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9/8/2009 by: Theo Valich - Get more from this author

   

ATIC [Advanced Technology Investment Company], technology investment group from the Government of Abu Dhabi, the majority owner of GlobalFoundries announced that the group is making a bid to acquire Chartered Semiconductor.

 

The move is not entirely unexpected, but rather a consequence of events that had nothing to do with semiconductor industry: Chartered Semiconductor is one of golden eggs in Singaporean's government investment arm [Temasek Holdings Pte], who is feeling the pain of global economy slowdown and the changes in companies owned by Temasek were obvious. As Singapore Airlines went through ownership change [now mostly owned by Temasek] the investment arm needed the cash to complete the transaction and Abu Dhabi's ATIC rode into town.

 

ATIC was interested in buying its competition, but when an opportunity like this arises, there isn't much you can do but to take it. The acquisition of Chartered Semi puts GlobalFoundries in a role of an 800-pound gorilla in the contract manufacturing space. First GlobalFoundries signed the deal to manufacture chips for a chip maker [STMicroelectronics], and now the GF owner is buying one of own largest competitors. In fact, until TSMC gets its SOI production up and running, GlobalFoundries is acquiring its second largest competitor in the SOI space [we take that ATIC does not want to buy IBM... for now].

 

In case you're unfamiliar with Chartered semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, the foundry owns six cleanrooms in a giant fab complex in Singapore, with production based on 200mm and 300mm wafers. Total output of the company is also very interesting:

 

Fab 2: 50,000 200mm WSM 600-350nm

Fab 3: 25,000 200mm WSM 350-180nm

Fab 3E: 34,000 200mm WSM in 250-180nm

Fab 5: 24,000 200mm WSM 350-180nm

Fab 6: 39,000 200mm WSM 180-110nm

Fab7: 45,000 300mm WSM 130-40nm [equal to 101,250 200mm wafers]

So, we have 172,000 WSM [wafer starts per month], or around 2,06 million 200mm wafers per year, plus an additional 540,000 300mm wafers. This manufacturing capacity is nothing short of impressive, even though the majority is in less competitive 200mm wafer space. If you would compare Chartered's Fab7 [300mm2 one] to GlobalFoundries' Fab1 complex in Dresden, you might be surprised at the differences in size, since Fab7 is massive: clean room space is as big as whole Module 2 [ex-Fab30/38] and half of Module 1 [ex-Fab36].

 

Yes, it is true that currently "only" 27,000 wafer starts can be in 40nm, but SOI capacity is quite impressive. Inside this advanced 300mm facility Chartered makes Microsoft's Xbox 360 CPUs, some AMD CPUs and some of IBM's Power chips.

 

Clean room space is also quite impressive - six facilities with a grand total of 773,640 square feet [71,871.15 m2]. If you compare that to current manufacturing facilities in Dresden, Module 1 [14,500 m2 - 156,000 sqft] and currently upgrading Module 2 [16,700 m2 - 180,000 sqft], you can see that GlobalFoundries wants to go from 336,000 sqft [31,214 m2] in 2009 to 1.38 million square feet [128,202 m2] of clean room space in 2012.

Divided by wafer size, GlobalFoundries in 2012 could look like this:

 

300mm2 - 120,000 wafer starts per month, 838,000 sqft [77,850 m2] Class 100 clean room

200mm2 - 172,000 wafer starts per month, 541,640 sqft [50,318 m2] Class 100 clean room

All in all, this is quite a significant jump in manufacturing space, as there aren't exactly many contract manufacturers who can or plan to annually output almost 1.5 million 300mm wafers in 2012-2013 frame. In fact, one could put a question that GlobalFoundries is doing this to attract the heavy weights, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo - but Qualcomm and nVidia as well.

 

Over the past several months, we featured various articles on upcoming chips, but they all have one thing in common: they have to be built on 300mm wafers in order to be profitable. Qualcomm's quad-core ARM System-on-Chip is quite nice, but the company has to have 300mm wafers available to score a profit. Same thing with the 2010-2011 generation of nVidia's Tegra and Texas Instruments OMAP chips.

 

Thus, a foundry has to position itself aggressively and there is no doubt that this move puts GlobalFoundries on the map of TSMC and Intel challenger. While TSMC still has the overall lead in number of wafers it can produce, the numbers here show that GlobalFoundries is catching up and overtaking in 300mm wafer arena - a worrisome trend.

 

The clock isn't exactly stopping there - if we divide the wafers in SOI and non-SOI flavor, GlobalFoundries will be the largest SOI wafer maker, and with a move to optical interconnects starting in 2012-2013 there isn't exactly any doubt what's on the table. ATIC and AMD both want that GlobalFoundries change the semi playing field for good, and this acquisition only confirms that direction.

 

GlobalFoundries can freely disclose all of its plans and there isn't exactly a lot that other competitors can do but to launch massive FUD campaigns which again, would not stand due to engineering excellence shown by former AMD engineering teams, who saved Microsoft's bacon on Xbox 360 yields, for instance.

 

This move also solves one of major pains for GlobalFoundries exec team - no longer journalists and analysts need to ask "who are your customers?", because with the acquisition of Chartered Semi, that list grew by couple of dozen names, including Microsoft and IBM. You can expect that next GlobalFoundries event to feature numerous existing customers, even if they did not sign directly with GlobalFoundries, rather Chartered Semi.

 

ATIC's next move: Buying a wafer supplier?

We wonder what the next step for GlobalFoundries will be, but personally I would not bet against GF acquiring Soitec, as the largest SOI wafer vendor. Intel invested in the firm in 2007, when it became clear that the future chip interconnects [remember Intel Hybrid Silicon Laser demonstration on SOI wafers during IDF Fall 2006?] will require the use SOI wafers. AMD did not react at the time, but with over a trillion USD for investments alone, Abu Dhabi investment groups can easily flex their muscle and put everything they need under one roof.

   

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Advanced Technology Investment Co., the Abu Dhabi company that owns the majority of GlobalFoundries, plans to acquire chip maker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd.

 

The Singapore-based Chartered Semiconductor would become part of GlobalFoundries, a joint venture with ATIC and Advanced MicroDevices Inc. (NYSE: AMD).

 

GlobalFoundries is building a $4.2 billion manufacturing plant in Malta in Saratoga County. N.Y., about 25 miles north of Albany. It also has operations in Dresden, Germany.

 

It was unclear early Tuesday how the acquisition would affect the Malta operation.

 

ATIC would pay $3.9 billion in cash and debt for the acquisition, the companies said in a joint statement. The transaction is expected to close in late 2009, pending required government and shareholder approvals.

 

GlobalFoundries CEO Doug Grose would head up the combined operations. Chartered (Nasdaq: CHRT) CEO Chia Song Hwee would become chief operating officer and head the integration of both companies, according to the companies.

 

ATIC is a technology investment company wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government. It owns 66 percent of GlobalFoundries; AMD owns the remaining 34 percent.

 

Singapore’s state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings owns about 62 percent of Chartered’s shares. The chip maker produces chips for Xbox 360 games and other consoles.

 

“Chartered and GlobalFoundries will be able to draw on each other’s strengths to enable the next generation of semiconductor innovation, utilizing the value of both companies and the intellectual capital of thousands of skilled employees,” said Ibrahim Ajami, CEO of ATIC. GlobalFoundries’ plant in Malta is under construction. It’s expected to employ 1,5000 during the construction phase and 1,6000 permanent and ancillary jobs when it’s running at full capacity in 2010.

 

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The move follows an earlier investment in GlobalFoundries, a joint venture with AMD

John Ribeiro (IDG News Service) 08 September, 2009 06:01:00

Tags: processors, globalfoundries, ATIC, amd

 

Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi has signed a definitive agreement to acquire chip maker Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing of Singapore in a deal valued at S$5.6 billion (US$3.9 billion) in cash and debt, the companies said on Monday.

 

Chartered, a contract chip maker, will become part of GlobalFoundries, the chip manufacturing venture formed by ATIC and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

 

The CEO of GlobalFoundries, Doug Grose, will head up the combined operations, while Chartered CEO Chia Song Hwee will become chief operating officer and head the integration of the businesses, ATIC said in a statement.

 

The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year. It will require approval by Chartered shareholders and government regulators.

 

ATIC is a technology investment company wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

 

The acquisition of Chartered will be its second major investment in the semiconductor industry after the deal with AMD.

 

GlobalFoundries has a manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany, and another under construction in the state of New York.

 

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ATIC hopes to combine Chartered's customer relationships and capabilities in both 8-inch and 12-inch fabrication with GlobalFoundries' technology expertise, capacity, and global footprint.

 

Singapore state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings, which owns about 62 percent of Chartered’s shares, fully supports the acquisition and has signed an irrevocable undertaking to vote in support of the transaction, the statement said.

 

Chartered also on Monday revised up its guidance for the third quarter of 2009.

 

The company increased its revenue forecast slightly and narrowed its loss forecast compared to guidance given in July, because of an incremental improvement in business.

  

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Posted: May 28, 2009

Job fair to Help M+W Zander fill 40 project management positions in new chip facility

(Nanowerk News) The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany today announced plans to host a Job Fair to assist M+W Zander in building its project management team to support the construction of GlobalFoundries' computer chip manufacturing facility in Malta.

The Job Fair, to be held on Wednesday, June 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex, will help recruit candidates for 40 high-tech design and construction management positions, including electrical and mechanical designers, engineers and estimators; construction and design project managers and coordinators; architectural project managers, planners and interns; and, accounting, purchasing, document control and administrative personnel. The positions carry salaries that range from $40,000 to more than $100,000 annually.

Officials from M+W Zander will be on hand to accept resumes and conduct initial interviews on site, with representatives of CNSE also providing assistance at the event. This marks the fifth high-tech job fair to be held at CNSE in just the past three years, with previous events in May 2006, January 2007, September 2007 and October 2008.

Candidates interested in attending and interviewing at the Job Fair are encouraged to pre-register online by visiting cnse.albany.edu/events/jobfair2009.html.

Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari said, "That still another Job Fair is necessary to fill these high-tech positions is a great testament to the investments made in the rapidly growing nanotechnology sector in the Capital Region and New York State. I hope local residents will take full advantage of this opportunity to learn more about exciting careers in the nanotechnology industry."

Assemblyman John J. McEneny said, "The investments in nanotechnology are once again paying dividends in the form of exciting new high-tech career opportunities for residents of Albany and the Capital Region. It is an enormous source of pride to know that New York State is leading the worldwide nanotechnology revolution, which is creating new jobs and attracting new investments."

Rick Whitney, President and CEO of M+W Zander U.S. Operations said, "It is a pleasure to work in partnership with the UAlbany NanoCollege, the world leader in nanotechnology education, research and development, as M+W Zander builds its construction management team to support GlobalFoundries' world-class computer chip manufacturing facility at the Luther Forest Technology Campus. As a company that works on high-tech projects and facilities around the world, there is no question that the Capital Region and New York are recognized globally as the place to be for nanotechnology."

Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CNSE, said, "With the vision, leadership and support of Speaker Silver, Assembly Majority Leader Canestrari, Assemblyman McEneny and the New York State Assembly, M+W Zander has become a valuable partner in building high-tech facilities that are critical to New York's global leadership in nanotechnology education, research and development, and economic outreach. The UAlbany NanoCollege is pleased to host this Job Fair, which will provide exciting career opportunities for local residents, and ensure that M+W Zander has a highly skilled management team in place to build GlobalFoundries' state-of-the-art computer chip manufacturing plant."

 

With headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, M+W Zander is one of the world's foremost companies for the design and construction of high-tech buildings and cleanroom facilities for research and development, pilot manufacturing, manufacturing, and assembly and testing operations. M+W Zander's Northeastern U.S. headquarters is located at the Watervliet Arsenal, where it employs more than 250 people.

About M+W Zander

The M+W Zander Group offers its customers worldwide integrated life-cycle solutions for high-tech production plants and infrastructure complexes including all necessary service and modernization support. The customer base focuses primarily on leading electronics, photovoltaic, pharmaceutical, chemical, automobile and communication companies, as well as research institutes and universities. The company ranks among the market leaders in various market sectors which include semiconductors, photo-voltaics and pharmaceuticals. MWZ Group GmbH, Stuttgart, manages the global activities of the group as a holding company. The group has three main divisions based on Facility Solutions, Process Solutions and Product Solutions which together generated 2008 revenues of $2.32 billion with a workforce of approximately 4,500.

 

Source: CNSE

Comments

no3rdw says:

Did you take this photo? I did a photosimulation of the nanotech facility expansion based off this very same photo.

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Yes I did. Who supplied the photo to you? I don't remember anyone calling me about this. Only an architect firm in Albany. Let me know. Chris

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

no3rdw says:

Oops, sorry it took a while to get back to you - I just PM'd you about this :)

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Thanks Chris

Posted 29 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Too Much work to do to enter. Chris

Posted 28 months ago. ( permalink )

aerialphotos21 says:

Thanks

Posted 27 months ago. ( permalink )

Donna62 says:

  

A great image, much admired by Donna62 --,

a "FIRST - THE EARTH!" member - www.flickr.com/groups/first-the-earth/

Posted 24 months ago. ( permalink )

 

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President Barack Obama Visits Luther Forest Technology Campus Malta Saratoga County New york GlobalFoundries Breaks Ground in Malta

GlobalFoundries held a groundbreaking ceremony for Fab 2 in Malta, N.Y. The foundry's goal is to have the first tool move in by October 2011, with qualification coming in early 2012 and commercial production by the second half of 2012. The event marks "a significant shift in momentum" for chip manufacturing in the United States, said Norm Armour, Fab 2 general manager.

David Lammers, News Editor -- Semiconductor International, 7/24/2009

As an Albany, N.Y., taxi driver ferried a visitor to the GlobalFoundries Fab 2 groundbreaking ceremony near the village of Malta, he said, "For three years they've been talking about this, but I never thought they would actually build it."

 

Planning began in June 2006, and it was this year on June 19 that GlobalFoundries began clearing portions of its 230-acre site, located ~24 miles from Albany and seven miles from Saratoga Springs. Fab 2 is expected to be making volume silicon by the second half of 2012, employing 1400 directly and an estimated 5000 indirect workers. The spinoff of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, Sunnyvale, Calif.) has room for two additional modules at the site.

 

Fab 2 General Manager Norm Armour said he watched manufacturing shift from the United States to Asian foundries during his career at LSI Logic Corp., where he spent a decade managing LSI's fab in Gresham, Ore. "We are on the other side, trying to bring manufacturing back to a U.S. fab," Armour said. "It is a significant momentum shift."

 

That shift was supported by a $6B investment in GlobalFoundries by the Abu Dhabi Investment Co. (ATIC). The money will be spent to build Fab 2 at Malta, expected to cost $4.2B, as well as to expand and upgrade the GlobalFoundries Module 2 in Dresden, Germany. The state of New York is providing an estimated $1.2B in subsidies for Fab 2, and is investing additional funding to expand the University at Albany's nearby College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). AMD contributed its existing manufacturing complex in Dresden as well as other assets, but no cash, providing AMD with access to a new fab without capital outlays.

   

GlobalFoundries Fab 2 will begin production in the second half of 2012.

  

Because the site is not space-constrained, Fab 2 will be a two-level building rather than three-level, said Tom Sonderman, vice president of manufacturing systems technology at GlobalFoundries. All of the wafer production will be on one floor, eliminating the need to move wafers-in-progress (WIP) up and down floors. A "zero footprint storage" approach will put some wafer stockers above the tools, he added. Implant will be located off of the main waffle slab, reducing construction costs, and maintenance shops will be on the upper production floor to further improve efficiencies.

 

Though its labor costs in both Dresden and Malta will be higher than at many Asian fabs, manufacturing innovations will make GlobalFoundries cost-competitive with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC, Hsinchu, Taiwan), according to Sonderman. GlobalFoundries is investing in the midst of a severe downturn, which also will reduce costs compared with the more expensive 24/7 construction schedules used when fabs are built in a hurry. Armour said it may take 18 months to build Fab 2, which is expected to have a 220,000 sq. ft. cleanroom with an option to expand cleanroom space to 300,000 sq. ft. The goal is to have the first tool move in by October 2011, with qualification coming in early 2012 and commercial production by the second half of 2012, a schedule that could be accelerated somewhat "depending on market conditions," Armour said.

 

Sonderman said construction begins at a time "of a lot of pent-up demand for advanced foundry capacity." Fab 2 will start at 28 nm technology, and then bring up a 22 nm SOI process for CPU production. GlobalFoundries will support AMD's manufacturing needs with the current 45 nm production, moving to 32 and 22 nm production. For foundry customers, however, most of the interest is at the half nodes, including 40 nm bulk technology immediately at Dresden and 28 nm high-k/metal gate technology late next year when 28 nm customer designs start to be accepted.

 

Sonderman said GlobalFoundries is accelerating its effort to support 40 nm bulk production, which he said comes as customers express concerns about yields at TSMC. "We definitely want to be a counterbalance to TSMC," Sonderman said, outlining plans to offer, by 2013, 600,000 wspy at Dresden and 400,000 wspy at Fab 2.

Posted in General, GlobalFoundries, Real estate, Tech Valley, Technology | 2 Comments

RPI spokesman joining GlobalFoundriesApril 2, 2009 at 10:25 am by Larry Rulison

Jason Gorss, the manager of media relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, will be joining GlobalFoundries later this month in a communications role.

 

Gorss (right) has been at RPI for several years now. He has a technical and scientific background that helps with his new role with the company, which is building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in Malta called Fab 2 and owns two others in Dresden, Germany.

 

GlobalFoundries spokesman Jon Carvill said that Gorss’ role will be “more global in nature and focused on our technology.

 

“We will still look to add additional resources specific to Fab 2 in 2009,” Carvill said.

 

The company already has an office in Malta at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, which sits within the Luther Forest Technoogy Campus where GlobalFoundries is planning its factory on 222 acres. At least one former General Electric employee is now working there in a human resources position, and additional positions are expected to be filled in the coming months.

 

The new CEO of GlobalFoundries, Doug Grose, is himself an RPI graduate.

 

The Times Union contacted Gorss this morning by e-mail and he confirmed he is taking the job.

 

“My experience at Rensselaer has given me the rare chance to work with incredibly brilliant people on a wide array of fascinating projects. I am going to miss my colleagues here, but I am excited about the new opportunity with GlobalFoundries,” Gorss said. “It is a perfect fit for someone with my background and interests. I am a technophile at heart, and this job will allow me to immerse myself in some of the most advanced technology on the planet.”05/15/2009 10:10 AM EDT)

  

MALTA, N.Y. — It's rare these days in the semiconductor industry to witness the unfolding of a project on a grand scale. Based on what has been proposed so far, the Global Foundries project backed by Advanced Micro Devices and its partner is precisely that.

 

"We want to be the first truly global semiconductor foundry," said Global Foundries CEO Global Doug Grose at a recent event here, where a ground-breaking ceremony will be held in July.

 

Global Foundries has committed up to $6 billion to develop a new fab to produce chips for AMD and new customers. AMD and partner, Abu Dhabi-backed Advanced Technology Investment Co. (ATIC). "This money is for a five- to seven-year stretch. Our investors [are] in this for the long haul," said Grose.

 

According to Jim McGregor, chief technology strategist at market researcher In-Stat, "Everything for the future depends on GlobalFoundries' ability to land new customers. Unfortunately, I can't predict that."

 

Jim Doran, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Dresden, Germany, operation, said Global Foundries will use a Sunnyvale, Calif., facility for technology development and producing process design kits. The U.S. site also will be used for designing intellectual property and chip testing and validation.

 

Global Foundries also is engaged with neighbors here like the IBM Alliance on submicron research and development.

 

Global Foundries' 300-mm Fab 1 in Dresden includes a Module 1 used for 45-nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) chips; Module 2 is used for 32-nm and beyond bulk CMOS process technology. Both modules are expected to operate at 25,000 monthly wafer starts at full capacity. Module 2 production will ramp up in late 2009.

  

The $4.5 billion Fab 2, a 300-mm manufacturing facility in Saratoga County, N.Y., is expected to come online in 2012 with 35,000 wafer starts per month at full capacity. Fab 2 is expected to create more than 1,400 jobs along with about 5,000 spin-off jobs.

    

Page 2: Global Foundries' big bet takes shape in upstate New York

  

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Global Foundries breaks ground on long-awaited NY fab.

 

The new 300-mm manufacturing facility is expected to bring 1,400 direct semiconductor manufacturing jobs and billions of dollars in economic development to upstate New York.

 

By Suzanne Deffree, Managing Editor, News -- Electronic News, 7/24/2009

Global Foundries today announced it officially broke ground on the construction of Fab 2, a new semiconductor manufacturing facility located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, NY.

 

The construction and ramp-up phases for the new $4.2 billion facility are expected to take approximately three years to complete, with volume production expected in 2012. According to the company, once Fab 2 is completed it will stand as the "most technologically advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world" and the "largest leading-edge semiconductor foundry in the United States."

 

“As today’s chip designers push the boundaries on the next generation of products, there is a growing need for a new approach to design and manufacturing rooted in collaboration and innovation," Hector Ruiz, chairman of Global Foundries, said in a statement. "With Fab 2, Global Foundries moves the semiconductor industry away from the traditional model of isolated regional development and into an era of global hubs of manufacturing and technology expertise.”

 

The new facility is designed to manufacture microprocessors and logic products on 300-mm wafers, Global Foundries said, noting that initial production is expected to ramp at the 28-nm technology node and move to volume manufacturing on the 22-nm node. Fab 2 will work in conjunction with Global Foundries’ Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany.

   

Today's ground breaking was long awaited. Indeed, talk of the NY fab began in 2006, years before AMD spun out its manufacturing operations to form Global Foundries in October 2008. AMD saw significant support from the state during its decision and commitment process, including $1.2 billion in incentives. That largest private-public investment in the history of the state included grants, tax credits, and other New York City Empire Zone benefits. In accord with the investment, New York gave AMD a two-year window, from July 2007 to July 2009, to initiate the building of a new 300-mm wafer fabrication facility in Saratoga County, NY.

 

New York's significant support was not unwarranted. New York estimated that the plant will create approximately 1,400 new, direct semiconductor manufacturing jobs at full-scale production, providing an estimated annual payroll of more than $88 million to the upstate region. In addition, the project will create approximately 5,000 new, indirect jobs in the region, offering a sustained estimated total annual payroll of $290 million for all jobs, according to New York's estimates.

 

The state's universities also have several high-tech efforts in play that include AMD and its partners. Most recently, Intel, IBM, and Sematech backed an R&D joint venture with the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering center that is expected to add 475 jobs to New York.

 

“New York has worked with Global Foundries for three years to bring this [fab] project to fruition and I am pleased to say that with the groundbreaking of Fab 2, New York and Global Foundries take a lead role in delivering the type of economic growth needed to carry our nation toward sustainable growth,” said Governor David Paterson of New York in the Global Foundries statement. “This initiative not only provides our residents with a source for new jobs, but is integral in positioning New York as a future hub of innovation and an attractive destination for additional investment.”

 

AMD also showed its support at the ground breaking today. "This is an important opportunity to create thousands of jobs and strengthen US competiveness in the high-tech industry," said Dirk Meyer, president and CEO of AMD, in a company statement. “The multi-billion dollar investments in research and development and capacity expansion that Global Foundries is planning strengthen its position as a premier leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing foundry and make it the ideal AMD technology partner to help in bringing our innovative products to market.”

 

Link: www.edn.com/article/CA6672910.html

      

Location and plans:

m + w zander U.S. Operations, Inc. is designing and building the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing complex in the world for GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The Fab 2, Module 1 facility is to be located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in the Towns of Malta and Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York. The realization of this project will be the crowning achievement in the continued development of New York's Tech Valley as a pre-eminent location for technological breakthroughs not only in the field of semiconductors but in nanotechnology, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals and alternative energy as well.

 

m + w zander is proud to be a leader in this effort and shares this website in order to provide information and the excitement of constructing this most important project with the local and world-wide communities.

 

link: fab2construction.com/

           

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last edited by Buyckske Ruben; December 6th, 2009 at 03:22 PM.

  

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December 6th, 2009, 03:27 PM #2

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Posts: 1,539 slideshow of construction site:

 

www.flickr.com/photos/aerial-...th/3460543532/

  

Global Foundries' Fab 2: (part 1)

  

all the 3 parts:

    

Link: www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3614

  

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December 13th, 2009, 01:52 PM #3

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Hector Ruiz, the chairman of GlobalFoundries said that the new chip plant is “by far the most significant high-tech investment made in this country in decades.” This plant will produce the most advanced computer chips in the world when it is completed.

      

Having been the construction project manager for AMD’s original Dresden-based fabrication facilities, Globalfoundries has awarded M+W Zander the full turnkey construction contract for Fab 2, currently being built at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York. A departure from pervious fab projects, M+W Zander is also responsible for the architectural aspects of the 4 building project. Previously, AMA Group, based in Italy had been the architectural firm responsible for this aspect of the work. The turnkey project is worth approximately €550 million to M+W Zander over the two-year construction schedule.

 

The Fab 2 complex is more than 130,000 square meters (1.45 million square feet), including a 28,000 square meters (300,000 square feet) Class 100 clean room. A ‘spine’ support building is also being built, along with administrative office building and a central utility building (CUB) along with service yards and small support buildings.

 

M+W Zander will also handle general contracting for all of the technical areas to include the manufacturing spaces, building utilities, central utility building and process systems.

LINK: www.fabtech.org/news/_a/mw_za...undries_fab_2/

   

OKT 2009:

          

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December 13th, 2009, 02:04 PM #4

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Impressions inside the fab:

    

Link: blogs.thenational.ae/beep_bee...abu-dhabi.html

        

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December 13th, 2009, 02:10 PM #5

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Posts: 1,539 YOUTUBE FILM about the concurrent Intel.

 

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Fab 32 - Intel's first high-volume 45nm chip factory:

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FLBtQC0F0c

 

Very impressive!

  

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Category: GlobalFoundries

Customer-centricMay 3, 2009 at 6:00 am by Larry Rulison

 

Talking about customers, GlobalFoundries is making sure that it treats the customers that it does get the right way.

 

The 1.3 million-square-foot factory it will build in Saratoga County features a special entrance for customers, separate from the visitor entrance. Inside, customers will find a nearly half-acre of space devoted to designing chips for them. GlobalFoundries expects its customer base to grow beyond AMD to include graphics chips companies and those that produce chips used in handheld electronics.

  

Posted in GlobalFoundries | 1 Comment

GlobalFoundries site clearing should be soonApril 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm by Larry Rulison

Although the closing on the sale of 222 acres in Malta at the Luther Forest Technology Campus has been in the final stages now for the last couple of weeks, officials with GlobalFoundries Inc. said again today the deal could be done any day now.

 

The deal will also set in motion a number of events, including the awarding of the first contract to clear the site for a $4.2 billion computer chip factory.

 

In fact, right around the time the sale occurs, GlobalFoundries will send its official commitment letter to the state of New York, making it eligible for $650 million in cash incentives for chip fab construction and research and development activities.

 

Around the same time, GlobalFoundries will make the announcement that it has hired a general contractor. Although not official yet, it’s largely expected that M+W Zander, which built Albany NanoTech, will be given the nod. (more…)

 

Posted in Economic development, GlobalFoundries, Tech Valley, Technology | Add a comment

No Malta meeting for GlobalFoundriesApril 28, 2009 at 10:37 am by Larry Rulison

There will be no Malta Planning Board meeting tonight for GlobalFoundries, the company building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in the town.

 

The town planning board had posted an agenda for the meeting on the town’s Web site, but Town Planning Director Anthony Tozzi said today that the planning board has decided it doesn’t need to meet. It was scheduled to review temporary construction plans for the project.

 

GlobalFoundries is still wrapping up the purchase of 222 acres of land at Luther Forest, and closing is expected later this week or early next week. The planning board doesn’t need to make any approvals until after the closing of that deal, which is why the board decided not to meet.

 

The Malta Planning Board usually meets the third Tuesday of every month, but it has set aside the second and fourth Tuesday of every month for the GlobalFoundries project if needed.

 

Posted in General, GlobalFoundries, Government | Add a comment

AMD posts loss of $416 millionApril 21, 2009 at 4:55 pm by Larry Rulison

Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the only customer of GlobalFoundries Inc., the company building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in Malta, posted a $416 million loss in the first quarter.

 

Sales totaled $1.177 billion.

 

AMD spun off GlobalFoundries earlier this year and included the results of GlobalFoundries in its consolidated results released today.

 

Those results say GlobalFoundries had sales of $283 million and an operating loss of $141 million.

 

The results also show AMD spent $44 million on the formation of GlobalFoundries during the past two quarters.

 

GlobalFoundries is expected to acquire 222 acres at the Luther Forest Technology Campus any day now and start construction of the chip fab this summer. The plant is expected to start full-scale manufacturing by 2012.

 

Posted in Advanced Micro Devices Inc., General, GlobalFoundries | Add a comment

Malta holding meeting on Luther ForestApril 20, 2009 at 11:48 am by Larry Rulison

The Malta Town Board will hold a workshop and special meeting tonight to make some minor changes to an agreement it has with the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

  

Aerial shows road construction at the Luther Forest site. (Times Union archive)

The meeting comes as it appears that the sale of 222 acres at Luther Forest to GlobalFoundries Inc. for a $4.2 billion computer chip factory could come any day now.

 

It’s unclear if the changes to the agreement with the town, technically a declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions, are needed so the sale can take place.

 

Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville said this morning that he thought the sale might take place today and he didn’t think the changes – considered minor — had to occur for the sale to go through.

 

Sausville said the document deals with things such as who is responsible for interior roads, sidewalks and lights at the tech park.

 

He said Luther Forest and the town reached an agreement last week, but the town of Stillwater made some minor changes to its version on Thursday, and the two documents have to be identical. The park straddles both towns, although most of the land is located in Malta.

 

GlobalFoundries spokesman Travis Bullard said the Malta meeting is being held just to make minor revisions. He has said the land deal is imminent.

 

Posted in GlobalFoundries, Government | Add a comment

Luther Forest looking for consultantsApril 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm by Larry Rulison

The nonprofit group developing the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta is looking for real estate and construction consultants to provide their expertise as it develops the 1,414-acre business park.

 

Computer chip manufacturer GlobalFoudries Inc. is expected to be the first tenant, taking 222 acres. A deal by the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm to acquire the land is due any day now.

 

The Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corp. issued a request for proposals today for consultants it can use on an as-needed basis.

 

The RFPs are due back April 30. The review process will begin in early May, with selection to take place within a few weeks after that.

 

To see the RFP, click here.

 

Posted in General, GlobalFoundries, Real estate, Tech Valley, Technology | 2 Comments

RPI spokesman joining GlobalFoundriesApril 2, 2009 at 10:25 am by Larry Rulison

Jason Gorss, the manager of media relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, will be joining GlobalFoundries later this month in a communications role.

 

Gorss (right) has been at RPI for several years now. He has a technical and scientific background that helps with his new role with the company, which is building a $4.2 billion computer chip factory in Malta called Fab 2 and owns two others in Dresden, Germany.

 

GlobalFoundries spokesman Jon Carvill said that Gorss’ role will be “more global in nature and focused on our technology.

 

“We will still look to add additional resources specific to Fab 2 in 2009,” Carvill said.

 

The company already has an office in Malta at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, which sits within the Luther Forest Technoogy Campus where GlobalFoundries is planning its factory on 222 acres. At least one former General Electric employee is now working there in a human resources position, and additional positions are expected to be filled in the coming months.

 

The new CEO of GlobalFoundries, Doug Grose, is himself an RPI graduate.

 

The Times Union contacted Gorss this morning by e-mail and he confirmed he is taking the job.

 

“My experience at Rensselaer has given me the rare chance to work with incredibly brilliant people on a wide array of fascinating projects. I am going to miss my colleagues here, but I am excited about the new opportunity with GlobalFoundries,” Gorss said. “It is a perfect fit for someone with my background and interests. I am a technophile at heart, and this job will allow me to immerse myself in some of the most advanced technology on the planet.”

 

Click here to access job opportunities with GlobalFoundries.

 

Posted in Education, GlobalFoundries | 1 Comment

New Fab2 renderings releasedMarch 24, 2009 at 7:41 pm by Larry Rulison

GlobalFoundries Inc. is going to show these new renderings (below) of Fab2 to the Malta Planning Board tonight.

 

GlobalFoundries is planning a $4.2 billion computer-chip factory in the Luther Forest Technology Campus, which sits on land in both Malta and the town of Stillwater.

 

The company is seeking a temporary construction permit tonight after getting approval to start moving soil and trees. That work could begin early next month.

         

Posted in Advanced Micro Devices Inc., GlobalFoundries | Add a comment

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The resources that are available to companies located at the Luther Forest Technology Campus are unparalleled. The Campus is located in the midst of New York’s Tech Valley, a 19-county region in eastern New York that spans from Montreal to New York City. Tech Valley contains more than 1,000 technology companies providing more than 50,000 jobs. Tech Valley companies have a combined economic impact of more than $5 billion and an annual payroll of $2 billion.

 

Located centrally in NY’s Tech Valley, the Luther Forest Technology Campus is the premier site for innovative, high tech companies. The Luther Forest Technology Campus has convenient access to major North American markets, close proximity to industry suppliers, leading universities, and major R&D partners.

  

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"This area (NY’s Capital Region) is really ripe for development with the combination of educational institutions, people and facilities."

-- Hector Ruiz, Chairman of the Board

GLOBALFOUNDRIES

 

Photo credit: Banner image courtesy of University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Lower photo: Aerial view of University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

            

28 Clinton Street Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 USA

  

went to the community open house at the Globalfoundries Fab2 construction site in Malta, New York this morning. Globalfoundries had a nice tent set up with hot coffee, cookies, donuts, etc. It was a good thing because it was raining pretty hard and the gravel parking lot had a lot of water on it. Globalfoundries and M + W Zander had people on-site to answer questions about the project. They had a few large pictures of the construction site inside the tent as well as artist conceptions of the completed building.

 

The actual construction site could be seen from outside the tent. I took a few of my own pictures that you can see below. Double click on any of the pictures to enlarge them. It is a pretty impressive site. You can’t see the construction site from any of the main roads in the area because it is a few miles deep into The Luther Forest. It is on Stone Break Road off of Route 9 in Malta. I doubt that you can get into the actual construction site except for events like this. (Google Maps can’t locate “Stone Break Road, Malta NY”, unless you include the zip code 12020, but Bing.com can find it without the zip code.)

 

By the time I arrived they had run out of “fact sheets” but I was told to check their website and the information would be updated by Tuesday, October 27th. You can find their website at Globalfoundries.com.

 

Hector Ruiz, the chairman of GlobalFoundries said that the new chip plant is “by far the most significant high-tech investment made in this country in decades.” This plant will produce the most advanced computer chips in the world when it is completed.

 

I wrote a previous article about the chip plant in March. You can read it here: Globalfoundries Chip Plant in Saratoga County New York.

