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periods, who, we may ask, does not remember Old Exeter 'Change, with its stall-like shops, its menagerie, and above all its man at the entrance in the beef-eater costume, stimulating the imagination of many a youthful passer-by, till it could believe anything of the wonders to be shown above? Then there were the paintings, in which the artist with laudable ingenuity succeeded in conveying a very fair idea of elephants, lions, tigers, &c., without running any risk of a violation of the Second Commandment. The elephant too; who does not remember the melancholy circumstance of the poor creature's being shot to death, and how his skeleton afterwards adorned the window of the exhibition, forming himself his own monument in the scene of his exhibitional triumphs? The place itself was not destitute of historical interest, to say nothing of the magnificent bed exhibited here in 1721 “ by Mr. Normand Caney,” and other matters of a similar kind. The first building on the site, of which we have any record, was erected by Sir Thomas Palmer, Knight, in the reign of Edward VI.; “but of later time." writes Stow, "it hath been far more beautifully increased by the late Sir William Cecil, Baron Burghley.” From hence, he adds, there had been “a continual new building even up to the Earl of Bedford's house, lately builded nigh to the Ivy Bridge,” from which the present Bedford and Southampton Streets, &c., derive their name. During Cecil's time the house was known by his name, and afterwards from his successors, the Earls of Exeter, as Exeter House; and thus gave name to the 'Change, which is said to have been built by Dr. Barbon, a speculator in houses, in the time of William and Mary. The removal of the 'Change, and the adjoining houses as far as Southampton Street, took place in 1830; and the present handsome building, including the Hall which still perpetuates the ancient name and the ancient recollections, soon rose on their site. The Hall, which is used for the meetings of various religious and political associations, and for interesting musical performances, was opened in 1831. Its great size, one hundred and thirty-eight feet in length, ninety in breadth, and forty-eight in height, enables it to accommodate at least three thousand persons. A magnificent organ of extraordinary size and power has been recently added.
A little beyond Exeter House and the Savoy, on the same side as the latter, was Worcester House, originally the seat of the Bishops of Carlisle; where Clarendon lived during the building of his splendid mansion in Piccadilly, and at that period of his life when the wily Chancellor succeeded in accomplishing an object dear, there is little doubt, to his heart—the marriage of his daughter to the Duke of York, afterwards James II. ; though on the discovery of the marriage he professed to feel so shocked as to say to the King that, if the union had taken place, he would give a positive judgment that “the king should immediately cause the woman to be sent to the Tower, and to be cast into a dungeon, under so strict a guard that no person living should be permitted to come to her, and then that an Act of Parliament should immediately be passed for the cutting off her head, to which he would not only give his consent, but would very willingly be the first man to propose it.”
At this very time it is stated the Chancellor was labouring in secret to remove all difficulties, and that he overcame the chief one, the Queen Mother's dislike of the match, by engaging to get Parliament to pay her debts. At last all difficulties were removed, the marriage was publicly announced, and the nobility and gentry thronged to Worcester House, where
the marriage had taken place, to pay their respects to the new duchess. Elated by this connexion with royalty, no wonder that Clarendon thought little of paying, as he did, the then enormous rent of 5001. a-year for Worcester House. The mansion was pulled down by the Duke of Beaufort, and the present buildings bearing his name erected on the site. At the corner house, now occupied by Messrs. Ackermann, lived Lillie the perfumer, whom Steele has commemorated in his · Tatler;' a more important resident of Beaufort Buildings was Fielding, of whom an interesting anecdote is recorded in the Gentleman's Magazine' for 1786. Some parochial taxes for his house having long remained unpaid, in spite of repeated calls, the collector at last signified to the great novelist that it would be impossible to allow any longer delay. In this dilemma Fielding went to Jacob Tonson the bookseller, who also resided in the Strand, and obtained in advance some ten or twelve guineas for a work he had in hand. On his return he met with an old college chum, whom he had not seen for many years, and, finding he had been unfortunate in life, gave him all the money he had just received. On reaching home he was informed the collector had called twice for the taxes. “Fielding's reply was laconic, but memorable :-Friendship has called for the money, and had it ; let the collector call again! The reader will be glad to hear that a second application to Jacob Tonson enabled him to satisfy the parish demands.”
