« ПредишнаНапред »
Church Street, the visitor of Kensington lately passed Sheffield House, which owed its name to property possessed in this quarter by another pompous man, who made great pretentions in his day to wit and poetrySheffield, Duke of Buckinghamshire (he is often erroneously called Duke of Buckingham). Sheffield is said to have made love to Queen Anne when she was princess; and he subsequently married her illegitimate sister, Catherine Darnley, a personage as pompous as himself.
The property, we believe, is still in the possession of a respectable descendant of the Sheffield family; and a new and pretty line of houses, overlooking Campden House Garden, has received their name.
Sheffield House has disappeared ; and on its site (while we are writing these notices) another line of houses is in course of erec
tion, the backs of which look towards Palace Gardens, and ought to have pretty gardens of their own, if justice be done to the picturesque, broken ground, with its trees and bushes, that lies between the two thoroughfares.
We are now approaching the northern end of that same Church Street, which we noticed when passing on the south along High Street. We glance, for a moment, up pretty little Campden Grove, a street so called for its possession of one side of a woody bit of ground; and step again into Church Street, for the purpose of noticing a gateway next the George Tavern, inscribed, “Newton House.” This gateway belongs to a large old brick house, which stands in a curious, evading sort of way, as if it would fain escape notice, at the back of other houses on both sides of it; but notice escape it
must not; since it was the residence of no less a man than Isaac Newton.
The great astronomer came here from London in consequence of an attack of the lungs, from which he appears to have been rescued by a fit of the gout. We have already mentioned some property which he possessed in another part of Kensington. Sir Isaac lived in this house for two years; then returned very ill of another disease to London ; again returned to Newton House, and died there in less than a month. The house is now a boarding-school. The memory of Newton has rendered this out-ofthe-way looking place the most illustrious spot in Kensington; but Newton is in no want of record, and we must return to the spot just mentioned, on which Sheffield House is being displaced by a new line of buildings, in order to notice a mossy old
buttressed dead wall, which occupies the other side of the way, and which is the garden wall of another old house possessing an interest of a different yet peculiar sort, not unsuitable to its appearance.
This is Campden House ; and we are here on the eastern border of Campden Hill, which forms a larger portion of the same elevated ground on which Holland House is situate. Between the tw houses lies a pleasant enclosed district of some extent, occupied by detached villas, with their respective gardens. One of them belongs to the Bedford family. Sir John South possesses a house and observatory in the western portion of the hill; new streets, on a small but agreeable scale, are daily rising to the north and east of this house: Campden Grove, which we have just glanced at, is among them; and north of Campden Grove is Campden House, which is still the most conspicuous object in this quarter, as it has ever been since it was first erected about 1612 by Sir Baptist Hickes, a wealthy silk mercer of Cheapside, founder of the old Hickes's Hall at Clerkenwell, which the present Sessions House superseded. Sir Baptist was one of the money-made baronets of James the First, who afterwards advanced him to the titles of Lord Hickes and Viscount Campden (of Campden in Gloucestershire). He was reported to have “purchased or won ” the house “at some sort of game,” from Sir Walter Cope, the lord of the manor, and builder of Holland House. But Sir Walter and Sir Baptist were both such prudent persons, that we hold the story of the game to be nought. The wary old gentlemen were not likely to have bowled away one another's houses at a game of