  

The refreshment tent at the Globalfoundries Community Open House

 

The Globalfoundries construction site

 

The Globalfoundries construction site

 

The Globalfoundries construction site

 

The Globalfoundries construction site

The construction and eventual operation of this plant will be an economic boost to Saratoga Springs and the surrounding area for years to come. What do you think about the plant? Leave a comment or send me an email. Thanks.

  

Tags: bing.com, chip plant, fab2, GlobalFoundries, google maps, Hector Ruiz, luther forest, m + w zander, malta ny, saratoga springs

 

General, New York State | John Tedder | October 24, 2009 4:03 pm

 

One Response to “The Globalfoundries Chip Plant in Malta, New York”

Daniel Tagliento says:

October 31, 2009 at 1:50 pmThe local “newspapers” lack of in depth investigative reporting was not at all included in their articles!

What was the reason the entire working platform had to be ‘bulldozed’ flat and devoid of mature stands of trees and other fauna?

Waht is the landscaping of the buildings and parking areas supposed to ‘blend’ into the surrounding topography?

Does this ‘platforming’ necessiate storm water retention ponds?

 

At the completion and occupation of the complex will it be eye friendly?

Note: Parssiphany, New Jersy

Buiding Codes insist that Mega-National type complexes remain ‘hidden’ in park like setting closely resembling the natural forest thy found before construction. Ten Billion of many Corporate Headquarters in ten years were build and remain sucessful but accessible by two lane tree stands lined country lane like entrances with multi-storied parking structures and modest designed multi-storied offices etc, all this surrounded by lawns and fields!

For Your Information the Mayor, who had his hand opefor the entire process was found guilty of 23 or the 24 charges, his hand was returning to his pocket with money he should not have had procession of!

Back to the Chase:Tokyo Electron opening in Malta; part of first wave drawn by chip fab

 

With the rain falling harder, it was a bit of a route march to Holborn and my next church, the stunning St Sepulchre, which was also open.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Holborn), is an Anglican church in the City of London. It is located on Holborn Viaduct, almost opposite the Old Bailey. In medieval times it stood just outside ("without") the now-demolished old city wall, near the Newgate. It has been a living of St John's College, Oxford, since 1622.

 

The original Saxon church on the site was dedicated to St Edmund the King and Martyr. During the Crusades in the 12th century the church was renamed St Edmund and the Holy Sepulchre, in reference to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The name eventually became contracted to St Sepulchre.

 

The church is today the largest parish church in the City. It was completely rebuilt in the 15th century but was gutted by the Great Fire of London in 1666,[1] which left only the outer walls, the tower and the porch standing[2] -. Modified in the 18th century, the church underwent extensive restoration in 1878. It narrowly avoided destruction in the Second World War, although the 18th-century watch-house in its churchyard (erected to deter grave-robbers) was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt.

 

The interior of the church is a wide, roomy space with a coffered ceiling[3] installed in 1834. The Vicars' old residence has recently been renovated into a modern living quarter.

 

During the reign of Mary I in 1555, St Sepulchre's vicar, John Rogers, was burned as a heretic.

 

St Sepulchre is named in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons as the "bells of Old Bailey". Traditionally, the great bell would be rung to mark the execution of a prisoner at the nearby gallows at Newgate. The clerk of St Sepulchre's was also responsible for ringing a handbell outside the condemned man's cell in Newgate Prison to inform him of his impending execution. This handbell, known as the Execution Bell, now resides in a glass case to the south of the nave.

 

The church has been the official musicians' church for many years and is associated with many famous musicians. Its north aisle (formerly a chapel dedicated to Stephen Harding) is dedicated as the Musicians' Chapel, with four windows commemorating John Ireland, the singer Dame Nellie Melba, Walter Carroll and the conductor Sir Henry Wood respectively.[4] Wood, who "at the age of fourteen, learned to play the organ" at this church [1] and later became its organist, also has his ashes buried in this church.

 

The south aisle of the church holds the regimental chapel of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), and its gardens are a memorial garden to that regiment.[5] The west end of the north aisle has various memorials connected with the City of London Rifles (the 6th Battalion London Regiment). The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Sepulchre-without-Newgate

 

The Early History of St. Sepulchre's—Its Destruction in 1666—The Exterior and Interior—The Early Popularity of the Church—Interments here—Roger Ascham, the Author of the "Schoolmaster"—Captain John Smith, and his Romantic Adventures—Saved by an Indian Girl— St. Sepulchre's Churchyard—Accommodation for a Murderess—The Martyr Rogers—An Odd Circumstance—Good Company for the Dead—A Leap from the Tower—A Warning Bell and a Last Admonition—Nosegays for the Condemned—The Route to the Gallows-tree— The Deeds of the Charitable—The "Saracen's Head"—Description by Dickens—Giltspur Street—Giltspur Street Compter—A Disreputable Condition—Pie Corner—Hosier Lane—A Spurious Relic—The Conduit on Snow Hill—A Ladies' Charity School—Turnagain Lane—Poor Betty!—A Schoolmistress Censured—Skinner Street—Unpropitious Fortune—William Godwin—An Original Married Life.

 

Many interesting associations—Principally, however, connected with the annals of crime and the execution of the laws of England—belong to the Church of St. Sepulchre, or St. 'Pulchre. This sacred edifice—anciently known as St. Sepulchre's in the Bailey, or by Chamberlain Gate (now Newgate)—stands at the eastern end of the slight acclivity of Snow Hill, and between Smithfield and the Old Bailey. The genuine materials for its early history are scanty enough. It was probably founded about the commencement of the twelfth century, but of the exact date and circumstances of its origin there is no record whatever. Its name is derived from the Holy Sepulchre of our Saviour at Jerusalem, to the memory of which it was first dedicated.

 

The earliest authentic notice of the church, according to Maitland, is of the year 1178, at which date it was given by Roger, Bishop of Sarum, to the Prior and Canons of St. Bartholomew. These held the right of advowson until the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII., and from that time until 1610 it remained in the hands of the Crown. James I., however, then granted "the rectory and its appurtenances, with the advowson of the vicarage," to Francis Phillips and others. The next stage in its history is that the rectory was purchased by the parishioners, to be held in fee-farm of the Crown, and the advowson was obtained by the President and Fellows of St. John the Baptist College, at Oxford.

 

The church was rebuilt about the middle of the fifteenth century, when one of the Popham family, who had been Chancellor of Normandy and Treasurer of the King's Household, with distinguished liberality erected a handsome chapel on the south side of the choir, and the very beautiful porch still remaining at the south-west corner of the building. "His image," Stow says, "fair graven in stone, was fixed over the said porch."

 

The dreadful fire of 1666 almost destroyed St. Sepulchre's, but the parishioners set energetically to work, and it was "rebuilt and beautified both within and without." The general reparation was under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren, and nothing but the walls of the old building, and these not entirely, were suffered to remain. The work was done rapidly, and the whole was completed within four years.

 

"The tower," says Mr. Godwin, "retained its original aspect, and the body of the church, after its restoration, presented a series of windows between buttresses, with pointed heads filled with tracery, crowned by a string-course and battlements. In this form it remained till the year 1790, when it appears the whole fabric was found to be in a state of great decay, and it was resolved to repair it throughout. Accordingly the walls of the church were cased with Portland stone, and all the windows were taken out and replaced by others with plain semi-circular heads, as now seen—certainly agreeing but badly with the tower and porch of the building, but according with the then prevailing spirit of economy. The battlements, too, were taken down, and a plain stone parapet was substituted, so that at this time (with the exception of the roof, which was wagon-headed, and presented on the outside an unsightly swell, visible above the parapet) the church assumed its present appearance." The ungainly roof was removed, and an entirely new one erected, about 1836.

 

At each corner of the tower—"one of the most ancient," says the author of "Londinium Redivivum," "in the outline of the circuit of London" —there are spires, and on the spires there are weathercocks. These have been made use of by Howell to point a moral: "Unreasonable people," says he, "are as hard to reconcile as the vanes of St. Sepulchre's tower, which never look all four upon one point of the heavens." Nothing can be said with certainty as to the date of the tower, but it is not without the bounds of probability that it formed part of the original building. The belfry is reached by a small winding staircase in the south-west angle, and a similar staircase in an opposite angle leads to the summit. The spires at the corners, and some of the tower windows, have very recently undergone several alterations, which have added much to the picturesqueness and beauty of the church.

 

The chief entrance to St. Sepulchre's is by a porch of singular beauty, projecting from the south side of the tower, at the western end of the church. The groining of the ceiling of this porch, it has been pointed out, takes an almost unique form; the ribs are carved in bold relief, and the bosses at the intersections represent angels' heads, shields, roses, &c., in great variety.

 

Coming now to the interior of the church, we find it divided into three aisles, by two ranges of Tuscan columns. The aisles are of unequal widths, that in the centre being the widest, that to the south the narrowest. Semi-circular arches connect the columns on either side, springing directly from their capitals, without the interposition of an entablature, and support a large dental cornice, extending round the church. The ceiling of the middle aisle is divided into seven compartments, by horizontal bands, the middle compartment being formed into a small dome.

 

The aisles have groined ceilings, ornamented at the angles with doves, &c., and beneath every division of the groining are small windows, to admit light to the galleries. Over each of the aisles there is a gallery, very clumsily introduced, which dates from the time when the church was built by Wren, and extends the whole length, excepting at the chancel. The front of the gallery, which is of oak, is described by Mr. Godwin as carved into scrolls, branches, &c., in the centre panel, on either side, with the initials "C. R.," enriched with carvings of laurel, which have, however, he says, "but little merit."

 

At the east end of the church there are three semicircular-headed windows. Beneath the centre one is a large Corinthian altar-piece of oak, displaying columns, entablatures, &c., elaborately carved and gilded.

 

The length of the church, exclusive of the ambulatory, is said to be 126 feet, the breadth 68 feet, and the height of the tower 140 feet.

 

A singularly ugly sounding-board, extending over the preacher, used to stand at the back of the pulpit, at the east end of the church. It was in the shape of a large parabolic reflector, about twelve feet in diameter, and was composed of ribs of mahogany.

 

At the west end of the church there is a large organ, said to be the oldest and one of the finest in London. It was built in 1677, and has been greatly enlarged. Its reed-stops (hautboy, clarinet, &c.) are supposed to be unrivalled. In Newcourt's time the church was taken notice of as "remarkable for possessing an exceedingly fine organ, and the playing is thought so beautiful, that large congregations are attracted, though some of the parishioners object to the mode of performing divine service."

 

On the north side of the church, Mr. Godwin mentions, is a large apartment known as "St. Stephen's Chapel." This building evidently formed a somewhat important part of the old church, and was probably appropriated to the votaries of the saint whose name it bears.

 

Between the exterior and the interior of the church there is little harmony. "For example," says Mr. Godwin, "the columns which form the south aisle face, in some instances, the centre of the large windows which occur in the external wall of the church, and in others the centre of the piers, indifferently." This discordance may likely enough have arisen from the fact that when the church was rebuilt, or rather restored, after the Great Fire, the works were done without much attention from Sir Christopher Wren.

 

St. Sepulchre's appears to have enjoyed considerable popularity from the earliest period of its history, if one is to judge from the various sums left by well-disposed persons for the support of certain fraternities founded in the church—namely, those of St. Katherine, St. Michael, St. Anne, and Our Lady—and by others, for the maintenance of chantry priests to celebrate masses at stated intervals for the good of their souls. One of the fraternities just named—that of St. Katherine— originated, according to Stow, in the devotion of some poor persons in the parish, and was in honour of the conception of the Virgin Mary. They met in the church on the day of the Conception, and there had the mass of the day, and offered to the same, and provided a certain chaplain daily to celebrate divine service, and to set up wax lights before the image belonging to the fraternity, on all festival days.

 

The most famous of all who have been interred in St. Sepulchre's is Roger Ascham, the author of the "Schoolmaster," and the instructor of Queen Elizabeth in Greek and Latin. This learned old worthy was born in 1515, near Northallerton, in Yorkshire. He was educated at Cambridge University, and in time rose to be the university orator, being notably zealous in promoting what was then a novelty in England—the study of the Greek language. To divert himself after the fatigue of severe study, he used to devote himself to archery. This drew down upon him the censure of the all-work-and-no-play school; and in defence of himself, Ascham, in 1545, published "Toxophilus," a treatise on his favourite sport. This book is even yet well worthy of perusal, for its enthusiasm, and for its curious descriptions of the personal appearance and manners of the principal persons whom the author had seen and conversed with. Henry VIII. rewarded him with a pension of £10 per annum, a considerable sum in those days. In 1548, Ascham, on the death of William Grindall, who had been his pupil, was appointed instructor in the learned languages to Lady Elizabeth, afterwards the good Queen Bess. At the end of two years he had some dispute with, or took a disgust at, Lady Elizabeth's attendants, resigned his situation, and returned to his college. Soon after this he was employed as secretary to the English ambassador at the court of Charles V. of Germany, and remained abroad till the death of Edward VI. During his absence he had been appointed Latin secretary to King Edward. Strangely enough, though Queen Mary and her ministers were Papists, and Ascham a Protestant, he was retained in his office of Latin secretary, his pension was increased to £20, and he was allowed to retain his fellowship and his situation as university orator. In 1554 he married a lady of good family, by whom he had a considerable fortune, and of whom, in writing to a friend, he gives, as might perhaps be expected, an excellent character. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, in 1558, she not only required his services as Latin secretary, but as her instructor in Greek, and he resided at Court during the remainder of his life. He died in consequence of his endeavours to complete a Latin poem which he intended to present to the queen on the New Year's Day of 1569. He breathed his last two days before 1568 ran out, and was interred, according to his own directions, in the most private manner, in St. Sepulchre's Church, his funeral sermon being preached by Dr. Andrew Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's. He was universally lamented; and even the queen herself not only showed great concern, but was pleased to say that she would rather have lost ten thousand pounds than her tutor Ascham, which, from that somewhat closehanded sovereign, was truly an expression of high regard.

 

Ascham, like most men, had his little weaknesses. He had too great a propensity to dice and cock-fighting. Bishop Nicholson would try to convince us that this is an unfounded calumny, but, as it is mentioned by Camden, and other contemporary writers, it seems impossible to deny it. He died, from all accounts, in indifferent circumstances. "Whether," says Dr. Johnson, referring to this, "Ascham was poor by his own fault, or the fault of others, cannot now be decided; but it is certain that many have been rich with less merit. His philological learning would have gained him honour in any country; and among us it may justly call for that reverence which all nations owe to those who first rouse them from ignorance, and kindle among them the light of literature." His most valuable work, "The Schoolmaster," was published by his widow. The nature of this celebrated performance may be gathered from the title: "The Schoolmaster; or a plain and perfite way of teaching children to understand, write, and speak the Latin tongue. … And commodious also for all such as have forgot the Latin tongue, and would by themselves, without a schoolmaster, in short time, and with small pains, recover a sufficient habilitie to understand, write, and speak Latin: by Roger Ascham, ann. 1570. At London, printed by John Daye, dwelling over Aldersgate," a printer, by the way, already mentioned by us a few chapters back (see page 208), as having printed several noted works of the sixteenth century.

 

Dr. Johnson remarks that the instruction recommended in "The Schoolmaster" is perhaps the best ever given for the study of languages.

 

Here also lies buried Captain John Smith, a conspicuous soldier of fortune, whose romantic adventures and daring exploits have rarely been surpassed. He died on the 21st of June, 1631. This valiant captain was born at Willoughby, in the county of Lincoln, and helped by his doings to enliven the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. He had a share in the wars of Hungary in 1602, and in three single combats overcame three Turks, and cut off their heads. For this, and other equally brave deeds, Sigismund, Duke of Transylvania, gave him his picture set in gold, with a pension of three hundred ducats; and allowed him to bear three Turks' heads proper as his shield of arms. He afterwards went to America, where he had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Indians. He escaped from them, however, at last, and resumed his brilliant career by hazarding his life in naval engagements with pirates and Spanish men-of-war. The most important act of his life was the share he had in civilising the natives of New England, and reducing that province to obedience to Great Britain. In connection with his tomb in St. Sepulchre's, he is mentioned by Stow, in his "Survey," as "some time Governor of Virginia and Admiral of New England."

 

Certainly the most interesting events of his chequered career were his capture by the Indians, and the saving of his life by the Indian girl Pocahontas, a story of adventure that charms as often as it is told. Bancroft, the historian of the United States, relates how, during the early settlement of Virginia, Smith left the infant colony on an exploring expedition, and not only ascended the river Chickahominy, but struck into the interior. His companions disobeyed his instructions, and being surprised by the Indians, were put to death. Smith preserved his own life by calmness and self-possession. Displaying a pocket-compass, he amused the savages by an explanation of its power, and increased their admiration of his superior genius by imparting to them some vague conceptions of the form of the earth, and the nature of the planetary system. To the Indians, who retained him as their prisoner, his captivity was a more strange event than anything of which the traditions of their tribes preserved the memory. He was allowed to send a letter to the fort at Jamestown, and the savage wonder was increased, for he seemed by some magic to endow the paper with the gift of intelligence. It was evident that their captive was a being of a high order, and then the question arose, Was his nature beneficent, or was he to be dreaded as a dangerous enemy? Their minds were bewildered, and the decision of his fate was referred to the chief Powhatan, and before Powhatan Smith was brought. "The fears of the feeble aborigines," says Bancroft, "were about to prevail, and his immediate death, already repeatedly threatened and repeatedly delayed, would have been inevitable, but for the timely intercession of Pocahontas, a girl twelve years old, the daughter of Powhatan, whose confiding fondness Smith had easily won, and who firmly clung to his neck, as his head was bowed down to receive the stroke of the tomahawks. His fearlessness, and her entreaties, persuaded the council to spare the agreeable stranger, who could make hatchets for her father, and rattles and strings of beads for herself, the favourite child. The barbarians, whose decision had long been held in suspense by the mysterious awe which Smith had inspired, now resolved to receive him as a friend, and to make him a partner of their councils. They tempted him to join their bands, and lend assistance in an attack upon the white men at Jamestown; and when his decision of character succeeded in changing the current of their thoughts, they dismissed him with mutual promises of friendship and benevolence. Thus the captivity of Smith did itself become a benefit to the colony; for he had not only observed with care the country between the James and the Potomac, and had gained some knowledge of the language and manners of the natives, but he now established a peaceful intercourse between the English and the tribes of Powhatan."

 

On the monument erected to Smith in St. Sepulchre's Church, the following quaint lines were formerly inscribed:—

 

"Here lies one conquered that hath conquered kings,

Subdued large territories, and done things

Which to the world impossible would seem,

But that the truth is held in more esteem.

Shall I report his former service done,

In honour of his God, and Christendom?

How that he did divide, from pagans three,

Their heads and lives, types of his chivalry?—

For which great service, in that climate done,

Brave Sigismundus, King of Hungarion,

Did give him, as a coat of arms, to wear

These conquered heads, got by his sword and spear.

Or shall I tell of his adventures since

Done in Virginia, that large continent?

How that he subdued kings unto his yoke,

And made those heathens flee, as wind doth smoke;

And made their land, being so large a station,

An habitation for our Christian nation,

Where God is glorified, their wants supplied;

Which else for necessaries, must have died.

But what avails his conquests, now he lies

Interred in earth, a prey to worms and flies?

Oh! may his soul in sweet Elysium sleep,

Until the Keeper, that all souls doth keep,

Return to judgment; and that after thence

With angels he may have his recompense."

 

Sir Robert Peake, the engraver, also found a last resting-place here. He is known as the master of William Faithorne—the famous English engraver of the seventeenth century—and governor of Basing House for the king during the Civil War under Charles I. He died in 1667. Here also was interred the body of Dr. Bell, grandfather of the originator of a well-known system of education.

 

"The churchyard of St. Sepulchre's," we learn from Maitland, "at one time extended so far into the street on the south side of the church, as to render the passage-way dangerously narrow. In 1760 the churchyard was, in consequence, levelled, and thrown open to the public. But this led to much inconvenience, and it was re-enclosed in 1802."

 

Sarah Malcolm, the murderess, was buried in the churchyard of St. Sepulchre's in 1733. This coldhearted and keen-eyed monster in human form has had her story told by us already. The parishioners seem, on this occasion, to have had no such scruples as had been exhibited by their predecessors a hundred and fifty years previous at the burial of Awfield, a traitor. We shall see presently that in those more remote days they were desirous of having at least respectable company for their deceased relatives and friends in the churchyard.

 

"For a long period," says Mr. Godwin (1838), "the church was surrounded by low mean buildings, by which its general appearance was hidden; but these having been cleared away, and the neighbourhood made considerably more open, St. Sepulchre's now forms a somewhat pleasing object, notwithstanding that the tower and a part of the porch are so entirely dissimilar in style to the remainder of the building." And since Godwin's writing the surroundings of the church have been so improved that perhaps few buildings in the metropolis stand more prominently before the public eye.

 

In the glorious roll of martyrs who have suffered at the stake for their religious principles, a vicar of St. Sepulchre's, the Reverend John Rogers, occupies a conspicuous place. He was the first who was burned in the reign of the Bloody Mary. This eminent person had at one time been chaplain to the English merchants at Antwerp, and while residing in that city had aided Tindal and Coverdale in their great work of translating the Bible. He married a German lady of good position, by whom he had a large family, and was enabled, by means of her relations, to reside in peace and safety in Germany. It appeared to be his duty, however, to return to England, and there publicly profess and advocate his religious convictions, even at the risk of death. He crossed the sea; he took his place in the pulpit at St. Paul's Cross; he preached a fearless and animated sermon, reminding his astonished audience of the pure and wholesome doctrine which had been promulgated from that pulpit in the days of the good King Edward, and solemnly warning them against the pestilent idolatry and superstition of these new times. It was his last sermon. He was apprehended, tried, condemned, and burned at Smithfield. We described, when speaking of Smithfield, the manner in which he met his fate.

 

Connected with the martyrdom of Rogers an odd circumstance is quoted in the "Churches of London." It is stated that when the bishops had resolved to put to death Joan Bocher, a friend came to Rogers and earnestly entreated his influence that the poor woman's life might be spared, and other means taken to prevent the spread of her heterodox doctrines. Rogers, however, contended that she should be executed; and his friend then begged him to choose some other kind of death, which should be more agreeable to the gentleness and mercy prescribed in the gospel. "No," replied Rogers, "burning alive is not a cruel death, but easy enough." His friend hearing these words, expressive of so little regard for the sufferings of a fellow-creature, answered him with great vehemence, at the same time striking Rogers' hand, "Well, it may perhaps so happen that you yourself shall have your hands full of this mild burning." There is no record of Rogers among the papers belonging to St. Sepulchre's, but this may easily be accounted for by the fact that at the Great Fire of 1666 nearly all the registers and archives were destroyed.

 

A noteworthy incident in the history of St. Sepulchre's was connected with the execution, in 1585, of Awfield, for "sparcinge abrood certen lewed, sedicious, and traytorous bookes." "When he was executed," says Fleetwood, the Recorder, in a letter to Lord Burleigh, July 7th of that year, "his body was brought unto St. Pulcher's to be buryed, but the parishioners would not suffer a traytor's corpse to be laid in the earth where their parents, wives, children, kindred, masters, and old neighbours did rest; and so his carcass was returned to the burial-ground near Tyburn, and there I leave it."

 

Another event in the history of the church is a tale of suicide. On the 10th of April, 1600, a man named William Dorrington threw himself from the roof of the tower, leaving there a prayer for forgiveness.

 

We come now to speak of the connection of St. Sepulchre's with the neighbouring prison of Newgate. Being the nearest church to the prison, that connection naturally was intimate. Its clock served to give the time to the hangman when there was an execution in the Old Bailey, and many a poor wretch's last moments must it have regulated.

 

On the right-hand side of the altar a board with a list of charitable donations and gifts used to contain the following item:—"1605. Mr. Robert Dowe gave, for ringing the greatest bell in this church on the day the condemned prisoners are executed, and for other services, for ever, concerning such condemned prisoners, for which services the sexton is paid £16s. 8d.—£50.

 

It was formerly the practice for the clerk or bellman of St. Sepulchre's to go under Newgate, on the night preceding the execution of a criminal, ring his bell, and repeat the following wholesome advice:—

 

"All you that in the condemned hold do lie,

Prepare you, for to-morrow you shall die;

Watch all, and pray, the hour is drawing near

That you before the Almighty must appear;

Examine well yourselves, in time repent,

That you may not to eternal flames be sent.

And when St. Sepulchre's bell to-morrow tolls,

The Lord above have mercy on your souls.

Past twelve o'clock!"

 

This practice is explained by a passage in Munday's edition of Stow, in which it is told that a Mr. John Dowe, citizen and merchant taylor of London, gave £50 to the parish church of St. Sepulchre's, under the following conditions:—After the several sessions of London, on the night before the execution of such as were condemned to death, the clerk of the church was to go in the night-time, and also early in the morning, to the window of the prison in which they were lying. He was there to ring "certain tolls with a hand-bell" appointed for the purpose, and was afterwards, in a most Christian manner, to put them in mind of their present condition and approaching end, and to exhort them to be prepared, as they ought to be, to die. When they were in the cart, and brought before the walls of the church, the clerk was to stand there ready with the same bell, and, after certain tolls, rehearse a prayer, desiring all the people there present to pray for the unfortunate criminals. The beadle, also, of Merchant Taylors' Hall was allowed an "honest stipend" to see that this ceremony was regularly performed.

 

The affecting admonition—"affectingly good," Pennant calls it—addressed to the prisoners in Newgate, on the night before execution, ran as follows:—

 

"You prisoners that are within,

Who, for wickedness and sin,

 

after many mercies shown you, are now appointed to die to-morrow in the forenoon; give ear and understand that, to-morrow morning, the greatest bell of St. Sepulchre's shall toll for you, in form and manner of a passing-bell, as used to be tolled for those that are at the point of death; to the end that all godly people, hearing that bell, and knowing it is for your going to your deaths, may be stirred up heartily to pray to God to bestow his grace and mercy upon you, whilst you live. I beseech you, for Jesus Christ's sake, to keep this night in watching and prayer, to the salvation of your own souls while there is yet time and place for mercy; as knowing to-morrow you must appear before the judgment-seat of your Creator, there to give an account of all things done in this life, and to suffer eternal torments for your sins committed against Him, unless, upon your hearty and unfeigned repentance, you find mercy through the merits, death, and passion of your only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return to Him."

 

And the following was the admonition to condemned criminals, as they were passing by St. Sepulchre's Church wall to execution:—" All good people, pray heartily unto God for these poor sinners, who are now going to their death, for whom this great bell doth toll.

 

"You that are condemned to die, repent with lamentable tears; ask mercy of the Lord, for the salvation of your own souls, through the [merits, death, and passion of Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return unto Him.

 

"Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you.

Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you."

 

The charitable Mr. Dowe, who took such interest in the last moments of the occupants of the condemned cell, was buried in the church of St. Botolph, Aldgate.

 

Another curious custom observed at St. Sepulchre's was the presentation of a nosegay to every criminal on his way to execution at Tyburn. No doubt the practice had its origin in some kindly feeling for the poor unfortunates who were so soon to bid farewell to all the beauties of earth. One of the last who received a nosegay from the steps of St. Sepulchre's was "Sixteen-string Jack," alias John Rann, who was hanged, in 1774, for robbing the Rev. Dr. Bell of his watch and eighteen pence in money, in Gunnersbury Lane, on the road to Brentford. Sixteen-string Jack wore the flowers in his button-hole as he rode dolefully to the gallows. This was witnessed by John Thomas Smith, who thus describes the scene in his admirable anecdotebook, "Nollekens and his Times:"—" I remember well, when I was in my eighth year, Mr. Nollekens calling at my father's house, in Great Portland Street, and taking us to Oxford Street, to see the notorious Jack Rann, commonly called Sixteenstring Jack, go to Tyburn to be hanged. … The criminal was dressed in a pea-green coat, with an immense nosegay in the button-hole, which had been presented to him at St. Sepulchre's steps; and his nankeen small-clothes, we were told, were tied at each knee with sixteen strings. After he had passed, and Mr. Nollekens was leading me home by the hand, I recollect his stooping down to me and observing, in a low tone of voice, 'Tom, now, my little man, if my father-in-law, Mr. Justice Welch, had been high constable, we could have walked by the side of the cart all the way to Tyburn.'"

 

When criminals were conveyed from Newgate to Tyburn, the cart passed up Giltspur Street, and through Smithfield, to Cow Lane. Skinner Street had not then been built, and the Crooked Lane which turned down by St. Sepulchre's, as well as Ozier Lane, did not afford sufficient width to admit of the cavalcade passing by either of them, with convenience, to Holborn Hill, or "the Heavy Hill," as it used to be called. The procession seems at no time to have had much of the solemn element about it. "The heroes of the day were often," says a popular writer, "on good terms with the mob, and jokes were exchanged between the men who were going to be hanged and the men who deserved to be."

 

"On St. Paul's Day," says Mr. Timbs (1868), "service is performed in St. Sepulchre's, in accordance with the will of Mr. Paul Jervis, who, in 1717, devised certain land in trust that a sermon should be preached in the church upon every Paul's Day upon the excellence of the liturgy o the Church of England; the preacher to receive 40s. for such sermon. Various sums are also bequeathed to the curate, the clerk, the treasurer, and masters of the parochial schools. To the poor of the parish he bequeathed 20s. a-piece to ten of the poorest householders within that part of the parish of St. Sepulchre commonly called Smithfield quarter, £4 to the treasurer of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and 6s. 8d. yearly to the clerk, who shall attend to receive the same. The residue of the yearly rents and profits is to be distributed unto and amongst such poor people of the parish of St. Sepulchre's, London, who shall attend the service and sermon. At the close of the service the vestry-clerk reads aloud an extract from the will, and then proceeds to the distribution of the money. In the evening the vicar, churchwardens, and common councilmen of the precinct dine together."

 

In 1749, a Mr. Drinkwater made a praiseworthy bequest. He left the parish of St. Sepulchre £500 to be lent in sums of £25 to industrious young tradesmen. No interest was to be charged, and the money was to be lent for four years.

 

Next to St. Sepulchre's, on Snow Hill, used to stand the famous old inn of the "Saracen's Head." It was only swept away within the last few years by the ruthless army of City improvers: a view of it in course of demolition was given on page 439. It was one of the oldest of the London inns which bore the "Saracen's Head" for a sign. One of Dick Tarlton's jests makes mention of the "Saracen's Head" without Newgate, and Stow, describing this neighbourhood, speaks particularly of "a fair large inn for receipt of travellers" that "hath to sign the 'Saracen's Head.'" The courtyard had, to the last, many of the characteristics of an old English inn; there were galleries all round leading to the bedrooms, and a spacious gateway through which the dusty mail-coaches used to rumble, the tired passengers creeping forth "thanking their stars in having escaped the highwaymen and the holes and sloughs of the road." Into that courtyard how many have come on their first arrival in London with hearts beating high with hope, some of whom have risen to be aldermen and sit in state as lord mayor, whilst others have gone the way of the idle apprentice and come to a sad end at Tyburn! It was at this inn that Nicholas Nickleby and his uncle waited upon the Yorkshire schoolmaster Squeers, of Dotheboys Hall. Mr. Dickens describes the tavern as it existed in the last days of mail-coaching, when it was a most important place for arrivals and departures in London:—

 

"Next to the jail, and by consequence near to Smithfield also, and the Compter and the bustle and noise of the City, and just on that particular part of Snow Hill where omnibus horses going eastwards seriously think of falling down on purpose, and where horses in hackney cabriolets going westwards not unfrequently fall by accident, is the coach-yard of the 'Saracen's Head' inn, its portals guarded by two Saracen's heads and shoulders, which it was once the pride and glory of the choice spirits of this metropolis to pull down at night, but which have for some time remained in undisturbed tranquillity, possibly because this species of humour is now confined to St. James's parish, where doorknockers are preferred as being more portable, and bell-wires esteemed as convenient tooth-picks. Whether this be the reason or not, there they are, frowning upon you from each side of the gateway; and the inn itself, garnished with another Saracen's head, frowns upon you from the top of the yard; while from the door of the hind-boot of all the red coaches that are standing therein, there glares a small Saracen's head with a twin expression to the large Saracen's head below, so that the general appearance of the pile is of the Saracenic order."

 

To explain the use of the Saracen's head as an inn sign various reasons have been given. "When our countrymen," says Selden, "came home from fighting with the Saracens and were beaten by them, they pictured them with huge, big, terrible faces (as you still see the 'Saracen's Head' is), when in truth they were like other men. But this they did to save their own credit." Or the sign may have been adopted by those who had visited the Holy Land either as pilgrims or to fight the Saracens. Others, again, hold that it was first set up in compliment to the mother of Thomas à Becket, who was the daughter of a Saracen. However this may be, it is certain that the use of the sign in former days was very general.

 

Running past the east end of St. Sepulchre's, from Newgate into West Smithfield, is Giltspur Street, anciently called Knightriders Street. This interesting thoroughfare derives its name from the knights with their gilt spurs having been accustomed to ride this way to the jousts and tournaments which in days of old were held in Smithfield.

 

In this street was Giltspur Street Compter, a debtors' prison and house of correction appertaining to the sheriffs of London and Middlesex. It stood over against St. Sepulchre's Church, and was removed hither from the east side of Wood Street, Cheapside, in 1791. At the time of its removal it was used as a place of imprisonment for debtors, but the yearly increasing demands upon the contracted space caused that department to be given up, and City debtors were sent to Whitecross Street. The architect was Dance, to whom we are also indebted for the grim pile of Newgate. The Compter was a dirty and appropriately convictlooking edifice. It was pulled down in 1855. Mr. Hepworth Dixon gave an interesting account of this City House of Correction, not long before its demolition, in his "London Prisons" (1850). "Entering," he says, "at the door facing St. Sepulchre's, the visitor suddenly finds himself in a low dark passage, leading into the offices of the gaol, and branching off into other passages, darker, closer, more replete with noxious smells, than even those of Newgate. This is the fitting prelude to what follows. The prison, it must be noticed, is divided into two principal divisions, the House of Correction and the Compter. The front in Giltspur Street, and the side nearest to Newgate Street, is called the Compter. In its wards are placed detenues of various kinds—remands, committals from the police-courts, and generally persons waiting for trial, and consequently still unconvicted. The other department, the House of Correction, occupies the back portion of the premises, abutting on Christ's Hospital. Curious it is to consider how thin a wall divides these widely-separate worlds! And sorrowful it is to think what a difference of destiny awaits the children—destiny inexorable, though often unearned in either case—who, on the one side of it or the other, receive an eleemosynary education! The collegian and the criminal! Who shall say how much mere accident— circumstances over which the child has little power —determines to a life of usefulness or mischief? From the yards of Giltspur Street prison almost the only objects visible, outside of the gaol itself, are the towers of Christ's Hospital; the only sounds audible, the shouts of the scholars at their play. The balls of the hospital boys often fall within the yards of the prison. Whether these sights and sounds ever cause the criminal to pause and reflect upon the courses of his life, we will not say, but the stranger visiting the place will be very apt to think for him. …

 

"In the department of the prison called the House of Correction, minor offenders within the City of London are imprisoned. No transports are sent hither, nor is any person whose sentence is above three years in length." This able writer then goes on to tell of the many crying evils connected with the institution—the want of air, the over-crowded state of the rooms, the absence of proper cellular accommodation, and the vicious intercourse carried on amongst the prisoners. The entire gaol, when he wrote, only contained thirty-six separate sleeping-rooms. Now by the highest prison calculation—and this, be it noted, proceeds on the assumption that three persons can sleep in small, miserable, unventilated cells, which are built for only one, and are too confined for that, being only about one-half the size of the model cell for one at Pentonville—it was only capable of accommodating 203 prisoners, yet by the returns issued at Michaelmas, 1850, it contained 246!