Between Worcester and Durham Houses stood other large mansions of noblemen; the principal being Rutland House and Cecil House; the latter standing on the site of the existing Cecil and Salisbury Streets. This was built by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury, a son of the great Burghley, and was a large and stately mansion. It was a part of Cecil House that was turned into the Middle Exchange, consisting of one large room, lined with shops on both sides, extending down to the river, where was a handsome flight of steps for the convenience of those who desired to take boat. It seems to have had a bad kind of reputation, and the popular idea of the purposes to which the place was applied soon found a popular but not very delicate mode of expression, and the nick-name bestowed on it had such an effect, that the Middle Exchange went to ruin, and was, with the other remains of Salisbury House, pulled down by the Earl of Salisbury, and Cecil Street erected in their room, about 1696. All the part now known as the Adelphi was formerly occupied by the buildings, gardens, &c., of Durham House, one of the most interesting of the old Strand palaces. Pennant says the original founder was Anthony de Beck, Patriarch of Jerusalem and Bishop of Durham in the reign of Edward I.; and that Bishop Hatfield, to whom Stow ascribes the foundation, merely rebuilt the place. The latter historian describes a great feast that was held here in the reign of Henry VIII., on the occasion of the “ triumphant justing” holden at Westminster, 1540, when the challengers not only feasted the King, Queen, ladies, and all the Court at Durham House, but also " all the Knights and Burgesses of the Common House in the Parliament, and entertained the Mayor of London, with the Aldermen and their wives, at a dinner.”
In the reign of Edward VI. the royal Mint was established here, under the direction of the Lord Admiral Seymour, who placed a creature of his own, Sir William Sharrington, in it as master. He calculated on thus obtaining great
assistance in his ambitious projects. After his execution Durham House passed into the hands of the Duke of Northumberland, the uncle of the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey; and it was here that, in the beginning of May, 1553, the scheming noble beheld the first part of his plan, in connexion with the throne, accomplished, by the marriage of his son, Lord Guildford Dudley, to Lady Jane. To strengthen himself as much as possible by other powerful alliances, his daughter, Lady Catherine Dudley, at the same time married the eldest son of the Earl of Huntingdon, and a sister of Lady Jane the son of the Earl of Pembroke. The ceremony was, as we may well suppose, under such circumstances, celebrated with extraordinary magnificence. The end of all these arrangements was soon to be known. The King died on the 6th of July following; and Northumberland, after two days' delay (a circumstance of itself almost sufficient to ensure his failure), exhibited the will of the deceased monarch, declaring Lady Jane Grey his successor, to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, and obtained their oaths of allegiance. After the lapse of two days more Lady Jane was conducted from Durham House to the Tower and openly received as queen, much, however, to the sorrow of the amiable victim herself, who felt no sympathy with the projects of her cold-hearted, calculating relative. Seldom indeed has a more pitiable sacrifice been offered up on the altar of ambition. Young, graceful, and pretty, if not beautiful, she at the same time possessed all the qualities that would have cheered, adorned, or elevated the domestic hearth. The partisans of Mary in the mean time were actively at work; they had gathered a numerous body of adherents together-they were bold and energetic. Collecting all his retinue at Durham House, his carts laden with ammunition, his artillery and field-pieces, the Earl set out, at the head of six thousand men, to attack them. In his absence the Council went over in a body to Mary; his troops deserted; and at last, to save his life, he endeavoured to make a virtue of necessity by proclaiming Queen Mary at Cambridge. The result is but too well known. The innocent and the guilty alike fell; the former, however, by whom we more particularly refer to Lady Jane and her youthful husband, were the last who suffered,—and might perhaps have been altogether spared, even by the vindictive and merciless Mary, but for Wyatt's ill-managed insurrection. To continue the history of Durham House :-its next eminent inhabitant was Sir Walter Raleigh, to whom it was granted by Elizabeth; but the grant appears to have been made without sufficient right in the maker, for Sir Walter was dispossessed of it by the Bishops of Durham. During the reign of James I. the stables of the mansion, fronting the Strand, which had become very ruinous and unsightly, were pulled down, and the New Exchange raised in their room. It was completed in 1608, and opened in the presence of the King (James), the Queen, and the Royal Family, and was splendidly decorated for the occasion. It then received the name from the former of Britain's Bursse. The shops generally were occupied by milliners and sempstresses, among whom the Duchess of Tyrconnel, wife of Richard Talbot, Lord Deputy of Ireland under James II., after the abdication of the one and the death of the other, is said to have sup. ported herself for a short time by engaging in the usual trade of the place. She sat in a white mask and a white dress, a circumstance which caused her to be known as the “White Milliner.” Almost from its first erection the Middle Ex: change became a favourite place of resort. It was here that a Mr. Gerard tras
walking one day planning how he should best carry into execution the plot in which he was engaged,—the assassination of Cromwell,—when he was insulted by the Portuguese Ambassador, and resented it so warmly that the latter in revenge the next day sent a set of bravoes to murder him : his murderers mistook their victim, and killed another man. The dénouement is curious as well as tragical: Don Pantaleon, the ambassador, was tried, found guilty, and executed. On the scaffold he met the very party he had intended to destroy, Mr. Gerard, whose plot in the interim had been discovered.
