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bodies were found in part or half burned, beside those that were wholly burned to ashes, and could not be found.” Perhaps the newly-built bridge, in the confusions of the time, was allowed to remain without any effectual measures being taken to restore what this calamity had laid waste; for sixty-eight years after it is represented as in a ruinous condition, and as threatening to fall down altogether unless it should be speedily repaired. This is the language of Edward I.'s patent roll of 1280 already quoted. In the very next year, 1281, five of the arches of the bridge were carried away by the ice or a swell in the river succeeding a severe snow-storm and frost. In 1437, on the 14th of January at noon, Stow records in his Annals, “ the great stone gate at London Bridge, with the tower upon it, next to Southwark, fell down, and two of the farthest arches of the same bridge, and yet no man perished in body, which was a great work of God.” On the 13th of February, 1633, between eleven and twelve at night, a fire broke out in the house of one Briggs, a needle-maker, near St. Magnus Church, occasioned by the carelessness of a maid-servant in placing some hot coals under a pair of stairs, which raged till eight in the morning, and consumed all the houses on the bridge, forty-three in number, from the north end to the first opening on both sides. The houses thus destroyed do not appear to have been all rebuilt when the great fire of 1666 occurred; which, although it did not make its way across the bridge, reduced again to a heap of ruins as much of both sides of the street between the city end and the first vacant space, as had been restored since the preceding conflagration. The stone-work of the bridge was so much shaken and weakened on this occasion, that it cost an expenditure of fifteen hundred pounds to make good the damage. After the piers and arches were repaired, however, building leases were eagerly taken, and in about five years the line of houses was once more complete on both sides of the street. Again, on the night of Wednesday, the 8th of September, 1725, a fire broke out, through the carelessness of a servant, in the house of a brush-maker, near St. Olave's, Tooley Street, (another account says, of a haberdasher of hats, on the bridge foot, which consumed about sixty houses in all, among which were several on the first and second arches of that end of the bridge, and so greatly damaged the bridge gate—the old Traitors' Gate—that it had to be taken down and rebuilt from the foundation. Various alterations were also made in later times, with the view of warding off the gradual decay of the structure, or improving both the roadway over it and the navigation under it, and accommodating it to the demands of a constantly increasing traffic both by land and water. In 1582 was first erected at the London end the famous engine for raising water for the supply of the City-the invention of Peter Morris, “ a Dutchman, but a free denizen "which was originally moved only by the tide flowing through the first arch; but for the support of which several more of the water-courses at that end of the bridge were afterwards successively converted into cataracts or rapids, to the no small inconvenience of the navigation. The lease of the proprietors, which ran for five hundred years from the first grant to Morris, at last comprehended all the stream of the river to the fifth arch inclusive; and the water-works, which had by various improvements become one of the most curious and powerful systems of hydraulic mechanism ever constructed, continued in operation till an Act of Parliament was obtained for their removal in 1822. The imagination is
impressed by the mere stability of a dead structure which long outlasts the ordinary date of the works of human hands, and has stood unmoved amid the changes of many generations, remaining among us an actual portion of that old time and scene of things, all the rest of which has passed away; but we are interested, perhaps still more vividly, by anything, in the contrivances of man, like movement and action sustained without interruption through the lapse of centuries—for this is, as it were, a portion of the very life of the past retained by us. The creaking and jingling of these London water-works, therefore, after it had been going on for two hundred and forty years, must have been curious to listen to; and the last time the wheels went round was a solemn and touching thing, a sort of death, and that too of an existence that had done the world some service, as well as been protracted to no ordinary span. Latterly, by-the-bye, there were water-works also, though on a smaller scale, at the other end of the bridge, for the supply of the inhabitants of the Borough; they occupied two of the arches. Here were anciently several corn mills, for the use of the citizens of both divisions of the metropolis, which were erected, Stow tells us, about the year 1508. They are represented in an old picture in the Pepysian Library, as
(Water-works.] covered by a long shed, which is raised on three of the sterlings, and as moved by four wheels, a pair placed in each of the two water-courses.