 

A large section of the prison used to be devoted to female delinquents, but lately it was almost entirely given up to male offenders.

 

"The House of Correction, and the Compter portion of the establishment," says Mr. Dixon, "are kept quite distinct, but it would be difficult to award the palm of empire in their respective facilities for demoralisation. We think the Compter rather the worse of the two. You are shown into a room, about the size of an apartment in an ordinary dwelling-house, which will be found crowded with from thirty to forty persons, young and old, and in their ordinary costume; the low thief in his filth and rags, and the member of the swell-mob with his bright buttons, flash finery, and false jewels. Here you notice the boy who has just been guilty of his first offence, and committed for trial, learning with a greedy mind a thousand criminal arts, and listening with the precocious instinct of guilty passions to stories and conversations the most depraved and disgusting. You regard him with a mixture of pity and loathing, for he knows that the eyes of his peers are upon him, and he stares at you with a familiar impudence, and exhibits a devil-may-care countenance, such as is only to be met with in the juvenile offender. Here, too, may be seen the young clerk, taken up on suspicion—perhaps innocent—who avoids you with a shy look of pain and uneasiness: what a hell must this prison be to him! How frightful it is to think of a person really untainted with crime, compelled to herd for ten or twenty days with these abandoned wretches!

 

"On the other, the House of Correction side of the gaol, similar rooms will be found, full of prisoners communicating with each other, laughing and shouting without hindrance. All this is so little in accordance with existing notions of prison discipline, that one is continually fancying these disgraceful scenes cannot be in the capital of England, and in the year of grace 1850. Very few of the prisoners attend school or receive any instruction; neither is any kind of employment afforded them, except oakum-picking, and the still more disgusting labour of the treadmill. When at work, an officer is in attendance to prevent disorderly conduct; but his presence is of no avail as a protection to the less depraved. Conversation still goes on; and every facility is afforded for making acquaintances, and for mutual contamination."

 

After having long been branded by intelligent inspectors as a disgrace to the metropolis, Giltspur Street Compter was condemned, closed in 1854, and subsequently taken down.

 

Nearly opposite what used to be the site of the Compter, and adjoining Cock Lane, is the spot called Pie Corner, near which terminated the Great Fire of 1666. The fire commenced at Pudding Lane, it will be remembered, so it was singularly appropriate that it should terminate at Pie Corner. Under the date of 4th September, 1666, Pepys, in his "Diary," records that "W. Hewer this day went to see how his mother did, and comes home late, telling us how he hath been forced to remove her to Islington, her house in Pye Corner being burned; so that the fire is got so far that way." The figure of a fat naked boy stands over a public house at the corner of the lane; it used to have the following warning inscription attached:— "This boy is in memory put up of the late fire of London, occasioned by the sin of gluttony, 1666." According to Stow, Pie Corner derived its name from the sign of a well-frequented hostelry, which anciently stood on the spot. Strype makes honourable mention of Pie Corner, as "noted chiefly for cooks' shops and pigs dressed there during Bartholomew Fair." Our old writers have many references—and not all, by the way, in the best taste—to its cookstalls and dressed pork. Shadwell, for instance, in the Woman Captain (1680) speaks of "meat dressed at Pie Corner by greasy scullions;" and Ben Jonson writes in the Alchemist (1612)—

 

"I shall put you in mind, sir, at Pie Corner,

Taking your meal of steam in from cooks' stalls."

 

And in "The Great Boobee" ("Roxburgh Ballads"):

 

"Next day I through Pie Corner passed;

The roast meat on the stall

Invited me to take a taste;

My money was but small."

 

But Pie Corner seems to have been noted for more than eatables. A ballad from Tom D'Urfey's "Pills to Purge Melancholy," describing Bartholomew Fair, eleven years before the Fire of London, says:—

 

"At Pie-Corner end, mark well my good friend,

'Tis a very fine dirty place;

Where there's more arrows and bows. …

Than was handled at Chivy Chase."

 

We have already given a view of Pie Corner in our chapter on Smithfield, page 361.

 

Hosier Lane, running from Cow Lane to Smithfield, and almost parallel to Cock Lane, is described by "R. B.," in Strype, as a place not over-well built or inhabited. The houses were all old timber erections. Some of these—those standing at the south corner of the lane—were in the beginning of this century depicted by Mr. J. T. Smith, in his "Ancient Topography of London." He describes them as probably of the reign of James I. The rooms were small, with low, unornamented ceilings; the timber, oak, profusely used; the gables were plain, and the walls lath and plaster. They were taken down in 1809.

 

In the corner house, in Mr. Smith's time, there was a barber whose name was Catchpole; at least, so it was written over the door. He was rather an odd fellow, and possessed, according to his own account, a famous relic of antiquity. He would gravely show his customers a short-bladed instrument, as the identical dagger with which Walworth killed Wat Tyler.

 

Hosier Lane, like Pie Corner, used to be a great resort during the time of Bartholomew Fair, "all the houses," it is said in Strype, "generally being made public for tippling."

 

We return now from our excursion to the north of St. Sepulchre's, and continue our rambles to the west, and before speaking of what is, let us refer to what has been.

 

Turnagain Lane is not far from this. "Near unto this Seacoal Lane," remarks Stow, "in the turning towards Holborn Conduit, is Turnagain Lane, or rather, as in a record of the 5th of Edward III., Windagain Lane, for that it goeth down west to Fleet Dyke, from whence men must turn again the same way they came, but there it stopped." There used to be a proverb, "He must take him a house in Turnagain Lane."

 

A conduit formerly stood on Snow Hill, a little below the church. It is described as a building with four equal sides, ornamented with four columns and pediment, surmounted by a pyramid, on which stood a lamb—a rebus on the name of Lamb, from whose conduit in Red Lion Street the water came. There had been a conduit there, however, before Lamb's day, which was towards the close of the sixteenth century.

 

At No. 37, King Street, Snow Hill, there used to be a ladies' charity school, which was established in 1702, and remained in the parish 145 years. Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale were subscribers to this school, and Johnson drew from it his story of Betty Broom, in "The Idler." The world of domestic service, in Betty's days, seems to have been pretty much as now. Betty was a poor girl, bred in the country at a charity-school, maintained by the contributions of wealthy neighbours. The patronesses visited the school from time to time, to see how the pupils got on, and everything went well, till "at last, the chief of the subscribers having passed a winter in London, came down full of an opinion new and strange to the whole country. She held it little less than criminal to teach poor girls to read and write. They who are born to poverty, she said, are born to ignorance, and will work the harder the less they know. She told her friends that London was in confusion by the insolence of servants; that scarcely a girl could be got for all-work, since education had made such numbers of fine ladies, that nobody would now accept a lower title than that of a waiting-maid, or something that might qualify her to wear laced shoes and long ruffles, and to sit at work in the parlour window. But she was resolved, for her part, to spoil no more girls. Those who were to live by their hands should neither read nor write out of her pocket. The world was bad enough already, and she would have no part in making it worse.

 

"She was for a long time warmly opposed; but she persevered in her notions, and withdrew her subscription. Few listen, without a desire of conviction, to those who advise them to spare their money. Her example and her arguments gained ground daily; and in less than a year the whole parish was convinced that the nation would be ruined if the children of the poor were taught to read and write." So the school was dissolved, and Betty with the rest was turned adrift into the wide and cold world; and her adventures there any one may read in "The Idler" for himself.

 

There is an entry in the school minutes of 1763, to the effect that the ladies of the committee censured the schoolmistress for listening to the story of the Cock Lane ghost, and "desired her to keep her belief in the article to herself."

 

Skinner Street—now one of the names of the past—which ran by the south side of St. Sepulchre's, and formed the connecting link between Newgate Street and Holborn, received its name from Alderman Skinner, through whose exertions, about 1802, it was principally built. The following account of Skinner Street is from the picturesque pen of Mr. William Harvey ("Aleph"), whose long familiarity with the places he describes renders doubly valuable his many contributions to the history of London scenes and people:—"As a building speculation," he says, writing in 1863, "it was a failure. When the buildings were ready for occupation, tall and substantial as they really were, the high rents frightened intending shopkeepers. Tenants were not to be had; and in order to get over the money difficulty, a lottery, sanctioned by Parliament, was commenced. Lotteries were then common tricks of finance, and nobody wondered at the new venture; but even the most desperate fortune-hunters were slow to invest their capital, and the tickets hung sadly on hand. The day for the drawing was postponed several times, and when it came, there was little or no excitement on the subject, and whoever rejoiced in becoming a house-owner on such easy terms, the original projectors and builders were understood to have suffered considerably. The winners found the property in a very unfinished condition. Few of the dwellings were habitable, and as funds were often wanting, a majority of the houses remained empty, and the shops unopened. After two or three years things began to improve; the vast many-storeyed house which then covered the site of Commercial Place was converted into a warehousing depôt; a capital house opposite the 'Saracen's Head' was taken by a hosier of the name of Theobald, who, opening his shop with the determination of selling the best hosiery, and nothing else, was able to convince the citizens that his hose was first-rate, and, desiring only a living profit, succeeded, after thirty years of unwearied industry, in accumulating a large fortune. Theobald was possessed of literary tastes, and at the sale of Sir Walter Scott's manuscripts was a liberal purchaser. He also collected a library of exceedingly choice books, and when aristocratic customers purchased stockings of him, was soon able to interest them in matters of far higher interest…

 

"The most remarkable shop—but it was on the left-hand side, at a corner house—was that established for the sale of children's books. It boasted an immense extent of window-front, extending from the entrance into Snow Hill, and towards Fleet Market. Many a time have I lingered with loving eyes over those fascinating story-books, so rich in gaily-coloured prints; such careful editions of the marvellous old histories, 'Puss in Boots,' 'Cock Robin,' 'Cinderella,' and the like. Fortunately the front was kept low, so as exactly to suit the capacity of a childish admirer. . . . . But Skinner Street did not prosper much, and never could compete with even the dullest portions of Holborn. I have spoken of some reputable shops; but you know the proverb, 'One swallow will not make a summer,' and it was a declining neighbourhood almost before it could be called new. In 1810 the commercial depôt, which had been erected at a cost of £25,000, and was the chief prize in the lottery, was destroyed by fire, never to be rebuilt—a heavy blow and discouragement to Skinner Street, from which it never rallied. Perhaps the periodical hanging-days exercised an unfavourable influence, collecting, as they frequently did, all the thieves and vagabonds of London. I never sympathised with Pepys or Charles Fox in their passion for public executions, and made it a point to avoid those ghastly sights; but early of a Monday morning, when I had just reached the end of Giltspur Street, a miserable wretch had just been turned off from the platform of the debtors' door, and I was made the unwilling witness of his last struggles. That scene haunted me for months, and I often used to ask myself, 'Who that could help it would live in Skinner Street?' The next unpropitious event in these parts was the unexpected closing of the child's library. What could it mean? Such a well-to-do establishment shut up? Yes, the whole army of shutters looked blankly on the inquirer, and forbade even a single glance at 'Sinbad' or 'Robinson Crusoe.' It would soon be re-opened, we naturally thought; but the shutters never came down again. The whole house was deserted; not even a messenger in bankruptcy, or an ancient Charley, was found to regard the playful double knocks of the neighbouring juveniles. Gradually the glass of all the windows got broken in, a heavy cloud of black dust, solidifying into inches thick, gathered on sills and doors and brickwork, till the whole frontage grew as gloomy as Giant Despair's Castle. Not long after, the adjoining houses shared the same fate, and they remained from year to year without the slightest sign of life—absolute scarecrows, darkening with their uncomfortable shadows the busy streets. Within half a mile, in Stamford Street, Blackfriars, there are (1863) seven houses in a similar predicament— window-glass demolished, doors cracked from top to bottom, spiders' webs hanging from every projecting sill or parapet. What can it mean? The loss in the article of rents alone must be over £1,000 annually. If the real owners are at feud with imaginary owners, surely the property might be rendered valuable, and the proceeds invested. Even the lawyers can derive no profit from such hopeless abandonment. I am told the whole mischief arose out of a Chancery suit. Can it be the famous 'Jarndyce v. Jarndyce' case? And have all the heirs starved each other out? If so, what hinders our lady the Queen from taking possession? Any change would be an improvement, for these dead houses make the streets they cumber as dispiriting and comfortless as graveyards. Busy fancy will sometimes people them, and fill the dreary rooms with strange guests. Do the victims of guilt congregate in these dark dens? Do wretches 'unfriended by the world or the world's law,' seek refuge in these deserted nooks, mourning in the silence of despair over their former lives, and anticipating the future in unappeasable agony? Such things have been—the silence and desolation of these doomed dwellings make them the more suitable for such tenants."

 

A street is nothing without a mystery, so a mystery let these old tumble-down houses remain, whilst we go on to tell that, in front of No. 58, the sailor Cashman was hung in 1817, as we have already mentioned, for plundering a gunsmith's shop there. William Godwin, the author of "Caleb Williams," kept a bookseller's shop for several years in Skinner Street, at No. 41, and published school-books in the name of Edward Baldwin. On the wall there was a stone carving of Æsop reciting one of his fables to children.

 

The most noteworthy event of the life of Godwin was his marriage with the celebrated Mary Wollstonecraft, authoress of a "Vindication of the Rights of Women," whose congenial mind, in politics and morals, he ardently admired. Godwin's account of the way in which they got on together is worth reading:—"Ours," he writes, "was not an idle happiness, a paradise of selfish and transitory pleasures. It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to mention, that influenced by ideas I had long entertained, I engaged an apartment about twenty doors from our house, in the Polygon, Somers Town, which I designed for the purpose of my study and literary occupations. Trifles, however, will be interesting to some readers, when they relate to the last period of the life of such a person as Mary. I will add, therefore, that we were both of us of opinion, that it was possible for two persons to be too uniformly in each other's society. Influenced by that opinion, it was my practice to repair to the apartment I have mentioned as soon as I rose, and frequently not to make my appearance in the Polygon till the hour of dinner. We agreed in condemning the notion, prevalent in many situations in life, that a man and his wife cannot visit in mixed society but in company with each other, and we rather sought occasions of deviating from than of complying with this rule. By this means, though, for the most part, we spent the latter half of each day in one another's society, yet we were in no danger of satiety. We seemed to combine, in a considerable degree, the novelty and lively sensation of a visit with the more delicious and heartfelt pleasure of a domestic life."

 

This philosophic union, to Godwin's inexpressible affliction, did not last more than eighteen months, at the end of which time Mrs. Godwin died, leaving an only daughter, who in the course of time became the second wife of the poet Shelley, and was the author of the wild and extraordinary tale of "Frankenstein."

 

www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45116

With the rain falling harder, it was a bit of a route march to Holborn and my next church, the stunning St Sepulchre, which was also open.

 

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St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Holborn), is an Anglican church in the City of London. It is located on Holborn Viaduct, almost opposite the Old Bailey. In medieval times it stood just outside ("without") the now-demolished old city wall, near the Newgate. It has been a living of St John's College, Oxford, since 1622.

 

The original Saxon church on the site was dedicated to St Edmund the King and Martyr. During the Crusades in the 12th century the church was renamed St Edmund and the Holy Sepulchre, in reference to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The name eventually became contracted to St Sepulchre.

 

The church is today the largest parish church in the City. It was completely rebuilt in the 15th century but was gutted by the Great Fire of London in 1666,[1] which left only the outer walls, the tower and the porch standing[2] -. Modified in the 18th century, the church underwent extensive restoration in 1878. It narrowly avoided destruction in the Second World War, although the 18th-century watch-house in its churchyard (erected to deter grave-robbers) was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt.

 

The interior of the church is a wide, roomy space with a coffered ceiling[3] installed in 1834. The Vicars' old residence has recently been renovated into a modern living quarter.

 

During the reign of Mary I in 1555, St Sepulchre's vicar, John Rogers, was burned as a heretic.

 

St Sepulchre is named in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons as the "bells of Old Bailey". Traditionally, the great bell would be rung to mark the execution of a prisoner at the nearby gallows at Newgate. The clerk of St Sepulchre's was also responsible for ringing a handbell outside the condemned man's cell in Newgate Prison to inform him of his impending execution. This handbell, known as the Execution Bell, now resides in a glass case to the south of the nave.

 

The church has been the official musicians' church for many years and is associated with many famous musicians. Its north aisle (formerly a chapel dedicated to Stephen Harding) is dedicated as the Musicians' Chapel, with four windows commemorating John Ireland, the singer Dame Nellie Melba, Walter Carroll and the conductor Sir Henry Wood respectively.[4] Wood, who "at the age of fourteen, learned to play the organ" at this church [1] and later became its organist, also has his ashes buried in this church.

 

The south aisle of the church holds the regimental chapel of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), and its gardens are a memorial garden to that regiment.[5] The west end of the north aisle has various memorials connected with the City of London Rifles (the 6th Battalion London Regiment). The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Sepulchre-without-Newgate

 

The Early History of St. Sepulchre's—Its Destruction in 1666—The Exterior and Interior—The Early Popularity of the Church—Interments here—Roger Ascham, the Author of the "Schoolmaster"—Captain John Smith, and his Romantic Adventures—Saved by an Indian Girl— St. Sepulchre's Churchyard—Accommodation for a Murderess—The Martyr Rogers—An Odd Circumstance—Good Company for the Dead—A Leap from the Tower—A Warning Bell and a Last Admonition—Nosegays for the Condemned—The Route to the Gallows-tree— The Deeds of the Charitable—The "Saracen's Head"—Description by Dickens—Giltspur Street—Giltspur Street Compter—A Disreputable Condition—Pie Corner—Hosier Lane—A Spurious Relic—The Conduit on Snow Hill—A Ladies' Charity School—Turnagain Lane—Poor Betty!—A Schoolmistress Censured—Skinner Street—Unpropitious Fortune—William Godwin—An Original Married Life.

 

Many interesting associations—Principally, however, connected with the annals of crime and the execution of the laws of England—belong to the Church of St. Sepulchre, or St. 'Pulchre. This sacred edifice—anciently known as St. Sepulchre's in the Bailey, or by Chamberlain Gate (now Newgate)—stands at the eastern end of the slight acclivity of Snow Hill, and between Smithfield and the Old Bailey. The genuine materials for its early history are scanty enough. It was probably founded about the commencement of the twelfth century, but of the exact date and circumstances of its origin there is no record whatever. Its name is derived from the Holy Sepulchre of our Saviour at Jerusalem, to the memory of which it was first dedicated.

 

The earliest authentic notice of the church, according to Maitland, is of the year 1178, at which date it was given by Roger, Bishop of Sarum, to the Prior and Canons of St. Bartholomew. These held the right of advowson until the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII., and from that time until 1610 it remained in the hands of the Crown. James I., however, then granted "the rectory and its appurtenances, with the advowson of the vicarage," to Francis Phillips and others. The next stage in its history is that the rectory was purchased by the parishioners, to be held in fee-farm of the Crown, and the advowson was obtained by the President and Fellows of St. John the Baptist College, at Oxford.

 

The church was rebuilt about the middle of the fifteenth century, when one of the Popham family, who had been Chancellor of Normandy and Treasurer of the King's Household, with distinguished liberality erected a handsome chapel on the south side of the choir, and the very beautiful porch still remaining at the south-west corner of the building. "His image," Stow says, "fair graven in stone, was fixed over the said porch."

 

The dreadful fire of 1666 almost destroyed St. Sepulchre's, but the parishioners set energetically to work, and it was "rebuilt and beautified both within and without." The general reparation was under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren, and nothing but the walls of the old building, and these not entirely, were suffered to remain. The work was done rapidly, and the whole was completed within four years.

 

"The tower," says Mr. Godwin, "retained its original aspect, and the body of the church, after its restoration, presented a series of windows between buttresses, with pointed heads filled with tracery, crowned by a string-course and battlements. In this form it remained till the year 1790, when it appears the whole fabric was found to be in a state of great decay, and it was resolved to repair it throughout. Accordingly the walls of the church were cased with Portland stone, and all the windows were taken out and replaced by others with plain semi-circular heads, as now seen—certainly agreeing but badly with the tower and porch of the building, but according with the then prevailing spirit of economy. The battlements, too, were taken down, and a plain stone parapet was substituted, so that at this time (with the exception of the roof, which was wagon-headed, and presented on the outside an unsightly swell, visible above the parapet) the church assumed its present appearance." The ungainly roof was removed, and an entirely new one erected, about 1836.

 

At each corner of the tower—"one of the most ancient," says the author of "Londinium Redivivum," "in the outline of the circuit of London" —there are spires, and on the spires there are weathercocks. These have been made use of by Howell to point a moral: "Unreasonable people," says he, "are as hard to reconcile as the vanes of St. Sepulchre's tower, which never look all four upon one point of the heavens." Nothing can be said with certainty as to the date of the tower, but it is not without the bounds of probability that it formed part of the original building. The belfry is reached by a small winding staircase in the south-west angle, and a similar staircase in an opposite angle leads to the summit. The spires at the corners, and some of the tower windows, have very recently undergone several alterations, which have added much to the picturesqueness and beauty of the church.

 

The chief entrance to St. Sepulchre's is by a porch of singular beauty, projecting from the south side of the tower, at the western end of the church. The groining of the ceiling of this porch, it has been pointed out, takes an almost unique form; the ribs are carved in bold relief, and the bosses at the intersections represent angels' heads, shields, roses, &c., in great variety.

 

Coming now to the interior of the church, we find it divided into three aisles, by two ranges of Tuscan columns. The aisles are of unequal widths, that in the centre being the widest, that to the south the narrowest. Semi-circular arches connect the columns on either side, springing directly from their capitals, without the interposition of an entablature, and support a large dental cornice, extending round the church. The ceiling of the middle aisle is divided into seven compartments, by horizontal bands, the middle compartment being formed into a small dome.

 

The aisles have groined ceilings, ornamented at the angles with doves, &c., and beneath every division of the groining are small windows, to admit light to the galleries. Over each of the aisles there is a gallery, very clumsily introduced, which dates from the time when the church was built by Wren, and extends the whole length, excepting at the chancel. The front of the gallery, which is of oak, is described by Mr. Godwin as carved into scrolls, branches, &c., in the centre panel, on either side, with the initials "C. R.," enriched with carvings of laurel, which have, however, he says, "but little merit."

 

At the east end of the church there are three semicircular-headed windows. Beneath the centre one is a large Corinthian altar-piece of oak, displaying columns, entablatures, &c., elaborately carved and gilded.

 

The length of the church, exclusive of the ambulatory, is said to be 126 feet, the breadth 68 feet, and the height of the tower 140 feet.

 

A singularly ugly sounding-board, extending over the preacher, used to stand at the back of the pulpit, at the east end of the church. It was in the shape of a large parabolic reflector, about twelve feet in diameter, and was composed of ribs of mahogany.

 

At the west end of the church there is a large organ, said to be the oldest and one of the finest in London. It was built in 1677, and has been greatly enlarged. Its reed-stops (hautboy, clarinet, &c.) are supposed to be unrivalled. In Newcourt's time the church was taken notice of as "remarkable for possessing an exceedingly fine organ, and the playing is thought so beautiful, that large congregations are attracted, though some of the parishioners object to the mode of performing divine service."

 

On the north side of the church, Mr. Godwin mentions, is a large apartment known as "St. Stephen's Chapel." This building evidently formed a somewhat important part of the old church, and was probably appropriated to the votaries of the saint whose name it bears.

 

Between the exterior and the interior of the church there is little harmony. "For example," says Mr. Godwin, "the columns which form the south aisle face, in some instances, the centre of the large windows which occur in the external wall of the church, and in others the centre of the piers, indifferently." This discordance may likely enough have arisen from the fact that when the church was rebuilt, or rather restored, after the Great Fire, the works were done without much attention from Sir Christopher Wren.

 

St. Sepulchre's appears to have enjoyed considerable popularity from the earliest period of its history, if one is to judge from the various sums left by well-disposed persons for the support of certain fraternities founded in the church—namely, those of St. Katherine, St. Michael, St. Anne, and Our Lady—and by others, for the maintenance of chantry priests to celebrate masses at stated intervals for the good of their souls. One of the fraternities just named—that of St. Katherine— originated, according to Stow, in the devotion of some poor persons in the parish, and was in honour of the conception of the Virgin Mary. They met in the church on the day of the Conception, and there had the mass of the day, and offered to the same, and provided a certain chaplain daily to celebrate divine service, and to set up wax lights before the image belonging to the fraternity, on all festival days.

 

The most famous of all who have been interred in St. Sepulchre's is Roger Ascham, the author of the "Schoolmaster," and the instructor of Queen Elizabeth in Greek and Latin. This learned old worthy was born in 1515, near Northallerton, in Yorkshire. He was educated at Cambridge University, and in time rose to be the university orator, being notably zealous in promoting what was then a novelty in England—the study of the Greek language. To divert himself after the fatigue of severe study, he used to devote himself to archery. This drew down upon him the censure of the all-work-and-no-play school; and in defence of himself, Ascham, in 1545, published "Toxophilus," a treatise on his favourite sport. This book is even yet well worthy of perusal, for its enthusiasm, and for its curious descriptions of the personal appearance and manners of the principal persons whom the author had seen and conversed with. Henry VIII. rewarded him with a pension of £10 per annum, a considerable sum in those days. In 1548, Ascham, on the death of William Grindall, who had been his pupil, was appointed instructor in the learned languages to Lady Elizabeth, afterwards the good Queen Bess. At the end of two years he had some dispute with, or took a disgust at, Lady Elizabeth's attendants, resigned his situation, and returned to his college. Soon after this he was employed as secretary to the English ambassador at the court of Charles V. of Germany, and remained abroad till the death of Edward VI. During his absence he had been appointed Latin secretary to King Edward. Strangely enough, though Queen Mary and her ministers were Papists, and Ascham a Protestant, he was retained in his office of Latin secretary, his pension was increased to £20, and he was allowed to retain his fellowship and his situation as university orator. In 1554 he married a lady of good family, by whom he had a considerable fortune, and of whom, in writing to a friend, he gives, as might perhaps be expected, an excellent character. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, in 1558, she not only required his services as Latin secretary, but as her instructor in Greek, and he resided at Court during the remainder of his life. He died in consequence of his endeavours to complete a Latin poem which he intended to present to the queen on the New Year's Day of 1569. He breathed his last two days before 1568 ran out, and was interred, according to his own directions, in the most private manner, in St. Sepulchre's Church, his funeral sermon being preached by Dr. Andrew Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's. He was universally lamented; and even the queen herself not only showed great concern, but was pleased to say that she would rather have lost ten thousand pounds than her tutor Ascham, which, from that somewhat closehanded sovereign, was truly an expression of high regard.

 

Ascham, like most men, had his little weaknesses. He had too great a propensity to dice and cock-fighting. Bishop Nicholson would try to convince us that this is an unfounded calumny, but, as it is mentioned by Camden, and other contemporary writers, it seems impossible to deny it. He died, from all accounts, in indifferent circumstances. "Whether," says Dr. Johnson, referring to this, "Ascham was poor by his own fault, or the fault of others, cannot now be decided; but it is certain that many have been rich with less merit. His philological learning would have gained him honour in any country; and among us it may justly call for that reverence which all nations owe to those who first rouse them from ignorance, and kindle among them the light of literature." His most valuable work, "The Schoolmaster," was published by his widow. The nature of this celebrated performance may be gathered from the title: "The Schoolmaster; or a plain and perfite way of teaching children to understand, write, and speak the Latin tongue. … And commodious also for all such as have forgot the Latin tongue, and would by themselves, without a schoolmaster, in short time, and with small pains, recover a sufficient habilitie to understand, write, and speak Latin: by Roger Ascham, ann. 1570. At London, printed by John Daye, dwelling over Aldersgate," a printer, by the way, already mentioned by us a few chapters back (see page 208), as having printed several noted works of the sixteenth century.

 

Dr. Johnson remarks that the instruction recommended in "The Schoolmaster" is perhaps the best ever given for the study of languages.

 

Here also lies buried Captain John Smith, a conspicuous soldier of fortune, whose romantic adventures and daring exploits have rarely been surpassed. He died on the 21st of June, 1631. This valiant captain was born at Willoughby, in the county of Lincoln, and helped by his doings to enliven the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. He had a share in the wars of Hungary in 1602, and in three single combats overcame three Turks, and cut off their heads. For this, and other equally brave deeds, Sigismund, Duke of Transylvania, gave him his picture set in gold, with a pension of three hundred ducats; and allowed him to bear three Turks' heads proper as his shield of arms. He afterwards went to America, where he had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Indians. He escaped from them, however, at last, and resumed his brilliant career by hazarding his life in naval engagements with pirates and Spanish men-of-war. The most important act of his life was the share he had in civilising the natives of New England, and reducing that province to obedience to Great Britain. In connection with his tomb in St. Sepulchre's, he is mentioned by Stow, in his "Survey," as "some time Governor of Virginia and Admiral of New England."

 

Certainly the most interesting events of his chequered career were his capture by the Indians, and the saving of his life by the Indian girl Pocahontas, a story of adventure that charms as often as it is told. Bancroft, the historian of the United States, relates how, during the early settlement of Virginia, Smith left the infant colony on an exploring expedition, and not only ascended the river Chickahominy, but struck into the interior. His companions disobeyed his instructions, and being surprised by the Indians, were put to death. Smith preserved his own life by calmness and self-possession. Displaying a pocket-compass, he amused the savages by an explanation of its power, and increased their admiration of his superior genius by imparting to them some vague conceptions of the form of the earth, and the nature of the planetary system. To the Indians, who retained him as their prisoner, his captivity was a more strange event than anything of which the traditions of their tribes preserved the memory. He was allowed to send a letter to the fort at Jamestown, and the savage wonder was increased, for he seemed by some magic to endow the paper with the gift of intelligence. It was evident that their captive was a being of a high order, and then the question arose, Was his nature beneficent, or was he to be dreaded as a dangerous enemy? Their minds were bewildered, and the decision of his fate was referred to the chief Powhatan, and before Powhatan Smith was brought. "The fears of the feeble aborigines," says Bancroft, "were about to prevail, and his immediate death, already repeatedly threatened and repeatedly delayed, would have been inevitable, but for the timely intercession of Pocahontas, a girl twelve years old, the daughter of Powhatan, whose confiding fondness Smith had easily won, and who firmly clung to his neck, as his head was bowed down to receive the stroke of the tomahawks. His fearlessness, and her entreaties, persuaded the council to spare the agreeable stranger, who could make hatchets for her father, and rattles and strings of beads for herself, the favourite child. The barbarians, whose decision had long been held in suspense by the mysterious awe which Smith had inspired, now resolved to receive him as a friend, and to make him a partner of their councils. They tempted him to join their bands, and lend assistance in an attack upon the white men at Jamestown; and when his decision of character succeeded in changing the current of their thoughts, they dismissed him with mutual promises of friendship and benevolence. Thus the captivity of Smith did itself become a benefit to the colony; for he had not only observed with care the country between the James and the Potomac, and had gained some knowledge of the language and manners of the natives, but he now established a peaceful intercourse between the English and the tribes of Powhatan."

 

On the monument erected to Smith in St. Sepulchre's Church, the following quaint lines were formerly inscribed:—

 

"Here lies one conquered that hath conquered kings,

Subdued large territories, and done things

Which to the world impossible would seem,

But that the truth is held in more esteem.

Shall I report his former service done,

In honour of his God, and Christendom?

How that he did divide, from pagans three,

Their heads and lives, types of his chivalry?—

For which great service, in that climate done,

Brave Sigismundus, King of Hungarion,

Did give him, as a coat of arms, to wear

These conquered heads, got by his sword and spear.

Or shall I tell of his adventures since

Done in Virginia, that large continent?

How that he subdued kings unto his yoke,

And made those heathens flee, as wind doth smoke;

And made their land, being so large a station,

An habitation for our Christian nation,

Where God is glorified, their wants supplied;

Which else for necessaries, must have died.

But what avails his conquests, now he lies

Interred in earth, a prey to worms and flies?

Oh! may his soul in sweet Elysium sleep,

Until the Keeper, that all souls doth keep,

Return to judgment; and that after thence

With angels he may have his recompense."

 

Sir Robert Peake, the engraver, also found a last resting-place here. He is known as the master of William Faithorne—the famous English engraver of the seventeenth century—and governor of Basing House for the king during the Civil War under Charles I. He died in 1667. Here also was interred the body of Dr. Bell, grandfather of the originator of a well-known system of education.

 

"The churchyard of St. Sepulchre's," we learn from Maitland, "at one time extended so far into the street on the south side of the church, as to render the passage-way dangerously narrow. In 1760 the churchyard was, in consequence, levelled, and thrown open to the public. But this led to much inconvenience, and it was re-enclosed in 1802."

 

Sarah Malcolm, the murderess, was buried in the churchyard of St. Sepulchre's in 1733. This coldhearted and keen-eyed monster in human form has had her story told by us already. The parishioners seem, on this occasion, to have had no such scruples as had been exhibited by their predecessors a hundred and fifty years previous at the burial of Awfield, a traitor. We shall see presently that in those more remote days they were desirous of having at least respectable company for their deceased relatives and friends in the churchyard.

 

"For a long period," says Mr. Godwin (1838), "the church was surrounded by low mean buildings, by which its general appearance was hidden; but these having been cleared away, and the neighbourhood made considerably more open, St. Sepulchre's now forms a somewhat pleasing object, notwithstanding that the tower and a part of the porch are so entirely dissimilar in style to the remainder of the building." And since Godwin's writing the surroundings of the church have been so improved that perhaps few buildings in the metropolis stand more prominently before the public eye.