As we approach Charing Cross we are again reminded, by the magnificent pile of buildings on the northern side, that improvement has here too been busily at work of late years. Were not the alterations indeed so recent, one might almost fancy Malcolm had been dozing over his ponderous labours, and unconsciously written in that state the passage where he talks of the Strand facing Northumberland House being “perhaps more confined than in any other portion of that busy street.” Who now, standing beside the mansion referred to, and looking along the Strand, can fancy such a state of things as existing but ten or twelve years ago?
Several important edifices have sprung up to the great adornment of the Strand in consequence of the recent improvements, in addition to the Hall before mentioned; such as the British Fire Office, a grand and characteristic edifice, designed by Mr. Cockerell ; and the Lowther Arcade, one of those elegant nests of shops which it would be desirable to see more commonly in populous places, were it only for the shelter they afford from the variations of our uncertain climate, and from the noise, bustle, and confusion of the great thoroughfares: the latter was designed and executed by Mr. Herbert. We do not here refer, otherwise than by this passing notice, to the improvements connected with the two principal theatres of the Strand, or to those connected with Hungerford Market, as we shall have other and more favourable opportunities of so doing. With York House and Northumberland House then we shall now complete our notices of the more interesting features of this great thoroughfare.
At the corner of Villiers Street, in the house occupied by Messrs. Roake and Varty, is still preserved a portion of the old ceiling of the house where the great Bacon first saw the light. It was then occupied by his father, Sir Nicholas Bacon, as Keeper of the Great Seal. Originally the building had been the inn of the Bishops of Norwich; by exchange it passed first through the hands of the monks of St. Bennet Holme in Norfolk, and then, in 1535, to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Having become vested in the Crown by the attainder of that nobleman, it was given by Queen Mary to the Archbishops of York, who, since Wolsey's loss of York Place (Whitehall), had possessed no metropolitan residence :-it then took the name of York House. It again reverted to the Crown in the time of James I., by exchange for certain manors, and was appropriated to the use of the Keepers of the Great Seal. Sir Nicholas Bacon resided here for
many years during the period he held the office, and was succeeded by Egerton, who, when retiring into private life on account of his age and growing infirmities, recommended to James as his successor the son of Sir Nicholas, who had, as we have before mentioned, been born in this very house. Strange must have been the feelings of the man as he came back once more to the scene where
the boy had spent so many happy hours! From hence he used to wander about with his favourite playmates, whom he would abruptly quit whenever the humour seized him, to inquire into some natural phenomena which he did not understand. On one occasion of this kind he was found in St. James's Street, investigating the cause of an echo he had there discovered. Here, too, many a flattering mark of royal favour had been lavished upon him-Elizabeth frequently calling him her young Lord Keeper, and applauding his address and ingenuity. Bacon indeed was as early a courtier as philosopher. When the Queen once asked him how old he was, the ready-witted boy replied, " I am just two years older than your Majesty's happy reign ”—and Elizabeth desired no better system of chronology. Arduous had been his exertions since the time to which these memories belonged. On leaving the parental halls he had had to work his way upwards almost unassisted through the different phases of a career that, under the most favourable circumstances, is seldom rapid ; barrister, bencher, counsel extraordinary, registrar of the Star Chamber, member of parliament, solicitor-general, attorney-general, keeper,-these were the steps of his advancement that he looked back upon as he entered York House, now at the summit of his ambition-Lord High Chancellor of England. Three years later the chambers of the magnificent mansion were thronged with troops of friends—it was the Chancellor's birthday; he was now in his sixtieth year.' Among those present was Ben Jonson, who in some excellent verses has recorded his impressions of the scene and of the great and accomplished man who was the chief actor in it. All things, he says, seemed to smile about the old house, “ the fire, the wine, the men;" and he speaks of Bacon as
“ England's high Chancellor, the destin'd heir,
Out of their choicest and their whitest wool.” What must Jonson have thought a year later, when in the very same halls so different a scene was presented; when the Committee of the House of Lords waited upon the Chancellor, to know personally whether the confession of guilt he had sent them, involving the grossest corruption in his high office, was really his; and the unhappy man could only reply, “ My Lords, it is my act, my hand, my heart; I beseech your Lordships to be merciful to a broken reed ?"
York House was now "assured” to the King by an act of parliament, who hastened to bestow it on his favourite “Steenie," Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Great alterations and improvements in consequence took place, until the whole presented the appearance shown in the engraving at the end of our paper. It is to this period we owe the only existing remains of York House, (with the exception of the ceiling)--the beautiful water-gate at the end of Buckingham Street, and which stands a little eastward of the site of the mansion. This is one of Inigo Jones's finest works. The material is of Portland stone. On the pediment which adorns the river front are the arms of its founder. Buckingham did not long enjoy his new possessions. He was murdered in 1628, and his murderer died on the scaffold, not only himself satisfied of the justice of the act, but blessed by the people generally for it. Such a fact speaks volumes as to the character of this owner of York House. In 1649 the Parliament bestowed York House on their