A. History.The name London is commonly thought to have been derived from the Celtic words llyn and din or dinas; the former signifying "a lake," the latter signifying originally "a fort" or a "fortified place," and supposed to he the etymon of the Roman word dunum, the Saxon don or ton, and the English town. The "lake" to which the name refers was the great expansion of the Thames, which existed till comparatively recent times, covering the site of Southwark and Lambeth, and spreading on both sides of the river, as far as the marshes of Plaistow, Greenwich, and Woolwich. Tacitus states that the name was taken from the site, and Owen, the learned editor of the Welsh Archaeology, says that it means "the town on the lake." The Romans originally called it Londinium evidently a corruption of its pristine British name; they afterwards, but probably not till after it became the capital of their British province, called it Colonia Augusta, seemingly from its magnificence, and they likewise called it Augusta Trinobantum, with allusion to its having been the capital of the British tribe Trinobantes. The Britons of the 5th century called it Lundaine, Bede calls it Londinia, King Alfred calls it Lundenceaster, and other or later authorities call it variously Lundenbyrig, Lundenburgh, Lundewic, Lundene, Lundnne, Lundone, and Londone. The present name, under one modification or other, has thus existed from the earliest period of its authentic history. And "it is evident," says old Lambarde, writing in 1567, "that verie few places of this realme have enjoyed their name so longe; which thinge also is in myne opinion no lighte argument that it hathe bene of great price these many yeares; for what greater cause is theare of the chaunge of names than the chaunge of their estate?neither meane I by this that it hathe sence the begynninge possessed either that largenesse, beautie, or nomber of people, that it now enjoyethe, but that in regard of the state of the realme then beinge, it was inferior to none within the same."
The town, in the ancient British times, consisted of huts formed of stakes, wattles, and mud; occupied the slopes and summits of the rising ground along the river, from between Billingsgate and Tower Hill to Dowgate, and backward to the line of the present Lombard Street and Fenchurch Street, and was engirt on all sides except the river one by either marsh or forest. The inhabitants probably lived chiefly by hunting and by fishing, they were accustomed to stall as many cattle as sufficed for a few months' consumption, and they may have carried on some small inland commerce. Their chiefs or kings, in the century before the Christian era, reigned over a considerable territory, and seem to have been equal to the greatest in Britain. Cassibelan or Cassivellaunus, king of the Catieuchlani, resident at Verulam, invaded their territory, slew the king Immannence or Lud, and sought to slay also his son and heir Mandubrace. The latter was not able to make resistance, fled to Caesar, who then lay in Gaul with a Roman army, besought and obtained his protection, and conducted him and his army into Britain, in order to be restored to his kingdom (B.C. 55). Caesar came over again in the following year (B.C. 54), crossed the Thames, and encamped near Staines, and is thought to have there done something for restoring Mandubrace, and he must have passed either through London or near it, but he does not make any mention of it in his Commentaries. The Romans took possession of it under the Emperor Claudius (A.D. 43), and they soon made it a comparatively great seat of trade and commerce; yet they did not at first constitute it a "colonia," but allowed it to remain an "oppidum." It was therefore unwalled, and when Boadicea, at the head of the tribes of the Iceni and Trinobantes, rose in wrath against the Romans, it could not resist her, but was sacked and destroyed even to the slaughter of all its inhabitants (A.D. 61). The Romans, under then General Suetonius, advanced on London, and met Boadicea at the bridge over the "river of Wells," defeating her in a sanguinary engagement whose memory was preserved in the name "Battle Bridge," until the building of King's Cross Railway Station and the drainage of the district swept away both the bridge and river. Boadicea killed herself rather than fall into the hands of the Romans. She was the last British sovereign of London. The Romans rebuilt the town in an altered form and with enlarged limits, and erected it into a prefecture, yet even then did not raise it to the rank of a colony, much less of a municipium. York was the Roman capital, and Colchester was the seat of the court which held jurisdiction over London. But in the time of the Emperor Constantius Chlorus, father of the Emperor Constantine, about the year 806, the Romans built a wall round London; and at other dates, before and after, they erected substantial houses throughout the town, and a citadel or fortified post on the site of the present Cannon Street Railway Station, and a temple to Diana on the ground now occupied by St Paul's. They also formed great military roads through it and from it, raised its commerce to such a pitch that in 359 it had no fewer than 800 vessels in the export trade of corn alone, and eventually made it a capital city, a place of comparative luxury, and the seat of the Vicarius Britanniarum and the Commissioners of the Imperial treasury. There were many Christians in Britain at this time, and the Emperor Constantius Chlorus married a British Princess Helena, who was a Christian. We find the Bishop of London recorded as taking part in the Council of Aries (A.D. 314). The son of the British Helena (Constantine the Great) became the first Christian emperor, and Helena was canonized for her many services to the Church, especially for the discovery of the Cross (A.D. 325) and for bringing to Rome the steps of Pilate's Judgment Hall, which exist in Rome to the present day, and form the one link with the personality of Jesus the authenticity of which is admitted by all the world. The Roman city originally extended from Billingsgate to Dowgate, where the chief fortress stood, the Walbrook washing its foot. Later on these boundaries were extended, and mediaeval London had a circuit of 3 miles of wall, 22 feet high and 8 thick, extending from the west side of the Tower to the Fleet river. Remains of the north side of the wall still exist along "London Wall," in the churchyards of All-hallows on the Wall, of St Alphage, and of Cripplegate. Watling Street came in by Dowgate from Southwark, Shooter's Hill, and Dover; went through the town, along the present Watling Street, and past St Paul's, and went off by Oxford Street and Edgware Road toward St Albans and the north. Ermine Street went out by Cripplegate to Stamford Hill, Edmonton, and Royston toward Lincolnshire; the Portway went westward toward Staines and Silchester; another road went eastward by Old Street and Shoreditch Churchyard toward Colchester; Stane Street went from a ford or ferry opposite York Gate stairs, by St George's Fields, toward Streatham and Chichester, and another road went from the same place toward Holwood Hill and Pevensey. A famous relic, known to the Romans as the London Stone, and serving in Roman times as the milliarium or central stone from which the miles were reckoned along the roads of Britain, stood long on the N side of Cannon Street, and is now preserved close to its original position in a recess of the wall of St Swithin's Church. It seems to have been regarded by the common people as a sort of palladium, whose possession ensured the mastery of the city. See Jack Cade's remarks in Shakespeare's "Henry VI." part 2, scene vi. It has been conjectured from this and similar passages, that in ancient British times it may have possessed divine attributes, or at least served as the sacrificial altar to the tribal god. Roman coins, urns, vases, pottery, bronze weapons, fibulas, beads, amulets, lamps, lachrymatories, inscriptions, and tessellated pavements have been found in many places, and some are preserved in the Guildhall, others in the British Museum.
London was left in peaceable possession of the Romanised Britons at the retiring of the Romans; was taken about 477 by the Saxon (Jute) invaders under Hengist and Horsa; was eventually made the capital of the kingdom of Essex, which included Middlesex; became about 604 the seat of a refounded diocese, with a cathedral afterwards known as St Paul's, on the site of Diana's Temple; was then, according to Bode's account, a princely mart-town, or emporium of a vast number of nations resorting to it by sea and by land; suffered devastation by plague in 664, and by fire in 764, 798, and 801; was the meeting-place of a parliament in 833, convoked by Egbert, king of Wessex, and inheritor of all the quondam heptarchy; suffered much injury at different times, particularly in 839, from inroads by the Danes; went into possession of that people in 851, and continued securely under them till 872; was taken by Alfred in 884; suffered desolation by fire in 893, and was immediately rebuilt by Alfred, re-fortified in its encompassing walls, divided into wards under separate sheriffs, and constituted in some respects the capital of the kingdom. The Danes menaced it again in 896-7, laying up their fleet in the river Lea, wintering there, and strengthening themselves by an entrenchment, but they were beaten off, with capture of some of their ships and burning of the rest, by the citizens. Athelstane made London a mint-town in 925, and endeavoured to stimulate commerce by promising a patent of gentility to every merchant who should make three voyages on his own adventure to the Mediterranean. The city was greatly damaged by fire in 962., St Paul's being destroyed; and was wholly burnt down in the greater fire of 982. The fleet assembled at London in 992 to resist the Danes, who attacked the town again and again during the succeeding years. Eventually it submitted in 1018 to Sweyn (Swegen), who had become the first Danish King of England in the previous year. Only a very few relics of the Saxon period now exist, and these consist chiefly of crypts and small portions of conventual buildings. Winchester, even in the latter part of that period, and not London, was the paramount capital of England.
A few of the oldest churches have names of Saxon saints, as St Ethelbnrga, St Botolph, St Alphage; and the fine church of St Helen's, Bishopsgate, preserves the memory of our one British saint.