 

In the glorious roll of martyrs who have suffered at the stake for their religious principles, a vicar of St. Sepulchre's, the Reverend John Rogers, occupies a conspicuous place. He was the first who was burned in the reign of the Bloody Mary. This eminent person had at one time been chaplain to the English merchants at Antwerp, and while residing in that city had aided Tindal and Coverdale in their great work of translating the Bible. He married a German lady of good position, by whom he had a large family, and was enabled, by means of her relations, to reside in peace and safety in Germany. It appeared to be his duty, however, to return to England, and there publicly profess and advocate his religious convictions, even at the risk of death. He crossed the sea; he took his place in the pulpit at St. Paul's Cross; he preached a fearless and animated sermon, reminding his astonished audience of the pure and wholesome doctrine which had been promulgated from that pulpit in the days of the good King Edward, and solemnly warning them against the pestilent idolatry and superstition of these new times. It was his last sermon. He was apprehended, tried, condemned, and burned at Smithfield. We described, when speaking of Smithfield, the manner in which he met his fate.

 

Connected with the martyrdom of Rogers an odd circumstance is quoted in the "Churches of London." It is stated that when the bishops had resolved to put to death Joan Bocher, a friend came to Rogers and earnestly entreated his influence that the poor woman's life might be spared, and other means taken to prevent the spread of her heterodox doctrines. Rogers, however, contended that she should be executed; and his friend then begged him to choose some other kind of death, which should be more agreeable to the gentleness and mercy prescribed in the gospel. "No," replied Rogers, "burning alive is not a cruel death, but easy enough." His friend hearing these words, expressive of so little regard for the sufferings of a fellow-creature, answered him with great vehemence, at the same time striking Rogers' hand, "Well, it may perhaps so happen that you yourself shall have your hands full of this mild burning." There is no record of Rogers among the papers belonging to St. Sepulchre's, but this may easily be accounted for by the fact that at the Great Fire of 1666 nearly all the registers and archives were destroyed.

 

A noteworthy incident in the history of St. Sepulchre's was connected with the execution, in 1585, of Awfield, for "sparcinge abrood certen lewed, sedicious, and traytorous bookes." "When he was executed," says Fleetwood, the Recorder, in a letter to Lord Burleigh, July 7th of that year, "his body was brought unto St. Pulcher's to be buryed, but the parishioners would not suffer a traytor's corpse to be laid in the earth where their parents, wives, children, kindred, masters, and old neighbours did rest; and so his carcass was returned to the burial-ground near Tyburn, and there I leave it."

 

Another event in the history of the church is a tale of suicide. On the 10th of April, 1600, a man named William Dorrington threw himself from the roof of the tower, leaving there a prayer for forgiveness.

 

We come now to speak of the connection of St. Sepulchre's with the neighbouring prison of Newgate. Being the nearest church to the prison, that connection naturally was intimate. Its clock served to give the time to the hangman when there was an execution in the Old Bailey, and many a poor wretch's last moments must it have regulated.

 

On the right-hand side of the altar a board with a list of charitable donations and gifts used to contain the following item:—"1605. Mr. Robert Dowe gave, for ringing the greatest bell in this church on the day the condemned prisoners are executed, and for other services, for ever, concerning such condemned prisoners, for which services the sexton is paid £16s. 8d.—£50.

 

It was formerly the practice for the clerk or bellman of St. Sepulchre's to go under Newgate, on the night preceding the execution of a criminal, ring his bell, and repeat the following wholesome advice:—

 

"All you that in the condemned hold do lie,

Prepare you, for to-morrow you shall die;

Watch all, and pray, the hour is drawing near

That you before the Almighty must appear;

Examine well yourselves, in time repent,

That you may not to eternal flames be sent.

And when St. Sepulchre's bell to-morrow tolls,

The Lord above have mercy on your souls.

Past twelve o'clock!"

 

This practice is explained by a passage in Munday's edition of Stow, in which it is told that a Mr. John Dowe, citizen and merchant taylor of London, gave £50 to the parish church of St. Sepulchre's, under the following conditions:—After the several sessions of London, on the night before the execution of such as were condemned to death, the clerk of the church was to go in the night-time, and also early in the morning, to the window of the prison in which they were lying. He was there to ring "certain tolls with a hand-bell" appointed for the purpose, and was afterwards, in a most Christian manner, to put them in mind of their present condition and approaching end, and to exhort them to be prepared, as they ought to be, to die. When they were in the cart, and brought before the walls of the church, the clerk was to stand there ready with the same bell, and, after certain tolls, rehearse a prayer, desiring all the people there present to pray for the unfortunate criminals. The beadle, also, of Merchant Taylors' Hall was allowed an "honest stipend" to see that this ceremony was regularly performed.

 

The affecting admonition—"affectingly good," Pennant calls it—addressed to the prisoners in Newgate, on the night before execution, ran as follows:—

 

"You prisoners that are within,

Who, for wickedness and sin,

 

after many mercies shown you, are now appointed to die to-morrow in the forenoon; give ear and understand that, to-morrow morning, the greatest bell of St. Sepulchre's shall toll for you, in form and manner of a passing-bell, as used to be tolled for those that are at the point of death; to the end that all godly people, hearing that bell, and knowing it is for your going to your deaths, may be stirred up heartily to pray to God to bestow his grace and mercy upon you, whilst you live. I beseech you, for Jesus Christ's sake, to keep this night in watching and prayer, to the salvation of your own souls while there is yet time and place for mercy; as knowing to-morrow you must appear before the judgment-seat of your Creator, there to give an account of all things done in this life, and to suffer eternal torments for your sins committed against Him, unless, upon your hearty and unfeigned repentance, you find mercy through the merits, death, and passion of your only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return to Him."

 

And the following was the admonition to condemned criminals, as they were passing by St. Sepulchre's Church wall to execution:—" All good people, pray heartily unto God for these poor sinners, who are now going to their death, for whom this great bell doth toll.

 

"You that are condemned to die, repent with lamentable tears; ask mercy of the Lord, for the salvation of your own souls, through the [merits, death, and passion of Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return unto Him.

 

"Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you.

Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you."

 

The charitable Mr. Dowe, who took such interest in the last moments of the occupants of the condemned cell, was buried in the church of St. Botolph, Aldgate.

 

Another curious custom observed at St. Sepulchre's was the presentation of a nosegay to every criminal on his way to execution at Tyburn. No doubt the practice had its origin in some kindly feeling for the poor unfortunates who were so soon to bid farewell to all the beauties of earth. One of the last who received a nosegay from the steps of St. Sepulchre's was "Sixteen-string Jack," alias John Rann, who was hanged, in 1774, for robbing the Rev. Dr. Bell of his watch and eighteen pence in money, in Gunnersbury Lane, on the road to Brentford. Sixteen-string Jack wore the flowers in his button-hole as he rode dolefully to the gallows. This was witnessed by John Thomas Smith, who thus describes the scene in his admirable anecdotebook, "Nollekens and his Times:"—" I remember well, when I was in my eighth year, Mr. Nollekens calling at my father's house, in Great Portland Street, and taking us to Oxford Street, to see the notorious Jack Rann, commonly called Sixteenstring Jack, go to Tyburn to be hanged. … The criminal was dressed in a pea-green coat, with an immense nosegay in the button-hole, which had been presented to him at St. Sepulchre's steps; and his nankeen small-clothes, we were told, were tied at each knee with sixteen strings. After he had passed, and Mr. Nollekens was leading me home by the hand, I recollect his stooping down to me and observing, in a low tone of voice, 'Tom, now, my little man, if my father-in-law, Mr. Justice Welch, had been high constable, we could have walked by the side of the cart all the way to Tyburn.'"

 

When criminals were conveyed from Newgate to Tyburn, the cart passed up Giltspur Street, and through Smithfield, to Cow Lane. Skinner Street had not then been built, and the Crooked Lane which turned down by St. Sepulchre's, as well as Ozier Lane, did not afford sufficient width to admit of the cavalcade passing by either of them, with convenience, to Holborn Hill, or "the Heavy Hill," as it used to be called. The procession seems at no time to have had much of the solemn element about it. "The heroes of the day were often," says a popular writer, "on good terms with the mob, and jokes were exchanged between the men who were going to be hanged and the men who deserved to be."

 

"On St. Paul's Day," says Mr. Timbs (1868), "service is performed in St. Sepulchre's, in accordance with the will of Mr. Paul Jervis, who, in 1717, devised certain land in trust that a sermon should be preached in the church upon every Paul's Day upon the excellence of the liturgy o the Church of England; the preacher to receive 40s. for such sermon. Various sums are also bequeathed to the curate, the clerk, the treasurer, and masters of the parochial schools. To the poor of the parish he bequeathed 20s. a-piece to ten of the poorest householders within that part of the parish of St. Sepulchre commonly called Smithfield quarter, £4 to the treasurer of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and 6s. 8d. yearly to the clerk, who shall attend to receive the same. The residue of the yearly rents and profits is to be distributed unto and amongst such poor people of the parish of St. Sepulchre's, London, who shall attend the service and sermon. At the close of the service the vestry-clerk reads aloud an extract from the will, and then proceeds to the distribution of the money. In the evening the vicar, churchwardens, and common councilmen of the precinct dine together."

 

In 1749, a Mr. Drinkwater made a praiseworthy bequest. He left the parish of St. Sepulchre £500 to be lent in sums of £25 to industrious young tradesmen. No interest was to be charged, and the money was to be lent for four years.

 

Next to St. Sepulchre's, on Snow Hill, used to stand the famous old inn of the "Saracen's Head." It was only swept away within the last few years by the ruthless army of City improvers: a view of it in course of demolition was given on page 439. It was one of the oldest of the London inns which bore the "Saracen's Head" for a sign. One of Dick Tarlton's jests makes mention of the "Saracen's Head" without Newgate, and Stow, describing this neighbourhood, speaks particularly of "a fair large inn for receipt of travellers" that "hath to sign the 'Saracen's Head.'" The courtyard had, to the last, many of the characteristics of an old English inn; there were galleries all round leading to the bedrooms, and a spacious gateway through which the dusty mail-coaches used to rumble, the tired passengers creeping forth "thanking their stars in having escaped the highwaymen and the holes and sloughs of the road." Into that courtyard how many have come on their first arrival in London with hearts beating high with hope, some of whom have risen to be aldermen and sit in state as lord mayor, whilst others have gone the way of the idle apprentice and come to a sad end at Tyburn! It was at this inn that Nicholas Nickleby and his uncle waited upon the Yorkshire schoolmaster Squeers, of Dotheboys Hall. Mr. Dickens describes the tavern as it existed in the last days of mail-coaching, when it was a most important place for arrivals and departures in London:—

 

"Next to the jail, and by consequence near to Smithfield also, and the Compter and the bustle and noise of the City, and just on that particular part of Snow Hill where omnibus horses going eastwards seriously think of falling down on purpose, and where horses in hackney cabriolets going westwards not unfrequently fall by accident, is the coach-yard of the 'Saracen's Head' inn, its portals guarded by two Saracen's heads and shoulders, which it was once the pride and glory of the choice spirits of this metropolis to pull down at night, but which have for some time remained in undisturbed tranquillity, possibly because this species of humour is now confined to St. James's parish, where doorknockers are preferred as being more portable, and bell-wires esteemed as convenient tooth-picks. Whether this be the reason or not, there they are, frowning upon you from each side of the gateway; and the inn itself, garnished with another Saracen's head, frowns upon you from the top of the yard; while from the door of the hind-boot of all the red coaches that are standing therein, there glares a small Saracen's head with a twin expression to the large Saracen's head below, so that the general appearance of the pile is of the Saracenic order."

 

To explain the use of the Saracen's head as an inn sign various reasons have been given. "When our countrymen," says Selden, "came home from fighting with the Saracens and were beaten by them, they pictured them with huge, big, terrible faces (as you still see the 'Saracen's Head' is), when in truth they were like other men. But this they did to save their own credit." Or the sign may have been adopted by those who had visited the Holy Land either as pilgrims or to fight the Saracens. Others, again, hold that it was first set up in compliment to the mother of Thomas à Becket, who was the daughter of a Saracen. However this may be, it is certain that the use of the sign in former days was very general.

 

Running past the east end of St. Sepulchre's, from Newgate into West Smithfield, is Giltspur Street, anciently called Knightriders Street. This interesting thoroughfare derives its name from the knights with their gilt spurs having been accustomed to ride this way to the jousts and tournaments which in days of old were held in Smithfield.

 

In this street was Giltspur Street Compter, a debtors' prison and house of correction appertaining to the sheriffs of London and Middlesex. It stood over against St. Sepulchre's Church, and was removed hither from the east side of Wood Street, Cheapside, in 1791. At the time of its removal it was used as a place of imprisonment for debtors, but the yearly increasing demands upon the contracted space caused that department to be given up, and City debtors were sent to Whitecross Street. The architect was Dance, to whom we are also indebted for the grim pile of Newgate. The Compter was a dirty and appropriately convictlooking edifice. It was pulled down in 1855. Mr. Hepworth Dixon gave an interesting account of this City House of Correction, not long before its demolition, in his "London Prisons" (1850). "Entering," he says, "at the door facing St. Sepulchre's, the visitor suddenly finds himself in a low dark passage, leading into the offices of the gaol, and branching off into other passages, darker, closer, more replete with noxious smells, than even those of Newgate. This is the fitting prelude to what follows. The prison, it must be noticed, is divided into two principal divisions, the House of Correction and the Compter. The front in Giltspur Street, and the side nearest to Newgate Street, is called the Compter. In its wards are placed detenues of various kinds—remands, committals from the police-courts, and generally persons waiting for trial, and consequently still unconvicted. The other department, the House of Correction, occupies the back portion of the premises, abutting on Christ's Hospital. Curious it is to consider how thin a wall divides these widely-separate worlds! And sorrowful it is to think what a difference of destiny awaits the children—destiny inexorable, though often unearned in either case—who, on the one side of it or the other, receive an eleemosynary education! The collegian and the criminal! Who shall say how much mere accident— circumstances over which the child has little power —determines to a life of usefulness or mischief? From the yards of Giltspur Street prison almost the only objects visible, outside of the gaol itself, are the towers of Christ's Hospital; the only sounds audible, the shouts of the scholars at their play. The balls of the hospital boys often fall within the yards of the prison. Whether these sights and sounds ever cause the criminal to pause and reflect upon the courses of his life, we will not say, but the stranger visiting the place will be very apt to think for him. …

 

"In the department of the prison called the House of Correction, minor offenders within the City of London are imprisoned. No transports are sent hither, nor is any person whose sentence is above three years in length." This able writer then goes on to tell of the many crying evils connected with the institution—the want of air, the over-crowded state of the rooms, the absence of proper cellular accommodation, and the vicious intercourse carried on amongst the prisoners. The entire gaol, when he wrote, only contained thirty-six separate sleeping-rooms. Now by the highest prison calculation—and this, be it noted, proceeds on the assumption that three persons can sleep in small, miserable, unventilated cells, which are built for only one, and are too confined for that, being only about one-half the size of the model cell for one at Pentonville—it was only capable of accommodating 203 prisoners, yet by the returns issued at Michaelmas, 1850, it contained 246!

 

A large section of the prison used to be devoted to female delinquents, but lately it was almost entirely given up to male offenders.

 

"The House of Correction, and the Compter portion of the establishment," says Mr. Dixon, "are kept quite distinct, but it would be difficult to award the palm of empire in their respective facilities for demoralisation. We think the Compter rather the worse of the two. You are shown into a room, about the size of an apartment in an ordinary dwelling-house, which will be found crowded with from thirty to forty persons, young and old, and in their ordinary costume; the low thief in his filth and rags, and the member of the swell-mob with his bright buttons, flash finery, and false jewels. Here you notice the boy who has just been guilty of his first offence, and committed for trial, learning with a greedy mind a thousand criminal arts, and listening with the precocious instinct of guilty passions to stories and conversations the most depraved and disgusting. You regard him with a mixture of pity and loathing, for he knows that the eyes of his peers are upon him, and he stares at you with a familiar impudence, and exhibits a devil-may-care countenance, such as is only to be met with in the juvenile offender. Here, too, may be seen the young clerk, taken up on suspicion—perhaps innocent—who avoids you with a shy look of pain and uneasiness: what a hell must this prison be to him! How frightful it is to think of a person really untainted with crime, compelled to herd for ten or twenty days with these abandoned wretches!

 

"On the other, the House of Correction side of the gaol, similar rooms will be found, full of prisoners communicating with each other, laughing and shouting without hindrance. All this is so little in accordance with existing notions of prison discipline, that one is continually fancying these disgraceful scenes cannot be in the capital of England, and in the year of grace 1850. Very few of the prisoners attend school or receive any instruction; neither is any kind of employment afforded them, except oakum-picking, and the still more disgusting labour of the treadmill. When at work, an officer is in attendance to prevent disorderly conduct; but his presence is of no avail as a protection to the less depraved. Conversation still goes on; and every facility is afforded for making acquaintances, and for mutual contamination."

 

After having long been branded by intelligent inspectors as a disgrace to the metropolis, Giltspur Street Compter was condemned, closed in 1854, and subsequently taken down.

 

Nearly opposite what used to be the site of the Compter, and adjoining Cock Lane, is the spot called Pie Corner, near which terminated the Great Fire of 1666. The fire commenced at Pudding Lane, it will be remembered, so it was singularly appropriate that it should terminate at Pie Corner. Under the date of 4th September, 1666, Pepys, in his "Diary," records that "W. Hewer this day went to see how his mother did, and comes home late, telling us how he hath been forced to remove her to Islington, her house in Pye Corner being burned; so that the fire is got so far that way." The figure of a fat naked boy stands over a public house at the corner of the lane; it used to have the following warning inscription attached:— "This boy is in memory put up of the late fire of London, occasioned by the sin of gluttony, 1666." According to Stow, Pie Corner derived its name from the sign of a well-frequented hostelry, which anciently stood on the spot. Strype makes honourable mention of Pie Corner, as "noted chiefly for cooks' shops and pigs dressed there during Bartholomew Fair." Our old writers have many references—and not all, by the way, in the best taste—to its cookstalls and dressed pork. Shadwell, for instance, in the Woman Captain (1680) speaks of "meat dressed at Pie Corner by greasy scullions;" and Ben Jonson writes in the Alchemist (1612)—

 

"I shall put you in mind, sir, at Pie Corner,

Taking your meal of steam in from cooks' stalls."

 

And in "The Great Boobee" ("Roxburgh Ballads"):

 

"Next day I through Pie Corner passed;

The roast meat on the stall

Invited me to take a taste;

My money was but small."

 

But Pie Corner seems to have been noted for more than eatables. A ballad from Tom D'Urfey's "Pills to Purge Melancholy," describing Bartholomew Fair, eleven years before the Fire of London, says:—

 

"At Pie-Corner end, mark well my good friend,

'Tis a very fine dirty place;

Where there's more arrows and bows. …

Than was handled at Chivy Chase."

 

We have already given a view of Pie Corner in our chapter on Smithfield, page 361.

 

Hosier Lane, running from Cow Lane to Smithfield, and almost parallel to Cock Lane, is described by "R. B.," in Strype, as a place not over-well built or inhabited. The houses were all old timber erections. Some of these—those standing at the south corner of the lane—were in the beginning of this century depicted by Mr. J. T. Smith, in his "Ancient Topography of London." He describes them as probably of the reign of James I. The rooms were small, with low, unornamented ceilings; the timber, oak, profusely used; the gables were plain, and the walls lath and plaster. They were taken down in 1809.

 

In the corner house, in Mr. Smith's time, there was a barber whose name was Catchpole; at least, so it was written over the door. He was rather an odd fellow, and possessed, according to his own account, a famous relic of antiquity. He would gravely show his customers a short-bladed instrument, as the identical dagger with which Walworth killed Wat Tyler.

 

Hosier Lane, like Pie Corner, used to be a great resort during the time of Bartholomew Fair, "all the houses," it is said in Strype, "generally being made public for tippling."

 

We return now from our excursion to the north of St. Sepulchre's, and continue our rambles to the west, and before speaking of what is, let us refer to what has been.

 

Turnagain Lane is not far from this. "Near unto this Seacoal Lane," remarks Stow, "in the turning towards Holborn Conduit, is Turnagain Lane, or rather, as in a record of the 5th of Edward III., Windagain Lane, for that it goeth down west to Fleet Dyke, from whence men must turn again the same way they came, but there it stopped." There used to be a proverb, "He must take him a house in Turnagain Lane."

 

A conduit formerly stood on Snow Hill, a little below the church. It is described as a building with four equal sides, ornamented with four columns and pediment, surmounted by a pyramid, on which stood a lamb—a rebus on the name of Lamb, from whose conduit in Red Lion Street the water came. There had been a conduit there, however, before Lamb's day, which was towards the close of the sixteenth century.

 

At No. 37, King Street, Snow Hill, there used to be a ladies' charity school, which was established in 1702, and remained in the parish 145 years. Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale were subscribers to this school, and Johnson drew from it his story of Betty Broom, in "The Idler." The world of domestic service, in Betty's days, seems to have been pretty much as now. Betty was a poor girl, bred in the country at a charity-school, maintained by the contributions of wealthy neighbours. The patronesses visited the school from time to time, to see how the pupils got on, and everything went well, till "at last, the chief of the subscribers having passed a winter in London, came down full of an opinion new and strange to the whole country. She held it little less than criminal to teach poor girls to read and write. They who are born to poverty, she said, are born to ignorance, and will work the harder the less they know. She told her friends that London was in confusion by the insolence of servants; that scarcely a girl could be got for all-work, since education had made such numbers of fine ladies, that nobody would now accept a lower title than that of a waiting-maid, or something that might qualify her to wear laced shoes and long ruffles, and to sit at work in the parlour window. But she was resolved, for her part, to spoil no more girls. Those who were to live by their hands should neither read nor write out of her pocket. The world was bad enough already, and she would have no part in making it worse.

 

"She was for a long time warmly opposed; but she persevered in her notions, and withdrew her subscription. Few listen, without a desire of conviction, to those who advise them to spare their money. Her example and her arguments gained ground daily; and in less than a year the whole parish was convinced that the nation would be ruined if the children of the poor were taught to read and write." So the school was dissolved, and Betty with the rest was turned adrift into the wide and cold world; and her adventures there any one may read in "The Idler" for himself.

 

There is an entry in the school minutes of 1763, to the effect that the ladies of the committee censured the schoolmistress for listening to the story of the Cock Lane ghost, and "desired her to keep her belief in the article to herself."

 

Skinner Street—now one of the names of the past—which ran by the south side of St. Sepulchre's, and formed the connecting link between Newgate Street and Holborn, received its name from Alderman Skinner, through whose exertions, about 1802, it was principally built. The following account of Skinner Street is from the picturesque pen of Mr. William Harvey ("Aleph"), whose long familiarity with the places he describes renders doubly valuable his many contributions to the history of London scenes and people:—"As a building speculation," he says, writing in 1863, "it was a failure. When the buildings were ready for occupation, tall and substantial as they really were, the high rents frightened intending shopkeepers. Tenants were not to be had; and in order to get over the money difficulty, a lottery, sanctioned by Parliament, was commenced. Lotteries were then common tricks of finance, and nobody wondered at the new venture; but even the most desperate fortune-hunters were slow to invest their capital, and the tickets hung sadly on hand. The day for the drawing was postponed several times, and when it came, there was little or no excitement on the subject, and whoever rejoiced in becoming a house-owner on such easy terms, the original projectors and builders were understood to have suffered considerably. The winners found the property in a very unfinished condition. Few of the dwellings were habitable, and as funds were often wanting, a majority of the houses remained empty, and the shops unopened. After two or three years things began to improve; the vast many-storeyed house which then covered the site of Commercial Place was converted into a warehousing depôt; a capital house opposite the 'Saracen's Head' was taken by a hosier of the name of Theobald, who, opening his shop with the determination of selling the best hosiery, and nothing else, was able to convince the citizens that his hose was first-rate, and, desiring only a living profit, succeeded, after thirty years of unwearied industry, in accumulating a large fortune. Theobald was possessed of literary tastes, and at the sale of Sir Walter Scott's manuscripts was a liberal purchaser. He also collected a library of exceedingly choice books, and when aristocratic customers purchased stockings of him, was soon able to interest them in matters of far higher interest…

 

"The most remarkable shop—but it was on the left-hand side, at a corner house—was that established for the sale of children's books. It boasted an immense extent of window-front, extending from the entrance into Snow Hill, and towards Fleet Market. Many a time have I lingered with loving eyes over those fascinating story-books, so rich in gaily-coloured prints; such careful editions of the marvellous old histories, 'Puss in Boots,' 'Cock Robin,' 'Cinderella,' and the like. Fortunately the front was kept low, so as exactly to suit the capacity of a childish admirer. . . . . But Skinner Street did not prosper much, and never could compete with even the dullest portions of Holborn. I have spoken of some reputable shops; but you know the proverb, 'One swallow will not make a summer,' and it was a declining neighbourhood almost before it could be called new. In 1810 the commercial depôt, which had been erected at a cost of £25,000, and was the chief prize in the lottery, was destroyed by fire, never to be rebuilt—a heavy blow and discouragement to Skinner Street, from which it never rallied. Perhaps the periodical hanging-days exercised an unfavourable influence, collecting, as they frequently did, all the thieves and vagabonds of London. I never sympathised with Pepys or Charles Fox in their passion for public executions, and made it a point to avoid those ghastly sights; but early of a Monday morning, when I had just reached the end of Giltspur Street, a miserable wretch had just been turned off from the platform of the debtors' door, and I was made the unwilling witness of his last struggles. That scene haunted me for months, and I often used to ask myself, 'Who that could help it would live in Skinner Street?' The next unpropitious event in these parts was the unexpected closing of the child's library. What could it mean? Such a well-to-do establishment shut up? Yes, the whole army of shutters looked blankly on the inquirer, and forbade even a single glance at 'Sinbad' or 'Robinson Crusoe.' It would soon be re-opened, we naturally thought; but the shutters never came down again. The whole house was deserted; not even a messenger in bankruptcy, or an ancient Charley, was found to regard the playful double knocks of the neighbouring juveniles. Gradually the glass of all the windows got broken in, a heavy cloud of black dust, solidifying into inches thick, gathered on sills and doors and brickwork, till the whole frontage grew as gloomy as Giant Despair's Castle. Not long after, the adjoining houses shared the same fate, and they remained from year to year without the slightest sign of life—absolute scarecrows, darkening with their uncomfortable shadows the busy streets. Within half a mile, in Stamford Street, Blackfriars, there are (1863) seven houses in a similar predicament— window-glass demolished, doors cracked from top to bottom, spiders' webs hanging from every projecting sill or parapet. What can it mean? The loss in the article of rents alone must be over £1,000 annually. If the real owners are at feud with imaginary owners, surely the property might be rendered valuable, and the proceeds invested. Even the lawyers can derive no profit from such hopeless abandonment. I am told the whole mischief arose out of a Chancery suit. Can it be the famous 'Jarndyce v. Jarndyce' case? And have all the heirs starved each other out? If so, what hinders our lady the Queen from taking possession? Any change would be an improvement, for these dead houses make the streets they cumber as dispiriting and comfortless as graveyards. Busy fancy will sometimes people them, and fill the dreary rooms with strange guests. Do the victims of guilt congregate in these dark dens? Do wretches 'unfriended by the world or the world's law,' seek refuge in these deserted nooks, mourning in the silence of despair over their former lives, and anticipating the future in unappeasable agony? Such things have been—the silence and desolation of these doomed dwellings make them the more suitable for such tenants."

 

A street is nothing without a mystery, so a mystery let these old tumble-down houses remain, whilst we go on to tell that, in front of No. 58, the sailor Cashman was hung in 1817, as we have already mentioned, for plundering a gunsmith's shop there. William Godwin, the author of "Caleb Williams," kept a bookseller's shop for several years in Skinner Street, at No. 41, and published school-books in the name of Edward Baldwin. On the wall there was a stone carving of Æsop reciting one of his fables to children.

 

The most noteworthy event of the life of Godwin was his marriage with the celebrated Mary Wollstonecraft, authoress of a "Vindication of the Rights of Women," whose congenial mind, in politics and morals, he ardently admired. Godwin's account of the way in which they got on together is worth reading:—"Ours," he writes, "was not an idle happiness, a paradise of selfish and transitory pleasures. It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to mention, that influenced by ideas I had long entertained, I engaged an apartment about twenty doors from our house, in the Polygon, Somers Town, which I designed for the purpose of my study and literary occupations. Trifles, however, will be interesting to some readers, when they relate to the last period of the life of such a person as Mary. I will add, therefore, that we were both of us of opinion, that it was possible for two persons to be too uniformly in each other's society. Influenced by that opinion, it was my practice to repair to the apartment I have mentioned as soon as I rose, and frequently not to make my appearance in the Polygon till the hour of dinner. We agreed in condemning the notion, prevalent in many situations in life, that a man and his wife cannot visit in mixed society but in company with each other, and we rather sought occasions of deviating from than of complying with this rule. By this means, though, for the most part, we spent the latter half of each day in one another's society, yet we were in no danger of satiety. We seemed to combine, in a considerable degree, the novelty and lively sensation of a visit with the more delicious and heartfelt pleasure of a domestic life."

 

This philosophic union, to Godwin's inexpressible affliction, did not last more than eighteen months, at the end of which time Mrs. Godwin died, leaving an only daughter, who in the course of time became the second wife of the poet Shelley, and was the author of the wild and extraordinary tale of "Frankenstein."

 

www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45116

With the rain falling harder, it was a bit of a route march to Holborn and my next church, the stunning St Sepulchre, which was also open.

 

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St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Holborn), is an Anglican church in the City of London. It is located on Holborn Viaduct, almost opposite the Old Bailey. In medieval times it stood just outside ("without") the now-demolished old city wall, near the Newgate. It has been a living of St John's College, Oxford, since 1622.

 

The original Saxon church on the site was dedicated to St Edmund the King and Martyr. During the Crusades in the 12th century the church was renamed St Edmund and the Holy Sepulchre, in reference to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The name eventually became contracted to St Sepulchre.

 

The church is today the largest parish church in the City. It was completely rebuilt in the 15th century but was gutted by the Great Fire of London in 1666,[1] which left only the outer walls, the tower and the porch standing[2] -. Modified in the 18th century, the church underwent extensive restoration in 1878. It narrowly avoided destruction in the Second World War, although the 18th-century watch-house in its churchyard (erected to deter grave-robbers) was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt.

 

The interior of the church is a wide, roomy space with a coffered ceiling[3] installed in 1834. The Vicars' old residence has recently been renovated into a modern living quarter.

 

During the reign of Mary I in 1555, St Sepulchre's vicar, John Rogers, was burned as a heretic.

 

St Sepulchre is named in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons as the "bells of Old Bailey". Traditionally, the great bell would be rung to mark the execution of a prisoner at the nearby gallows at Newgate. The clerk of St Sepulchre's was also responsible for ringing a handbell outside the condemned man's cell in Newgate Prison to inform him of his impending execution. This handbell, known as the Execution Bell, now resides in a glass case to the south of the nave.

 

The church has been the official musicians' church for many years and is associated with many famous musicians. Its north aisle (formerly a chapel dedicated to Stephen Harding) is dedicated as the Musicians' Chapel, with four windows commemorating John Ireland, the singer Dame Nellie Melba, Walter Carroll and the conductor Sir Henry Wood respectively.[4] Wood, who "at the age of fourteen, learned to play the organ" at this church [1] and later became its organist, also has his ashes buried in this church.

 

The south aisle of the church holds the regimental chapel of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), and its gardens are a memorial garden to that regiment.[5] The west end of the north aisle has various memorials connected with the City of London Rifles (the 6th Battalion London Regiment). The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Sepulchre-without-Newgate

 

The Early History of St. Sepulchre's—Its Destruction in 1666—The Exterior and Interior—The Early Popularity of the Church—Interments here—Roger Ascham, the Author of the "Schoolmaster"—Captain John Smith, and his Romantic Adventures—Saved by an Indian Girl— St. Sepulchre's Churchyard—Accommodation for a Murderess—The Martyr Rogers—An Odd Circumstance—Good Company for the Dead—A Leap from the Tower—A Warning Bell and a Last Admonition—Nosegays for the Condemned—The Route to the Gallows-tree— The Deeds of the Charitable—The "Saracen's Head"—Description by Dickens—Giltspur Street—Giltspur Street Compter—A Disreputable Condition—Pie Corner—Hosier Lane—A Spurious Relic—The Conduit on Snow Hill—A Ladies' Charity School—Turnagain Lane—Poor Betty!—A Schoolmistress Censured—Skinner Street—Unpropitious Fortune—William Godwin—An Original Married Life.

 

Many interesting associations—Principally, however, connected with the annals of crime and the execution of the laws of England—belong to the Church of St. Sepulchre, or St. 'Pulchre. This sacred edifice—anciently known as St. Sepulchre's in the Bailey, or by Chamberlain Gate (now Newgate)—stands at the eastern end of the slight acclivity of Snow Hill, and between Smithfield and the Old Bailey. The genuine materials for its early history are scanty enough. It was probably founded about the commencement of the twelfth century, but of the exact date and circumstances of its origin there is no record whatever. Its name is derived from the Holy Sepulchre of our Saviour at Jerusalem, to the memory of which it was first dedicated.

 

The earliest authentic notice of the church, according to Maitland, is of the year 1178, at which date it was given by Roger, Bishop of Sarum, to the Prior and Canons of St. Bartholomew. These held the right of advowson until the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII., and from that time until 1610 it remained in the hands of the Crown. James I., however, then granted "the rectory and its appurtenances, with the advowson of the vicarage," to Francis Phillips and others. The next stage in its history is that the rectory was purchased by the parishioners, to be held in fee-farm of the Crown, and the advowson was obtained by the President and Fellows of St. John the Baptist College, at Oxford.

 

The church was rebuilt about the middle of the fifteenth century, when one of the Popham family, who had been Chancellor of Normandy and Treasurer of the King's Household, with distinguished liberality erected a handsome chapel on the south side of the choir, and the very beautiful porch still remaining at the south-west corner of the building. "His image," Stow says, "fair graven in stone, was fixed over the said porch."

 

The dreadful fire of 1666 almost destroyed St. Sepulchre's, but the parishioners set energetically to work, and it was "rebuilt and beautified both within and without." The general reparation was under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren, and nothing but the walls of the old building, and these not entirely, were suffered to remain. The work was done rapidly, and the whole was completed within four years.

 

"The tower," says Mr. Godwin, "retained its original aspect, and the body of the church, after its restoration, presented a series of windows between buttresses, with pointed heads filled with tracery, crowned by a string-course and battlements. In this form it remained till the year 1790, when it appears the whole fabric was found to be in a state of great decay, and it was resolved to repair it throughout. Accordingly the walls of the church were cased with Portland stone, and all the windows were taken out and replaced by others with plain semi-circular heads, as now seen—certainly agreeing but badly with the tower and porch of the building, but according with the then prevailing spirit of economy. The battlements, too, were taken down, and a plain stone parapet was substituted, so that at this time (with the exception of the roof, which was wagon-headed, and presented on the outside an unsightly swell, visible above the parapet) the church assumed its present appearance." The ungainly roof was removed, and an entirely new one erected, about 1836.