On the bank of the river also, near this same end of the bridge, were the Bridge-house and yard, a considerable plot of ground, containing various buildings, some for the stowage of such materials as were required for keeping the bridge in repair ; others used as granaries for storing up corn for the consumption of the City in times of scarcity; others containing the public ovens, of which Stow states there were six very large, and four others of only half the size, all erected at the cost of John Thurston, citizen and goldsmith, in the early part of the sixteenth century. All these last-mentioned erections, however, had disappeared long before the old bridge was pulled down.
* See a copy of a part of this drawing at p. 356 of Mr. Richard Thomson's “ Chronicles of London Bridge, " 8vo. London, 1827; a work into which the author has poured the contents of a whole library of preceding publications and manuscript authorities, and from which the materials of every shorter and less elaborate account must henceforth be mainly borrowed.
The true old historic character of the bridge was destroyed, however greatly it might be improved as a thoroughfare and means of communication, when the dwelling-houses and other buildings upon it were removed. This was begun to be done in 1757, though the operations appear to have proceeded slowly, and were not completed till some years later. The gate at the Southwark end was left standing till 1766. Pennant has described, from his own recollection, the singular features of the old street suspended between sky and water. - I well remember," he says, “the street on London Bridge, narrow, darksome, and dangerous to passengers from the multitude of carriages: frequent arches of strong timber crossed the street from the tops of the houses, to keep them together, and from falling into the river. Nothing but use could preserve the repose of the inmates, who soon grew deaf to the noise of falling waters, the clamours of watermen, or the frequent shrieks of drowning wretches.” The houses, he states, overhung the bridge on both sides in a most terrific manner -in most places hiding the arches, so that nothing was to be seen but the rude piers. But the best idea of these houses on old London Bridge is to be obtained from the sixth plate of Hogarth's “Marriage à la Mode,' which may be seen in the National Gallery, and of the portion of which representing the bridge we subjoin
a copy on a reduced scale. At the widest parts the street was no more than twenty feet broad, and in some places it was narrowed to twelve; so we may conceive what a scene of confusion and pass of peril it must have been, without any
footways, and with a torrent of carts, coaches, and other vehicles, constantly pouring along in both directions-unless when matters were made still worse by two crossing wagons, more highly loaded than usual, being caught between the projecting first floors, to the stoppage of the whole accumulating mass of traffic in the rear of each, and the entire blocking up of the passage. The common and the only tolerably safe plan for the pedestrian adventurer who sought to make his way along through the tumult, was to get into the wake of some carriage, and keep close to it at whatever rate it might be going, till he was fairly across the bridge, or had reached his point of destination. But the principal customers of the shopkeepers on the bridge came in carriages. “Most of the houses,” Pennant informs us, “were tenanted by pin or needle makers, and economical ladies were wont to drive from the St. James's end of the town to make cheap purchases." These pin and needle makers are probably the same that are styled haberdashers of small wares in a list which has been preserved of the houses destroyed by the great fire of 1633, which, as we have seen, burned down all the portion of the street on both sides between the London end of the bridge and the first opening. of the inhabitants of the forty-three houses consumed, only one, Mr. John Briggs, at whose house the fire commenced, is designated a needle-maker; of the other houses, eight, according to this list, were tenanted by haberdashers of small wares, six by hosiers, one by a shoemaker, five by haberdashers of hats, three by silkmen, one by a milliner (a man), two by glovers, two by mercers, one by a distiller of strong waters, one by a girdler, one by a linen draper, two by woollen drapers, one by a salter, two by grocers, one by a scrivener, one by the curate of St. Magnus Church, and another by the clerk. One was inhabited by a female, who is not stated to be of any business; two others-one of them, No. 16, The Blue Boar'-—are marked empty.