Canute (Cnut) inherited the sovereignty of England from his father Sweyn, and, after encountering considerable resistance from the Saxons under Edmund Ironside, he established himself securely on the throne. A tax of £ll,000 was, in 1018, imposed by him on the city, and that amount both evinces the wealthy condition to which the inhabitants had risen, and shows the productiveness of London to have been then about one-seventh of the productiveness of the whole kingdom, for while the tax on London was £11,000, that on all England was £72,000. Harold I. was elected by an assembly or witenagemote at Oxford to succeed his father Canute. That assembly consisted mainly of all the nobles to the N of the Thames, but it included certain traders from London, probably those merchants who had acquired patents of gentility for making three voyages on their own adventure to the Mediterranean, and it has therefore been regarded by some writers as affording the first instance of commons-members from London to Parliament, yet it appears to have really been altogether aristocratic, and to have admitted the London merchants solely on the ground of their patents of gentility. The Danes, while in power, did great things for London. They originally, and for a number of times, came against it as semi-savages only to steal and sack and slay, but even before the fall of the Saxon power they began to settle down as promoters of industry and commerce. Some suburban extension of the city, or extension beyond the walls, had taken place so early as before the close of the 6th century, and that extension was greatly enlarged, toward the close of the Saxon period, by Danish colonists. These settlers built houses outside the walls, on both banks of the river, in the Strand and in Southwark, and even had sites in the city been at their option, they probably would have preferred the suburban sites for conveniences of trade. Their descendants, after the sceptre passed to Canute, followed their example. These built largely to the W of the city walls, and on the S side of the river; they mainly originated Westminster; they gave name to Southwark by constructing a fortified post at it, originally called the South Werk; they addicted themselves zealously to commerce; they used their Scandinavian prestige, as descendants of the old Norsemen rovers, for navigating all seas; they made London an entrepot of foreign wares for all parts of the kingdom; and they soon constituted London, with its suburbs, the true capital of England, both commercial and political. The local memorials of them are both numerous and great. The present church of St Clement Danes occupies the site of a church of theirs, which had a burial-place for their merchants and their mariners; and it retains for its parochial badge the emblem which they gave itthe emblem of an anchor. St Olave's Church, in Southwark, took its name from the famous Scandinavian saint, Olaf; and Tooley Street acquired its designation through corruption of the same name. Even three churches within the city were built by them in honour of their great saint, and, though rebuilt, still retain the name of St Olave. The church of St Magnus the Martyr, London Bridge, also was originally a Danish church. The Danish kings, too, resided principally in London, and made it the seat of the national councils. Hardi-canute (Harthacnut) died in it, and was buried among his countrymen in the church of St Clement Danes. Even Edward the Confessor, though restoring the Saxon line in his own person to the throne, adopted the usages of the Danes; acted more as the half-brother of Hardicanute than as the representative of his Saxon ancestors; was indeed crowned at Winchester, but made London the seat of his government, and built a palace at Westminster, founded Westminster Abbey, gave a charter to London, followed out the Danish commercial policy, and was the first of the English kings buried at Westminster.
William the Conqueror acquired London without a struggle, and was crowned at Westminster. He got possession rather by reason of internal factions than by reason of the city's want of strength, and he prudently chose to conciliate the inhabitants by giving them a kindly and pithy charter. The document is written in the Saxon character on a slip of parchment 6 inches long and 1 inch broad, and is the greatest treasure of the City Library. Translated into modem English it runs as follows:" William the king greeteth William the bishop, and Godfrey the portreeve, and all the burgesses within London, friendly. And I acquaint you, that I will that ye be all three law-worthy, as ye were in King Edward's days. And I will that every child be his father's heir after his father's days. And I will not suffer that any man do you any wrong. God preserve you." (To be "law-worthy "was to have the right to sue and be sued, or as we should say, to have corporate rights.) London, with exception of three small manors belonging to the Crown, is not mentioned in Domesday book; but it probably was the subject of a separate survey. The White Tower, forming the nucleus of all the subsequent Tower, and serving as both a palace and a fortress, was built in 1078. The Tower was purposely built just outside the city, whose boundary was slightly deflected on this account. It served the Conqueror and all his successors to overawe their not always obedient capital. Great part of the city had been consumed by fire in the previous year, and great part of it, including both new buildings and old (amongst them St Paul's again), was consumed in 1087 and in 1092. Its prosperity was checked also by exactions of William Rufus, and by violent hurricanes and extensive inundations. William Rufus strengthened the Tower, built Westminster Hall, and restored a wooden bridge which had been erected on the site of the old London bridge of the Romans. Numerous churches and monastic establishments were built during the reigns of the two Williams, and some portions of several of them still exist. Henry I. was crowned here in 1100, and he gave a charter to lift citizens exempting them from Dane-geld and the billeting of soldiers, and conferring upon them many new privileges; yet he so oppressed the natives and favoured the Normans as to provoke much antipathy to the Norman rule. The citizens, therefore, opened their gates to Stephen, submitted reluctantly to the Empress Maud, and took part with the Bishop of Winchester in restoring Stephen to the throne. A great fire broke out in 1136, burned down the city from London Stone to Aldgate, and destroyed William Rufus's wooden bridge. The Knights of St John settled at Clerkenwell in 1118, and the Knights Templars at Holborn in 1184. The Tower was used as a palace by Stephen, and St Katharine's Hospital, on ground now occupied by the docks, was founded by the Empress Maud.
An interesting picture of the metropolis and its customs in the time of Henry II. is given in the life of A' Becket (who was a Londoner), written by Fitz-Stephen, a monk of Canterbury. The city was then bounded on the land side by a high and spacious wall, furnished with turrets and with seven double gates, supposed to have been Aldgate, Bishopsgate, Cripplegate, Aldersgate, Newgate, Ludgate, and a postern near the Tower, and had in the east part "a tower palatine," and in the west two castles well fortifiedthe castles of Baynard and Montfichet. About 2 miles farther west, on the banks of the river, was the royal palace at Westminster, "an incomparable structure, guarded by a wall and bulwarks." Between this and the city was a continuous suburb, mingled with large and beautiful gardens and orchards belonging to the citizens, who themselves were everywhere known and supereminently respected for "their civil demeanour, their goodly apparel, their table, and their discourse.'' The number of conventual churches in the city and the suburbs was thirteen, and that of "lesser parochial churches" was 126. . On the north side were open meadows and pasture lands, and beyond these was a great forest, in whose coverts lurked "the stag, the hind, the wild boar, and the bull." Outside one of the gates in a certain "smooth field" Smithfieldon every Friday, "unless it were a solemn festival," was a great market for horses, to which earls, barons, knights, and citizens repaired for seeing and for purchasing, and to which the city merchants took their wares from every nation under heaven. "The Arabian sent thither his gold; the Sabeans, spice and frankincense; the Scythians, armour; Babylon, its oil; Egypt, precious stones; India, purple vestments; Norway and Russia, furs, sables, and amber-grease ; and Gaul, its wine. The only plagues were the intemperate drinking of foolish persons and the frequent fires."
Richard I. was crowned at Westminster in 1189; changed the designation of the chief magistrate of the city from portreeve to mayor in 1190 ; obliterated all distinctions between natives and foreigners; acquired great popularity by his exploits in the Holy Land, insomuch as to induce a large sum from the citizens toward his ransom, and gave to the corporation after his return a new charter investing them with the conservancy of the Thames and with other privileges. Yet he subjected the Jews to severe exactions, and even to torture and massacre; and he so heavily taxed the citizens themselves as to provoke them on one occasion to open revolt under the famous William Fitzosbern or Longbeard (1196).
An order was issued in 1191 by the first mayor, in his own name and that of the aldermen, for the prevention of fires, that "all houses erected thereafter in London should be built of stone or brick, with party-walls of the same, and should be covered over with slates or tiles."
John, at his accession in 1199, confirmed all the citizens' rights and privileges on their paying him 3000 marks. A wooden bridge, which had been built by the Empress Maud in lieu of the burnt bridge of William Rufus, was replaced by the well-known stone structure of "Old London Bridge," by Peter of Colechurch, a monk, in John's reign, and a fire took place there in the year 1212, just after its completion, which is said to have occasioned the death of about 3000 persons by burning or by drowning. (Old London Bridge took from 1176 to 1209 to build. The houses which covered it almost from end to end began to be built upon it in 1280, and were not removed till 1757. It lasted with frequent repairs and alterations until 1832, when Rennie's bridge took its place.) The barons took possession of the city against John, committed the Tower to the keeping of Archbishop Langton, and procured in Magna Charta a declaration that the franchise of the city was inviolable. This was in 1215, and the very next year, upon John's showing signs of bad faith, the barons swore homage to Louis, the Dauphin of France, as king of England, in the Tower. John died on his march southward, and the barons at once broke with the Dauphin, but the prince stood a siege in the Tower in 1217 before he would abandon his shadowy English crown. This is the last time that any part of London was ever in other than English hands.
Henry III. repeatedly roused the citizens to wrath by the severity of his actions, got angry with them in turn in consequence of their purchasing his plate and jewels, which he offered for sale under emergency, and in punishment of that act of theirs, and of their destroying the house of the Abbot of Westminster, granted to the Abbot the right of an annual fair of fifteen days' continuance in Tothill Fields, with the effect of suppressing business during that time in the city. In 1263, a raid was made upon the Lombard bankers, many of whom took shelter for their lives in the churches, and in the following year, on some trivial pretext, a massacre of upwards of 500 Jews took place. The Earl of Leicester, during the Civil War, took up his headquarters in London, whose citizens warmly supported him, their bravery at Lewes in 1264 largely contributing to that victory. When De Montfort next year was slain at the battle of Evesham, and an end put to the power of the barons, the city suffered vengeance from the Royalists, was mulcted in 20,000 marks, and underwent temporary deprivation of its privileges. In 1258, according to the chronicles of Evesham, 20,000 persons in the metropolis died of hunger from a dearth of corn, and in 1270, according to Fleetwood, "provisions were so scarce that parents did eat their own children," and wheat was sold at a price equivalent to 36s. a bushel. The Black Friars settled in Holborn in 1221, the Grey Friars in 1225, the White Friars on the river in 1241, the Augustinian Friars in 1253, and the Cratched Friars in 1298.
Edward I. was crowned at Westminster in 1274, massacred 280 Jews in the city and seized their property, restored to the citizens the privileges of which they had been deprived, disafforested Middlesex forest, and finished Westminster Abbey.
The citizens, in the time of Edward II., took part with his queen and son against him, slew the Bishop of Exeter, and seized the Tower. A fish market was established in 1320 at Fish Wharf, and tolls were established in 1340 for defraying the expenses of streets and roads.
