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His Grace to Lambeth, soon died !” The archbishops of Canterbury, who died at Lambeth, are Wittlesey, Kemp, Dean, Parker, Whitgift, Bancroft, Juxon, Sheldon, Tillotson, Tenison, Wake, Potter, Cardinal Pole, Secker, Cornwallis, Moore, and Sutton : of these the three first were buried in the cathedral of Canterbury; Whitgift, Wake, and Sheldon, at Croydon ; Juxon in St. John's chapel, Oxford; Tillotson in the church of St. Lawrence, Jewry; the rest in Lambeth.
In the Churchyard is the tomb of the Tradescants, father and son, founders of the Ashmolean Museum, at Oxford.
Of the Tradescants and their Museum, Izaak Walton speaks in his “Complete Angler:”—
“ There be so many strange creatures to be now seen, many collected by John Tradescant, and others added by my friend, Elias Ashmole, Esq., who now keeps them carefully and methodically at his house, near to Lambeth, near London, as you may get some belief of some of the other wonders I mentioned. You may there see the Hogfish, the Dogfish, the Dolphin, the Coney-fish, the Parrot-fish, the Shark, the Poison-fish, Sword-fish, and not only other incredible fish, but you may there see the Salamander, several sorts of barnacles, of Solan Geese, the Bird of Paradise : such sorts of snakes, and such birds' nests, and of so various forms, and so wonderfully made, as may beget wonder and amusement in any beholder ; and so many hundred of other varieties in that collection as will make the other wonders I spake of the less incredible.”
Cooke, the translator of Hesiod, author of a Life of Andrew Marvell, translations of Terence and Cicero, an edition of Virgil, and for some years editor of a paper called The Craftsman, resided at South Lambeth; and, true to the destiny of literary men, died there in a state of extreme poverty. He was buried by subscription, the surplus being handed over to his wife, who survived him but a few months, his daughter dying in Lambeth workhouse the year after.
The massive and clumsy St. John's Church, Westminster, the fertile subject of many ludicrous similes, as a four-post bedstead, an elephant with his legs in the air, and the like, nearly opposite to Lambeth Palace, is too conspicuous. The towers and roof of Westminster Abbey form a background to the buildings lying between that sacred edifice and the river : these last are unworthy adjuncts to the noble stream, consisting of a chaotic mass of rubbishy,
tumble-down, tiled edifices, huddled upon one another. The long-delayed project of embanking the Thames, so important in every utilitarian point of view, would remove the reproach of meanness from the immediate neighbourhood of the river.
A few more turns of the paddle-wheel and we are opposite the Milbank Penitentiary, a polygonal building with circular turrets at the angles, happily situate in a swamp, below the tide level of the river, as it would seem, for the express, though not avowed, purpose of superadding the horrors of bad air, bad water, and malaria to the customary rigours of prison discipline. It has been stated that, upon the projection of this establishment, a site not necessarily fatal to health and life was offered for a less sum than that paid for this morass. Wonder has been expressed that another site, with some semblance of fitness for its purpose, was not adopted; but wonder now is equally absurd and vain. The erection of this pest-house, upon its present plan, was a carrying out of the panopticonic views of the celebrated philanthropist Jeremy Bentham. Eighteen acres of swamp are included within the walls; the interior buildings are intended to immure four hundred male and a like number of female prisoners sentenced to transportation, and commuted for a greater or less term of imprisonment, which here may be considered almost equivalent to sentence of death without the public exposure.
VAUXHALL, and its iron bridge of nine arches, erected at an expense of £150,000, we have leisure to look at for a moment. Vauxhall, one of the six precincts of Lambeth, has not much remarkable ; it is admitted that meetings of the Gunpowder-plot conspirators were held here, in a private house, which was burned down by accident in 1635. Ambrose Phillips, author of the “ Distrest Mother,” “ Pastorals," and some other works, but better remembered by his quarrel with Pope, whom he threatened with personal chastisement for having ridiculed his Pastorals in a paper in the “Guardian,” died of a paralytic seizure, at Vauxhall, June 18th, 1749.
The Gardens, to which Vauxhall is indebted for so much celebrity, have passed into other hands,—no more of them remains than the ground whereon stood the various buildings that adorned them. The buildings have been levelled with the ground; the interior decorations, some from the pencil of Hogarth, the day and night scenes, artificial cascades, statues, grottoes, walks, arcades, booths, pavilions, rotundas, and temples of Concord, have been sold by public auction; the trees cut down, the walks cut up, and the ground advertised to be let for “ building.” The memory of the place, with its concerts, balls, rope-dancing, juggling, aeronauts, gooseberry wine, and ham shavings, with all its gaiety and frolic, will soon have passed away, or, surviving at all, will live only in the classic papers of Addison, and the humorous essays of Goldsmith.