* Much curious information has been collected by Mr. Thomson about the shops on London Bridge. In the sixteenth century this street ranked with St. Paul's Churchyard, Paternoster Row, and Little Britain, as one of the principal literary emporia of the city. The Three Bibles, The Angel, and the Looking Glass are some of the signs of publishers established on the bridge, which are mentioned on the title-pages of works of that time. The Three Bibles, indeed, is traced as a bookseller's shop down to the year 1724, and The Looking Glass, which was over against St. Magnus Church, to twenty years later. Another bookseller's sign, of the early part of the eighteenth century, was The Black Boy. Here, at The Golden Globe, under the Piazzas, was established, till the house was taken down with the rest in 1757, William Herbert, the editor of Ames's · Typographical Antiquities,' as a map and printseller; one of his shop-bills, which has been preserved, with the date of 1749, further announcing, along with “Prints neatly framed and glazed for exportation,” “Rooms and Staircases fitted up in the modern or Indian taste.” Other London Bridge shop-bills, noticed by Mr. Thomson, are those of John Benskin, stationer, at The Bible and Star; of James Brooke, stationer, at The Anchor and Crown, who, among other things, sold “variety of paper-hangings for rooms;" of William Osborne, leatherseller, at The Roebuck; of William Watkins, breechesmaker, leatherseller, and glover, at the sign of The Breeches and Glove, facing
* See extract in the Gentleman's Magazine for November, 1824, from the MS. Journal of Nehemiah Wallington, in the possession of Mr. Upcott.
Tooley Street; of Churcher and Christie, leathersellers and breeches-makers, at The Lamb and Breeches; of John Allan, at The Lock of Hair, who sold “all sorts of hair, curled or uncurled, bags, roses, cauls, ribbons, weaving and sewing silks, cards, and blocks, with all goods made use of by peruke-makers, at the lowest prices." From some tradesmen's brass and copper tokens, we learn that other signs on the bridge were The Lion, The Sugar-Loaf, The Bear, and The White Lion. In those days, it is to be remembered, such insignia were no mere figures of speech, as they have now for the most part become; a shopkeeper's sign was then one of the most substantial and ponderous of realities projecting from or swinging over his door; and all these Sugar-Loaves, Angels, Lions, Bears, Blackboys, Bibles, and Breeches, dangling and creaking away, must have made wild enough work among them on London Bridge, especially when the wind was at all high, and must have added not a little to both the noise and the terrors of the thoroughfare.
It is something like disinterring a Herculaneum or Pompeii to get in this way at the names, occupations, and distinctive badges of the old inhabitants of this extirpated strect. Both the famous Nonsuch House and the venerable chapel of St. Thomas-à-Becket were latterly used as shops or dwelling-houses. The former is stated to have been occupied in the early part of the last century by a stationer and a drysalter.* The chapel, or, as it came to be called, Chapel-house, was inhabited about the same time (1737), according to Maitland, by a Mr. Yaldwyn, who, while repairing a staircase, discovered under it the remains of the sepulchral monument of Peter of Colechurch -or at least what was conjectured to be such, for there was no inscription, nor was any search made for the body. It is stated in Nichols's ' Literary Anecdotes,' on the authority of Dr. Ducarel, that at a later date the house over the chapel belonged to a Mr. Baldwin, a haberdasher, who was born there, and who, we suppose, is the same person called Yaldwyn by Maitland, the name being misprinted either in his history or in Nichols's publication. When Mr. Baldwin, the latter adds, at the age of seventy-one, was ordered to go to Chislehurst for a change of air, he could not sleep in the country for want of the roaring lullaby of the river he had always been used to hear. The last
[The Chapel of St. Thomas converted into a House and occupants of the chapel were Mr. Gill and Mr. Wright, who used the lower apartment as a paper warehouse; and "although,” we are told, “ the floor was always, at high-water mark, from ten
* Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, by Robert Seymour, Esq. Ful. Lon. 1734. This work is known to have been compiled by the Rev. John Motley, the same person who collected Joe Miller's Jests.