Under Edward III. London obtained many important privileges, as the right of holding courts of jail delivery for Newgate, of refusing to go to war out of the city, of appointing the mayor as sole escheator within the city, and the perpetual right of magisterial supremacy over the borough of Southwark. Edward III. also gave to the chief magistrate the title of lord mayor (in 1354), afforded great encouragement to the trading companies of the city, ordered the smiths and goldsmiths to put their marks on all their chief articles of manufacture, established the mint at the Tower, and erected St Stephen's Chapel. The city sent four members to Parliament in 1355, received the Black Prince and his prisoner John of France in 1359, and gave entertainment, through its lord mayor, to these personages, to Edward III., to David of Scotland, and to the King of Cyprus in 1363. John of France as a prisoner occupied the Savoy Palace in the Strand, and David of Scotland, also a prisoner, was lodged in the Tower. The poet Chaucer about the same time left the "Tabard Inn "in the borough on that famous pilgrimage to Canterbury, which he has immortalized by his pen. A terrible pestilence, supposed to have come from India or China, broke out in 1349, and is recorded to have been fatal to upwards of 50,000 persons. The general use of woollen at the time was unfavourable to cleanliness, and the practice of maintaining household fires against a reredos or screen, and of venting the smoke through mere apertures of the roof, was prejudicial to health. The windows also were chiefly latticed, glass being used in few buildings except palaces, churches, and monastic houses; and the very shops, even those in the main thoroughfares, were rather stalls and stands than sheltered places. Another pestilence devastated the city in 1361.
Richard II. in 1377, when scarcely eleven years old, made a triumphal progress through London, amid great demonstratlons of rejoicing, and was crowned at Westminster. A rustic mob of about 200,000, indignant at a poll tax the last of countless hardshipsand headed by Wat Tyler and Jack Straw, assembled in 1380 at Blackheath, proceeded to London, were joined there by another body of insurgents; worked much damage in the city, plundering warehouses, pillaging mansions, burning the Savoy Palace, and liberating the prisoners in the jails; extorted from the king a promise of certain rights and liberties, and struck such alarm into him that he took refuge in the Tower. Their leader, Wat Tyler, was slain by the lord mayor at Smithfield, their forces were overpowered, and the king, when the crisis was over, retracted the promise he had given, and, according to a popular error, in commemoration of the lord mayor's zeal added the symbol of the dagger to the city arms. (The heraldic weapon in these well-known arms is, however, the sword of St Paul, the patron saint of the city, and was in use before 1381, as the antiquary Stowe conclusively proved.) The king's subsequent reign, however, by its extravagance and luxuriousness, excited such strong disaffection that, on the occasion of his absence in Ireland in 1399, the people and the nobles, headed by Henry of Lancaster, broke into open revolt.
Henry IV. was crowned before the close of the same year at Westminster, and an illumination of the city, the first which had ever been made, took place at his coronation. The Greek Emperor Palæologus was received in 1400.
The city had originally been supplied with water from three brooks which ran through it, but in consequence of the extension of its buildings along and over these brooks it began to require supply from some other quarter. The citizens were therefore compelled in 1401 to bring a supply in leaden pipes from Tyburn Brook, a stream which crossed the present line of Oxford Street near Marylebone Lane, and fell into the Thames a little above Vauxhall Bridge.
A dire pestilence, which carried off about 30,000 persons, occurred in 1406. Henry IV. was noted for his persecution of the Lollards or Wickliffites, and Henry V., who succeeded to the throne in 1413, followed in the same course. Sir John Oldcastle, better known as Lord Cobham, and distinguished as a leader of the Lollards, was condemned for alleged heresy and treachery, got a respite of fifteen days, during which he escaped from the Tower, but was retaken, and eventually burnt in St Giles' Fields. In 1416 the streets were first lighted with lanterns, one being placed at the door of each house, and about the same time Holborn was first paved, the new Guildhall was built, and a second illumination of the city, in celebration of the victories of the English arms in France, took place. Sir Richard Whittington, thrice lord mayor of London, flourished in the reign of Henry V.; was a great benefactor to St Bartholomew's and Christ's hospitals; endowed certain almshouses near Sion College, now removed to the vicinity of Highgate; and at an entertainment to the king in the Guildhall is said to have cancelled a debt of the Crown to him by burning a packet of bonds for £60,000.
An insurrection, headed by Jack Cade, took place in 1450 in the reign of Henry VI. The insurgents, to the number of about 20,000, encamped on Blackheath, marched thence by London Bridge into the city, committed many outragesamong the rest beheading lord-treasurer Say and other eminent personsbut, with assistance of the governor of the Tower, were confronted and overpowered by the citizens. The wars between the houses of Lancaster and York soon followed, and after the first engagement a solemn but abortive meeting was held by the heads of the contending factions in St Paul's to attempt a reconciliation. The citizens chiefly favoured the Yorkists, and in guerdon of their partisanship the honour of knighthood was afterwards conferred by Edward IV. on the lord mayor, the recorder, and twelve of the aldermen. The Yorkists were finally successful at the battle of Mortimer's Cross in 1461, and Edward of York was declared king as Edward IV. The old king Henrysubsequently fell into his hands, and was sent to the Tower in 1466, whence Warwick delivered him in 1470. Next year Henry was again captured at the battle of Bamet, in April, was sent to the Tower, and there perished, probably at the hand of Gloucester, in the following June. The Lancastrians were finally overthrown at the battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, and Queen Margaret was then sent to the Tower, whence the French Louis XI. released her by ransom in 1475. The bastard of Falconberg, during Edward IV.'s reign, came up the river with a force of 5000 men to London Bridge, burnt some houses there, marched on to Aldgate, was confronted by the citizens and driven back to St Botolph's Church, and was there assailed and utterly routed by the garrison of the Tower.
The frost was so severe in 1432 that heavy waggons could travel on the ice of the Thames from London to Gravesend. The first lord mayor's show took place in 1450. Money began to be lent on security to government about that time, forming then the first small nucleus of the national debt. The first corn law was introduced about the same period, permitting importation from foreign countries when the home price rose to 6s. 8d. per quarter. A law was in force also for regulating the apparel of each grade of society, and the use of bricks in the construction of houses in London became general about the middle of the 14th century. The bricks were burnt in Moorfields, and so rapidly did they promote building that, as has been rather poetically said, "the houses sprang up almost like plantations out of the very ground where they stood." Yet the masonry of the city was most probably of brick in the Roman times, and the discontinuance for centuries in the use of that material was probably due to the loss of the Roman art of brickmaking.
A grand tournament was held at Smithfield in 1467, in the-reign of Edward IV., in honour of ambassadors from Charles the Bold of Burgundy to demand the king's sister in marriage for their master. The current coin was changed and considerably depreciated in 1464, the first printing-press was established by William Caxton under the patronage of the Abbot of Westminster in 1471, the right of choosing the lord mayor and sheriffs was vested in the masters, wardens, and liveries of the several corporations in 1473; a construction of cisterns and conduits for supplying water in various parts of the city and the suburbs took place about the same time, and another pestilence, fatal to a vast number of the citizens, occurred in 1479. The young Edward V., whose reign lasted; only two months and twelve days, died in 1483, probably by violence, in the Tower; and Richard III. took his seat as king at Westminster in the same year, but he reigned only till 1485, and is notable for little else locally than the incorporating of the Herald's College.
Henry VII., immediately after the overthrow of Richard at Bosworth Field, made a victorious entry into London, and went straight to St Paul's to make devout acknowledgments for his accession. But he passed through the streets in a closed chariot, either in fear of the Yorkists or in dread of a pestilence which then prevailed in the city. The pestilence is known as the Sweating Sickness, appears to have been of a severe character, and carried off in one week two lord mayors and six aldermen. Henry borrowed £2000 from the citizens, professedly for public purposes, but appropriated it to his own use; he also extorted other sums from them by fines and other oppressive methods. The great wealth which the citizens were then beginning to acquire from regular commerce with the East and the West Indies made them the objects of the king's extortion, and he, in general, practised such rapacity as to leave at his death an amount of nearly £2,000,000. His oppressions extended also to the country, and provoked an insurrection so far away as Cornwall. The insurgents proceeded towards London, were met by a royal force at Deptford Bridge and driven to Blackheath, and, taking post there, struck battle and were beaten and dispersed. Another pestilence, said to have been fatal to 30,000 persons, devastated the city in 1499-1500, and it so alarmed the king and the court that they removed to Calais. The first lord mayor's feast was held at the Guildhall in 1502, and the king, who was himself a member of the Merchant Taylors' Company, gave it the name of the Merchant Taylors' Feast. In this reign Henry VII.'s Chapel was erected, the Fleet river was made navigable to Holborn Bridge, Houndsditch was arched over, and an archery ground, the origin of the artillery ground, was formed on the area of several gardens in Finsbury.
