used in former times as a in the reign of Charles II. The tea-gardens and means of raising money for the benefit of the parish. grounds were extensive, and elegantly fitted up. We have particulars relating to such a usage as far The house was probably called " The World's End” back as the reign of Charles II., when the re-buildon account of its then considerable distance from ing of the church having been resolved upon, Lord London, and the bad state of the roads and path- Lindsey, Charles Cheyne, and those interested in ways leading to it. It figures in a dialogue in the common, agreed to enclose it for twenty-one Congreve's “ Love for Love" in a manner which years, the term commencing in March, 1674. On implies that it bore no very high character. the expiration in 1695, the ground was again

At the commencement of the present century, thrown open. Somewhat more than a century the King's Road was a very different place from later-namely, in 1713-articles were drawn up, what it is now. The line of road was almost ex. Sir Hans Sloane being then lord of the manor, in clusively occupied by nurserymen and forists, and which, amid sundry other recitals, it is stated that it became, in consequence, to a certain extent, a the ground at Chelsea Common having been put to fashionable resort for the nobility and gentry. The various unlawful uses, the holders decide to let it road, in most parts, was very narrow, and the for three years to one John Hugget. It was stipudifferent grounds were mostly enclosed in wooden | lated that he was to fence the common “with a palings. At night there were only a few gloomy good bank and a ditch all around,” which it is prooil-lamps, and the lives and property of the inhabi- bable that he did, to the satisfaction of all parties, tants were principally entrusted to a small number as he had his term renewed from time to time. of private watchmen. Northward of the King's An Act passed in the reign of George I., which Road, at no very distant date, a considerable extent empowered the surveyor of the London roads to of land, stretching away to the Fulham Road, was dig up gravel on any common or waste land cona vast open heath, known as Chelsea Common. venient to him, gave rise to some disputes in Standing in the central space; which has, singularly Chelsea. The parties interested in the common enough, been left as a memorial of the old common, were informed that much gravel had been removed and looking at the streets now branching off in from Chelsea, and they objected to this, but the various directions, it is not easy to call up visions Government paid little heed to the complaint. of the past—say two hundred years ago-when The agents of the surveyor were warned off, though this locality was probably as agreeable a spot as not expelled by physical force; and they went away Clapham or Wimbledon Commons in our own for awhile, to come back at the next good opportime.

tunity. This matter was not finally settled till Faulkner conjectures that the Fulham Road 1736; for some years previous to that, however, a formed the north boundary of the common, and regular account was kept of all the gravel removed, on the south it reached to some nursery grounds and payment demanded (and obtained) from those abutting on the King's Road, which said nursery who kept the roads. It was also in the early part grounds, one may conjecture, had been cut off the of the eighteenth century that an enterprising indicommon by some party or parties in the days when vidual, probably short of money, set up an experiland boundaries were not always kept with care. mental turnpike on part of the waste ground on the Westward, the common must have extended about common near Blackland's Lane. The Chelsea to the line of Robert and Sydney Streets, and east authorities fined him heavily, and his scheme was ward to “Blackland's Lane," as it was first called, ! forthwith abandoned. afterwards Marlborough Road; or perhaps origi- It was not until some years after an Act had nally the common was bounded by the road or lane been obtained for the purpose, that the first streets which is now Sloane Street. It is first spoken of were formed on what had been Chelsea Common. as “Chelsea Heath,” and it appears to have been the earliest building lease appears to bear date in

1790, being to the Hon. George Cadogan. The * See page 21, ante.

streets, square, grove (for there is at least one of

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