 

At each corner of the tower—"one of the most ancient," says the author of "Londinium Redivivum," "in the outline of the circuit of London" —there are spires, and on the spires there are weathercocks. These have been made use of by Howell to point a moral: "Unreasonable people," says he, "are as hard to reconcile as the vanes of St. Sepulchre's tower, which never look all four upon one point of the heavens." Nothing can be said with certainty as to the date of the tower, but it is not without the bounds of probability that it formed part of the original building. The belfry is reached by a small winding staircase in the south-west angle, and a similar staircase in an opposite angle leads to the summit. The spires at the corners, and some of the tower windows, have very recently undergone several alterations, which have added much to the picturesqueness and beauty of the church.

 

The chief entrance to St. Sepulchre's is by a porch of singular beauty, projecting from the south side of the tower, at the western end of the church. The groining of the ceiling of this porch, it has been pointed out, takes an almost unique form; the ribs are carved in bold relief, and the bosses at the intersections represent angels' heads, shields, roses, &c., in great variety.

 

Coming now to the interior of the church, we find it divided into three aisles, by two ranges of Tuscan columns. The aisles are of unequal widths, that in the centre being the widest, that to the south the narrowest. Semi-circular arches connect the columns on either side, springing directly from their capitals, without the interposition of an entablature, and support a large dental cornice, extending round the church. The ceiling of the middle aisle is divided into seven compartments, by horizontal bands, the middle compartment being formed into a small dome.

 

The aisles have groined ceilings, ornamented at the angles with doves, &c., and beneath every division of the groining are small windows, to admit light to the galleries. Over each of the aisles there is a gallery, very clumsily introduced, which dates from the time when the church was built by Wren, and extends the whole length, excepting at the chancel. The front of the gallery, which is of oak, is described by Mr. Godwin as carved into scrolls, branches, &c., in the centre panel, on either side, with the initials "C. R.," enriched with carvings of laurel, which have, however, he says, "but little merit."

 

At the east end of the church there are three semicircular-headed windows. Beneath the centre one is a large Corinthian altar-piece of oak, displaying columns, entablatures, &c., elaborately carved and gilded.

 

The length of the church, exclusive of the ambulatory, is said to be 126 feet, the breadth 68 feet, and the height of the tower 140 feet.

 

A singularly ugly sounding-board, extending over the preacher, used to stand at the back of the pulpit, at the east end of the church. It was in the shape of a large parabolic reflector, about twelve feet in diameter, and was composed of ribs of mahogany.

 

At the west end of the church there is a large organ, said to be the oldest and one of the finest in London. It was built in 1677, and has been greatly enlarged. Its reed-stops (hautboy, clarinet, &c.) are supposed to be unrivalled. In Newcourt's time the church was taken notice of as "remarkable for possessing an exceedingly fine organ, and the playing is thought so beautiful, that large congregations are attracted, though some of the parishioners object to the mode of performing divine service."

 

On the north side of the church, Mr. Godwin mentions, is a large apartment known as "St. Stephen's Chapel." This building evidently formed a somewhat important part of the old church, and was probably appropriated to the votaries of the saint whose name it bears.

 

Between the exterior and the interior of the church there is little harmony. "For example," says Mr. Godwin, "the columns which form the south aisle face, in some instances, the centre of the large windows which occur in the external wall of the church, and in others the centre of the piers, indifferently." This discordance may likely enough have arisen from the fact that when the church was rebuilt, or rather restored, after the Great Fire, the works were done without much attention from Sir Christopher Wren.

 

St. Sepulchre's appears to have enjoyed considerable popularity from the earliest period of its history, if one is to judge from the various sums left by well-disposed persons for the support of certain fraternities founded in the church—namely, those of St. Katherine, St. Michael, St. Anne, and Our Lady—and by others, for the maintenance of chantry priests to celebrate masses at stated intervals for the good of their souls. One of the fraternities just named—that of St. Katherine— originated, according to Stow, in the devotion of some poor persons in the parish, and was in honour of the conception of the Virgin Mary. They met in the church on the day of the Conception, and there had the mass of the day, and offered to the same, and provided a certain chaplain daily to celebrate divine service, and to set up wax lights before the image belonging to the fraternity, on all festival days.

 

The most famous of all who have been interred in St. Sepulchre's is Roger Ascham, the author of the "Schoolmaster," and the instructor of Queen Elizabeth in Greek and Latin. This learned old worthy was born in 1515, near Northallerton, in Yorkshire. He was educated at Cambridge University, and in time rose to be the university orator, being notably zealous in promoting what was then a novelty in England—the study of the Greek language. To divert himself after the fatigue of severe study, he used to devote himself to archery. This drew down upon him the censure of the all-work-and-no-play school; and in defence of himself, Ascham, in 1545, published "Toxophilus," a treatise on his favourite sport. This book is even yet well worthy of perusal, for its enthusiasm, and for its curious descriptions of the personal appearance and manners of the principal persons whom the author had seen and conversed with. Henry VIII. rewarded him with a pension of £10 per annum, a considerable sum in those days. In 1548, Ascham, on the death of William Grindall, who had been his pupil, was appointed instructor in the learned languages to Lady Elizabeth, afterwards the good Queen Bess. At the end of two years he had some dispute with, or took a disgust at, Lady Elizabeth's attendants, resigned his situation, and returned to his college. Soon after this he was employed as secretary to the English ambassador at the court of Charles V. of Germany, and remained abroad till the death of Edward VI. During his absence he had been appointed Latin secretary to King Edward. Strangely enough, though Queen Mary and her ministers were Papists, and Ascham a Protestant, he was retained in his office of Latin secretary, his pension was increased to £20, and he was allowed to retain his fellowship and his situation as university orator. In 1554 he married a lady of good family, by whom he had a considerable fortune, and of whom, in writing to a friend, he gives, as might perhaps be expected, an excellent character. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, in 1558, she not only required his services as Latin secretary, but as her instructor in Greek, and he resided at Court during the remainder of his life. He died in consequence of his endeavours to complete a Latin poem which he intended to present to the queen on the New Year's Day of 1569. He breathed his last two days before 1568 ran out, and was interred, according to his own directions, in the most private manner, in St. Sepulchre's Church, his funeral sermon being preached by Dr. Andrew Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's. He was universally lamented; and even the queen herself not only showed great concern, but was pleased to say that she would rather have lost ten thousand pounds than her tutor Ascham, which, from that somewhat closehanded sovereign, was truly an expression of high regard.

 

Ascham, like most men, had his little weaknesses. He had too great a propensity to dice and cock-fighting. Bishop Nicholson would try to convince us that this is an unfounded calumny, but, as it is mentioned by Camden, and other contemporary writers, it seems impossible to deny it. He died, from all accounts, in indifferent circumstances. "Whether," says Dr. Johnson, referring to this, "Ascham was poor by his own fault, or the fault of others, cannot now be decided; but it is certain that many have been rich with less merit. His philological learning would have gained him honour in any country; and among us it may justly call for that reverence which all nations owe to those who first rouse them from ignorance, and kindle among them the light of literature." His most valuable work, "The Schoolmaster," was published by his widow. The nature of this celebrated performance may be gathered from the title: "The Schoolmaster; or a plain and perfite way of teaching children to understand, write, and speak the Latin tongue. … And commodious also for all such as have forgot the Latin tongue, and would by themselves, without a schoolmaster, in short time, and with small pains, recover a sufficient habilitie to understand, write, and speak Latin: by Roger Ascham, ann. 1570. At London, printed by John Daye, dwelling over Aldersgate," a printer, by the way, already mentioned by us a few chapters back (see page 208), as having printed several noted works of the sixteenth century.

 

Dr. Johnson remarks that the instruction recommended in "The Schoolmaster" is perhaps the best ever given for the study of languages.

 

Here also lies buried Captain John Smith, a conspicuous soldier of fortune, whose romantic adventures and daring exploits have rarely been surpassed. He died on the 21st of June, 1631. This valiant captain was born at Willoughby, in the county of Lincoln, and helped by his doings to enliven the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. He had a share in the wars of Hungary in 1602, and in three single combats overcame three Turks, and cut off their heads. For this, and other equally brave deeds, Sigismund, Duke of Transylvania, gave him his picture set in gold, with a pension of three hundred ducats; and allowed him to bear three Turks' heads proper as his shield of arms. He afterwards went to America, where he had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Indians. He escaped from them, however, at last, and resumed his brilliant career by hazarding his life in naval engagements with pirates and Spanish men-of-war. The most important act of his life was the share he had in civilising the natives of New England, and reducing that province to obedience to Great Britain. In connection with his tomb in St. Sepulchre's, he is mentioned by Stow, in his "Survey," as "some time Governor of Virginia and Admiral of New England."

 

Certainly the most interesting events of his chequered career were his capture by the Indians, and the saving of his life by the Indian girl Pocahontas, a story of adventure that charms as often as it is told. Bancroft, the historian of the United States, relates how, during the early settlement of Virginia, Smith left the infant colony on an exploring expedition, and not only ascended the river Chickahominy, but struck into the interior. His companions disobeyed his instructions, and being surprised by the Indians, were put to death. Smith preserved his own life by calmness and self-possession. Displaying a pocket-compass, he amused the savages by an explanation of its power, and increased their admiration of his superior genius by imparting to them some vague conceptions of the form of the earth, and the nature of the planetary system. To the Indians, who retained him as their prisoner, his captivity was a more strange event than anything of which the traditions of their tribes preserved the memory. He was allowed to send a letter to the fort at Jamestown, and the savage wonder was increased, for he seemed by some magic to endow the paper with the gift of intelligence. It was evident that their captive was a being of a high order, and then the question arose, Was his nature beneficent, or was he to be dreaded as a dangerous enemy? Their minds were bewildered, and the decision of his fate was referred to the chief Powhatan, and before Powhatan Smith was brought. "The fears of the feeble aborigines," says Bancroft, "were about to prevail, and his immediate death, already repeatedly threatened and repeatedly delayed, would have been inevitable, but for the timely intercession of Pocahontas, a girl twelve years old, the daughter of Powhatan, whose confiding fondness Smith had easily won, and who firmly clung to his neck, as his head was bowed down to receive the stroke of the tomahawks. His fearlessness, and her entreaties, persuaded the council to spare the agreeable stranger, who could make hatchets for her father, and rattles and strings of beads for herself, the favourite child. The barbarians, whose decision had long been held in suspense by the mysterious awe which Smith had inspired, now resolved to receive him as a friend, and to make him a partner of their councils. They tempted him to join their bands, and lend assistance in an attack upon the white men at Jamestown; and when his decision of character succeeded in changing the current of their thoughts, they dismissed him with mutual promises of friendship and benevolence. Thus the captivity of Smith did itself become a benefit to the colony; for he had not only observed with care the country between the James and the Potomac, and had gained some knowledge of the language and manners of the natives, but he now established a peaceful intercourse between the English and the tribes of Powhatan."

 

On the monument erected to Smith in St. Sepulchre's Church, the following quaint lines were formerly inscribed:—

 

"Here lies one conquered that hath conquered kings,

Subdued large territories, and done things

Which to the world impossible would seem,

But that the truth is held in more esteem.

Shall I report his former service done,

In honour of his God, and Christendom?

How that he did divide, from pagans three,

Their heads and lives, types of his chivalry?—

For which great service, in that climate done,

Brave Sigismundus, King of Hungarion,

Did give him, as a coat of arms, to wear

These conquered heads, got by his sword and spear.

Or shall I tell of his adventures since

Done in Virginia, that large continent?

How that he subdued kings unto his yoke,

And made those heathens flee, as wind doth smoke;

And made their land, being so large a station,

An habitation for our Christian nation,

Where God is glorified, their wants supplied;

Which else for necessaries, must have died.

But what avails his conquests, now he lies

Interred in earth, a prey to worms and flies?

Oh! may his soul in sweet Elysium sleep,

Until the Keeper, that all souls doth keep,

Return to judgment; and that after thence

With angels he may have his recompense."

 

Sir Robert Peake, the engraver, also found a last resting-place here. He is known as the master of William Faithorne—the famous English engraver of the seventeenth century—and governor of Basing House for the king during the Civil War under Charles I. He died in 1667. Here also was interred the body of Dr. Bell, grandfather of the originator of a well-known system of education.

 

"The churchyard of St. Sepulchre's," we learn from Maitland, "at one time extended so far into the street on the south side of the church, as to render the passage-way dangerously narrow. In 1760 the churchyard was, in consequence, levelled, and thrown open to the public. But this led to much inconvenience, and it was re-enclosed in 1802."

 

Sarah Malcolm, the murderess, was buried in the churchyard of St. Sepulchre's in 1733. This coldhearted and keen-eyed monster in human form has had her story told by us already. The parishioners seem, on this occasion, to have had no such scruples as had been exhibited by their predecessors a hundred and fifty years previous at the burial of Awfield, a traitor. We shall see presently that in those more remote days they were desirous of having at least respectable company for their deceased relatives and friends in the churchyard.

 

"For a long period," says Mr. Godwin (1838), "the church was surrounded by low mean buildings, by which its general appearance was hidden; but these having been cleared away, and the neighbourhood made considerably more open, St. Sepulchre's now forms a somewhat pleasing object, notwithstanding that the tower and a part of the porch are so entirely dissimilar in style to the remainder of the building." And since Godwin's writing the surroundings of the church have been so improved that perhaps few buildings in the metropolis stand more prominently before the public eye.

 

In the glorious roll of martyrs who have suffered at the stake for their religious principles, a vicar of St. Sepulchre's, the Reverend John Rogers, occupies a conspicuous place. He was the first who was burned in the reign of the Bloody Mary. This eminent person had at one time been chaplain to the English merchants at Antwerp, and while residing in that city had aided Tindal and Coverdale in their great work of translating the Bible. He married a German lady of good position, by whom he had a large family, and was enabled, by means of her relations, to reside in peace and safety in Germany. It appeared to be his duty, however, to return to England, and there publicly profess and advocate his religious convictions, even at the risk of death. He crossed the sea; he took his place in the pulpit at St. Paul's Cross; he preached a fearless and animated sermon, reminding his astonished audience of the pure and wholesome doctrine which had been promulgated from that pulpit in the days of the good King Edward, and solemnly warning them against the pestilent idolatry and superstition of these new times. It was his last sermon. He was apprehended, tried, condemned, and burned at Smithfield. We described, when speaking of Smithfield, the manner in which he met his fate.

 

Connected with the martyrdom of Rogers an odd circumstance is quoted in the "Churches of London." It is stated that when the bishops had resolved to put to death Joan Bocher, a friend came to Rogers and earnestly entreated his influence that the poor woman's life might be spared, and other means taken to prevent the spread of her heterodox doctrines. Rogers, however, contended that she should be executed; and his friend then begged him to choose some other kind of death, which should be more agreeable to the gentleness and mercy prescribed in the gospel. "No," replied Rogers, "burning alive is not a cruel death, but easy enough." His friend hearing these words, expressive of so little regard for the sufferings of a fellow-creature, answered him with great vehemence, at the same time striking Rogers' hand, "Well, it may perhaps so happen that you yourself shall have your hands full of this mild burning." There is no record of Rogers among the papers belonging to St. Sepulchre's, but this may easily be accounted for by the fact that at the Great Fire of 1666 nearly all the registers and archives were destroyed.

 

A noteworthy incident in the history of St. Sepulchre's was connected with the execution, in 1585, of Awfield, for "sparcinge abrood certen lewed, sedicious, and traytorous bookes." "When he was executed," says Fleetwood, the Recorder, in a letter to Lord Burleigh, July 7th of that year, "his body was brought unto St. Pulcher's to be buryed, but the parishioners would not suffer a traytor's corpse to be laid in the earth where their parents, wives, children, kindred, masters, and old neighbours did rest; and so his carcass was returned to the burial-ground near Tyburn, and there I leave it."

 

Another event in the history of the church is a tale of suicide. On the 10th of April, 1600, a man named William Dorrington threw himself from the roof of the tower, leaving there a prayer for forgiveness.

 

We come now to speak of the connection of St. Sepulchre's with the neighbouring prison of Newgate. Being the nearest church to the prison, that connection naturally was intimate. Its clock served to give the time to the hangman when there was an execution in the Old Bailey, and many a poor wretch's last moments must it have regulated.

 

On the right-hand side of the altar a board with a list of charitable donations and gifts used to contain the following item:—"1605. Mr. Robert Dowe gave, for ringing the greatest bell in this church on the day the condemned prisoners are executed, and for other services, for ever, concerning such condemned prisoners, for which services the sexton is paid £16s. 8d.—£50.

 

It was formerly the practice for the clerk or bellman of St. Sepulchre's to go under Newgate, on the night preceding the execution of a criminal, ring his bell, and repeat the following wholesome advice:—

 

"All you that in the condemned hold do lie,

Prepare you, for to-morrow you shall die;

Watch all, and pray, the hour is drawing near

That you before the Almighty must appear;

Examine well yourselves, in time repent,

That you may not to eternal flames be sent.

And when St. Sepulchre's bell to-morrow tolls,

The Lord above have mercy on your souls.

Past twelve o'clock!"

 

This practice is explained by a passage in Munday's edition of Stow, in which it is told that a Mr. John Dowe, citizen and merchant taylor of London, gave £50 to the parish church of St. Sepulchre's, under the following conditions:—After the several sessions of London, on the night before the execution of such as were condemned to death, the clerk of the church was to go in the night-time, and also early in the morning, to the window of the prison in which they were lying. He was there to ring "certain tolls with a hand-bell" appointed for the purpose, and was afterwards, in a most Christian manner, to put them in mind of their present condition and approaching end, and to exhort them to be prepared, as they ought to be, to die. When they were in the cart, and brought before the walls of the church, the clerk was to stand there ready with the same bell, and, after certain tolls, rehearse a prayer, desiring all the people there present to pray for the unfortunate criminals. The beadle, also, of Merchant Taylors' Hall was allowed an "honest stipend" to see that this ceremony was regularly performed.

 

The affecting admonition—"affectingly good," Pennant calls it—addressed to the prisoners in Newgate, on the night before execution, ran as follows:—

 

"You prisoners that are within,

Who, for wickedness and sin,

 

after many mercies shown you, are now appointed to die to-morrow in the forenoon; give ear and understand that, to-morrow morning, the greatest bell of St. Sepulchre's shall toll for you, in form and manner of a passing-bell, as used to be tolled for those that are at the point of death; to the end that all godly people, hearing that bell, and knowing it is for your going to your deaths, may be stirred up heartily to pray to God to bestow his grace and mercy upon you, whilst you live. I beseech you, for Jesus Christ's sake, to keep this night in watching and prayer, to the salvation of your own souls while there is yet time and place for mercy; as knowing to-morrow you must appear before the judgment-seat of your Creator, there to give an account of all things done in this life, and to suffer eternal torments for your sins committed against Him, unless, upon your hearty and unfeigned repentance, you find mercy through the merits, death, and passion of your only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return to Him."

 

And the following was the admonition to condemned criminals, as they were passing by St. Sepulchre's Church wall to execution:—" All good people, pray heartily unto God for these poor sinners, who are now going to their death, for whom this great bell doth toll.

 

"You that are condemned to die, repent with lamentable tears; ask mercy of the Lord, for the salvation of your own souls, through the [merits, death, and passion of Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return unto Him.

 

"Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you.

Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you."

 

The charitable Mr. Dowe, who took such interest in the last moments of the occupants of the condemned cell, was buried in the church of St. Botolph, Aldgate.

 

Another curious custom observed at St. Sepulchre's was the presentation of a nosegay to every criminal on his way to execution at Tyburn. No doubt the practice had its origin in some kindly feeling for the poor unfortunates who were so soon to bid farewell to all the beauties of earth. One of the last who received a nosegay from the steps of St. Sepulchre's was "Sixteen-string Jack," alias John Rann, who was hanged, in 1774, for robbing the Rev. Dr. Bell of his watch and eighteen pence in money, in Gunnersbury Lane, on the road to Brentford. Sixteen-string Jack wore the flowers in his button-hole as he rode dolefully to the gallows. This was witnessed by John Thomas Smith, who thus describes the scene in his admirable anecdotebook, "Nollekens and his Times:"—" I remember well, when I was in my eighth year, Mr. Nollekens calling at my father's house, in Great Portland Street, and taking us to Oxford Street, to see the notorious Jack Rann, commonly called Sixteenstring Jack, go to Tyburn to be hanged. … The criminal was dressed in a pea-green coat, with an immense nosegay in the button-hole, which had been presented to him at St. Sepulchre's steps; and his nankeen small-clothes, we were told, were tied at each knee with sixteen strings. After he had passed, and Mr. Nollekens was leading me home by the hand, I recollect his stooping down to me and observing, in a low tone of voice, 'Tom, now, my little man, if my father-in-law, Mr. Justice Welch, had been high constable, we could have walked by the side of the cart all the way to Tyburn.'"

 

When criminals were conveyed from Newgate to Tyburn, the cart passed up Giltspur Street, and through Smithfield, to Cow Lane. Skinner Street had not then been built, and the Crooked Lane which turned down by St. Sepulchre's, as well as Ozier Lane, did not afford sufficient width to admit of the cavalcade passing by either of them, with convenience, to Holborn Hill, or "the Heavy Hill," as it used to be called. The procession seems at no time to have had much of the solemn element about it. "The heroes of the day were often," says a popular writer, "on good terms with the mob, and jokes were exchanged between the men who were going to be hanged and the men who deserved to be."

 

"On St. Paul's Day," says Mr. Timbs (1868), "service is performed in St. Sepulchre's, in accordance with the will of Mr. Paul Jervis, who, in 1717, devised certain land in trust that a sermon should be preached in the church upon every Paul's Day upon the excellence of the liturgy o the Church of England; the preacher to receive 40s. for such sermon. Various sums are also bequeathed to the curate, the clerk, the treasurer, and masters of the parochial schools. To the poor of the parish he bequeathed 20s. a-piece to ten of the poorest householders within that part of the parish of St. Sepulchre commonly called Smithfield quarter, £4 to the treasurer of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and 6s. 8d. yearly to the clerk, who shall attend to receive the same. The residue of the yearly rents and profits is to be distributed unto and amongst such poor people of the parish of St. Sepulchre's, London, who shall attend the service and sermon. At the close of the service the vestry-clerk reads aloud an extract from the will, and then proceeds to the distribution of the money. In the evening the vicar, churchwardens, and common councilmen of the precinct dine together."

 

In 1749, a Mr. Drinkwater made a praiseworthy bequest. He left the parish of St. Sepulchre £500 to be lent in sums of £25 to industrious young tradesmen. No interest was to be charged, and the money was to be lent for four years.

 

Next to St. Sepulchre's, on Snow Hill, used to stand the famous old inn of the "Saracen's Head." It was only swept away within the last few years by the ruthless army of City improvers: a view of it in course of demolition was given on page 439. It was one of the oldest of the London inns which bore the "Saracen's Head" for a sign. One of Dick Tarlton's jests makes mention of the "Saracen's Head" without Newgate, and Stow, describing this neighbourhood, speaks particularly of "a fair large inn for receipt of travellers" that "hath to sign the 'Saracen's Head.'" The courtyard had, to the last, many of the characteristics of an old English inn; there were galleries all round leading to the bedrooms, and a spacious gateway through which the dusty mail-coaches used to rumble, the tired passengers creeping forth "thanking their stars in having escaped the highwaymen and the holes and sloughs of the road." Into that courtyard how many have come on their first arrival in London with hearts beating high with hope, some of whom have risen to be aldermen and sit in state as lord mayor, whilst others have gone the way of the idle apprentice and come to a sad end at Tyburn! It was at this inn that Nicholas Nickleby and his uncle waited upon the Yorkshire schoolmaster Squeers, of Dotheboys Hall. Mr. Dickens describes the tavern as it existed in the last days of mail-coaching, when it was a most important place for arrivals and departures in London:—

 

"Next to the jail, and by consequence near to Smithfield also, and the Compter and the bustle and noise of the City, and just on that particular part of Snow Hill where omnibus horses going eastwards seriously think of falling down on purpose, and where horses in hackney cabriolets going westwards not unfrequently fall by accident, is the coach-yard of the 'Saracen's Head' inn, its portals guarded by two Saracen's heads and shoulders, which it was once the pride and glory of the choice spirits of this metropolis to pull down at night, but which have for some time remained in undisturbed tranquillity, possibly because this species of humour is now confined to St. James's parish, where doorknockers are preferred as being more portable, and bell-wires esteemed as convenient tooth-picks. Whether this be the reason or not, there they are, frowning upon you from each side of the gateway; and the inn itself, garnished with another Saracen's head, frowns upon you from the top of the yard; while from the door of the hind-boot of all the red coaches that are standing therein, there glares a small Saracen's head with a twin expression to the large Saracen's head below, so that the general appearance of the pile is of the Saracenic order."

 

To explain the use of the Saracen's head as an inn sign various reasons have been given. "When our countrymen," says Selden, "came home from fighting with the Saracens and were beaten by them, they pictured them with huge, big, terrible faces (as you still see the 'Saracen's Head' is), when in truth they were like other men. But this they did to save their own credit." Or the sign may have been adopted by those who had visited the Holy Land either as pilgrims or to fight the Saracens. Others, again, hold that it was first set up in compliment to the mother of Thomas à Becket, who was the daughter of a Saracen. However this may be, it is certain that the use of the sign in former days was very general.

 

Running past the east end of St. Sepulchre's, from Newgate into West Smithfield, is Giltspur Street, anciently called Knightriders Street. This interesting thoroughfare derives its name from the knights with their gilt spurs having been accustomed to ride this way to the jousts and tournaments which in days of old were held in Smithfield.

 

In this street was Giltspur Street Compter, a debtors' prison and house of correction appertaining to the sheriffs of London and Middlesex. It stood over against St. Sepulchre's Church, and was removed hither from the east side of Wood Street, Cheapside, in 1791. At the time of its removal it was used as a place of imprisonment for debtors, but the yearly increasing demands upon the contracted space caused that department to be given up, and City debtors were sent to Whitecross Street. The architect was Dance, to whom we are also indebted for the grim pile of Newgate. The Compter was a dirty and appropriately convictlooking edifice. It was pulled down in 1855. Mr. Hepworth Dixon gave an interesting account of this City House of Correction, not long before its demolition, in his "London Prisons" (1850). "Entering," he says, "at the door facing St. Sepulchre's, the visitor suddenly finds himself in a low dark passage, leading into the offices of the gaol, and branching off into other passages, darker, closer, more replete with noxious smells, than even those of Newgate. This is the fitting prelude to what follows. The prison, it must be noticed, is divided into two principal divisions, the House of Correction and the Compter. The front in Giltspur Street, and the side nearest to Newgate Street, is called the Compter. In its wards are placed detenues of various kinds—remands, committals from the police-courts, and generally persons waiting for trial, and consequently still unconvicted. The other department, the House of Correction, occupies the back portion of the premises, abutting on Christ's Hospital. Curious it is to consider how thin a wall divides these widely-separate worlds! And sorrowful it is to think what a difference of destiny awaits the children—destiny inexorable, though often unearned in either case—who, on the one side of it or the other, receive an eleemosynary education! The collegian and the criminal! Who shall say how much mere accident— circumstances over which the child has little power —determines to a life of usefulness or mischief? From the yards of Giltspur Street prison almost the only objects visible, outside of the gaol itself, are the towers of Christ's Hospital; the only sounds audible, the shouts of the scholars at their play. The balls of the hospital boys often fall within the yards of the prison. Whether these sights and sounds ever cause the criminal to pause and reflect upon the courses of his life, we will not say, but the stranger visiting the place will be very apt to think for him. …

 

"In the department of the prison called the House of Correction, minor offenders within the City of London are imprisoned. No transports are sent hither, nor is any person whose sentence is above three years in length." This able writer then goes on to tell of the many crying evils connected with the institution—the want of air, the over-crowded state of the rooms, the absence of proper cellular accommodation, and the vicious intercourse carried on amongst the prisoners. The entire gaol, when he wrote, only contained thirty-six separate sleeping-rooms. Now by the highest prison calculation—and this, be it noted, proceeds on the assumption that three persons can sleep in small, miserable, unventilated cells, which are built for only one, and are too confined for that, being only about one-half the size of the model cell for one at Pentonville—it was only capable of accommodating 203 prisoners, yet by the returns issued at Michaelmas, 1850, it contained 246!

 

A large section of the prison used to be devoted to female delinquents, but lately it was almost entirely given up to male offenders.

 

"The House of Correction, and the Compter portion of the establishment," says Mr. Dixon, "are kept quite distinct, but it would be difficult to award the palm of empire in their respective facilities for demoralisation. We think the Compter rather the worse of the two. You are shown into a room, about the size of an apartment in an ordinary dwelling-house, which will be found crowded with from thirty to forty persons, young and old, and in their ordinary costume; the low thief in his filth and rags, and the member of the swell-mob with his bright buttons, flash finery, and false jewels. Here you notice the boy who has just been guilty of his first offence, and committed for trial, learning with a greedy mind a thousand criminal arts, and listening with the precocious instinct of guilty passions to stories and conversations the most depraved and disgusting. You regard him with a mixture of pity and loathing, for he knows that the eyes of his peers are upon him, and he stares at you with a familiar impudence, and exhibits a devil-may-care countenance, such as is only to be met with in the juvenile offender. Here, too, may be seen the young clerk, taken up on suspicion—perhaps innocent—who avoids you with a shy look of pain and uneasiness: what a hell must this prison be to him! How frightful it is to think of a person really untainted with crime, compelled to herd for ten or twenty days with these abandoned wretches!

 

"On the other, the House of Correction side of the gaol, similar rooms will be found, full of prisoners communicating with each other, laughing and shouting without hindrance. All this is so little in accordance with existing notions of prison discipline, that one is continually fancying these disgraceful scenes cannot be in the capital of England, and in the year of grace 1850. Very few of the prisoners attend school or receive any instruction; neither is any kind of employment afforded them, except oakum-picking, and the still more disgusting labour of the treadmill. When at work, an officer is in attendance to prevent disorderly conduct; but his presence is of no avail as a protection to the less depraved. Conversation still goes on; and every facility is afforded for making acquaintances, and for mutual contamination."

 

After having long been branded by intelligent inspectors as a disgrace to the metropolis, Giltspur Street Compter was condemned, closed in 1854, and subsequently taken down.

 

Nearly opposite what used to be the site of the Compter, and adjoining Cock Lane, is the spot called Pie Corner, near which terminated the Great Fire of 1666. The fire commenced at Pudding Lane, it will be remembered, so it was singularly appropriate that it should terminate at Pie Corner. Under the date of 4th September, 1666, Pepys, in his "Diary," records that "W. Hewer this day went to see how his mother did, and comes home late, telling us how he hath been forced to remove her to Islington, her house in Pye Corner being burned; so that the fire is got so far that way." The figure of a fat naked boy stands over a public house at the corner of the lane; it used to have the following warning inscription attached:— "This boy is in memory put up of the late fire of London, occasioned by the sin of gluttony, 1666." According to Stow, Pie Corner derived its name from the sign of a well-frequented hostelry, which anciently stood on the spot. Strype makes honourable mention of Pie Corner, as "noted chiefly for cooks' shops and pigs dressed there during Bartholomew Fair." Our old writers have many references—and not all, by the way, in the best taste—to its cookstalls and dressed pork. Shadwell, for instance, in the Woman Captain (1680) speaks of "meat dressed at Pie Corner by greasy scullions;" and Ben Jonson writes in the Alchemist (1612)—

 

"I shall put you in mind, sir, at Pie Corner,

Taking your meal of steam in from cooks' stalls."

 

And in "The Great Boobee" ("Roxburgh Ballads"):

 

"Next day I through Pie Corner passed;

The roast meat on the stall

Invited me to take a taste;

My money was but small."

 

But Pie Corner seems to have been noted for more than eatables. A ballad from Tom D'Urfey's "Pills to Purge Melancholy," describing Bartholomew Fair, eleven years before the Fire of London, says:—

 

"At Pie-Corner end, mark well my good friend,

'Tis a very fine dirty place;

Where there's more arrows and bows. …

Than was handled at Chivy Chase."

 

We have already given a view of Pie Corner in our chapter on Smithfield, page 361.

 

Hosier Lane, running from Cow Lane to Smithfield, and almost parallel to Cock Lane, is described by "R. B.," in Strype, as a place not over-well built or inhabited. The houses were all old timber erections. Some of these—those standing at the south corner of the lane—were in the beginning of this century depicted by Mr. J. T. Smith, in his "Ancient Topography of London." He describes them as probably of the reign of James I. The rooms were small, with low, unornamented ceilings; the timber, oak, profusely used; the gables were plain, and the walls lath and plaster. They were taken down in 1809.

 

In the corner house, in Mr. Smith's time, there was a barber whose name was Catchpole; at least, so it was written over the door. He was rather an odd fellow, and possessed, according to his own account, a famous relic of antiquity. He would gravely show his customers a short-bladed instrument, as the identical dagger with which Walworth killed Wat Tyler.

 

Hosier Lane, like Pie Corner, used to be a great resort during the time of Bartholomew Fair, "all the houses," it is said in Strype, "generally being made public for tippling."

 

We return now from our excursion to the north of St. Sepulchre's, and continue our rambles to the west, and before speaking of what is, let us refer to what has been.

 

Turnagain Lane is not far from this. "Near unto this Seacoal Lane," remarks Stow, "in the turning towards Holborn Conduit, is Turnagain Lane, or rather, as in a record of the 5th of Edward III., Windagain Lane, for that it goeth down west to Fleet Dyke, from whence men must turn again the same way they came, but there it stopped." There used to be a proverb, "He must take him a house in Turnagain Lane."

 

A conduit formerly stood on Snow Hill, a little below the church. It is described as a building with four equal sides, ornamented with four columns and pediment, surmounted by a pyramid, on which stood a lamb—a rebus on the name of Lamb, from whose conduit in Red Lion Street the water came. There had been a conduit there, however, before Lamb's day, which was towards the close of the sixteenth century.

 

At No. 37, King Street, Snow Hill, there used to be a ladies' charity school, which was established in 1702, and remained in the parish 145 years. Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale were subscribers to this school, and Johnson drew from it his story of Betty Broom, in "The Idler." The world of domestic service, in Betty's days, seems to have been pretty much as now. Betty was a poor girl, bred in the country at a charity-school, maintained by the contributions of wealthy neighbours. The patronesses visited the school from time to time, to see how the pupils got on, and everything went well, till "at last, the chief of the subscribers having passed a winter in London, came down full of an opinion new and strange to the whole country. She held it little less than criminal to teach poor girls to read and write. They who are born to poverty, she said, are born to ignorance, and will work the harder the less they know. She told her friends that London was in confusion by the insolence of servants; that scarcely a girl could be got for all-work, since education had made such numbers of fine ladies, that nobody would now accept a lower title than that of a waiting-maid, or something that might qualify her to wear laced shoes and long ruffles, and to sit at work in the parlour window. But she was resolved, for her part, to spoil no more girls. Those who were to live by their hands should neither read nor write out of her pocket. The world was bad enough already, and she would have no part in making it worse.