Henry VIII. was crowned in 1509 at Westminster. The citizens at that time were jealous of the residence of trading foreigners, and a portion of them soon became so riotous against the foreigners as to necessitate the march into the city of a body of the king's troops (1517). Many of the rioters were seized and capitally arraigned; the lord mayor and the corporation themselves were implicated, but sued the Crown for mercy and obtained it; and, so late as 1527, several of the citizens were disfranchised for malpractices with the foreigners. The Londoners again, as in former reigns, were required to furnish money for the state's emergencies, and they were forced, under threats of severities, to raise large sums by Wolsey, who appropriated considerable portions to his own use. Charles V. was received in 1522 and lodged at Blackfriars, and a parliament was held there in 1524. The sweating sickness again ravaged the city in 1506, 1513, 1517, and 1528. St Paul's School was founded in 1512, and the lord mayor began to be chosen annually in 1529. Many street and sanitary improvements were made during Henry VIII.'s reign. The streets were paved and widened, the new houses were of better construction and greater height, nuisances were removed, and the police regulations were revised and ameliorated. The first act for improving the streets described them as "very foul and full of pits and sloughs, very perilous and noxious as well for all the king's subjects on horseback as on foot or with carriages," and it made provision for the paving of Aldgate, High Street, Shoe Lane, Fetter Lane, Gray's Inn Lane, Chancery Lane, and the way leading from Holborn Bar toward St Giles-in-the-Fields. The next act referred particularly to Chiswell Street, White-cross Street, Golden Lane, Grub Street, Long Lane, St John's Street from Smithfield Bars to the Pound, Cowcross from Smithfield Bars, the street from Temple Bar westward to Clements-Inn-Gates, the bridge called Strand Bridge, the road thither from Temple Bar, and Foscue Lane from the Bishop of Lichfield's garden to Strand Bridge.
The commencement of the Reformation was accompanied with striking local scenes, and followed by great local changes. Sermons against Popery were preached at St Paul's Cross, Tindal's translation of the Bible was publicly burned in Cheapside, persons differing very much from one another in religious belief were prosecuted or executed for their religious opinions, and the entire fabric of monasticism, with its immense temporal appurtenances, was overthrown. Nearly two-thirds of the area within the city walls are computed to have been occupied at Henry VIII.'s accession by churches, monasteries, and other ecclesiastical buildings, while a vast aggregate of dwelling-houses and gardens of bishops, abbots, and other ecclesiastical personages lay dispersed throughout the suburbs. Neither the parish churches nor the splendid establishments of St Paul's Cathedral were much in question by the Reformation, nor were the episcopal residences, amounting to sixteen, for Canterbury, York, Winchester, Durham, Bath, Worcester, Exeter, Lichfield, Hereford, Ely, Rochester, Salisbury, Chester, Carlisle, St David's, and Llandaff, much affected; but all the friaries, priories, and nunneries, and all other kinds of establishments under monastic brotherhoods or sisterhoods were entirely and sweepingly affected. The number of these was enormous. Of friaries there were Black Friars, between Ludgate and the Thames; Grey Friars, near Old Newgate, afterwards Christ's Hospital; Augustine Friars, afterwards Austin Friars, near Broad Street; White Friars, near Salisbury Square; Crouched or Crossed Friars, at St Olave's, Hart Street, near Tower Hill; Carthusian Friars, afterwards the Charter House, in Charterhouse Square; Cistercian Friars or New Abbey, in East Smithfield; and Brethren de Sacca or Bon Hommes in Old Jewry. Of priories there were St John of Jerusalem, in Clerkenwell; Holy Trinity or Christ-church, with Aldgate, on the site of Duke's Palace; St Bartholomew the Great, near Smithfield; St Mary Overies, in Southwark, near London Bridge; and St Saviour's, in Bermondsey. Of nunneries there were the Benedictine or Black Nunnery, in Clerkenwell; St Helen's, in Bishopsgate Street; St Clare's, in the Minories; and Holywell, between Holywell Lane and Norton Folgate. Of monastic colleges there were St Martin's, at St Martins-le-Grand; St Thomas of Aeons, at Westcheap; Whittington's, in Wintry Ward; St Michael's, in Crooked Lane; and Jesus Commons, in Dowgate. Of monastic chapels and similar establishments there were St Stephen's, in Westminster; Our Lady's of the Pew, in the Strand; St Anne's, in Westminster; St Esprit's or the Chapel of the Holy Ghost, in the Strand; Roll's Chapel or Domus Conversorum, in Chancery Lane; St James-in-the-Wall, chapel and hermitage, in Monkwell Street; Mount Calvary Chapel, near Goswell Street Road; St Mary's Chapel, Pardon Chapel, and two other chapels, in St Paul's Churchyard; Guildhall Chapel, at the Guildhall; Corpus Christi, in the Poultry; St Anthony's Chapel, with hospital and school, in Threadneedle Street; a chapel and almshouses in Petty France; Lady Margaret's Almshouses, at the Almonry, Westminster; Henry VIII.'s Almshouses, near the Gatehouse, in Westminster; St Catherine's Chapel and Hermitage, near Charing Cross; Pardon Chapel, in Wilderness Row, St John's Street; and the Chapel of Our Lady, in Barking. Of hospitals, with resident brotherhoods or sisterhoods, there were St Giles-in-the-FieIds, near St Giles' Church; St James', afterwards St James Palace, in Westminster; Our Lady's of Rounceval, at the Savoy, in the-Strand; Elsing Spital, afterwards Sion College, at London Wall; Corpus Christi, in St Lawrence Pountney; St Papey'Sy near Bevis Marks; St Mary Axe; Trinity, without Aldgate; St Thomas', Mercer's Chapel; St Bartholomew's-the-Less, near Smithfield; St Giles' and Corpus Christi, without Cripplegate; St Mary's of Bethlehem, near London Wally St Mary Spital, without Bishopsgate; St Katherine's, below the Tower; St Thomas', in Southwark; and the Lock Spital or Lazar House, in Kent Street, Southwark. And of monastic fraternities and similar institutions there were St Nicholas', in Bishopsgate Street; St Fabian, and St Sebastian's or the Holy Trinity, in Aldersgate Street; St Giles', in Whitecross Street; the Holy Trinity, in Leadenhall Street; St Ursula-le-Strand; the Hermitage, in Nightingale Lane, East Smithfield; Corpus Christi, at St Mary Spital; Corpus Christi, at St Mary Bethlehem; and Corpus Christi and St Mary's, at the Poultry.
After the Reformation the great aggregate area of ground which these institutions had occupied both in the city and in the suburbs became available for occupancy and business premises. The entire metropolis, therefore, notwithstanding the exactions of the state and the confusions attending the reformational change, assumed a more prosperous aspect. Some check was experienced in 1543 by a cattle-plague. This seems to have affected more than one species of the animals for the shambles, but it raged particularly among horned cattle, and caused a great dearth of meat. A sumptuary law, in consequence, was passed by the lord mayor and common council, enacting that the lord mayor should not have more than seven dishes either at dinner or at supper, that the aldermen and the sheriffs should not have more than six, the sword-bearer not more than four, the mayor's officers and the sheriff's officers not more than three, and that none of them after the ensuing Easter should buy cranes, swans, or bustards. An epidemic which prevailed in the same year cut off so many of the citizens that the term was adjourned to St Albans.
Edward VI. was crowned at Westminster in 1547. The chief local events of his reign were the relaxing of religious persecution, the comparative emptiness of the Fleet Prison and the Tower, the converting of the Palace of Bridewell into an hospital, the refounding of Christ's Hospital, the re-erection of the hospitals of St Thomas and St Bartholomew, the proceedings and fate of Protector Somerset, and the outbreak of two more pestilences. Protector Somerset pulled down two churches and three episcopal residences in the Strand, and a chapel in St Paul's Churchyard; used their materials for erecting a palace on the site of the present Somerset House in the Strand; appropriated to himself a large amount of the proceeds of the suppressed monastic houses; abstracted from the Guildhall library three cart-loads of valuable books and manuscripts; and was eventually driven to the Tower and to the scaffold. One of the two pestilences (known as the Plague) occurred in 1548 and carried off large numbers of persons; and the-other raged in 1551, and, like that of 1485, was called the Sweating Sickness. An act of parliament was passed in 1553, prohibiting the taking of interest for lent money, protecting native traders by impost of certain disabilities on the Hanse merchants, and limiting the number of taverns in Westminster to three, and in the city and its liberties to forty.
Lady Jane Grey made her brief and tragic appearance in the city in 1553. Mary immediately followed, and was received with great demonstrations of rejoicing. Sir Thomas Wyatt in 1554 made an insurrectionary effort against her; marched with an insurgent force through Knightsbridge along what is now Piccadilly, and down the Strand to Ludgate, was there encountered and captured, and was sent to the Tower and executed. Mary oppressed the citizens by forced loans, compelled them to become security for £30,000 which she had borrowed at Antwerp, exacted from them £60,000 in aid of her alliance with Spain against France, took from them a bribe of £50,000 to prohibit foreign merchants from exporting English cloth, and altogether, during her short reign of five years, worked vast damage to the city's happiness and prosperity.
Elizabeth's accession was hailed with surpassing joy. A magnificent progress from the Tower to Westminster preceded her coronation, an immense display of exultant devices were exhibited along all the line of route, a purse of 1000 marks of gold was presented to her at the Standard in Cheapside as a token of the city's respect and love, bonfires in the evening blazed in all directions, and a thrill of confidence ran through the whole community that the period of depression, suffering, and terror was at an end. Her long reign did much to justify the people's rejoicing and confidence. It was marred indeed in the city by what Pennant, with allusion particularly to tilts and tournaments, calls its "romantic fooleries;" it also had its shocks for the citizens in some adverse public occurrences, especially during the dread of the Armada; but on the whole it redeemed the promise practically given at its commencement, that the city should enjoy a current of prosperity. The refugees from the Netherlands, under protection by the Government, introduced numerous manufactures which were new to England, and the native merchants were enabled very greatly to extend and ramify the city's trade and commerce. The Royal Exchange was opened by the Queen in 1556, Westminster School was founded in 1560, the Merchant Taylors' School was founded in 1561, and a charter to the East India Company was granted in 1600. Other events of more doubtful character were the instituting of the first lottery in 1569, the erection of the first treadmill in 1570, and the opening of the first theatre in 1576. A great pestilence also broke out in 1563, and carried off about 20,000 persons; another occurred in 1569, and was so violent as to occasion the adjournment of the Michaelmas term to that of Hilary; a lesser one occurred in 1574, and two others with fatal results to respectively 7000 and 11,000 persons, occurred in 1582 and 1592. St Paul's was almost destroyed by lightning in 1561, and its restoration took five years.