Yet it is worth while recollecting that such a place existed, were it only to recall the exquisite scene of Beau Tibbs, the widow, and the man in black in the “Citizen of the World,” or the no less admirable account of the visit of Sir Roger De Coverley to Vauxhall in the company of the Spectator. Thus only will Vauxhall be remembered ; not by its fine gentlemen or finer ladies, not by its rope-dancers, opera-singers, conjurors, or balloons : touched by the hand of genius, and fixed by the magic of association, it will be present to our memories long after all traces of its whereabout shall be forgotten.
To the left we observe the Red-HOUSE, a noted place of resort for those who find entertainment in pigeonshooting, and a favourite haunt of Sunday citizens. Beyond is a level plain of considerable extent, called Battersea Fields, where duels were frequently fought.
CHELSEA is now visible, the Hospital forming a point of direction to the sight. This noble rival to Greenwich Hospital, intended for invalids in the land service, was begun by Charles II., and completed by William III. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren, on the site of an old college which had escheated to the crown, at an expense of £150,000.
The principal building consists of a large quadrangle, open at the south side; in the centre is a bronze statue of Charles II. in a Roman habit. The apartments for the pensioners are on the east and west sides, in buildings each 365 feet in length. The governor's house, a plain structure, is at the extremity of the former. The chapel is adorned with an altar-piece, by Sebastian Ricci. The hall wherein the pensioners dine is situated on the opposite side of the vestibule ; it is of the same dimensions as the chapel, 110 feet in length, and at the upper end is a picture of Charles II. on horseback,
BATTERSEA RED HOUSE.
a gift of the Earl of Ranelagh. To the north of the College is an inclosure of thirteen acres, planted with avenues of limes and horse-chesnuts; towards the south are extensive and well-kept gardens.
The celebrated Eleanor Gwynne, mistress of Charles II., is vulgarly supposed to have originated the idea of this asylum for those brave men who have worn out their strength in the service of their country. There is no shadow of foundation for this supposition; nor is it at all likely that the interests of wornout soldiers would attract the attention of the minion of a profligate court.
Sir Stephen Fox, grandfather of the Right Hon. Charles James Fox, is said, with more probability, to have taken an active part in the establishment of the hospital. “He could not bear,” he said, “to see the common soldiers, who had spent their strength in our service, reduced to beg;” and contributed to the establishment of the institution, upwards of thirteen thousand pounds.
Mr. Cheselden, the celebrated surgeon, many years connected with the hospital, is interred in the burial-ground attached to the institution. William Young, a clergyman, and the original of the immortal “Parson Adams” of Fielding, is also interred here: the eccentric Dr. Monsey was for a considerable time physician to the hospital ; and Philip Francis, translator of Horace and Demosthenes, one of the chaplains.
Any pensioner will be happy to conduct the stranger over such parts of the establishment as are publicly shown, for a small gratuity.
The Royal Military Asylum, for the maintenance and education of the children of soldiers, is at no great distance from the hospital ; and is a handsome spacious edifice, well adapted to its intended purpose. The number of boys here, according to the original intention, was not to exceed seven hundred, and that of girls three hundred, who remain until of a proper age, when they are disposed of as apprentices and servants: the boys are at liberty, if they please, to make choice of the army. Parliament gave a sum of money towards the erection, and each regiment contributes one day's pay towards its support. In the selection of children for admission, preference is given first to the orphans of soldiers : second, to those whose fathers have been killed : third, to those whose fathers are on foreign service. The establishment is conducted according to a strict system of military discipline, and the utmost order and decorum pervade the whole.
The boys form a regiment in miniature; their uniform, band, colours and appointments, arms, of course, only excepted, resembling those of troops of the line : on stated days, they are reviewed by the commandant, and at such times, this Lilliputian regiment attracts numbers of spectators; and their mimic evolutions, and miniature representations of “the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war," form a really curious and interesting spectacle.
Chelsea town is a large and straggling place, the parish extending almost to Hyde Park Corner, and including a part of Knightsbridge. Cheyne Walk, where the tourist may disembark, contains some fine houses, once the residence of persons of distinction, now, by the caprice of fashion, comparatively deserted. In this handsome promenade, at the upper end, stood the palace of the Bishops of Winchester, and still remains a once noted place of entertainment, called Don Saltero's Coffeehouse, from one Salter, a barber, who attracted many visitors to his house by a collection of rarities, to which Sir Hans Sloane contributed largely from the superfluities of his collection. The Tatler more than once notices this eccentric character, whose museum was disposed of at the close of the last century. Pennant, in his history of Holywell and Downing, says that his father used to visit him, when a boy, at Chelsea, and that he was frequently taken by him to the coffeehouse, which he supposes with much reason to have been Don Saltero's,