 

"She was for a long time warmly opposed; but she persevered in her notions, and withdrew her subscription. Few listen, without a desire of conviction, to those who advise them to spare their money. Her example and her arguments gained ground daily; and in less than a year the whole parish was convinced that the nation would be ruined if the children of the poor were taught to read and write." So the school was dissolved, and Betty with the rest was turned adrift into the wide and cold world; and her adventures there any one may read in "The Idler" for himself.

 

There is an entry in the school minutes of 1763, to the effect that the ladies of the committee censured the schoolmistress for listening to the story of the Cock Lane ghost, and "desired her to keep her belief in the article to herself."

 

Skinner Street—now one of the names of the past—which ran by the south side of St. Sepulchre's, and formed the connecting link between Newgate Street and Holborn, received its name from Alderman Skinner, through whose exertions, about 1802, it was principally built. The following account of Skinner Street is from the picturesque pen of Mr. William Harvey ("Aleph"), whose long familiarity with the places he describes renders doubly valuable his many contributions to the history of London scenes and people:—"As a building speculation," he says, writing in 1863, "it was a failure. When the buildings were ready for occupation, tall and substantial as they really were, the high rents frightened intending shopkeepers. Tenants were not to be had; and in order to get over the money difficulty, a lottery, sanctioned by Parliament, was commenced. Lotteries were then common tricks of finance, and nobody wondered at the new venture; but even the most desperate fortune-hunters were slow to invest their capital, and the tickets hung sadly on hand. The day for the drawing was postponed several times, and when it came, there was little or no excitement on the subject, and whoever rejoiced in becoming a house-owner on such easy terms, the original projectors and builders were understood to have suffered considerably. The winners found the property in a very unfinished condition. Few of the dwellings were habitable, and as funds were often wanting, a majority of the houses remained empty, and the shops unopened. After two or three years things began to improve; the vast many-storeyed house which then covered the site of Commercial Place was converted into a warehousing depôt; a capital house opposite the 'Saracen's Head' was taken by a hosier of the name of Theobald, who, opening his shop with the determination of selling the best hosiery, and nothing else, was able to convince the citizens that his hose was first-rate, and, desiring only a living profit, succeeded, after thirty years of unwearied industry, in accumulating a large fortune. Theobald was possessed of literary tastes, and at the sale of Sir Walter Scott's manuscripts was a liberal purchaser. He also collected a library of exceedingly choice books, and when aristocratic customers purchased stockings of him, was soon able to interest them in matters of far higher interest…

 

"The most remarkable shop—but it was on the left-hand side, at a corner house—was that established for the sale of children's books. It boasted an immense extent of window-front, extending from the entrance into Snow Hill, and towards Fleet Market. Many a time have I lingered with loving eyes over those fascinating story-books, so rich in gaily-coloured prints; such careful editions of the marvellous old histories, 'Puss in Boots,' 'Cock Robin,' 'Cinderella,' and the like. Fortunately the front was kept low, so as exactly to suit the capacity of a childish admirer. . . . . But Skinner Street did not prosper much, and never could compete with even the dullest portions of Holborn. I have spoken of some reputable shops; but you know the proverb, 'One swallow will not make a summer,' and it was a declining neighbourhood almost before it could be called new. In 1810 the commercial depôt, which had been erected at a cost of £25,000, and was the chief prize in the lottery, was destroyed by fire, never to be rebuilt—a heavy blow and discouragement to Skinner Street, from which it never rallied. Perhaps the periodical hanging-days exercised an unfavourable influence, collecting, as they frequently did, all the thieves and vagabonds of London. I never sympathised with Pepys or Charles Fox in their passion for public executions, and made it a point to avoid those ghastly sights; but early of a Monday morning, when I had just reached the end of Giltspur Street, a miserable wretch had just been turned off from the platform of the debtors' door, and I was made the unwilling witness of his last struggles. That scene haunted me for months, and I often used to ask myself, 'Who that could help it would live in Skinner Street?' The next unpropitious event in these parts was the unexpected closing of the child's library. What could it mean? Such a well-to-do establishment shut up? Yes, the whole army of shutters looked blankly on the inquirer, and forbade even a single glance at 'Sinbad' or 'Robinson Crusoe.' It would soon be re-opened, we naturally thought; but the shutters never came down again. The whole house was deserted; not even a messenger in bankruptcy, or an ancient Charley, was found to regard the playful double knocks of the neighbouring juveniles. Gradually the glass of all the windows got broken in, a heavy cloud of black dust, solidifying into inches thick, gathered on sills and doors and brickwork, till the whole frontage grew as gloomy as Giant Despair's Castle. Not long after, the adjoining houses shared the same fate, and they remained from year to year without the slightest sign of life—absolute scarecrows, darkening with their uncomfortable shadows the busy streets. Within half a mile, in Stamford Street, Blackfriars, there are (1863) seven houses in a similar predicament— window-glass demolished, doors cracked from top to bottom, spiders' webs hanging from every projecting sill or parapet. What can it mean? The loss in the article of rents alone must be over £1,000 annually. If the real owners are at feud with imaginary owners, surely the property might be rendered valuable, and the proceeds invested. Even the lawyers can derive no profit from such hopeless abandonment. I am told the whole mischief arose out of a Chancery suit. Can it be the famous 'Jarndyce v. Jarndyce' case? And have all the heirs starved each other out? If so, what hinders our lady the Queen from taking possession? Any change would be an improvement, for these dead houses make the streets they cumber as dispiriting and comfortless as graveyards. Busy fancy will sometimes people them, and fill the dreary rooms with strange guests. Do the victims of guilt congregate in these dark dens? Do wretches 'unfriended by the world or the world's law,' seek refuge in these deserted nooks, mourning in the silence of despair over their former lives, and anticipating the future in unappeasable agony? Such things have been—the silence and desolation of these doomed dwellings make them the more suitable for such tenants."

 

A street is nothing without a mystery, so a mystery let these old tumble-down houses remain, whilst we go on to tell that, in front of No. 58, the sailor Cashman was hung in 1817, as we have already mentioned, for plundering a gunsmith's shop there. William Godwin, the author of "Caleb Williams," kept a bookseller's shop for several years in Skinner Street, at No. 41, and published school-books in the name of Edward Baldwin. On the wall there was a stone carving of Æsop reciting one of his fables to children.

 

The most noteworthy event of the life of Godwin was his marriage with the celebrated Mary Wollstonecraft, authoress of a "Vindication of the Rights of Women," whose congenial mind, in politics and morals, he ardently admired. Godwin's account of the way in which they got on together is worth reading:—"Ours," he writes, "was not an idle happiness, a paradise of selfish and transitory pleasures. It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to mention, that influenced by ideas I had long entertained, I engaged an apartment about twenty doors from our house, in the Polygon, Somers Town, which I designed for the purpose of my study and literary occupations. Trifles, however, will be interesting to some readers, when they relate to the last period of the life of such a person as Mary. I will add, therefore, that we were both of us of opinion, that it was possible for two persons to be too uniformly in each other's society. Influenced by that opinion, it was my practice to repair to the apartment I have mentioned as soon as I rose, and frequently not to make my appearance in the Polygon till the hour of dinner. We agreed in condemning the notion, prevalent in many situations in life, that a man and his wife cannot visit in mixed society but in company with each other, and we rather sought occasions of deviating from than of complying with this rule. By this means, though, for the most part, we spent the latter half of each day in one another's society, yet we were in no danger of satiety. We seemed to combine, in a considerable degree, the novelty and lively sensation of a visit with the more delicious and heartfelt pleasure of a domestic life."

 

This philosophic union, to Godwin's inexpressible affliction, did not last more than eighteen months, at the end of which time Mrs. Godwin died, leaving an only daughter, who in the course of time became the second wife of the poet Shelley, and was the author of the wild and extraordinary tale of "Frankenstein."

 

www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45116

With the rain falling harder, it was a bit of a route march to Holborn and my next church, the stunning St Sepulchre, which was also open.

 

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St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Holborn), is an Anglican church in the City of London. It is located on Holborn Viaduct, almost opposite the Old Bailey. In medieval times it stood just outside ("without") the now-demolished old city wall, near the Newgate. It has been a living of St John's College, Oxford, since 1622.

 

The original Saxon church on the site was dedicated to St Edmund the King and Martyr. During the Crusades in the 12th century the church was renamed St Edmund and the Holy Sepulchre, in reference to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The name eventually became contracted to St Sepulchre.

 

The church is today the largest parish church in the City. It was completely rebuilt in the 15th century but was gutted by the Great Fire of London in 1666,[1] which left only the outer walls, the tower and the porch standing[2] -. Modified in the 18th century, the church underwent extensive restoration in 1878. It narrowly avoided destruction in the Second World War, although the 18th-century watch-house in its churchyard (erected to deter grave-robbers) was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt.

 

The interior of the church is a wide, roomy space with a coffered ceiling[3] installed in 1834. The Vicars' old residence has recently been renovated into a modern living quarter.

 

During the reign of Mary I in 1555, St Sepulchre's vicar, John Rogers, was burned as a heretic.

 

St Sepulchre is named in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons as the "bells of Old Bailey". Traditionally, the great bell would be rung to mark the execution of a prisoner at the nearby gallows at Newgate. The clerk of St Sepulchre's was also responsible for ringing a handbell outside the condemned man's cell in Newgate Prison to inform him of his impending execution. This handbell, known as the Execution Bell, now resides in a glass case to the south of the nave.

 

The church has been the official musicians' church for many years and is associated with many famous musicians. Its north aisle (formerly a chapel dedicated to Stephen Harding) is dedicated as the Musicians' Chapel, with four windows commemorating John Ireland, the singer Dame Nellie Melba, Walter Carroll and the conductor Sir Henry Wood respectively.[4] Wood, who "at the age of fourteen, learned to play the organ" at this church [1] and later became its organist, also has his ashes buried in this church.

 

The south aisle of the church holds the regimental chapel of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), and its gardens are a memorial garden to that regiment.[5] The west end of the north aisle has various memorials connected with the City of London Rifles (the 6th Battalion London Regiment). The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Sepulchre-without-Newgate

 

The Early History of St. Sepulchre's—Its Destruction in 1666—The Exterior and Interior—The Early Popularity of the Church—Interments here—Roger Ascham, the Author of the "Schoolmaster"—Captain John Smith, and his Romantic Adventures—Saved by an Indian Girl— St. Sepulchre's Churchyard—Accommodation for a Murderess—The Martyr Rogers—An Odd Circumstance—Good Company for the Dead—A Leap from the Tower—A Warning Bell and a Last Admonition—Nosegays for the Condemned—The Route to the Gallows-tree— The Deeds of the Charitable—The "Saracen's Head"—Description by Dickens—Giltspur Street—Giltspur Street Compter—A Disreputable Condition—Pie Corner—Hosier Lane—A Spurious Relic—The Conduit on Snow Hill—A Ladies' Charity School—Turnagain Lane—Poor Betty!—A Schoolmistress Censured—Skinner Street—Unpropitious Fortune—William Godwin—An Original Married Life.

 

Many interesting associations—Principally, however, connected with the annals of crime and the execution of the laws of England—belong to the Church of St. Sepulchre, or St. 'Pulchre. This sacred edifice—anciently known as St. Sepulchre's in the Bailey, or by Chamberlain Gate (now Newgate)—stands at the eastern end of the slight acclivity of Snow Hill, and between Smithfield and the Old Bailey. The genuine materials for its early history are scanty enough. It was probably founded about the commencement of the twelfth century, but of the exact date and circumstances of its origin there is no record whatever. Its name is derived from the Holy Sepulchre of our Saviour at Jerusalem, to the memory of which it was first dedicated.

 

The earliest authentic notice of the church, according to Maitland, is of the year 1178, at which date it was given by Roger, Bishop of Sarum, to the Prior and Canons of St. Bartholomew. These held the right of advowson until the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII., and from that time until 1610 it remained in the hands of the Crown. James I., however, then granted "the rectory and its appurtenances, with the advowson of the vicarage," to Francis Phillips and others. The next stage in its history is that the rectory was purchased by the parishioners, to be held in fee-farm of the Crown, and the advowson was obtained by the President and Fellows of St. John the Baptist College, at Oxford.

 

The church was rebuilt about the middle of the fifteenth century, when one of the Popham family, who had been Chancellor of Normandy and Treasurer of the King's Household, with distinguished liberality erected a handsome chapel on the south side of the choir, and the very beautiful porch still remaining at the south-west corner of the building. "His image," Stow says, "fair graven in stone, was fixed over the said porch."

 

The dreadful fire of 1666 almost destroyed St. Sepulchre's, but the parishioners set energetically to work, and it was "rebuilt and beautified both within and without." The general reparation was under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren, and nothing but the walls of the old building, and these not entirely, were suffered to remain. The work was done rapidly, and the whole was completed within four years.

 

"The tower," says Mr. Godwin, "retained its original aspect, and the body of the church, after its restoration, presented a series of windows between buttresses, with pointed heads filled with tracery, crowned by a string-course and battlements. In this form it remained till the year 1790, when it appears the whole fabric was found to be in a state of great decay, and it was resolved to repair it throughout. Accordingly the walls of the church were cased with Portland stone, and all the windows were taken out and replaced by others with plain semi-circular heads, as now seen—certainly agreeing but badly with the tower and porch of the building, but according with the then prevailing spirit of economy. The battlements, too, were taken down, and a plain stone parapet was substituted, so that at this time (with the exception of the roof, which was wagon-headed, and presented on the outside an unsightly swell, visible above the parapet) the church assumed its present appearance." The ungainly roof was removed, and an entirely new one erected, about 1836.

 

At each corner of the tower—"one of the most ancient," says the author of "Londinium Redivivum," "in the outline of the circuit of London" —there are spires, and on the spires there are weathercocks. These have been made use of by Howell to point a moral: "Unreasonable people," says he, "are as hard to reconcile as the vanes of St. Sepulchre's tower, which never look all four upon one point of the heavens." Nothing can be said with certainty as to the date of the tower, but it is not without the bounds of probability that it formed part of the original building. The belfry is reached by a small winding staircase in the south-west angle, and a similar staircase in an opposite angle leads to the summit. The spires at the corners, and some of the tower windows, have very recently undergone several alterations, which have added much to the picturesqueness and beauty of the church.

 

The chief entrance to St. Sepulchre's is by a porch of singular beauty, projecting from the south side of the tower, at the western end of the church. The groining of the ceiling of this porch, it has been pointed out, takes an almost unique form; the ribs are carved in bold relief, and the bosses at the intersections represent angels' heads, shields, roses, &c., in great variety.

 

Coming now to the interior of the church, we find it divided into three aisles, by two ranges of Tuscan columns. The aisles are of unequal widths, that in the centre being the widest, that to the south the narrowest. Semi-circular arches connect the columns on either side, springing directly from their capitals, without the interposition of an entablature, and support a large dental cornice, extending round the church. The ceiling of the middle aisle is divided into seven compartments, by horizontal bands, the middle compartment being formed into a small dome.

 

The aisles have groined ceilings, ornamented at the angles with doves, &c., and beneath every division of the groining are small windows, to admit light to the galleries. Over each of the aisles there is a gallery, very clumsily introduced, which dates from the time when the church was built by Wren, and extends the whole length, excepting at the chancel. The front of the gallery, which is of oak, is described by Mr. Godwin as carved into scrolls, branches, &c., in the centre panel, on either side, with the initials "C. R.," enriched with carvings of laurel, which have, however, he says, "but little merit."

 

At the east end of the church there are three semicircular-headed windows. Beneath the centre one is a large Corinthian altar-piece of oak, displaying columns, entablatures, &c., elaborately carved and gilded.

 

The length of the church, exclusive of the ambulatory, is said to be 126 feet, the breadth 68 feet, and the height of the tower 140 feet.

 

A singularly ugly sounding-board, extending over the preacher, used to stand at the back of the pulpit, at the east end of the church. It was in the shape of a large parabolic reflector, about twelve feet in diameter, and was composed of ribs of mahogany.

 

At the west end of the church there is a large organ, said to be the oldest and one of the finest in London. It was built in 1677, and has been greatly enlarged. Its reed-stops (hautboy, clarinet, &c.) are supposed to be unrivalled. In Newcourt's time the church was taken notice of as "remarkable for possessing an exceedingly fine organ, and the playing is thought so beautiful, that large congregations are attracted, though some of the parishioners object to the mode of performing divine service."

 

On the north side of the church, Mr. Godwin mentions, is a large apartment known as "St. Stephen's Chapel." This building evidently formed a somewhat important part of the old church, and was probably appropriated to the votaries of the saint whose name it bears.

 

Between the exterior and the interior of the church there is little harmony. "For example," says Mr. Godwin, "the columns which form the south aisle face, in some instances, the centre of the large windows which occur in the external wall of the church, and in others the centre of the piers, indifferently." This discordance may likely enough have arisen from the fact that when the church was rebuilt, or rather restored, after the Great Fire, the works were done without much attention from Sir Christopher Wren.

 

St. Sepulchre's appears to have enjoyed considerable popularity from the earliest period of its history, if one is to judge from the various sums left by well-disposed persons for the support of certain fraternities founded in the church—namely, those of St. Katherine, St. Michael, St. Anne, and Our Lady—and by others, for the maintenance of chantry priests to celebrate masses at stated intervals for the good of their souls. One of the fraternities just named—that of St. Katherine— originated, according to Stow, in the devotion of some poor persons in the parish, and was in honour of the conception of the Virgin Mary. They met in the church on the day of the Conception, and there had the mass of the day, and offered to the same, and provided a certain chaplain daily to celebrate divine service, and to set up wax lights before the image belonging to the fraternity, on all festival days.

 

The most famous of all who have been interred in St. Sepulchre's is Roger Ascham, the author of the "Schoolmaster," and the instructor of Queen Elizabeth in Greek and Latin. This learned old worthy was born in 1515, near Northallerton, in Yorkshire. He was educated at Cambridge University, and in time rose to be the university orator, being notably zealous in promoting what was then a novelty in England—the study of the Greek language. To divert himself after the fatigue of severe study, he used to devote himself to archery. This drew down upon him the censure of the all-work-and-no-play school; and in defence of himself, Ascham, in 1545, published "Toxophilus," a treatise on his favourite sport. This book is even yet well worthy of perusal, for its enthusiasm, and for its curious descriptions of the personal appearance and manners of the principal persons whom the author had seen and conversed with. Henry VIII. rewarded him with a pension of £10 per annum, a considerable sum in those days. In 1548, Ascham, on the death of William Grindall, who had been his pupil, was appointed instructor in the learned languages to Lady Elizabeth, afterwards the good Queen Bess. At the end of two years he had some dispute with, or took a disgust at, Lady Elizabeth's attendants, resigned his situation, and returned to his college. Soon after this he was employed as secretary to the English ambassador at the court of Charles V. of Germany, and remained abroad till the death of Edward VI. During his absence he had been appointed Latin secretary to King Edward. Strangely enough, though Queen Mary and her ministers were Papists, and Ascham a Protestant, he was retained in his office of Latin secretary, his pension was increased to £20, and he was allowed to retain his fellowship and his situation as university orator. In 1554 he married a lady of good family, by whom he had a considerable fortune, and of whom, in writing to a friend, he gives, as might perhaps be expected, an excellent character. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, in 1558, she not only required his services as Latin secretary, but as her instructor in Greek, and he resided at Court during the remainder of his life. He died in consequence of his endeavours to complete a Latin poem which he intended to present to the queen on the New Year's Day of 1569. He breathed his last two days before 1568 ran out, and was interred, according to his own directions, in the most private manner, in St. Sepulchre's Church, his funeral sermon being preached by Dr. Andrew Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's. He was universally lamented; and even the queen herself not only showed great concern, but was pleased to say that she would rather have lost ten thousand pounds than her tutor Ascham, which, from that somewhat closehanded sovereign, was truly an expression of high regard.

 

Ascham, like most men, had his little weaknesses. He had too great a propensity to dice and cock-fighting. Bishop Nicholson would try to convince us that this is an unfounded calumny, but, as it is mentioned by Camden, and other contemporary writers, it seems impossible to deny it. He died, from all accounts, in indifferent circumstances. "Whether," says Dr. Johnson, referring to this, "Ascham was poor by his own fault, or the fault of others, cannot now be decided; but it is certain that many have been rich with less merit. His philological learning would have gained him honour in any country; and among us it may justly call for that reverence which all nations owe to those who first rouse them from ignorance, and kindle among them the light of literature." His most valuable work, "The Schoolmaster," was published by his widow. The nature of this celebrated performance may be gathered from the title: "The Schoolmaster; or a plain and perfite way of teaching children to understand, write, and speak the Latin tongue. … And commodious also for all such as have forgot the Latin tongue, and would by themselves, without a schoolmaster, in short time, and with small pains, recover a sufficient habilitie to understand, write, and speak Latin: by Roger Ascham, ann. 1570. At London, printed by John Daye, dwelling over Aldersgate," a printer, by the way, already mentioned by us a few chapters back (see page 208), as having printed several noted works of the sixteenth century.

 

Dr. Johnson remarks that the instruction recommended in "The Schoolmaster" is perhaps the best ever given for the study of languages.

 

Here also lies buried Captain John Smith, a conspicuous soldier of fortune, whose romantic adventures and daring exploits have rarely been surpassed. He died on the 21st of June, 1631. This valiant captain was born at Willoughby, in the county of Lincoln, and helped by his doings to enliven the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. He had a share in the wars of Hungary in 1602, and in three single combats overcame three Turks, and cut off their heads. For this, and other equally brave deeds, Sigismund, Duke of Transylvania, gave him his picture set in gold, with a pension of three hundred ducats; and allowed him to bear three Turks' heads proper as his shield of arms. He afterwards went to America, where he had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Indians. He escaped from them, however, at last, and resumed his brilliant career by hazarding his life in naval engagements with pirates and Spanish men-of-war. The most important act of his life was the share he had in civilising the natives of New England, and reducing that province to obedience to Great Britain. In connection with his tomb in St. Sepulchre's, he is mentioned by Stow, in his "Survey," as "some time Governor of Virginia and Admiral of New England."

 

Certainly the most interesting events of his chequered career were his capture by the Indians, and the saving of his life by the Indian girl Pocahontas, a story of adventure that charms as often as it is told. Bancroft, the historian of the United States, relates how, during the early settlement of Virginia, Smith left the infant colony on an exploring expedition, and not only ascended the river Chickahominy, but struck into the interior. His companions disobeyed his instructions, and being surprised by the Indians, were put to death. Smith preserved his own life by calmness and self-possession. Displaying a pocket-compass, he amused the savages by an explanation of its power, and increased their admiration of his superior genius by imparting to them some vague conceptions of the form of the earth, and the nature of the planetary system. To the Indians, who retained him as their prisoner, his captivity was a more strange event than anything of which the traditions of their tribes preserved the memory. He was allowed to send a letter to the fort at Jamestown, and the savage wonder was increased, for he seemed by some magic to endow the paper with the gift of intelligence. It was evident that their captive was a being of a high order, and then the question arose, Was his nature beneficent, or was he to be dreaded as a dangerous enemy? Their minds were bewildered, and the decision of his fate was referred to the chief Powhatan, and before Powhatan Smith was brought. "The fears of the feeble aborigines," says Bancroft, "were about to prevail, and his immediate death, already repeatedly threatened and repeatedly delayed, would have been inevitable, but for the timely intercession of Pocahontas, a girl twelve years old, the daughter of Powhatan, whose confiding fondness Smith had easily won, and who firmly clung to his neck, as his head was bowed down to receive the stroke of the tomahawks. His fearlessness, and her entreaties, persuaded the council to spare the agreeable stranger, who could make hatchets for her father, and rattles and strings of beads for herself, the favourite child. The barbarians, whose decision had long been held in suspense by the mysterious awe which Smith had inspired, now resolved to receive him as a friend, and to make him a partner of their councils. They tempted him to join their bands, and lend assistance in an attack upon the white men at Jamestown; and when his decision of character succeeded in changing the current of their thoughts, they dismissed him with mutual promises of friendship and benevolence. Thus the captivity of Smith did itself become a benefit to the colony; for he had not only observed with care the country between the James and the Potomac, and had gained some knowledge of the language and manners of the natives, but he now established a peaceful intercourse between the English and the tribes of Powhatan."

 

On the monument erected to Smith in St. Sepulchre's Church, the following quaint lines were formerly inscribed:—

 

"Here lies one conquered that hath conquered kings,

Subdued large territories, and done things

Which to the world impossible would seem,

But that the truth is held in more esteem.

Shall I report his former service done,

In honour of his God, and Christendom?

How that he did divide, from pagans three,

Their heads and lives, types of his chivalry?—

For which great service, in that climate done,

Brave Sigismundus, King of Hungarion,

Did give him, as a coat of arms, to wear

These conquered heads, got by his sword and spear.

Or shall I tell of his adventures since

Done in Virginia, that large continent?

How that he subdued kings unto his yoke,

And made those heathens flee, as wind doth smoke;

And made their land, being so large a station,

An habitation for our Christian nation,

Where God is glorified, their wants supplied;

Which else for necessaries, must have died.

But what avails his conquests, now he lies

Interred in earth, a prey to worms and flies?

Oh! may his soul in sweet Elysium sleep,

Until the Keeper, that all souls doth keep,

Return to judgment; and that after thence

With angels he may have his recompense."

 

Sir Robert Peake, the engraver, also found a last resting-place here. He is known as the master of William Faithorne—the famous English engraver of the seventeenth century—and governor of Basing House for the king during the Civil War under Charles I. He died in 1667. Here also was interred the body of Dr. Bell, grandfather of the originator of a well-known system of education.

 

"The churchyard of St. Sepulchre's," we learn from Maitland, "at one time extended so far into the street on the south side of the church, as to render the passage-way dangerously narrow. In 1760 the churchyard was, in consequence, levelled, and thrown open to the public. But this led to much inconvenience, and it was re-enclosed in 1802."

 

Sarah Malcolm, the murderess, was buried in the churchyard of St. Sepulchre's in 1733. This coldhearted and keen-eyed monster in human form has had her story told by us already. The parishioners seem, on this occasion, to have had no such scruples as had been exhibited by their predecessors a hundred and fifty years previous at the burial of Awfield, a traitor. We shall see presently that in those more remote days they were desirous of having at least respectable company for their deceased relatives and friends in the churchyard.

 

"For a long period," says Mr. Godwin (1838), "the church was surrounded by low mean buildings, by which its general appearance was hidden; but these having been cleared away, and the neighbourhood made considerably more open, St. Sepulchre's now forms a somewhat pleasing object, notwithstanding that the tower and a part of the porch are so entirely dissimilar in style to the remainder of the building." And since Godwin's writing the surroundings of the church have been so improved that perhaps few buildings in the metropolis stand more prominently before the public eye.

 

In the glorious roll of martyrs who have suffered at the stake for their religious principles, a vicar of St. Sepulchre's, the Reverend John Rogers, occupies a conspicuous place. He was the first who was burned in the reign of the Bloody Mary. This eminent person had at one time been chaplain to the English merchants at Antwerp, and while residing in that city had aided Tindal and Coverdale in their great work of translating the Bible. He married a German lady of good position, by whom he had a large family, and was enabled, by means of her relations, to reside in peace and safety in Germany. It appeared to be his duty, however, to return to England, and there publicly profess and advocate his religious convictions, even at the risk of death. He crossed the sea; he took his place in the pulpit at St. Paul's Cross; he preached a fearless and animated sermon, reminding his astonished audience of the pure and wholesome doctrine which had been promulgated from that pulpit in the days of the good King Edward, and solemnly warning them against the pestilent idolatry and superstition of these new times. It was his last sermon. He was apprehended, tried, condemned, and burned at Smithfield. We described, when speaking of Smithfield, the manner in which he met his fate.

 

Connected with the martyrdom of Rogers an odd circumstance is quoted in the "Churches of London." It is stated that when the bishops had resolved to put to death Joan Bocher, a friend came to Rogers and earnestly entreated his influence that the poor woman's life might be spared, and other means taken to prevent the spread of her heterodox doctrines. Rogers, however, contended that she should be executed; and his friend then begged him to choose some other kind of death, which should be more agreeable to the gentleness and mercy prescribed in the gospel. "No," replied Rogers, "burning alive is not a cruel death, but easy enough." His friend hearing these words, expressive of so little regard for the sufferings of a fellow-creature, answered him with great vehemence, at the same time striking Rogers' hand, "Well, it may perhaps so happen that you yourself shall have your hands full of this mild burning." There is no record of Rogers among the papers belonging to St. Sepulchre's, but this may easily be accounted for by the fact that at the Great Fire of 1666 nearly all the registers and archives were destroyed.

 

A noteworthy incident in the history of St. Sepulchre's was connected with the execution, in 1585, of Awfield, for "sparcinge abrood certen lewed, sedicious, and traytorous bookes." "When he was executed," says Fleetwood, the Recorder, in a letter to Lord Burleigh, July 7th of that year, "his body was brought unto St. Pulcher's to be buryed, but the parishioners would not suffer a traytor's corpse to be laid in the earth where their parents, wives, children, kindred, masters, and old neighbours did rest; and so his carcass was returned to the burial-ground near Tyburn, and there I leave it."

 

Another event in the history of the church is a tale of suicide. On the 10th of April, 1600, a man named William Dorrington threw himself from the roof of the tower, leaving there a prayer for forgiveness.

 

We come now to speak of the connection of St. Sepulchre's with the neighbouring prison of Newgate. Being the nearest church to the prison, that connection naturally was intimate. Its clock served to give the time to the hangman when there was an execution in the Old Bailey, and many a poor wretch's last moments must it have regulated.

 

On the right-hand side of the altar a board with a list of charitable donations and gifts used to contain the following item:—"1605. Mr. Robert Dowe gave, for ringing the greatest bell in this church on the day the condemned prisoners are executed, and for other services, for ever, concerning such condemned prisoners, for which services the sexton is paid £16s. 8d.—£50.

 

It was formerly the practice for the clerk or bellman of St. Sepulchre's to go under Newgate, on the night preceding the execution of a criminal, ring his bell, and repeat the following wholesome advice:—

 

"All you that in the condemned hold do lie,

Prepare you, for to-morrow you shall die;

Watch all, and pray, the hour is drawing near

That you before the Almighty must appear;

Examine well yourselves, in time repent,

That you may not to eternal flames be sent.

And when St. Sepulchre's bell to-morrow tolls,

The Lord above have mercy on your souls.

Past twelve o'clock!"

 

This practice is explained by a passage in Munday's edition of Stow, in which it is told that a Mr. John Dowe, citizen and merchant taylor of London, gave £50 to the parish church of St. Sepulchre's, under the following conditions:—After the several sessions of London, on the night before the execution of such as were condemned to death, the clerk of the church was to go in the night-time, and also early in the morning, to the window of the prison in which they were lying. He was there to ring "certain tolls with a hand-bell" appointed for the purpose, and was afterwards, in a most Christian manner, to put them in mind of their present condition and approaching end, and to exhort them to be prepared, as they ought to be, to die. When they were in the cart, and brought before the walls of the church, the clerk was to stand there ready with the same bell, and, after certain tolls, rehearse a prayer, desiring all the people there present to pray for the unfortunate criminals. The beadle, also, of Merchant Taylors' Hall was allowed an "honest stipend" to see that this ceremony was regularly performed.

 

The affecting admonition—"affectingly good," Pennant calls it—addressed to the prisoners in Newgate, on the night before execution, ran as follows:—

 

"You prisoners that are within,

Who, for wickedness and sin,

 

after many mercies shown you, are now appointed to die to-morrow in the forenoon; give ear and understand that, to-morrow morning, the greatest bell of St. Sepulchre's shall toll for you, in form and manner of a passing-bell, as used to be tolled for those that are at the point of death; to the end that all godly people, hearing that bell, and knowing it is for your going to your deaths, may be stirred up heartily to pray to God to bestow his grace and mercy upon you, whilst you live. I beseech you, for Jesus Christ's sake, to keep this night in watching and prayer, to the salvation of your own souls while there is yet time and place for mercy; as knowing to-morrow you must appear before the judgment-seat of your Creator, there to give an account of all things done in this life, and to suffer eternal torments for your sins committed against Him, unless, upon your hearty and unfeigned repentance, you find mercy through the merits, death, and passion of your only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return to Him."

 

And the following was the admonition to condemned criminals, as they were passing by St. Sepulchre's Church wall to execution:—" All good people, pray heartily unto God for these poor sinners, who are now going to their death, for whom this great bell doth toll.

 

"You that are condemned to die, repent with lamentable tears; ask mercy of the Lord, for the salvation of your own souls, through the [merits, death, and passion of Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return unto Him.

 

"Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you.

Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you."

 

The charitable Mr. Dowe, who took such interest in the last moments of the occupants of the condemned cell, was buried in the church of St. Botolph, Aldgate.

 

Another curious custom observed at St. Sepulchre's was the presentation of a nosegay to every criminal on his way to execution at Tyburn. No doubt the practice had its origin in some kindly feeling for the poor unfortunates who were so soon to bid farewell to all the beauties of earth. One of the last who received a nosegay from the steps of St. Sepulchre's was "Sixteen-string Jack," alias John Rann, who was hanged, in 1774, for robbing the Rev. Dr. Bell of his watch and eighteen pence in money, in Gunnersbury Lane, on the road to Brentford. Sixteen-string Jack wore the flowers in his button-hole as he rode dolefully to the gallows. This was witnessed by John Thomas Smith, who thus describes the scene in his admirable anecdotebook, "Nollekens and his Times:"—" I remember well, when I was in my eighth year, Mr. Nollekens calling at my father's house, in Great Portland Street, and taking us to Oxford Street, to see the notorious Jack Rann, commonly called Sixteenstring Jack, go to Tyburn to be hanged. … The criminal was dressed in a pea-green coat, with an immense nosegay in the button-hole, which had been presented to him at St. Sepulchre's steps; and his nankeen small-clothes, we were told, were tied at each knee with sixteen strings. After he had passed, and Mr. Nollekens was leading me home by the hand, I recollect his stooping down to me and observing, in a low tone of voice, 'Tom, now, my little man, if my father-in-law, Mr. Justice Welch, had been high constable, we could have walked by the side of the cart all the way to Tyburn.'"

 

When criminals were conveyed from Newgate to Tyburn, the cart passed up Giltspur Street, and through Smithfield, to Cow Lane. Skinner Street had not then been built, and the Crooked Lane which turned down by St. Sepulchre's, as well as Ozier Lane, did not afford sufficient width to admit of the cavalcade passing by either of them, with convenience, to Holborn Hill, or "the Heavy Hill," as it used to be called. The procession seems at no time to have had much of the solemn element about it. "The heroes of the day were often," says a popular writer, "on good terms with the mob, and jokes were exchanged between the men who were going to be hanged and the men who deserved to be."