A proclamation was issued in 1580 prohibiting the erection of new buildings within 3 miles of the city gates. The invigorated spirit of the people had been giving rise to comparatively rapid street extension, and a fear was entertained that there might not be space enough left in the suburbs for public recreation and sports. A view of the extent of London at that time is interesting, not only for showing what reason there was or was not for the prohibition, but also for the sake of comparison with the present extent of the metropolis, and that view is proximately attainable from a very curious plan entitled "Civitas Londinum," made soon after the accession of Elizabeth, and still extant. The most compact or crowded parts, then as since, extended from Newgate Street, Cheapside, and Cornhill to the Thames. The space immediately N and NE of these parts, excepting Coleman Street and a few scattered buildings from Lothbury to Bishopsgate, and from Bishopsgate to the Tower, was all open or garden ground. Goodman's Fields were only enclosed pasture lands, and very few buildings were E of the Tower. Whitechapel consisted of only a few houses, and Houndsditch contained but one row of houses opposite the city walls and along the edge of open fields. Spitalfields, from the back of the church, lay entirely open. A tolerable street went from Bishopsgate-Without to Shoreditch Church, but even that had unoccupied gaps. The space westward from Bishopsgate to Moorfields and Finsbury was nearly all unedificed. A few houses stood between the upper end of Chiswell Street and Whitecross Street, but what is now Goswell Street was called the road to St Albans. Clerkenwell, with the exception of Cowcross and part of St John Street, was occupied chiefly by its monastery and church. The space from the back of Cowcross to Gray's Inn Lane, which extended a very little way from Gray's Inn, was either unoccupied or laid out in pasture or gardens. The thoroughfare from Holbom Bridge to Red Lion Street was edificed on both sides, but thence to the village of St Giles was either an open road or bounded on one side by a garden wall The village of St Giles consisted of a small cluster of houses on the right of the road, and was therefore called, as the parish is still called, St Giles-in-the-Fields. All the tract to the N and the W of this was open country. Oxford Street was a rural road with trees and hedges on both sides, and a large lake, causing the well-known deviation by St Giles' Church, broke the straight line of the road until New Oxford Street restored it. A road called the Way, leading in from Reading, went from Oxford Street through Hedge Lane and Haymarket to St James' Hospital, afterwards St James' Palace. Hedge Lane and Haymarket were avenues entirely destitute of houses. Pall Mall had nothing more than a few small buildings on the site of Carlton House. Leicester Square was all open fields. St Martin's Lane had only a few buildings above the church toward Covent Garden. Covent Garden was literally a garden, and extended to Drury Lane. Long Acre, Seven Dials, and Drury Lane, as far as to the top of Wych Street, were quite open. The Strand was edificed principally with mansions of the nobility and the bishops. The space between the Strand and the Thames was occupied by gardens attached to these mansions, and the names of the present streets thereArundel Street, Norfolk Street, Surrey Street, Cecil Street, Salisbury Street, Buckingham Street, Villiers Street, and others, were taken from the several mansions or gardens. Spring Gardens were literally gardens with springs, and extended to the royal cockpit and tilt yard, afterwards occupied by the Treasury, and opposite which stood the Palace of Whitehall. The space from King Street to the Abbey, and that from Whitehall to Palace Yard, were compactly edificed. A plot near the present Abingdon Street, and another on the shore opposite Lambeth Palace, had each some houses. The shore space on the Surrey side from Lambeth Palace to a point opposite Whitefriars, had only six or seven houses. The tract thence to Winchester House, in Southwark, had a line of houses with attached gardens. A theatre with gardens, known as Paris Garden, occupied the site of the present Christchurch. Circular buildings, appropriated to bull and bear baiting, often witnessed by Elizabeth, stood opposite Queenhithe. Southwark extended but a little way down the High Street. London Bridge was crowded with buildings. The line along Tooley Street to Horsley Down was thickly built, but the tract beyond had only a few houses with gardens.
Another pestilence appeared in 1603, the year of the succession of James I., and cut off 30,578 persons. Yet the commerce of the city was then in so highly nourishing a condition that the citizens were able to contribute to the fleet sent against the Armada sixteen ships fully equipped and carrying 10,000 men. The year 1605 was memorable for the Gunpowder Plot, the conspirators in which suffered in Jan., 1606. The citizens took part in 1609-19 in the colonizing of Londonderry, and the city was supplied with water by Middleton's formation of the New River in 1609-13. The sides of the streets began to be paved with flags instead of pebbles in 1616. Another proclamation against the further street extension was issued in 1618, occasioned by disregard of the previous proclamation, but it also was disregarded, for not only did the metropolis continue rapidly to extend, but toward the end of James I.'s reign it began to acquire some graces of architecture. The first newspaper, at least the first which has been strictly authenticated, appeared in 1622, and the first hackney coach in 1634. Charles I. arrived on horseback in 1625, and the lord mayor and aldermen repaired to Ludgate to receive and proclaim him. The Plague broke out in that year and carried off 35,470 persons, and again appeared in 1635 and carried off 10,400 persons. Old St Paul's was thoroughly restored and a new west front added (1628-33) by Inigo Jones; and to the same architect we owe the Banqueting House at Whitehall (long the United Service Museum), which was finished in 1622 as the first part of an intended royal palace of great splendour, in the then new Palladian or Neo-classical style. Great confusion, with the effect of embarrassing trade, suspending city extension, and arresting the progress of the arts and sciences, prevailed during the Civil War. The citizens early took the side of the Parliament, accepted the Solemn League and Covenant in 1643, and entertained the Houses of Parliament in 1644-45. Charles I. was beheaded at Whitehall in 1649. The crosses in Cheapside and Charing, as also many fine statues and decorations in the churches, were destroyed by the Puritans; but they were guilty of far less damage to the fine old Gothic city architecture than either Henry VIII. or the Great Fire. Cromwell was feasted at the Guildhall in 1651, and the city goldsmiths about the same time received deposits of money from the citizens, allowed interest upon them, and thus established banking-houses. The Jews in 1655 offered Cromwell a large sum of money for permission to trade in England, and many of them settled in London, and opened next year a synagogue. A thorough revival of general prosperity occurred under Cromwell's administration, and produced a large amount of city extension.
Charles II., at his restoration, came to London from Blackheath, was received with immense demonstrations of rejoicing, made a progress from London Bridge to Whitehall, and was gorgeously banqueted in St George's Fields. General Monk had quietly occupied London in February, and this is the last time the city has ever been held by an armed force. The old streets till then were mostly very narrow and close, their houses projecting in the upper storeys so far as almost to overarch the thoroughfares; but many of them about that time were widened, paved, and otherwise improved, and such new ones as Great Queen Street, Bow Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, Long Acre, Covent Garden, St James' Street, Pall Mall, Piccadilly, and many others, either had been built or were approaching completion. The city was first supplied with tea by the East India Company about the time of Charles' restoration. The foundation of the Royal Society in London ennobles this same year (1660). A pestilence, known as the Great Plague, commenced in Dec., 1664, did not entirely cease till Jan., 1666, carried off about 4000 persons in one night, about 12,000 in one week, and 68,596 during its entire prevalence; raised the number of deaths together with those from other diseases in the year 1665 to 97,806, and caused such awful desolation that the streets were deserted, most of the houses were shut up, some thoroughfares which had been busy with traffic were overgrown with grass, pest-carts went round at certain hours with the cry, "Bring out your dead! "and for lack of sufficient burying-ground large pits were dug for the reception of the corpses. One of these pits was on the site of the present Liverpool Street Station, during the building of which immense quantities of human remains were exhumed and re-interred elsewhere. Another calamity was a terrific conflagration known as the Great Fire. This began on 2 Sept., 1666, at the house of a baker in Pudding Lane, adjacent to the site of the Monument afterwards erected to commemorate it; spread as far west as to Pye Comer near Holborn Bridge, raged continuously during four days and four nights, consumed about three-fourths of the city within the walls, and about one-fifth as much without the walls, laid waste a densely edificed oblong space of upwards of a mile in length and half a mile in breadth, or an area of upwards of 436 acres, destroyed the Guildhall, the Royal Exchange, fifty-two corporation halls, four city gates, St Paul's Cathedral, eighty-five churches and chapels, and 13,200 out of 65,000 houses, and was computed to involve a loss of not less than £10,000,000 worth of property.
The desolated portions of the city were rebuilt with astonishing celerity, and in a style of masonry or of architecture far superior to that of the buildings which had perished; but unhappily the old lines of the streets were in main degree preserved, and even the narrowness of them was, in a considerable degree, resumed; a multitude of new churches, with domes, towers, and spires, and in styles beautified and diversified by the fertile genius of Wren, took the place of those which had been destroyed; the Royal Exchange was rebuilt; St James' Park was planted with trees, and an entirely new face was given to both the city and the suburbs. Yet under the force of prejudice a noble plan prepared by Wren for the reconstruction of the city was ignored or laid aside, and an act was passed in 1674 imposing severe penalties on the erection of houses on new foundations. The first stone of St Paul's was laid by Wren 21 June, 1675, and the cathedral was opened for divine service in 1697, though it was not quite finished until 1710. It is to be regretted that the pressure put upon Wren by the king's brother (afterwards James II.) forced him to perpetuate the form of church suitable to the Roman Catholic service, which the Stuarts desired to restore; Wren's own design, of a specially appropriate character for Protestant services, and of great originality, is still preserved in one of the galleries of St Paul's. The general community, in rebound from the calamities which had passed, and in reaction from the repressive social usages of the times of the Commonwealth, and under influence of the example of the royal court, passed speedily into frivolity and vice. Bull-baiting and acrobatic sports were chief amusements; the theatres, which had all been suppressed, were reopened; women were for the first time allowed to appear on the boards as actresses; and gambling and debauchery became prevalent and unblushing. A disbanded officer called Blood carried off the Crown jewels from the Tower in 1671; prosecutions under the false testimony of Titus Gates and his associates commenced in 1678; much excitement and many executions immediately followed; the famous Rye House Plot occurred in 1683, and Lord William Russell, for alleged complicity in that plot, was executed at Lincoln's Inn Fields. The penny post for the metropolis was established and a postmaster-general appointed in 1683. The Thames was so deeply frozen in Jan. and Feb., 1684, that streets of booths were erected on it, and all kinds of trades and amusements were carried on there for nine weeks. Cranbourne Street was erected about 1680, Coventry Street about 1682, Southampton Square, afterwards called Bloomsbury Square, about the same period; and the last was shown to foreign princes visiting London as one of the wonders of England. Soho Square also was built about that time, and, what seems carious to the present generation, was likewise a subject of pride to the citizens. During Charles II.'s reign also insurance offices were established, and Chelsea Hospital and Greenwich Observatory were founded. Charles II. was buried at Westminster and James II. crowned there in 1685.
The comparative importance and splendour of London about that time had become very great. The population is computed to have been about 530,000, and though this does not seem much as compared with the population now, it was more than seventeen times the population of Bristol, which was then the largest town in England except London. The families of nobles, prelates, and wealthy commoners formed no inconsiderable portion of the population, and they resided chiefly in fine sew suburbs situated in the tracts between the city and the present fashionable west-end. The lord mayor never appeared in public without his rich robe, his hood of black velvet, his gold chain, and a large attendance of guards, and on great occasions he rode on horseback accompanied by a magnificent cavalcade, second in pomp and pageantry only to that which accompanied the sovereign on his coronation day from the Tower to Westminster. The train-bands, or city militia, comprised twelve regiments of foot and two of horse, officered by councillors and aldermen; were under the orders of a commission of eminent citizens; possessed the prestige of having contributed much, or even mainly, to both the overthrow of Charles I. and the restoration of Charles II., and were able to cope with all other military force in the kingdom. The merchants, or upper class of citizens, were much more intelligent than the same class in Bristol or elsewhere; they looked with pride on the city, and they felt solicitude for her liberties, ambition to enjoy her honours, and determination to maintain and enforce her claims to respect. The aggregate trade, though small compared to what it is now, bore a much greater proportion to the trade of the entire kingdom than it does now, and the money at command of the traders was so ample and ready that a government enjoying their confidence could obtain from them as large a supply in one day as it could have got from all the rest of the kingdom in months. Yet the social and sanitary condition of London then, as compared with what it ought to have been, or with what it afterwards became, was astonishingly low.
" We should greatly err-," remarks Macauley, "if we were to suppose that any of the streets and squares then bore the same aspect as at present. The great majority of the houses indeed have since that time been wholly or in great part rebuilt. If the most fashionable parts of the capital could be placed before us such as they then were we should be disgusted by their squalid appearance, and poisoned by their noisome atmosphere. In Covent Garden a filthy and noisy market was held dose to the dwellings of the great. Fruit women screamed, carters fought, cabbage stalks and rotten apples accumulated in heaps at the thresholds of the Countess of Berkshire and of the Bishop of Durham. The centre of Lincoln's Inn Fields was an open space where the rabble congregated every evening, within a few yards of Cardigan House and Winchester House, to hear mountebanks harangue, to see bears dance, and to set dogs at oxen. Rubbish was shot in every part of the area. Horses were exercised there. The beggars were as noisy and importunate as in the worst-governed cities of the Continent. A Lincoln's Inn mumper was a proverb. The whole fraternity knew the arms and liveries of every charitably-disposed grandee in the neighbourhood, and, as soon as his lordship's coach and six appeared, came hopping and crawling in crowds to persecute him. These disorders lasted, in spite of many accidents and of some legal proceedings, till, in the reign of George II., Sir Joseph Jekyll, Master of the Rolls, was knocked down and nearly killed in the middle of the square. Then at length palisades were set up and a pleasant garden laid out. St James' Square was a receptacle for all the offal and cinders, for all the dead cats and dead dogs of Westminster. At one time a cudgel player kept the ring there. At another time an impudent squatter settled himself there and built a shed for rubbish under the windows of the gilded saloons in which the first magnates of the realmNorfolks, Ormonds, Kents, and Pembrokesgave banquets and balls. It was not till these nuisances had lasted through a whole generation, and till much had been written about them, that the inhabitants applied to parliament for permission to put up rails and to plant trees. When such was the state of the quarter inhabited by the most luxurious portion of society, we may easily believe that the great body of the population suffered what would now be considered as insupportable grievances. The pavement was detestable; all foreigners cried shame upon it. The drainage was so bad that in rainy weather the gutters soon became torrents. Several facetious poets have commemorated the fury with which these black rivulets roared down Snow Hill and Ludgate Hill, bearing to Fleet ditch a vast tribute of animal and vegetable filth from the stalls of butchers and greengrocers. The flood was profusely thrown to right and left by coaches and carts. To keep as far from the carriage road as possible was therefore the wish of every pedestrian. The mild and timid gave the wall, the bold and athletic took it. If two roisterers met they cocked their hats- in each other's faces and pushed each other about till the weaker was shoved towards the kennel. If he was a mere bully he sneaked off, muttering that he should find a time ; if he was pugnacious the encounter probably ended in a duel behind Montague House. The houses were not numbered. There would, indeed, have been little advantage in numbering them, for of the coachmen, chairmen, porters, and errand-boys of London a very small proportion could read. It was necessary to use marks which the most ignorant could understand. The shops were therefore distinguished by painted signs, which gave a gay and grotesque aspect to the streets. The walk from Charing Cross to Whitechapel lay through an endless succession of Saracens Heads, Royal Oaks, Blue Bears, and Golden Lambs, which disappeared when they were no longer required for the direction of common people. When the evening closed in the difficulty and danger of walking about London became serious indeed. The garret windows were opened and pails were emptied, with little regard to those who were passing below. Falls, bruises, and broken bones were of constant occurrence, for till the last year of the reign of Charles II. most of the streets were left in profound darkness. Thieves and robbers plied their trade with impunity, yet they were hardly so terrible to peaceable citizens as another class of ruffians. It was a favourite amusement of dissolute young gentlemen to swagger by night about the town, breaking windows, upsetting sedans, beating quiet men, and offering rude caresses to pretty women. Several dynasties of these tyrants had since the Restoration domineered over the streets. The Muns and the Tityre had given place to the Hectors, and the Hectors had been recently succeeded by the Scourers. At a later period arose the Nicker, the Hawcubite, and the yet more dreaded name of Mohawk. The machinery for keeping the peace was utterly contemptible. There was an act of the Common Council which provided that more than a thousand watchmen should be constantly on the alert in the city from sunset to sunrise, and that every inhabitant should take his turn of duty; but the act was negligently executed. Few of those who were summoned left their homes, and those few generally found it more agreeable to tipple in the alehouses than to face the streets."
In 1685-87 numerous French Protestants, driven from their homes by the revocation of the edict of Nantes, settled in London, and some of them introduced the manufacture of silk and peopled Spitalfields (where their long windows are still to be seen in the streets, though the manufacture has ceased years ago), while others who were ornamental jewellers and goldsmiths established themselves in Long Acre, Seven Dials, and Soho. In 1685 the Duke of Monmouth was beheaded on Tower Hill, and Titus Oates was flogged through the streets and pilloried at Westminster Hall Gate, Charing Cross, the Temple, the Royal Exchange, and Tyburn. In 1697 various places which had been political sanctuariesthree in Fleet Street, two in Holborn, one in the Minories, one in the Strand, and some othersand which had become the haunts of vice and the refuge of the most abandoned characters, were deprived of their privilege of sanctuary. The proceedings of James and his ministers, the systematic efforts to introduce Roman Catholicity, the withdrawal of the city's charter in 1683, the imprisonment of the seven Protestant bishops in the Tower, the reports of the-terrific cruelties of Jeffreys and Kirke in the west, and the general aspects of James' reign, caused great distraction in the city. James restored the city's charter as one of his last attempts to regain the loyalty of his alienated subjects (Oct., 1685); but everything having failed he at length resolved on flight, embarked on the night of 10 Dec., 1688, at Whitehall Stairs, and threw the great seal into the Thames. No-Popery riots broke out after his departure and produced some destruction of property.
William and Mary were crowned in 1689 at Westminster, and they dined in the same year with the lord mayor at the Guildhall. A new coinage, in consequence of the old one having become very much depreciated, was ordered in 1693, and was issued by Sir Isaac Newton, who was then master of the Mint. A fire occurred in 1698 at Whitehall, and burnt it all down except the banqueting house. Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, came to England in the same year, lodged at Deptford, worked there as a ship's carpenter, and at his departure was presented by the king with a yacht, and gave the king in return a ruby valued at £10,000, which is now in the crown. There were, in William and Mary's reign, 900 hackney coaches and 200 sedan chairs in London, and during the reign various acts were passed for the regulation of these and of street traffic, for completing and adorning St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, and for conserving the Cottonian Library, then lodged at Cotton House in Westminster, and now in the British Museum.