 

"On St. Paul's Day," says Mr. Timbs (1868), "service is performed in St. Sepulchre's, in accordance with the will of Mr. Paul Jervis, who, in 1717, devised certain land in trust that a sermon should be preached in the church upon every Paul's Day upon the excellence of the liturgy o the Church of England; the preacher to receive 40s. for such sermon. Various sums are also bequeathed to the curate, the clerk, the treasurer, and masters of the parochial schools. To the poor of the parish he bequeathed 20s. a-piece to ten of the poorest householders within that part of the parish of St. Sepulchre commonly called Smithfield quarter, £4 to the treasurer of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and 6s. 8d. yearly to the clerk, who shall attend to receive the same. The residue of the yearly rents and profits is to be distributed unto and amongst such poor people of the parish of St. Sepulchre's, London, who shall attend the service and sermon. At the close of the service the vestry-clerk reads aloud an extract from the will, and then proceeds to the distribution of the money. In the evening the vicar, churchwardens, and common councilmen of the precinct dine together."

 

In 1749, a Mr. Drinkwater made a praiseworthy bequest. He left the parish of St. Sepulchre £500 to be lent in sums of £25 to industrious young tradesmen. No interest was to be charged, and the money was to be lent for four years.

 

Next to St. Sepulchre's, on Snow Hill, used to stand the famous old inn of the "Saracen's Head." It was only swept away within the last few years by the ruthless army of City improvers: a view of it in course of demolition was given on page 439. It was one of the oldest of the London inns which bore the "Saracen's Head" for a sign. One of Dick Tarlton's jests makes mention of the "Saracen's Head" without Newgate, and Stow, describing this neighbourhood, speaks particularly of "a fair large inn for receipt of travellers" that "hath to sign the 'Saracen's Head.'" The courtyard had, to the last, many of the characteristics of an old English inn; there were galleries all round leading to the bedrooms, and a spacious gateway through which the dusty mail-coaches used to rumble, the tired passengers creeping forth "thanking their stars in having escaped the highwaymen and the holes and sloughs of the road." Into that courtyard how many have come on their first arrival in London with hearts beating high with hope, some of whom have risen to be aldermen and sit in state as lord mayor, whilst others have gone the way of the idle apprentice and come to a sad end at Tyburn! It was at this inn that Nicholas Nickleby and his uncle waited upon the Yorkshire schoolmaster Squeers, of Dotheboys Hall. Mr. Dickens describes the tavern as it existed in the last days of mail-coaching, when it was a most important place for arrivals and departures in London:—

 

"Next to the jail, and by consequence near to Smithfield also, and the Compter and the bustle and noise of the City, and just on that particular part of Snow Hill where omnibus horses going eastwards seriously think of falling down on purpose, and where horses in hackney cabriolets going westwards not unfrequently fall by accident, is the coach-yard of the 'Saracen's Head' inn, its portals guarded by two Saracen's heads and shoulders, which it was once the pride and glory of the choice spirits of this metropolis to pull down at night, but which have for some time remained in undisturbed tranquillity, possibly because this species of humour is now confined to St. James's parish, where doorknockers are preferred as being more portable, and bell-wires esteemed as convenient tooth-picks. Whether this be the reason or not, there they are, frowning upon you from each side of the gateway; and the inn itself, garnished with another Saracen's head, frowns upon you from the top of the yard; while from the door of the hind-boot of all the red coaches that are standing therein, there glares a small Saracen's head with a twin expression to the large Saracen's head below, so that the general appearance of the pile is of the Saracenic order."

 

To explain the use of the Saracen's head as an inn sign various reasons have been given. "When our countrymen," says Selden, "came home from fighting with the Saracens and were beaten by them, they pictured them with huge, big, terrible faces (as you still see the 'Saracen's Head' is), when in truth they were like other men. But this they did to save their own credit." Or the sign may have been adopted by those who had visited the Holy Land either as pilgrims or to fight the Saracens. Others, again, hold that it was first set up in compliment to the mother of Thomas à Becket, who was the daughter of a Saracen. However this may be, it is certain that the use of the sign in former days was very general.

 

Running past the east end of St. Sepulchre's, from Newgate into West Smithfield, is Giltspur Street, anciently called Knightriders Street. This interesting thoroughfare derives its name from the knights with their gilt spurs having been accustomed to ride this way to the jousts and tournaments which in days of old were held in Smithfield.

 

In this street was Giltspur Street Compter, a debtors' prison and house of correction appertaining to the sheriffs of London and Middlesex. It stood over against St. Sepulchre's Church, and was removed hither from the east side of Wood Street, Cheapside, in 1791. At the time of its removal it was used as a place of imprisonment for debtors, but the yearly increasing demands upon the contracted space caused that department to be given up, and City debtors were sent to Whitecross Street. The architect was Dance, to whom we are also indebted for the grim pile of Newgate. The Compter was a dirty and appropriately convictlooking edifice. It was pulled down in 1855. Mr. Hepworth Dixon gave an interesting account of this City House of Correction, not long before its demolition, in his "London Prisons" (1850). "Entering," he says, "at the door facing St. Sepulchre's, the visitor suddenly finds himself in a low dark passage, leading into the offices of the gaol, and branching off into other passages, darker, closer, more replete with noxious smells, than even those of Newgate. This is the fitting prelude to what follows. The prison, it must be noticed, is divided into two principal divisions, the House of Correction and the Compter. The front in Giltspur Street, and the side nearest to Newgate Street, is called the Compter. In its wards are placed detenues of various kinds—remands, committals from the police-courts, and generally persons waiting for trial, and consequently still unconvicted. The other department, the House of Correction, occupies the back portion of the premises, abutting on Christ's Hospital. Curious it is to consider how thin a wall divides these widely-separate worlds! And sorrowful it is to think what a difference of destiny awaits the children—destiny inexorable, though often unearned in either case—who, on the one side of it or the other, receive an eleemosynary education! The collegian and the criminal! Who shall say how much mere accident— circumstances over which the child has little power —determines to a life of usefulness or mischief? From the yards of Giltspur Street prison almost the only objects visible, outside of the gaol itself, are the towers of Christ's Hospital; the only sounds audible, the shouts of the scholars at their play. The balls of the hospital boys often fall within the yards of the prison. Whether these sights and sounds ever cause the criminal to pause and reflect upon the courses of his life, we will not say, but the stranger visiting the place will be very apt to think for him. …

 

"In the department of the prison called the House of Correction, minor offenders within the City of London are imprisoned. No transports are sent hither, nor is any person whose sentence is above three years in length." This able writer then goes on to tell of the many crying evils connected with the institution—the want of air, the over-crowded state of the rooms, the absence of proper cellular accommodation, and the vicious intercourse carried on amongst the prisoners. The entire gaol, when he wrote, only contained thirty-six separate sleeping-rooms. Now by the highest prison calculation—and this, be it noted, proceeds on the assumption that three persons can sleep in small, miserable, unventilated cells, which are built for only one, and are too confined for that, being only about one-half the size of the model cell for one at Pentonville—it was only capable of accommodating 203 prisoners, yet by the returns issued at Michaelmas, 1850, it contained 246!

 

A large section of the prison used to be devoted to female delinquents, but lately it was almost entirely given up to male offenders.

 

"The House of Correction, and the Compter portion of the establishment," says Mr. Dixon, "are kept quite distinct, but it would be difficult to award the palm of empire in their respective facilities for demoralisation. We think the Compter rather the worse of the two. You are shown into a room, about the size of an apartment in an ordinary dwelling-house, which will be found crowded with from thirty to forty persons, young and old, and in their ordinary costume; the low thief in his filth and rags, and the member of the swell-mob with his bright buttons, flash finery, and false jewels. Here you notice the boy who has just been guilty of his first offence, and committed for trial, learning with a greedy mind a thousand criminal arts, and listening with the precocious instinct of guilty passions to stories and conversations the most depraved and disgusting. You regard him with a mixture of pity and loathing, for he knows that the eyes of his peers are upon him, and he stares at you with a familiar impudence, and exhibits a devil-may-care countenance, such as is only to be met with in the juvenile offender. Here, too, may be seen the young clerk, taken up on suspicion—perhaps innocent—who avoids you with a shy look of pain and uneasiness: what a hell must this prison be to him! How frightful it is to think of a person really untainted with crime, compelled to herd for ten or twenty days with these abandoned wretches!

 

"On the other, the House of Correction side of the gaol, similar rooms will be found, full of prisoners communicating with each other, laughing and shouting without hindrance. All this is so little in accordance with existing notions of prison discipline, that one is continually fancying these disgraceful scenes cannot be in the capital of England, and in the year of grace 1850. Very few of the prisoners attend school or receive any instruction; neither is any kind of employment afforded them, except oakum-picking, and the still more disgusting labour of the treadmill. When at work, an officer is in attendance to prevent disorderly conduct; but his presence is of no avail as a protection to the less depraved. Conversation still goes on; and every facility is afforded for making acquaintances, and for mutual contamination."

 

After having long been branded by intelligent inspectors as a disgrace to the metropolis, Giltspur Street Compter was condemned, closed in 1854, and subsequently taken down.

 

Nearly opposite what used to be the site of the Compter, and adjoining Cock Lane, is the spot called Pie Corner, near which terminated the Great Fire of 1666. The fire commenced at Pudding Lane, it will be remembered, so it was singularly appropriate that it should terminate at Pie Corner. Under the date of 4th September, 1666, Pepys, in his "Diary," records that "W. Hewer this day went to see how his mother did, and comes home late, telling us how he hath been forced to remove her to Islington, her house in Pye Corner being burned; so that the fire is got so far that way." The figure of a fat naked boy stands over a public house at the corner of the lane; it used to have the following warning inscription attached:— "This boy is in memory put up of the late fire of London, occasioned by the sin of gluttony, 1666." According to Stow, Pie Corner derived its name from the sign of a well-frequented hostelry, which anciently stood on the spot. Strype makes honourable mention of Pie Corner, as "noted chiefly for cooks' shops and pigs dressed there during Bartholomew Fair." Our old writers have many references—and not all, by the way, in the best taste—to its cookstalls and dressed pork. Shadwell, for instance, in the Woman Captain (1680) speaks of "meat dressed at Pie Corner by greasy scullions;" and Ben Jonson writes in the Alchemist (1612)—

 

"I shall put you in mind, sir, at Pie Corner,

Taking your meal of steam in from cooks' stalls."

 

And in "The Great Boobee" ("Roxburgh Ballads"):

 

"Next day I through Pie Corner passed;

The roast meat on the stall

Invited me to take a taste;

My money was but small."

 

But Pie Corner seems to have been noted for more than eatables. A ballad from Tom D'Urfey's "Pills to Purge Melancholy," describing Bartholomew Fair, eleven years before the Fire of London, says:—

 

"At Pie-Corner end, mark well my good friend,

'Tis a very fine dirty place;

Where there's more arrows and bows. …

Than was handled at Chivy Chase."

 

We have already given a view of Pie Corner in our chapter on Smithfield, page 361.

 

Hosier Lane, running from Cow Lane to Smithfield, and almost parallel to Cock Lane, is described by "R. B.," in Strype, as a place not over-well built or inhabited. The houses were all old timber erections. Some of these—those standing at the south corner of the lane—were in the beginning of this century depicted by Mr. J. T. Smith, in his "Ancient Topography of London." He describes them as probably of the reign of James I. The rooms were small, with low, unornamented ceilings; the timber, oak, profusely used; the gables were plain, and the walls lath and plaster. They were taken down in 1809.

 

In the corner house, in Mr. Smith's time, there was a barber whose name was Catchpole; at least, so it was written over the door. He was rather an odd fellow, and possessed, according to his own account, a famous relic of antiquity. He would gravely show his customers a short-bladed instrument, as the identical dagger with which Walworth killed Wat Tyler.

 

Hosier Lane, like Pie Corner, used to be a great resort during the time of Bartholomew Fair, "all the houses," it is said in Strype, "generally being made public for tippling."

 

We return now from our excursion to the north of St. Sepulchre's, and continue our rambles to the west, and before speaking of what is, let us refer to what has been.

 

Turnagain Lane is not far from this. "Near unto this Seacoal Lane," remarks Stow, "in the turning towards Holborn Conduit, is Turnagain Lane, or rather, as in a record of the 5th of Edward III., Windagain Lane, for that it goeth down west to Fleet Dyke, from whence men must turn again the same way they came, but there it stopped." There used to be a proverb, "He must take him a house in Turnagain Lane."

 

A conduit formerly stood on Snow Hill, a little below the church. It is described as a building with four equal sides, ornamented with four columns and pediment, surmounted by a pyramid, on which stood a lamb—a rebus on the name of Lamb, from whose conduit in Red Lion Street the water came. There had been a conduit there, however, before Lamb's day, which was towards the close of the sixteenth century.

 

At No. 37, King Street, Snow Hill, there used to be a ladies' charity school, which was established in 1702, and remained in the parish 145 years. Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale were subscribers to this school, and Johnson drew from it his story of Betty Broom, in "The Idler." The world of domestic service, in Betty's days, seems to have been pretty much as now. Betty was a poor girl, bred in the country at a charity-school, maintained by the contributions of wealthy neighbours. The patronesses visited the school from time to time, to see how the pupils got on, and everything went well, till "at last, the chief of the subscribers having passed a winter in London, came down full of an opinion new and strange to the whole country. She held it little less than criminal to teach poor girls to read and write. They who are born to poverty, she said, are born to ignorance, and will work the harder the less they know. She told her friends that London was in confusion by the insolence of servants; that scarcely a girl could be got for all-work, since education had made such numbers of fine ladies, that nobody would now accept a lower title than that of a waiting-maid, or something that might qualify her to wear laced shoes and long ruffles, and to sit at work in the parlour window. But she was resolved, for her part, to spoil no more girls. Those who were to live by their hands should neither read nor write out of her pocket. The world was bad enough already, and she would have no part in making it worse.

 

"She was for a long time warmly opposed; but she persevered in her notions, and withdrew her subscription. Few listen, without a desire of conviction, to those who advise them to spare their money. Her example and her arguments gained ground daily; and in less than a year the whole parish was convinced that the nation would be ruined if the children of the poor were taught to read and write." So the school was dissolved, and Betty with the rest was turned adrift into the wide and cold world; and her adventures there any one may read in "The Idler" for himself.

 

There is an entry in the school minutes of 1763, to the effect that the ladies of the committee censured the schoolmistress for listening to the story of the Cock Lane ghost, and "desired her to keep her belief in the article to herself."

 

Skinner Street—now one of the names of the past—which ran by the south side of St. Sepulchre's, and formed the connecting link between Newgate Street and Holborn, received its name from Alderman Skinner, through whose exertions, about 1802, it was principally built. The following account of Skinner Street is from the picturesque pen of Mr. William Harvey ("Aleph"), whose long familiarity with the places he describes renders doubly valuable his many contributions to the history of London scenes and people:—"As a building speculation," he says, writing in 1863, "it was a failure. When the buildings were ready for occupation, tall and substantial as they really were, the high rents frightened intending shopkeepers. Tenants were not to be had; and in order to get over the money difficulty, a lottery, sanctioned by Parliament, was commenced. Lotteries were then common tricks of finance, and nobody wondered at the new venture; but even the most desperate fortune-hunters were slow to invest their capital, and the tickets hung sadly on hand. The day for the drawing was postponed several times, and when it came, there was little or no excitement on the subject, and whoever rejoiced in becoming a house-owner on such easy terms, the original projectors and builders were understood to have suffered considerably. The winners found the property in a very unfinished condition. Few of the dwellings were habitable, and as funds were often wanting, a majority of the houses remained empty, and the shops unopened. After two or three years things began to improve; the vast many-storeyed house which then covered the site of Commercial Place was converted into a warehousing depôt; a capital house opposite the 'Saracen's Head' was taken by a hosier of the name of Theobald, who, opening his shop with the determination of selling the best hosiery, and nothing else, was able to convince the citizens that his hose was first-rate, and, desiring only a living profit, succeeded, after thirty years of unwearied industry, in accumulating a large fortune. Theobald was possessed of literary tastes, and at the sale of Sir Walter Scott's manuscripts was a liberal purchaser. He also collected a library of exceedingly choice books, and when aristocratic customers purchased stockings of him, was soon able to interest them in matters of far higher interest…

 

"The most remarkable shop—but it was on the left-hand side, at a corner house—was that established for the sale of children's books. It boasted an immense extent of window-front, extending from the entrance into Snow Hill, and towards Fleet Market. Many a time have I lingered with loving eyes over those fascinating story-books, so rich in gaily-coloured prints; such careful editions of the marvellous old histories, 'Puss in Boots,' 'Cock Robin,' 'Cinderella,' and the like. Fortunately the front was kept low, so as exactly to suit the capacity of a childish admirer. . . . . But Skinner Street did not prosper much, and never could compete with even the dullest portions of Holborn. I have spoken of some reputable shops; but you know the proverb, 'One swallow will not make a summer,' and it was a declining neighbourhood almost before it could be called new. In 1810 the commercial depôt, which had been erected at a cost of £25,000, and was the chief prize in the lottery, was destroyed by fire, never to be rebuilt—a heavy blow and discouragement to Skinner Street, from which it never rallied. Perhaps the periodical hanging-days exercised an unfavourable influence, collecting, as they frequently did, all the thieves and vagabonds of London. I never sympathised with Pepys or Charles Fox in their passion for public executions, and made it a point to avoid those ghastly sights; but early of a Monday morning, when I had just reached the end of Giltspur Street, a miserable wretch had just been turned off from the platform of the debtors' door, and I was made the unwilling witness of his last struggles. That scene haunted me for months, and I often used to ask myself, 'Who that could help it would live in Skinner Street?' The next unpropitious event in these parts was the unexpected closing of the child's library. What could it mean? Such a well-to-do establishment shut up? Yes, the whole army of shutters looked blankly on the inquirer, and forbade even a single glance at 'Sinbad' or 'Robinson Crusoe.' It would soon be re-opened, we naturally thought; but the shutters never came down again. The whole house was deserted; not even a messenger in bankruptcy, or an ancient Charley, was found to regard the playful double knocks of the neighbouring juveniles. Gradually the glass of all the windows got broken in, a heavy cloud of black dust, solidifying into inches thick, gathered on sills and doors and brickwork, till the whole frontage grew as gloomy as Giant Despair's Castle. Not long after, the adjoining houses shared the same fate, and they remained from year to year without the slightest sign of life—absolute scarecrows, darkening with their uncomfortable shadows the busy streets. Within half a mile, in Stamford Street, Blackfriars, there are (1863) seven houses in a similar predicament— window-glass demolished, doors cracked from top to bottom, spiders' webs hanging from every projecting sill or parapet. What can it mean? The loss in the article of rents alone must be over £1,000 annually. If the real owners are at feud with imaginary owners, surely the property might be rendered valuable, and the proceeds invested. Even the lawyers can derive no profit from such hopeless abandonment. I am told the whole mischief arose out of a Chancery suit. Can it be the famous 'Jarndyce v. Jarndyce' case? And have all the heirs starved each other out? If so, what hinders our lady the Queen from taking possession? Any change would be an improvement, for these dead houses make the streets they cumber as dispiriting and comfortless as graveyards. Busy fancy will sometimes people them, and fill the dreary rooms with strange guests. Do the victims of guilt congregate in these dark dens? Do wretches 'unfriended by the world or the world's law,' seek refuge in these deserted nooks, mourning in the silence of despair over their former lives, and anticipating the future in unappeasable agony? Such things have been—the silence and desolation of these doomed dwellings make them the more suitable for such tenants."

 

A street is nothing without a mystery, so a mystery let these old tumble-down houses remain, whilst we go on to tell that, in front of No. 58, the sailor Cashman was hung in 1817, as we have already mentioned, for plundering a gunsmith's shop there. William Godwin, the author of "Caleb Williams," kept a bookseller's shop for several years in Skinner Street, at No. 41, and published school-books in the name of Edward Baldwin. On the wall there was a stone carving of Æsop reciting one of his fables to children.

 

The most noteworthy event of the life of Godwin was his marriage with the celebrated Mary Wollstonecraft, authoress of a "Vindication of the Rights of Women," whose congenial mind, in politics and morals, he ardently admired. Godwin's account of the way in which they got on together is worth reading:—"Ours," he writes, "was not an idle happiness, a paradise of selfish and transitory pleasures. It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to mention, that influenced by ideas I had long entertained, I engaged an apartment about twenty doors from our house, in the Polygon, Somers Town, which I designed for the purpose of my study and literary occupations. Trifles, however, will be interesting to some readers, when they relate to the last period of the life of such a person as Mary. I will add, therefore, that we were both of us of opinion, that it was possible for two persons to be too uniformly in each other's society. Influenced by that opinion, it was my practice to repair to the apartment I have mentioned as soon as I rose, and frequently not to make my appearance in the Polygon till the hour of dinner. We agreed in condemning the notion, prevalent in many situations in life, that a man and his wife cannot visit in mixed society but in company with each other, and we rather sought occasions of deviating from than of complying with this rule. By this means, though, for the most part, we spent the latter half of each day in one another's society, yet we were in no danger of satiety. We seemed to combine, in a considerable degree, the novelty and lively sensation of a visit with the more delicious and heartfelt pleasure of a domestic life."

 

This philosophic union, to Godwin's inexpressible affliction, did not last more than eighteen months, at the end of which time Mrs. Godwin died, leaving an only daughter, who in the course of time became the second wife of the poet Shelley, and was the author of the wild and extraordinary tale of "Frankenstein."

 

www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45116

With the rain falling harder, it was a bit of a route march to Holborn and my next church, the stunning St Sepulchre, which was also open.

 

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St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Holborn), is an Anglican church in the City of London. It is located on Holborn Viaduct, almost opposite the Old Bailey. In medieval times it stood just outside ("without") the now-demolished old city wall, near the Newgate. It has been a living of St John's College, Oxford, since 1622.

 

The original Saxon church on the site was dedicated to St Edmund the King and Martyr. During the Crusades in the 12th century the church was renamed St Edmund and the Holy Sepulchre, in reference to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The name eventually became contracted to St Sepulchre.

 

The church is today the largest parish church in the City. It was completely rebuilt in the 15th century but was gutted by the Great Fire of London in 1666,[1] which left only the outer walls, the tower and the porch standing[2] -. Modified in the 18th century, the church underwent extensive restoration in 1878. It narrowly avoided destruction in the Second World War, although the 18th-century watch-house in its churchyard (erected to deter grave-robbers) was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt.

 

The interior of the church is a wide, roomy space with a coffered ceiling[3] installed in 1834. The Vicars' old residence has recently been renovated into a modern living quarter.

 

During the reign of Mary I in 1555, St Sepulchre's vicar, John Rogers, was burned as a heretic.

 

St Sepulchre is named in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons as the "bells of Old Bailey". Traditionally, the great bell would be rung to mark the execution of a prisoner at the nearby gallows at Newgate. The clerk of St Sepulchre's was also responsible for ringing a handbell outside the condemned man's cell in Newgate Prison to inform him of his impending execution. This handbell, known as the Execution Bell, now resides in a glass case to the south of the nave.

 

The church has been the official musicians' church for many years and is associated with many famous musicians. Its north aisle (formerly a chapel dedicated to Stephen Harding) is dedicated as the Musicians' Chapel, with four windows commemorating John Ireland, the singer Dame Nellie Melba, Walter Carroll and the conductor Sir Henry Wood respectively.[4] Wood, who "at the age of fourteen, learned to play the organ" at this church [1] and later became its organist, also has his ashes buried in this church.

 

The south aisle of the church holds the regimental chapel of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), and its gardens are a memorial garden to that regiment.[5] The west end of the north aisle has various memorials connected with the City of London Rifles (the 6th Battalion London Regiment). The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Sepulchre-without-Newgate

 

The Early History of St. Sepulchre's—Its Destruction in 1666—The Exterior and Interior—The Early Popularity of the Church—Interments here—Roger Ascham, the Author of the "Schoolmaster"—Captain John Smith, and his Romantic Adventures—Saved by an Indian Girl— St. Sepulchre's Churchyard—Accommodation for a Murderess—The Martyr Rogers—An Odd Circumstance—Good Company for the Dead—A Leap from the Tower—A Warning Bell and a Last Admonition—Nosegays for the Condemned—The Route to the Gallows-tree— The Deeds of the Charitable—The "Saracen's Head"—Description by Dickens—Giltspur Street—Giltspur Street Compter—A Disreputable Condition—Pie Corner—Hosier Lane—A Spurious Relic—The Conduit on Snow Hill—A Ladies' Charity School—Turnagain Lane—Poor Betty!—A Schoolmistress Censured—Skinner Street—Unpropitious Fortune—William Godwin—An Original Married Life.

 

Many interesting associations—Principally, however, connected with the annals of crime and the execution of the laws of England—belong to the Church of St. Sepulchre, or St. 'Pulchre. This sacred edifice—anciently known as St. Sepulchre's in the Bailey, or by Chamberlain Gate (now Newgate)—stands at the eastern end of the slight acclivity of Snow Hill, and between Smithfield and the Old Bailey. The genuine materials for its early history are scanty enough. It was probably founded about the commencement of the twelfth century, but of the exact date and circumstances of its origin there is no record whatever. Its name is derived from the Holy Sepulchre of our Saviour at Jerusalem, to the memory of which it was first dedicated.

 

The earliest authentic notice of the church, according to Maitland, is of the year 1178, at which date it was given by Roger, Bishop of Sarum, to the Prior and Canons of St. Bartholomew. These held the right of advowson until the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII., and from that time until 1610 it remained in the hands of the Crown. James I., however, then granted "the rectory and its appurtenances, with the advowson of the vicarage," to Francis Phillips and others. The next stage in its history is that the rectory was purchased by the parishioners, to be held in fee-farm of the Crown, and the advowson was obtained by the President and Fellows of St. John the Baptist College, at Oxford.

 

The church was rebuilt about the middle of the fifteenth century, when one of the Popham family, who had been Chancellor of Normandy and Treasurer of the King's Household, with distinguished liberality erected a handsome chapel on the south side of the choir, and the very beautiful porch still remaining at the south-west corner of the building. "His image," Stow says, "fair graven in stone, was fixed over the said porch."

 

The dreadful fire of 1666 almost destroyed St. Sepulchre's, but the parishioners set energetically to work, and it was "rebuilt and beautified both within and without." The general reparation was under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren, and nothing but the walls of the old building, and these not entirely, were suffered to remain. The work was done rapidly, and the whole was completed within four years.

 

"The tower," says Mr. Godwin, "retained its original aspect, and the body of the church, after its restoration, presented a series of windows between buttresses, with pointed heads filled with tracery, crowned by a string-course and battlements. In this form it remained till the year 1790, when it appears the whole fabric was found to be in a state of great decay, and it was resolved to repair it throughout. Accordingly the walls of the church were cased with Portland stone, and all the windows were taken out and replaced by others with plain semi-circular heads, as now seen—certainly agreeing but badly with the tower and porch of the building, but according with the then prevailing spirit of economy. The battlements, too, were taken down, and a plain stone parapet was substituted, so that at this time (with the exception of the roof, which was wagon-headed, and presented on the outside an unsightly swell, visible above the parapet) the church assumed its present appearance." The ungainly roof was removed, and an entirely new one erected, about 1836.

 

At each corner of the tower—"one of the most ancient," says the author of "Londinium Redivivum," "in the outline of the circuit of London" —there are spires, and on the spires there are weathercocks. These have been made use of by Howell to point a moral: "Unreasonable people," says he, "are as hard to reconcile as the vanes of St. Sepulchre's tower, which never look all four upon one point of the heavens." Nothing can be said with certainty as to the date of the tower, but it is not without the bounds of probability that it formed part of the original building. The belfry is reached by a small winding staircase in the south-west angle, and a similar staircase in an opposite angle leads to the summit. The spires at the corners, and some of the tower windows, have very recently undergone several alterations, which have added much to the picturesqueness and beauty of the church.

 

The chief entrance to St. Sepulchre's is by a porch of singular beauty, projecting from the south side of the tower, at the western end of the church. The groining of the ceiling of this porch, it has been pointed out, takes an almost unique form; the ribs are carved in bold relief, and the bosses at the intersections represent angels' heads, shields, roses, &c., in great variety.

 

Coming now to the interior of the church, we find it divided into three aisles, by two ranges of Tuscan columns. The aisles are of unequal widths, that in the centre being the widest, that to the south the narrowest. Semi-circular arches connect the columns on either side, springing directly from their capitals, without the interposition of an entablature, and support a large dental cornice, extending round the church. The ceiling of the middle aisle is divided into seven compartments, by horizontal bands, the middle compartment being formed into a small dome.

 

The aisles have groined ceilings, ornamented at the angles with doves, &c., and beneath every division of the groining are small windows, to admit light to the galleries. Over each of the aisles there is a gallery, very clumsily introduced, which dates from the time when the church was built by Wren, and extends the whole length, excepting at the chancel. The front of the gallery, which is of oak, is described by Mr. Godwin as carved into scrolls, branches, &c., in the centre panel, on either side, with the initials "C. R.," enriched with carvings of laurel, which have, however, he says, "but little merit."

 

At the east end of the church there are three semicircular-headed windows. Beneath the centre one is a large Corinthian altar-piece of oak, displaying columns, entablatures, &c., elaborately carved and gilded.

 

The length of the church, exclusive of the ambulatory, is said to be 126 feet, the breadth 68 feet, and the height of the tower 140 feet.

 

A singularly ugly sounding-board, extending over the preacher, used to stand at the back of the pulpit, at the east end of the church. It was in the shape of a large parabolic reflector, about twelve feet in diameter, and was composed of ribs of mahogany.

 

At the west end of the church there is a large organ, said to be the oldest and one of the finest in London. It was built in 1677, and has been greatly enlarged. Its reed-stops (hautboy, clarinet, &c.) are supposed to be unrivalled. In Newcourt's time the church was taken notice of as "remarkable for possessing an exceedingly fine organ, and the playing is thought so beautiful, that large congregations are attracted, though some of the parishioners object to the mode of performing divine service."

 

On the north side of the church, Mr. Godwin mentions, is a large apartment known as "St. Stephen's Chapel." This building evidently formed a somewhat important part of the old church, and was probably appropriated to the votaries of the saint whose name it bears.

 

Between the exterior and the interior of the church there is little harmony. "For example," says Mr. Godwin, "the columns which form the south aisle face, in some instances, the centre of the large windows which occur in the external wall of the church, and in others the centre of the piers, indifferently." This discordance may likely enough have arisen from the fact that when the church was rebuilt, or rather restored, after the Great Fire, the works were done without much attention from Sir Christopher Wren.

 

St. Sepulchre's appears to have enjoyed considerable popularity from the earliest period of its history, if one is to judge from the various sums left by well-disposed persons for the support of certain fraternities founded in the church—namely, those of St. Katherine, St. Michael, St. Anne, and Our Lady—and by others, for the maintenance of chantry priests to celebrate masses at stated intervals for the good of their souls. One of the fraternities just named—that of St. Katherine— originated, according to Stow, in the devotion of some poor persons in the parish, and was in honour of the conception of the Virgin Mary. They met in the church on the day of the Conception, and there had the mass of the day, and offered to the same, and provided a certain chaplain daily to celebrate divine service, and to set up wax lights before the image belonging to the fraternity, on all festival days.

 

The most famous of all who have been interred in St. Sepulchre's is Roger Ascham, the author of the "Schoolmaster," and the instructor of Queen Elizabeth in Greek and Latin. This learned old worthy was born in 1515, near Northallerton, in Yorkshire. He was educated at Cambridge University, and in time rose to be the university orator, being notably zealous in promoting what was then a novelty in England—the study of the Greek language. To divert himself after the fatigue of severe study, he used to devote himself to archery. This drew down upon him the censure of the all-work-and-no-play school; and in defence of himself, Ascham, in 1545, published "Toxophilus," a treatise on his favourite sport. This book is even yet well worthy of perusal, for its enthusiasm, and for its curious descriptions of the personal appearance and manners of the principal persons whom the author had seen and conversed with. Henry VIII. rewarded him with a pension of £10 per annum, a considerable sum in those days. In 1548, Ascham, on the death of William Grindall, who had been his pupil, was appointed instructor in the learned languages to Lady Elizabeth, afterwards the good Queen Bess. At the end of two years he had some dispute with, or took a disgust at, Lady Elizabeth's attendants, resigned his situation, and returned to his college. Soon after this he was employed as secretary to the English ambassador at the court of Charles V. of Germany, and remained abroad till the death of Edward VI. During his absence he had been appointed Latin secretary to King Edward. Strangely enough, though Queen Mary and her ministers were Papists, and Ascham a Protestant, he was retained in his office of Latin secretary, his pension was increased to £20, and he was allowed to retain his fellowship and his situation as university orator. In 1554 he married a lady of good family, by whom he had a considerable fortune, and of whom, in writing to a friend, he gives, as might perhaps be expected, an excellent character. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth, in 1558, she not only required his services as Latin secretary, but as her instructor in Greek, and he resided at Court during the remainder of his life. He died in consequence of his endeavours to complete a Latin poem which he intended to present to the queen on the New Year's Day of 1569. He breathed his last two days before 1568 ran out, and was interred, according to his own directions, in the most private manner, in St. Sepulchre's Church, his funeral sermon being preached by Dr. Andrew Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's. He was universally lamented; and even the queen herself not only showed great concern, but was pleased to say that she would rather have lost ten thousand pounds than her tutor Ascham, which, from that somewhat closehanded sovereign, was truly an expression of high regard.

 

Ascham, like most men, had his little weaknesses. He had too great a propensity to dice and cock-fighting. Bishop Nicholson would try to convince us that this is an unfounded calumny, but, as it is mentioned by Camden, and other contemporary writers, it seems impossible to deny it. He died, from all accounts, in indifferent circumstances. "Whether," says Dr. Johnson, referring to this, "Ascham was poor by his own fault, or the fault of others, cannot now be decided; but it is certain that many have been rich with less merit. His philological learning would have gained him honour in any country; and among us it may justly call for that reverence which all nations owe to those who first rouse them from ignorance, and kindle among them the light of literature." His most valuable work, "The Schoolmaster," was published by his widow. The nature of this celebrated performance may be gathered from the title: "The Schoolmaster; or a plain and perfite way of teaching children to understand, write, and speak the Latin tongue. … And commodious also for all such as have forgot the Latin tongue, and would by themselves, without a schoolmaster, in short time, and with small pains, recover a sufficient habilitie to understand, write, and speak Latin: by Roger Ascham, ann. 1570. At London, printed by John Daye, dwelling over Aldersgate," a printer, by the way, already mentioned by us a few chapters back (see page 208), as having printed several noted works of the sixteenth century.

 

Dr. Johnson remarks that the instruction recommended in "The Schoolmaster" is perhaps the best ever given for the study of languages.

 

Here also lies buried Captain John Smith, a conspicuous soldier of fortune, whose romantic adventures and daring exploits have rarely been surpassed. He died on the 21st of June, 1631. This valiant captain was born at Willoughby, in the county of Lincoln, and helped by his doings to enliven the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. He had a share in the wars of Hungary in 1602, and in three single combats overcame three Turks, and cut off their heads. For this, and other equally brave deeds, Sigismund, Duke of Transylvania, gave him his picture set in gold, with a pension of three hundred ducats; and allowed him to bear three Turks' heads proper as his shield of arms. He afterwards went to America, where he had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the Indians. He escaped from them, however, at last, and resumed his brilliant career by hazarding his life in naval engagements with pirates and Spanish men-of-war. The most important act of his life was the share he had in civilising the natives of New England, and reducing that province to obedience to Great Britain. In connection with his tomb in St. Sepulchre's, he is mentioned by Stow, in his "Survey," as "some time Governor of Virginia and Admiral of New England."

 

Certainly the most interesting events of his chequered career were his capture by the Indians, and the saving of his life by the Indian girl Pocahontas, a story of adventure that charms as often as it is told. Bancroft, the historian of the United States, relates how, during the early settlement of Virginia, Smith left the infant colony on an exploring expedition, and not only ascended the river Chickahominy, but struck into the interior. His companions disobeyed his instructions, and being surprised by the Indians, were put to death. Smith preserved his own life by calmness and self-possession. Displaying a pocket-compass, he amused the savages by an explanation of its power, and increased their admiration of his superior genius by imparting to them some vague conceptions of the form of the earth, and the nature of the planetary system. To the Indians, who retained him as their prisoner, his captivity was a more strange event than anything of which the traditions of their tribes preserved the memory. He was allowed to send a letter to the fort at Jamestown, and the savage wonder was increased, for he seemed by some magic to endow the paper with the gift of intelligence. It was evident that their captive was a being of a high order, and then the question arose, Was his nature beneficent, or was he to be dreaded as a dangerous enemy? Their minds were bewildered, and the decision of his fate was referred to the chief Powhatan, and before Powhatan Smith was brought. "The fears of the feeble aborigines," says Bancroft, "were about to prevail, and his immediate death, already repeatedly threatened and repeatedly delayed, would have been inevitable, but for the timely intercession of Pocahontas, a girl twelve years old, the daughter of Powhatan, whose confiding fondness Smith had easily won, and who firmly clung to his neck, as his head was bowed down to receive the stroke of the tomahawks. His fearlessness, and her entreaties, persuaded the council to spare the agreeable stranger, who could make hatchets for her father, and rattles and strings of beads for herself, the favourite child. The barbarians, whose decision had long been held in suspense by the mysterious awe which Smith had inspired, now resolved to receive him as a friend, and to make him a partner of their councils. They tempted him to join their bands, and lend assistance in an attack upon the white men at Jamestown; and when his decision of character succeeded in changing the current of their thoughts, they dismissed him with mutual promises of friendship and benevolence. Thus the captivity of Smith did itself become a benefit to the colony; for he had not only observed with care the country between the James and the Potomac, and had gained some knowledge of the language and manners of the natives, but he now established a peaceful intercourse between the English and the tribes of Powhatan."

 

On the monument erected to Smith in St. Sepulchre's Church, the following quaint lines were formerly inscribed:—

 

"Here lies one conquered that hath conquered kings,

Subdued large territories, and done things

Which to the world impossible would seem,

But that the truth is held in more esteem.

Shall I report his former service done,

In honour of his God, and Christendom?

How that he did divide, from pagans three,

Their heads and lives, types of his chivalry?—

For which great service, in that climate done,

Brave Sigismundus, King of Hungarion,

Did give him, as a coat of arms, to wear

These conquered heads, got by his sword and spear.

Or shall I tell of his adventures since

Done in Virginia, that large continent?

How that he subdued kings unto his yoke,

And made those heathens flee, as wind doth smoke;

And made their land, being so large a station,

An habitation for our Christian nation,

Where God is glorified, their wants supplied;

Which else for necessaries, must have died.

But what avails his conquests, now he lies

Interred in earth, a prey to worms and flies?

Oh! may his soul in sweet Elysium sleep,

Until the Keeper, that all souls doth keep,

Return to judgment; and that after thence

With angels he may have his recompense."

 

Sir Robert Peake, the engraver, also found a last resting-place here. He is known as the master of William Faithorne—the famous English engraver of the seventeenth century—and governor of Basing House for the king during the Civil War under Charles I. He died in 1667. Here also was interred the body of Dr. Bell, grandfather of the originator of a well-known system of education.

 

"The churchyard of St. Sepulchre's," we learn from Maitland, "at one time extended so far into the street on the south side of the church, as to render the passage-way dangerously narrow. In 1760 the churchyard was, in consequence, levelled, and thrown open to the public. But this led to much inconvenience, and it was re-enclosed in 1802."

 

Sarah Malcolm, the murderess, was buried in the churchyard of St. Sepulchre's in 1733. This coldhearted and keen-eyed monster in human form has had her story told by us already. The parishioners seem, on this occasion, to have had no such scruples as had been exhibited by their predecessors a hundred and fifty years previous at the burial of Awfield, a traitor. We shall see presently that in those more remote days they were desirous of having at least respectable company for their deceased relatives and friends in the churchyard.

 

"For a long period," says Mr. Godwin (1838), "the church was surrounded by low mean buildings, by which its general appearance was hidden; but these having been cleared away, and the neighbourhood made considerably more open, St. Sepulchre's now forms a somewhat pleasing object, notwithstanding that the tower and a part of the porch are so entirely dissimilar in style to the remainder of the building." And since Godwin's writing the surroundings of the church have been so improved that perhaps few buildings in the metropolis stand more prominently before the public eye.

 

In the glorious roll of martyrs who have suffered at the stake for their religious principles, a vicar of St. Sepulchre's, the Reverend John Rogers, occupies a conspicuous place. He was the first who was burned in the reign of the Bloody Mary. This eminent person had at one time been chaplain to the English merchants at Antwerp, and while residing in that city had aided Tindal and Coverdale in their great work of translating the Bible. He married a German lady of good position, by whom he had a large family, and was enabled, by means of her relations, to reside in peace and safety in Germany. It appeared to be his duty, however, to return to England, and there publicly profess and advocate his religious convictions, even at the risk of death. He crossed the sea; he took his place in the pulpit at St. Paul's Cross; he preached a fearless and animated sermon, reminding his astonished audience of the pure and wholesome doctrine which had been promulgated from that pulpit in the days of the good King Edward, and solemnly warning them against the pestilent idolatry and superstition of these new times. It was his last sermon. He was apprehended, tried, condemned, and burned at Smithfield. We described, when speaking of Smithfield, the manner in which he met his fate.

 

Connected with the martyrdom of Rogers an odd circumstance is quoted in the "Churches of London." It is stated that when the bishops had resolved to put to death Joan Bocher, a friend came to Rogers and earnestly entreated his influence that the poor woman's life might be spared, and other means taken to prevent the spread of her heterodox doctrines. Rogers, however, contended that she should be executed; and his friend then begged him to choose some other kind of death, which should be more agreeable to the gentleness and mercy prescribed in the gospel. "No," replied Rogers, "burning alive is not a cruel death, but easy enough." His friend hearing these words, expressive of so little regard for the sufferings of a fellow-creature, answered him with great vehemence, at the same time striking Rogers' hand, "Well, it may perhaps so happen that you yourself shall have your hands full of this mild burning." There is no record of Rogers among the papers belonging to St. Sepulchre's, but this may easily be accounted for by the fact that at the Great Fire of 1666 nearly all the registers and archives were destroyed.

 

A noteworthy incident in the history of St. Sepulchre's was connected with the execution, in 1585, of Awfield, for "sparcinge abrood certen lewed, sedicious, and traytorous bookes." "When he was executed," says Fleetwood, the Recorder, in a letter to Lord Burleigh, July 7th of that year, "his body was brought unto St. Pulcher's to be buryed, but the parishioners would not suffer a traytor's corpse to be laid in the earth where their parents, wives, children, kindred, masters, and old neighbours did rest; and so his carcass was returned to the burial-ground near Tyburn, and there I leave it."

 

Another event in the history of the church is a tale of suicide. On the 10th of April, 1600, a man named William Dorrington threw himself from the roof of the tower, leaving there a prayer for forgiveness.

 

We come now to speak of the connection of St. Sepulchre's with the neighbouring prison of Newgate. Being the nearest church to the prison, that connection naturally was intimate. Its clock served to give the time to the hangman when there was an execution in the Old Bailey, and many a poor wretch's last moments must it have regulated.

 

On the right-hand side of the altar a board with a list of charitable donations and gifts used to contain the following item:—"1605. Mr. Robert Dowe gave, for ringing the greatest bell in this church on the day the condemned prisoners are executed, and for other services, for ever, concerning such condemned prisoners, for which services the sexton is paid £16s. 8d.—£50.

 

It was formerly the practice for the clerk or bellman of St. Sepulchre's to go under Newgate, on the night preceding the execution of a criminal, ring his bell, and repeat the following wholesome advice:—

 

"All you that in the condemned hold do lie,

Prepare you, for to-morrow you shall die;

Watch all, and pray, the hour is drawing near

That you before the Almighty must appear;

Examine well yourselves, in time repent,

That you may not to eternal flames be sent.

And when St. Sepulchre's bell to-morrow tolls,

The Lord above have mercy on your souls.

Past twelve o'clock!"

 

This practice is explained by a passage in Munday's edition of Stow, in which it is told that a Mr. John Dowe, citizen and merchant taylor of London, gave £50 to the parish church of St. Sepulchre's, under the following conditions:—After the several sessions of London, on the night before the execution of such as were condemned to death, the clerk of the church was to go in the night-time, and also early in the morning, to the window of the prison in which they were lying. He was there to ring "certain tolls with a hand-bell" appointed for the purpose, and was afterwards, in a most Christian manner, to put them in mind of their present condition and approaching end, and to exhort them to be prepared, as they ought to be, to die. When they were in the cart, and brought before the walls of the church, the clerk was to stand there ready with the same bell, and, after certain tolls, rehearse a prayer, desiring all the people there present to pray for the unfortunate criminals. The beadle, also, of Merchant Taylors' Hall was allowed an "honest stipend" to see that this ceremony was regularly performed.

 

The affecting admonition—"affectingly good," Pennant calls it—addressed to the prisoners in Newgate, on the night before execution, ran as follows:—

 

"You prisoners that are within,

Who, for wickedness and sin,

 

after many mercies shown you, are now appointed to die to-morrow in the forenoon; give ear and understand that, to-morrow morning, the greatest bell of St. Sepulchre's shall toll for you, in form and manner of a passing-bell, as used to be tolled for those that are at the point of death; to the end that all godly people, hearing that bell, and knowing it is for your going to your deaths, may be stirred up heartily to pray to God to bestow his grace and mercy upon you, whilst you live. I beseech you, for Jesus Christ's sake, to keep this night in watching and prayer, to the salvation of your own souls while there is yet time and place for mercy; as knowing to-morrow you must appear before the judgment-seat of your Creator, there to give an account of all things done in this life, and to suffer eternal torments for your sins committed against Him, unless, upon your hearty and unfeigned repentance, you find mercy through the merits, death, and passion of your only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return to Him."

 

And the following was the admonition to condemned criminals, as they were passing by St. Sepulchre's Church wall to execution:—" All good people, pray heartily unto God for these poor sinners, who are now going to their death, for whom this great bell doth toll.

 

"You that are condemned to die, repent with lamentable tears; ask mercy of the Lord, for the salvation of your own souls, through the [merits, death, and passion of Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return unto Him.

 

"Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you.

Lord have mercy upon you;

Christ have mercy upon you."

 

The charitable Mr. Dowe, who took such interest in the last moments of the occupants of the condemned cell, was buried in the church of St. Botolph, Aldgate.

 

Another curious custom observed at St. Sepulchre's was the presentation of a nosegay to every criminal on his way to execution at Tyburn. No doubt the practice had its origin in some kindly feeling for the poor unfortunates who were so soon to bid farewell to all the beauties of earth. One of the last who received a nosegay from the steps of St. Sepulchre's was "Sixteen-string Jack," alias John Rann, who was hanged, in 1774, for robbing the Rev. Dr. Bell of his watch and eighteen pence in money, in Gunnersbury Lane, on the road to Brentford. Sixteen-string Jack wore the flowers in his button-hole as he rode dolefully to the gallows. This was witnessed by John Thomas Smith, who thus describes the scene in his admirable anecdotebook, "Nollekens and his Times:"—" I remember well, when I was in my eighth year, Mr. Nollekens calling at my father's house, in Great Portland Street, and taking us to Oxford Street, to see the notorious Jack Rann, commonly called Sixteenstring Jack, go to Tyburn to be hanged. … The criminal was dressed in a pea-green coat, with an immense nosegay in the button-hole, which had been presented to him at St. Sepulchre's steps; and his nankeen small-clothes, we were told, were tied at each knee with sixteen strings. After he had passed, and Mr. Nollekens was leading me home by the hand, I recollect his stooping down to me and observing, in a low tone of voice, 'Tom, now, my little man, if my father-in-law, Mr. Justice Welch, had been high constable, we could have walked by the side of the cart all the way to Tyburn.'"

 

When criminals were conveyed from Newgate to Tyburn, the cart passed up Giltspur Street, and through Smithfield, to Cow Lane. Skinner Street had not then been built, and the Crooked Lane which turned down by St. Sepulchre's, as well as Ozier Lane, did not afford sufficient width to admit of the cavalcade passing by either of them, with convenience, to Holborn Hill, or "the Heavy Hill," as it used to be called. The procession seems at no time to have had much of the solemn element about it. "The heroes of the day were often," says a popular writer, "on good terms with the mob, and jokes were exchanged between the men who were going to be hanged and the men who deserved to be."

 

"On St. Paul's Day," says Mr. Timbs (1868), "service is performed in St. Sepulchre's, in accordance with the will of Mr. Paul Jervis, who, in 1717, devised certain land in trust that a sermon should be preached in the church upon every Paul's Day upon the excellence of the liturgy o the Church of England; the preacher to receive 40s. for such sermon. Various sums are also bequeathed to the curate, the clerk, the treasurer, and masters of the parochial schools. To the poor of the parish he bequeathed 20s. a-piece to ten of the poorest householders within that part of the parish of St. Sepulchre commonly called Smithfield quarter, £4 to the treasurer of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and 6s. 8d. yearly to the clerk, who shall attend to receive the same. The residue of the yearly rents and profits is to be distributed unto and amongst such poor people of the parish of St. Sepulchre's, London, who shall attend the service and sermon. At the close of the service the vestry-clerk reads aloud an extract from the will, and then proceeds to the distribution of the money. In the evening the vicar, churchwardens, and common councilmen of the precinct dine together."

 

In 1749, a Mr. Drinkwater made a praiseworthy bequest. He left the parish of St. Sepulchre £500 to be lent in sums of £25 to industrious young tradesmen. No interest was to be charged, and the money was to be lent for four years.

 

Next to St. Sepulchre's, on Snow Hill, used to stand the famous old inn of the "Saracen's Head." It was only swept away within the last few years by the ruthless army of City improvers: a view of it in course of demolition was given on page 439. It was one of the oldest of the London inns which bore the "Saracen's Head" for a sign. One of Dick Tarlton's jests makes mention of the "Saracen's Head" without Newgate, and Stow, describing this neighbourhood, speaks particularly of "a fair large inn for receipt of travellers" that "hath to sign the 'Saracen's Head.'" The courtyard had, to the last, many of the characteristics of an old English inn; there were galleries all round leading to the bedrooms, and a spacious gateway through which the dusty mail-coaches used to rumble, the tired passengers creeping forth "thanking their stars in having escaped the highwaymen and the holes and sloughs of the road." Into that courtyard how many have come on their first arrival in London with hearts beating high with hope, some of whom have risen to be aldermen and sit in state as lord mayor, whilst others have gone the way of the idle apprentice and come to a sad end at Tyburn! It was at this inn that Nicholas Nickleby and his uncle waited upon the Yorkshire schoolmaster Squeers, of Dotheboys Hall. Mr. Dickens describes the tavern as it existed in the last days of mail-coaching, when it was a most important place for arrivals and departures in London:—

 

"Next to the jail, and by consequence near to Smithfield also, and the Compter and the bustle and noise of the City, and just on that particular part of Snow Hill where omnibus horses going eastwards seriously think of falling down on purpose, and where horses in hackney cabriolets going westwards not unfrequently fall by accident, is the coach-yard of the 'Saracen's Head' inn, its portals guarded by two Saracen's heads and shoulders, which it was once the pride and glory of the choice spirits of this metropolis to pull down at night, but which have for some time remained in undisturbed tranquillity, possibly because this species of humour is now confined to St. James's parish, where doorknockers are preferred as being more portable, and bell-wires esteemed as convenient tooth-picks. Whether this be the reason or not, there they are, frowning upon you from each side of the gateway; and the inn itself, garnished with another Saracen's head, frowns upon you from the top of the yard; while from the door of the hind-boot of all the red coaches that are standing therein, there glares a small Saracen's head with a twin expression to the large Saracen's head below, so that the general appearance of the pile is of the Saracenic order."

 

To explain the use of the Saracen's head as an inn sign various reasons have been given. "When our countrymen," says Selden, "came home from fighting with the Saracens and were beaten by them, they pictured them with huge, big, terrible faces (as you still see the 'Saracen's Head' is), when in truth they were like other men. But this they did to save their own credit." Or the sign may have been adopted by those who had visited the Holy Land either as pilgrims or to fight the Saracens. Others, again, hold that it was first set up in compliment to the mother of Thomas à Becket, who was the daughter of a Saracen. However this may be, it is certain that the use of the sign in former days was very general.

 

Running past the east end of St. Sepulchre's, from Newgate into West Smithfield, is Giltspur Street, anciently called Knightriders Street. This interesting thoroughfare derives its name from the knights with their gilt spurs having been accustomed to ride this way to the jousts and tournaments which in days of old were held in Smithfield.

 

In this street was Giltspur Street Compter, a debtors' prison and house of correction appertaining to the sheriffs of London and Middlesex. It stood over against St. Sepulchre's Church, and was removed hither from the east side of Wood Street, Cheapside, in 1791. At the time of its removal it was used as a place of imprisonment for debtors, but the yearly increasing demands upon the contracted space caused that department to be given up, and City debtors were sent to Whitecross Street. The architect was Dance, to whom we are also indebted for the grim pile of Newgate. The Compter was a dirty and appropriately convictlooking edifice. It was pulled down in 1855. Mr. Hepworth Dixon gave an interesting account of this City House of Correction, not long before its demolition, in his "London Prisons" (1850). "Entering," he says, "at the door facing St. Sepulchre's, the visitor suddenly finds himself in a low dark passage, leading into the offices of the gaol, and branching off into other passages, darker, closer, more replete with noxious smells, than even those of Newgate. This is the fitting prelude to what follows. The prison, it must be noticed, is divided into two principal divisions, the House of Correction and the Compter. The front in Giltspur Street, and the side nearest to Newgate Street, is called the Compter. In its wards are placed detenues of various kinds—remands, committals from the police-courts, and generally persons waiting for trial, and consequently still unconvicted. The other department, the House of Correction, occupies the back portion of the premises, abutting on Christ's Hospital. Curious it is to consider how thin a wall divides these widely-separate worlds! And sorrowful it is to think what a difference of destiny awaits the children—destiny inexorable, though often unearned in either case—who, on the one side of it or the other, receive an eleemosynary education! The collegian and the criminal! Who shall say how much mere accident— circumstances over which the child has little power —determines to a life of usefulness or mischief? From the yards of Giltspur Street prison almost the only objects visible, outside of the gaol itself, are the towers of Christ's Hospital; the only sounds audible, the shouts of the scholars at their play. The balls of the hospital boys often fall within the yards of the prison. Whether these sights and sounds ever cause the criminal to pause and reflect upon the courses of his life, we will not say, but the stranger visiting the place will be very apt to think for him. …

 

"In the department of the prison called the House of Correction, minor offenders within the City of London are imprisoned. No transports are sent hither, nor is any person whose sentence is above three years in length." This able writer then goes on to tell of the many crying evils connected with the institution—the want of air, the over-crowded state of the rooms, the absence of proper cellular accommodation, and the vicious intercourse carried on amongst the prisoners. The entire gaol, when he wrote, only contained thirty-six separate sleeping-rooms. Now by the highest prison calculation—and this, be it noted, proceeds on the assumption that three persons can sleep in small, miserable, unventilated cells, which are built for only one, and are too confined for that, being only about one-half the size of the model cell for one at Pentonville—it was only capable of accommodating 203 prisoners, yet by the returns issued at Michaelmas, 1850, it contained 246!

 

A large section of the prison used to be devoted to female delinquents, but lately it was almost entirely given up to male offenders.

 

"The House of Correction, and the Compter portion of the establishment," says Mr. Dixon, "are kept quite distinct, but it would be difficult to award the palm of empire in their respective facilities for demoralisation. We think the Compter rather the worse of the two. You are shown into a room, about the size of an apartment in an ordinary dwelling-house, which will be found crowded with from thirty to forty persons, young and old, and in their ordinary costume; the low thief in his filth and rags, and the member of the swell-mob with his bright buttons, flash finery, and false jewels. Here you notice the boy who has just been guilty of his first offence, and committed for trial, learning with a greedy mind a thousand criminal arts, and listening with the precocious instinct of guilty passions to stories and conversations the most depraved and disgusting. You regard him with a mixture of pity and loathing, for he knows that the eyes of his peers are upon him, and he stares at you with a familiar impudence, and exhibits a devil-may-care countenance, such as is only to be met with in the juvenile offender. Here, too, may be seen the young clerk, taken up on suspicion—perhaps innocent—who avoids you with a shy look of pain and uneasiness: what a hell must this prison be to him! How frightful it is to think of a person really untainted with crime, compelled to herd for ten or twenty days with these abandoned wretches!

 

"On the other, the House of Correction side of the gaol, similar rooms will be found, full of prisoners communicating with each other, laughing and shouting without hindrance. All this is so little in accordance with existing notions of prison discipline, that one is continually fancying these disgraceful scenes cannot be in the capital of England, and in the year of grace 1850. Very few of the prisoners attend school or receive any instruction; neither is any kind of employment afforded them, except oakum-picking, and the still more disgusting labour of the treadmill. When at work, an officer is in attendance to prevent disorderly conduct; but his presence is of no avail as a protection to the less depraved. Conversation still goes on; and every facility is afforded for making acquaintances, and for mutual contamination."

 

After having long been branded by intelligent inspectors as a disgrace to the metropolis, Giltspur Street Compter was condemned, closed in 1854, and subsequently taken down.

 

Nearly opposite what used to be the site of the Compter, and adjoining Cock Lane, is the spot called Pie Corner, near which terminated the Great Fire of 1666. The fire commenced at Pudding Lane, it will be remembered, so it was singularly appropriate that it should terminate at Pie Corner. Under the date of 4th September, 1666, Pepys, in his "Diary," records that "W. Hewer this day went to see how his mother did, and comes home late, telling us how he hath been forced to remove her to Islington, her house in Pye Corner being burned; so that the fire is got so far that way." The figure of a fat naked boy stands over a public house at the corner of the lane; it used to have the following warning inscription attached:— "This boy is in memory put up of the late fire of London, occasioned by the sin of gluttony, 1666." According to Stow, Pie Corner derived its name from the sign of a well-frequented hostelry, which anciently stood on the spot. Strype makes honourable mention of Pie Corner, as "noted chiefly for cooks' shops and pigs dressed there during Bartholomew Fair." Our old writers have many references—and not all, by the way, in the best taste—to its cookstalls and dressed pork. Shadwell, for instance, in the Woman Captain (1680) speaks of "meat dressed at Pie Corner by greasy scullions;" and Ben Jonson writes in the Alchemist (1612)—

 

"I shall put you in mind, sir, at Pie Corner,

Taking your meal of steam in from cooks' stalls."

 

And in "The Great Boobee" ("Roxburgh Ballads"):

 

"Next day I through Pie Corner passed;

The roast meat on the stall

Invited me to take a taste;

My money was but small."

 

But Pie Corner seems to have been noted for more than eatables. A ballad from Tom D'Urfey's "Pills to Purge Melancholy," describing Bartholomew Fair, eleven years before the Fire of London, says:—

 

"At Pie-Corner end, mark well my good friend,

'Tis a very fine dirty place;

Where there's more arrows and bows. …

Than was handled at Chivy Chase."

 

We have already given a view of Pie Corner in our chapter on Smithfield, page 361.

 

Hosier Lane, running from Cow Lane to Smithfield, and almost parallel to Cock Lane, is described by "R. B.," in Strype, as a place not over-well built or inhabited. The houses were all old timber erections. Some of these—those standing at the south corner of the lane—were in the beginning of this century depicted by Mr. J. T. Smith, in his "Ancient Topography of London." He describes them as probably of the reign of James I. The rooms were small, with low, unornamented ceilings; the timber, oak, profusely used; the gables were plain, and the walls lath and plaster. They were taken down in 1809.

 

In the corner house, in Mr. Smith's time, there was a barber whose name was Catchpole; at least, so it was written over the door. He was rather an odd fellow, and possessed, according to his own account, a famous relic of antiquity. He would gravely show his customers a short-bladed instrument, as the identical dagger with which Walworth killed Wat Tyler.

 

Hosier Lane, like Pie Corner, used to be a great resort during the time of Bartholomew Fair, "all the houses," it is said in Strype, "generally being made public for tippling."

 

We return now from our excursion to the north of St. Sepulchre's, and continue our rambles to the west, and before speaking of what is, let us refer to what has been.

 

Turnagain Lane is not far from this. "Near unto this Seacoal Lane," remarks Stow, "in the turning towards Holborn Conduit, is Turnagain Lane, or rather, as in a record of the 5th of Edward III., Windagain Lane, for that it goeth down west to Fleet Dyke, from whence men must turn again the same way they came, but there it stopped." There used to be a proverb, "He must take him a house in Turnagain Lane."

 

A conduit formerly stood on Snow Hill, a little below the church. It is described as a building with four equal sides, ornamented with four columns and pediment, surmounted by a pyramid, on which stood a lamb—a rebus on the name of Lamb, from whose conduit in Red Lion Street the water came. There had been a conduit there, however, before Lamb's day, which was towards the close of the sixteenth century.

 

At No. 37, King Street, Snow Hill, there used to be a ladies' charity school, which was established in 1702, and remained in the parish 145 years. Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale were subscribers to this school, and Johnson drew from it his story of Betty Broom, in "The Idler." The world of domestic service, in Betty's days, seems to have been pretty much as now. Betty was a poor girl, bred in the country at a charity-school, maintained by the contributions of wealthy neighbours. The patronesses visited the school from time to time, to see how the pupils got on, and everything went well, till "at last, the chief of the subscribers having passed a winter in London, came down full of an opinion new and strange to the whole country. She held it little less than criminal to teach poor girls to read and write. They who are born to poverty, she said, are born to ignorance, and will work the harder the less they know. She told her friends that London was in confusion by the insolence of servants; that scarcely a girl could be got for all-work, since education had made such numbers of fine ladies, that nobody would now accept a lower title than that of a waiting-maid, or something that might qualify her to wear laced shoes and long ruffles, and to sit at work in the parlour window. But she was resolved, for her part, to spoil no more girls. Those who were to live by their hands should neither read nor write out of her pocket. The world was bad enough already, and she would have no part in making it worse.

 

"She was for a long time warmly opposed; but she persevered in her notions, and withdrew her subscription. Few listen, without a desire of conviction, to those who advise them to spare their money. Her example and her arguments gained ground daily; and in less than a year the whole parish was convinced that the nation would be ruined if the children of the poor were taught to read and write." So the school was dissolved, and Betty with the rest was turned adrift into the wide and cold world; and her adventures there any one may read in "The Idler" for himself.

 

There is an entry in the school minutes of 1763, to the effect that the ladies of the committee censured the schoolmistress for listening to the story of the Cock Lane ghost, and "desired her to keep her belief in the article to herself."

 

Skinner Street—now one of the names of the past—which ran by the south side of St. Sepulchre's, and formed the connecting link between Newgate Street and Holborn, received its name from Alderman Skinner, through whose exertions, about 1802, it was principally built. The following account of Skinner Street is from the picturesque pen of Mr. William Harvey ("Aleph"), whose long familiarity with the places he describes renders doubly valuable his many contributions to the history of London scenes and people:—"As a building speculation," he says, writing in 1863, "it was a failure. When the buildings were ready for occupation, tall and substantial as they really were, the high rents frightened intending shopkeepers. Tenants were not to be had; and in order to get over the money difficulty, a lottery, sanctioned by Parliament, was commenced. Lotteries were then common tricks of finance, and nobody wondered at the new venture; but even the most desperate fortune-hunters were slow to invest their capital, and the tickets hung sadly on hand. The day for the drawing was postponed several times, and when it came, there was little or no excitement on the subject, and whoever rejoiced in becoming a house-owner on such easy terms, the original projectors and builders were understood to have suffered considerably. The winners found the property in a very unfinished condition. Few of the dwellings were habitable, and as funds were often wanting, a majority of the houses remained empty, and the shops unopened. After two or three years things began to improve; the vast many-storeyed house which then covered the site of Commercial Place was converted into a warehousing depôt; a capital house opposite the 'Saracen's Head' was taken by a hosier of the name of Theobald, who, opening his shop with the determination of selling the best hosiery, and nothing else, was able to convince the citizens that his hose was first-rate, and, desiring only a living profit, succeeded, after thirty years of unwearied industry, in accumulating a large fortune. Theobald was possessed of literary tastes, and at the sale of Sir Walter Scott's manuscripts was a liberal purchaser. He also collected a library of exceedingly choice books, and when aristocratic customers purchased stockings of him, was soon able to interest them in matters of far higher interest…

 

"The most remarkable shop—but it was on the left-hand side, at a corner house—was that established for the sale of children's books. It boasted an immense extent of window-front, extending from the entrance into Snow Hill, and towards Fleet Market. Many a time have I lingered with loving eyes over those fascinating story-books, so rich in gaily-coloured prints; such careful editions of the marvellous old histories, 'Puss in Boots,' 'Cock Robin,' 'Cinderella,' and the like. Fortunately the front was kept low, so as exactly to suit the capacity of a childish admirer. . . . . But Skinner Street did not prosper much, and never could compete with even the dullest portions of Holborn. I have spoken of some reputable shops; but you know the proverb, 'One swallow will not make a summer,' and it was a declining neighbourhood almost before it could be called new. In 1810 the commercial depôt, which had been erected at a cost of £25,000, and was the chief prize in the lottery, was destroyed by fire, never to be rebuilt—a heavy blow and discouragement to Skinner Street, from which it never rallied. Perhaps the periodical hanging-days exercised an unfavourable influence, collecting, as they frequently did, all the thieves and vagabonds of London. I never sympathised with Pepys or Charles Fox in their passion for public executions, and made it a point to avoid those ghastly sights; but early of a Monday morning, when I had just reached the end of Giltspur Street, a miserable wretch had just been turned off from the platform of the debtors' door, and I was made the unwilling witness of his last struggles. That scene haunted me for months, and I often used to ask myself, 'Who that could help it would live in Skinner Street?' The next unpropitious event in these parts was the unexpected closing of the child's library. What could it mean? Such a well-to-do establishment shut up? Yes, the whole army of shutters looked blankly on the inquirer, and forbade even a single glance at 'Sinbad' or 'Robinson Crusoe.' It would soon be re-opened, we naturally thought; but the shutters never came down again. The whole house was deserted; not even a messenger in bankruptcy, or an ancient Charley, was found to regard the playful double knocks of the neighbouring juveniles. Gradually the glass of all the windows got broken in, a heavy cloud of black dust, solidifying into inches thick, gathered on sills and doors and brickwork, till the whole frontage grew as gloomy as Giant Despair's Castle. Not long after, the adjoining houses shared the same fate, and they remained from year to year without the slightest sign of life—absolute scarecrows, darkening with their uncomfortable shadows the busy streets. Within half a mile, in Stamford Street, Blackfriars, there are (1863) seven houses in a similar predicament— window-glass demolished, doors cracked from top to bottom, spiders' webs hanging from every projecting sill or parapet. What can it mean? The loss in the article of rents alone must be over £1,000 annually. If the real owners are at feud with imaginary owners, surely the property might be rendered valuable, and the proceeds invested. Even the lawyers can derive no profit from such hopeless abandonment. I am told the whole mischief arose out of a Chancery suit. Can it be the famous 'Jarndyce v. Jarndyce' case? And have all the heirs starved each other out? If so, what hinders our lady the Queen from taking possession? Any change would be an improvement, for these dead houses make the streets they cumber as dispiriting and comfortless as graveyards. Busy fancy will sometimes people them, and fill the dreary rooms with strange guests. Do the victims of guilt congregate in these dark dens? Do wretches 'unfriended by the world or the world's law,' seek refuge in these deserted nooks, mourning in the silence of despair over their former lives, and anticipating the future in unappeasable agony? Such things have been—the silence and desolation of these doomed dwellings make them the more suitable for such tenants."

 

A street is nothing without a mystery, so a mystery let these old tumble-down houses remain, whilst we go on to tell that, in front of No. 58, the sailor Cashman was hung in 1817, as we have already mentioned, for plundering a gunsmith's shop there. William Godwin, the author of "Caleb Williams," kept a bookseller's shop for several years in Skinner Street, at No. 41, and published school-books in the name of Edward Baldwin. On the wall there was a stone carving of Æsop reciting one of his fables to children.

 

The most noteworthy event of the life of Godwin was his marriage with the celebrated Mary Wollstonecraft, authoress of a "Vindication of the Rights of Women," whose congenial mind, in politics and morals, he ardently admired. Godwin's account of the way in which they got on together is worth reading:—"Ours," he writes, "was not an idle happiness, a paradise of selfish and transitory pleasures. It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to mention, that influenced by ideas I had long entertained, I engaged an apartment about twenty doors from our house, in the Polygon, Somers Town, which I designed for the purpose of my study and literary occupations. Trifles, however, will be interesting to some readers, when they relate to the last period of the life of such a person as Mary. I will add, therefore, that we were both of us of opinion, that it was possible for two persons to be too uniformly in each other's society. Influenced by that opinion, it was my practice to repair to the apartment I have mentioned as soon as I rose, and frequently not to make my appearance in the Polygon till the hour of dinner. We agreed in condemning the notion, prevalent in many situations in life, that a man and his wife cannot visit in mixed society but in company with each other, and we rather sought occasions of deviating from than of complying with this rule. By this means, though, for the most part, we spent the latter half of each day in one another's society, yet we were in no danger of satiety. We seemed to combine, in a considerable degree, the novelty and lively sensation of a visit with the more delicious and heartfelt pleasure of a domestic life."

 

This philosophic union, to Godwin's inexpressible affliction, did not last more than eighteen months, at the end of which time Mrs. Godwin died, leaving an only daughter, who in the course of time became the second wife of the poet Shelley, and was the author of the wild and extraordinary tale of "Frankenstein."

 

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