William III. died on 7 March, 1702, at Kensington Palace, and was buried at Westminster. Anne, who had been born at St James' Palace while her father (James II.) was still Duke of York, was crowned in April. A storm of great violence raged during the night of 26 Nov., 1704, destroyed property to the value of about £2,000,000 in the city, drove the ships from their moorings in the river, and occasioned the maiming or death of upwards of 2000 persons. A theatre was opened in the Haymarket in 1705 by Vanbrugh and Cibber. A commotion arose in 1709-10 from the preaching of a violent sermon by Dr Sacheverel in St Paul's Cathedral, before the lord mayor and the corporation, led to his impeachment and trial before the House of Lords, was substantially a revival of the old contest between the High Church party and the Puritans, was attended with the destruction of several dissenting chapels and many private dwellings during the period of his trial, and issued in his suspension for three years from the office of preaching and in the burning of his sermons by the hangman in front of the Royal Exchange. An act was passed in 1711 for building fifty new churches in London, and provided for the cost of them by a tax during eight years on all coals brought into the river. The General Post Office was established in the same year. Italian opera was first performed in England in 1705. The ships belonging to London in 1712 were 560, of aggregately 85,000 tons, but the quantity of coals brought into the port in that year was only a little above 225,000 tons.
George I. made his public entry into London in 1714. Much excitement prevailed in connection with the rebellion of 1715, and Lords Derwentwater and Kenmuir were executed on Tower Hill. The South Sea enterprise took place in 1720, occasioned great commotion in the city, threw such throngs of speculators upon the offices that clerks' tables required to be placed in the streets for the transaction of their business, and produced such great disaster that thousands of families were brought to beggary and the entire kingdom threatened with bankruptcy. Guy's Hospital was founded in 1721 by John Guy, a bookseller in Cornhill. The Chelsea Water Company, for affording better supplies of water to Westminster and the western suburbs, was formed in 1722. George II. came to the throne in 1727. Only one bridge then spanned the Thames at the metropolis, and that was a structure of irregular arches, surmounted by piles of mean and ricketty houses, and often made horrible with scores of mouldering heads. But in George II.'s reign that bridge was cleared of its encumbrances, and two othersWestminster Bridge and Blackfriars Bridgewere founded, the former in 1739, the latter in 1760. Fleet Ditch also was arched over; Fleet Market was formed upon part of the arching; Grosvenor Square and Great George Street were built; the road from Paddington to Islington, and several other new roads, were laid out. The Wesleyan Methodists began their career in the same reign, and occupied the Foundry in Moorfields as their first chapel in 1739. The number of houses in the metropolis, or within the bills of mortality, in 1789, was 95,968; and the number of streets was 5099. The first circulating library in London was formed in the Strand in 1740. The rebellion of 1745 produced some excitement in the city; seventeen persons were executed on Kensington Common for participating in it; and Lords Kilmarnock, Balmerino, and Lovat were executed on Tower Hill. This is interesting as being the last occasion on which the city gates were shut at night. For some weeks this occurred, and the train-bands were kept on duty night and day. The Government's purchase of Sir Hans Sloane's collections, which led to the founding of the British Museum, was made in 1753.
George III. was crowned at Westminster in 1761. The Peace of Paris, which followed his accession, gave much stimulus to the improvement of the metropolis; the agitation created by Wilkes, the complaints of the Spitalfield weavers, and the war with America gave a temporary check to extension, but the public events and influences of the rest of the reign were attended by a vast aggregate of aggrandizing change and enlargement. Three of the city gatesLudgate, Aldgate, and Cripplegatewere removed and sold at the commencement of the reign; the building of Blackfriars Bridge and of the streets leading from it went steadily forward ; the large signs suspended over the streets from most of the houses, darkening the thoroughfares and obstructing a free circulation of air, began to be removed in 1762 ; commissioners for superintending and regulating the stands of hackney coaches, and for paving, lighting, cleaning, and watching the streets were appointed in 1768; the houses were numbered, the names of the streets were marked at the corners, flagged pavements for footpaths were laid down, the kennels were removed from the middle of the streets to the sides, further measures were adopted or new companies formed for the supply of water, and in 1807 gaslight was introduced by commencing the use of it in Pall Mall and Bishopsgate. The first balloon ascent was made by Lunardi from the Artillery Ground in 1784; the first canal affecting the metropolis, the Paddington Canal, was opened in 1801; the first docks (the West India ones) were opened in 1802; the first printing of newspapers by steam, that of the Times, took place in 1814; the first steamer on the Thames, the Comet, from Glasgow, appeared in 1816; and the first cabs came into use in 1820. Large extensions of the metropolis, in-eluding Finsbury Square, Bedford Square, Russell Square, Brunswick Square, numerous streets in the vicinity of these squares and in other places, and numerous erections on the Surrey side of the river, were made during George III.'s reign; and the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Institution, the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal College of Surgeons, and many other literary and scientific institutions, were founded. George III. returned thanks at St Paul's in 1761 for his accession, in 1789 for his recovery from illness, and in 1797 for Howe's, St Vincent's, and Duncan's victories. Lord George Gordon's No-Popery Riots broke out in June, 1780 ; his wretched mob of riotous followers burnt down many houses; broke up the prisons of King's Bench, Fleet, New Bridewell, and Newgate; made an attack on the Bank of England; and necessitated the forming of a camp in St James' Park for the maintenance of public tranquillity. He was committed to the Tower for treason in June, 1780, but was acquitted in the following February. He died in Newgate (on a charge of libel) in 1793. The famous trial of Warren Hastings took place at Westminster Hall in 1788; the city raised its last military force, the Loyal Volunteers, during the scare accompanying the French Reign of Terror, 1794; the Thames was frozen over in 1807, and again in 1814; a serious riot convulsed the city on the arrest of Sir Francis Burdett in 1810; and other riots connected with the Corn Laws occurred in 1815; Spencer Perceval, the prime minister, was assassinated in the House of Commons' lobby in 1812; and Louis XVIII., the Emperor Alexander, and the King of Prussia visited the city in 1814 during the rejoicing at the first overthrow of Napoleon.
George IV. came to the throne in 1820. He had already, from the time of his becoming regent in 1812, put his mark on the extension of the metropolis, particularly in the Regent's Park, Regent Street, and Portland Place, and numerous arrays of aristocratic mansions, and his reign was characterised by a continuance and rapid increase of similar extension. The king himself took a strong interest in improving and beautifying the West-end; Carlton House was demolished, St James' Palace was relinquished as a royal residence, Buckingham House was taken down to give place to Buckingham Palace, and a broad commencement was made of that migration of the higher classes to the west which has continued till the present time. New London Bridge was begun in 1825; the New General Post Office was completed in 1829, and the Metropolitan Police Act was passed and omnibuses first began to run in the same year. The appearance of Queen Caroline at the commencement of George IV.'s reign to claim her queenly rights, and her trial upon charges brought against her, threw London society for some months into a ferment. The Cato Street conspiracy also, which was a plot to assassinate the king's ministers at a Cabinet dinner, produced a great sensation, and it brought five of the principal actors in it to the scaffold. A commercial crisis occurred in 1825, and produced much disaster in the city.
William IV. succeeded to the throne in 1830, and was crowned at Westminster in 1831. New London Bridge was opened in the latter year by the king and queen amid great rejoicings. The discussions connected with the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832 produced vast excitement in the city, during which a run was made upon the Bank of England and a mob assembled round Apsley House, the residence of the Duke of Wellington, and broke his windows. The cholera appeared in London in the same year, and created great havoc and distress among all classes. The old houses of parliament were destroyed by fire in 1834, but the new ones were not founded till 1840. The first of the new cemeteries, that of Kensal Green, was opened in 1832, and the first of the London railways, that to Greenwich, was opened in 1836. The extensions and improvements of the metropolis, which had already become so great and distinguished, were carried vigorously forward during the reign of William IV., and many scientific, literary, and educational institutions, such as the London University, the Astronomical Society, the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Society of Literature, the National Gallery, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the Statistical Society, and also various mechanics' institutes, were established.
Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, and made a state visit to the Guildhall under circumstances of considerable splendour in November of the same year. The extension of the metropolis from that time till the present has been more rapid than ever, more characterised by diversity of character, more attended by demolitions and reconstructions, more marked, by adaptations to the wants and tastes of the age, and more pervaded, within certain limits, by ambitious aim at ornamentation or display. So many as 64,058 houses, extending along an aggregate of 200 miles of streets, were built between 1839 and 1850; and so many as about 6400, extending along an aggregate of 20 miles of streets, are computed to have been built on the average of every year since 1850. Considerable local agitation, arising from the proceedings of the Chartists, occurred in 1839., Some commercial distress, resulting from the effects of a series of badly productive harvests, occurred in 1842. The railway mania and the repeal of the corn laws made strong impression on London in 1846. Some disturbances, arising from the sympathy of Chartists with the expulsion of Louis Philippe from the throne of France, took place in 1848, and an announcement that a vast body of Chartists should meet on Kennington Common and march in procession through the city caused great alarm. As many as 200,000 citizens were sworn in as special constables to preserve the peace; the entire police force was told off in the best manner of its excellent organization ; and great military preparations, both of a defensive kind and in the way of posting bodies of troops in reserve, were made by the Government; and these preparations so completely cowed the Chartists that the entire assemblage of them on Kennington Common did not amount to a tenth part of the number of the special constables, and of course had neither strength nor spirit to attempt any breach of the peace. Sir Robert Peel died in 1850, in consequence of a fall from his horse in Hyde Park. The great exhibition in Hyde Park was a striking event of 1851, and brought an immense concourse of strangers to the metropolis, and a visit of the Hungarian patriot Kossuth in this year caused great excitement. The Duke of Wellington died in 1852, and his obsequies were performed with great magnificence, by a lying-in-state at Chelsea and by a public funeral procession through Westminster and the city to St Paul's. Napoleon III. and the Empress Eugenic were entertained at the Guildhall in 1855 at the close of the Crimean War. The launching of the Great Eastern iron steamship, and the first laying of an Atlantic telegraph, were marked events of 1858. Commerce had been remarkably increasing for several years prior to the Russian War; was slightly checked by the accompaniments of that war; took a fresh start on the conclusion of the peace; was soon checked again by a monetary crisis which temporarily raised the rate of discount at the Bank of England to 10 per cent. (November, 1857); experienced relief through an interference of Government, authorizing the bank to increase its issues of notes as necessity might require; resumed then its regular and prosperous course; went through the trying shocks from the American War with such elastic power as to gain more by increase in other markets of the world than it lost by vast decrease in those of America; and sustained again a check, but under steady and recuperative progress, from a monetary crisis in 1866, which once again forced up the rate of bank discount to 10 per cent., and kept it there upwards of three months. The volunteer movement began to make much stir in 1859, and a body of about 20,000 volunteers was reviewed by the Queen in Hyde Park in June, 1860. A fire broke out in the same month in some warehouses near the S end of London Bridge, raged with fury for seven days, left smouldering action in vaults and underground stores for several weeks, destroyed buildings over an area of many acres, and involved a loss of property estimated at nearly £20,000,000. The death of the Prince Consort occurred near the end of the year 1861, and threw a temporary gloom over London society. The great exhibition at Kensington was the notable event of 1862. In 1864 an immense multitude welcomed the great Italian patriot Garibaldi to London. In the same year one of the greatest modern improvements of London was commenced in the laying of the first stone of the North Thames Embankment, and the following year saw the first stone laid of the new Blackfriars Bridge. In 1866 cholera visited London, but much more mildly than in 1832. It was traced, in considerable degree, to the effects of unwholesome water, and since then great improvements have been effected in the closing up of contaminated springs, and in providing a proper supply. Two distinguished visitors were entertained in London in 1867, in the persons of the Viceroy of Egypt and of the Sultan of Turkey; the foundation stone of the Albert Hall was laid by the Queen, and the building of the Holborn Viaduct was commenced. The latter took about two years to build, and was inaugurated by the Queen in 1869. The year 1867 was marked by an act of awful malignity on the part of some Irish conspirators, who exploded a barrel of gunpowder under the wall of Clerkenwell prison. The explosion threw down a portion of the wall, but its chief effect was to deal mutilation and death to the passers-by, and to the inhabitants of the adjoining streets, women and children being the chief sufferers. During the following year the Thames Embankment was opened, a new meat market was inaugurated at Smithfield, and the Midland Railway Company opened their great station at St Pancras. The year 1870 saw the founding of the City Library and Museum at the Guildhall, the opening of the Victoria Embankment by the Prince of Wales, and the first meeting of the School Board of London. The Albert Hall was opened by the Queen on 29 May, 1871. The winter of that year was saddened by the dangerous illness of the Prince of Wales, who was attacked by typhoid fever, and at one time so great were the fears of a fatal result that large crowds waited continuously outside the newspaper offices in Fleet Street, and the bell-ringers were kept on duty day and night in St Paul's Cathedral. Happily the great bell was not required, and the fears of the nation were dispelled by the recovery of His Royal Highness, a grand national thanksgiving service being held at the Cathedral on 27 Feb., 1872. During this year the East London Museum and the new City Library and Museum were opened. In 1874 the marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh with the Grand Duchess Marie of Russia took place, the Duke and Duchess making a state entry into London on 12 March. A little later, the Emperor Alexander paid a visit to London, and was entertained at the Guildhall on 18 May. In the autumn of the year all London was startled by the explosion of five tons of gunpowder which were being carried on a barge on the Regent's Canal. Fortunately for the metropolis, the explosion took place at a spot where the sloping banks of the canal caused most of its force to be expended in an upward direction, hence the damage done was much less than might have been expected. A much greater disaster occurred on 8 Sept, 1878, when the Princess Alice, a Thames pleasure steamboat which had been greatly patronised by the Londoners, was run down and literally cut in two on the river, with the loss of nearly 700 livesan event which cast a gloom over the entire metropolis. In 1879 some experiments were made in connection with a plan for the electric lighting of London, and arc lamps were placed along the Thames Embankment and the Holborn Viaduct. The light then proved to be too costly to be continued, and several years passed before it came into use on any large scale. The King of the Hellenes visited London in 188'0, and he was followed by a lesser potentate the year following, in the person of Kalakaua, the king of the Sandwich Isles. The chief metropolitan events of 1882 were the visit of the famous Zulu chieftain Cetewayo, the opening of the new Law Courts in the Strand by the Queen, the opening of the new City of London Schools by the Prince of Wales, and by a terrible fire at Wood Street, Cheapside, in which nearly £2,000,000 of property was destroyed. The years 1884 and 1885 were noteworthy for the activity displayed by certain Irish-American conspirators, who sought to intimidate the legislature by the perpetration of dynamite outrages in London. In Feb., 1884, some very dangerous bombs were found at Charing Cross and Paddington railway stations, and in May the police station at Scotland Yard was greatly injured by an explosion of dynamite. Further outrages were perpetrated during Jan. and Feb., 1885, on the Metropolitan railway, at the Tower of London, Westminster Hall, and Victoria Station. Some stringent enactments which were hastily passed through Parliament, coupled with increased police activity, served to check the action of the conspirators, and an abortive attempt to injure London Bridge in Dec., 1885, resulted in the destruction of the men who attempted it, together with the boat they had employed for their nefarious purpose. Something in the nature of an uprising of the dangerous classes of the great city occurred in 1886, when a body of men who had been holding a meeting in Trafalgar Square marched through some of the chief thoroughfares of the West End, destroying a little property and, committing several acts of pilfering. A strong force of police which had been held in reserve had unfortunately been marched out of the way, and the riot was followed by the resignation of the Chief-Commissioner, Colonel Henderson. In 1887 the Jubilee of the reign of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, was celebrated, with great rejoicings in the metropolis. On 21 June a state service, attended by the Queen and the Royal Family, together with many distinguished visitors, was held at Westminster Abbey, a general holiday being observed, and the streets being illuminated at night. The following day 30,000 school children were entertained at Hyde Park, and on 28 June a grand jubilee ball was held at the Guild-hall, which was attended by the Royal Family and most of their royal and distinguished visitors. The foundation stone of the Imperial Institute was laid by the Queen on 4 July of the same year. Two years later (1889) saw the end of the Metropolitan Board of Works, an institution which had done good work since its formation in 1855, but the members of whichduring the latter portion of its careerhad become deplorably tainted with jobbery and corruption. Its duties were transferred to the newly formed County Council of London, which held its provisional meeting on 31 Jan., 1889, and its first sitting on 21 March. On 27 July the marriage of the Princess Louise of Wales to the Duke of Fife was celebrated at Buckingham Palace. The autumn of this year was marked by a great strike of dock labourers, which was not settled until great damage had been done to the trade of the port of London. This year was also made memorable by a visit of the Shah of Persia to London in July, and a visit of the German Emperor, William II., in August. Another event was the gift by Sir E. Guinness (now Lord Iveagh) of £250,000, for the erection of dwellings for the poor in London and Dublin. The last day of the year witnessed the funeral of Robert Browning, the poet, in Westminster Abbey; and a fortnight later, on 14 Jan., 1890, Lord Napier of Magdala passed away, and was a few days later buried in St Paul's Cathedral.
The winter of 1891-92 was marked by a serious outbreak of influenza, the mortality from this cause in January, 1892, reaching the very high rate of 46 per 1000 deaths. In the month of June of that year London had another distinguished visitor in the person of the King of Roumania, who was received at Buckingham Palace. A little later on, 16 Aug., witnessed the revival of a ceremony which had not been performed since 1556, in the conferring of the Pallium on Dr Vaughan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, by a delegate from the Pope. In the autumn a run was made on the Birkbeck Bank, an institution very largely patronised by small investors and tradesmen, and great excitement prevailed for a few days. The bank, however, promptly met all claims, and after a time the panic ceased and confidence was fully restored. Some very heavy losses, however, amounting to no less than £7,000,000, were sustained this year owing to the failure of some building societies and associated enterprises, which had been very dishonestly conducted. The beginning of 1893 saw an important city improvement completed in the widening of Ludgate Hill from 47 feet to 60 feet, the net cost to the city being £230,000. Some attempts were made by certain agitators during this winter to excite the unemployed, and processions were formed which marched through the city and west end. On New Year's-day the procession visited St Paul's Cathedral, where a sermon was delivered by Canon Scott Holland, and the gathering afterwards was quietly dispersed. At the end of the month an attempt was made to march on the Houses of Parliament, but the procession on reaching Westminster was dispersed by the police. During the spring of the year the financial troubles of the Australian colonies found an echo in London, and many of the hanks trading with the colonies suspended payment. A severe shock was thus given to colonial credit, and trade in consequence was greatly impeded. On 10 May the Imperial Institute at South Kensington was opened by the Queen, the ceremony and procession attracting a vast concourse of people. In the month of July a still greater assemblage was attracted to witness the wedding procession of H.R.H. the Duke of York and Princess Victoria Mary of Teck. The marriage ceremony was performed on 6 July at the Chapel Royal, St James's, and it was followed by a procession of the newly-married couple to the Liverpool Street Station, and by a general illumination. The police arrangements were excellent; but, in spite of all that was done, three deaths and considerably over 1000 minor accidents were recorded as the result of the-crowding together of the population. This year was marked by several fires in London of unusual severity, and, at one-which took place on 18 July in St Mary Axe, the damage done was estimated at £300,000. One of the chief events in 1894 was the opening of the Tower Bridge (described elsewhere in this article) by the Prince of Wales on 30 June.
Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5