Story Of London

The City Wards in 1731: VIII

Our next instalment from the Gonzales guide to London in the early part of the 18th century explores the ward of Farringdon Within. This, of course, includes St. Paul’s and Gonzales takes us on a grand tour of Christ’s Hospital, founded by Edward VI for orphans in 1552 and which became a famous school. Gonzales gives us the details of the children’s ” exceeding mean and sparing” diet but he fails to mention the distinctive uniform of blue jacket and yellow stockings, which the boys still wear today. The colour of the stockings was chosen to keep the rats away from the boys’ ankles! We round off our tour of the ward with a visit the to College of Physicians in Warwick Lane.

St. Paul's 1889. Original image and scan © Bill McCannSt. Paul’s
21. Farringdon Ward within the walls, so called to distinguish it from Farringdon Ward without, was anciently but one ward, and governed by one alderman, receiving its name of William Farendon, goldsmith, alderman thereof, and one of the sheriffs of London who purchased the aldermanry of John le Feure, 7 Edward I., anno 1279. It afterwards descended to Nicholas Farendon, son of the said William, who was four times mayor (and his heirs), from whence some infer that the aldermanries of London were formerly hereditary.Farringdon Ward Within contains St. Paul’s Churchyard, Ludgate Street, Blackfriars, the east side of Fleet Ditch, from Ludgate Street to the Thames, Creed Lane, Ave Mary Lane, Amen Corner, Paternoster Row, Newgate Street and Market, Greyfriars, part of Warwick Lane, Ivy Lane, part of Cheapside, part of Foster Lane, part of Wood Street, part of Friday Street, and part of the Old Change, with several courts and alleys falling into them.The public buildings in this ward are, the Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul’s School, the King’s Printing House, the Scotch Hall, Apothecaries’ Hall, Stationers’ Hall, the College of Physicians, Butchers’ Hall, Saddlers’ Hall, Embroiderers’ Hall, the church of St. Martin Ludgate, Christ’s Church and Hospital, the church of St. Matthew, Friday Street, St. Austin’s Church, the church of St Vedast, and the Chapter House.Austin the monk was sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great, to endeavour the conversion of the Saxons, about the year 596, and being favourably received by Ethelbert, then King of Kent, who soon after became his proselyte, was by the authority of the Roman see constituted Archbishop of Canterbury, the capital of King Ethelbert’s dominions. The archbishop being thus established in Kent, sent his missionaries into other parts of England, making Melitus, one of his assistants, Bishop of London; and King Ethelbert, to encourage that city to embrace Christianity, it is said, founded the Cathedral of St. Paul about the year 604.This Cathedral stands upon an eminence in the middle of the town, disengaged from all other buildings, so that its beauties may be viewed on every side; whereas we see only one front of St. Peter’s at Rome, the palace of the Vatican, and other buildings contiguous to it, rendering the rest invisible; and though the riches and furniture of the several chapels in St. Peter’s are the admiration of all that view them, yet they spoil the prospect of the fabric. If we regard only the building, divested of the rich materials and furniture which hide the beauties of the structure, St. Paul’s, in the opinion of many travellers, makes a better appearance than St. Peter’s: nor does the white Portland stone, of which St. Paul’s is built, at all give place to the marble St. Peter’s is lined or incrusted with; for the numerous lamps and candles that are burnt before the altars at St. Peter’s so blacken and tarnish the marble, that it is not easy to distinguish it from common stone.As to the outside of St. Paul’s, it is adorned by two ranges of pilasters, one above the other; the lower consist of 120 pilasters at least, with their entablature of the Corinthian order, and the upper of as many with entablament of the Composite order, besides twenty columns at the west and four at the east end, and those of the porticoes and spaces between the arches of the windows; and the architrave of the lower order, etc., are filled with great variety of curious enrichments, consisting of cherubims, festoons, volutas, fruit, leaves, cartouches, ensigns of fame, as swords and trumpets in saltier crosses, with chaplets of laurel, also books displayed, bishops’ caps, the dean’s arms, and, at the east end, the cypher of W.R. within a garter, on which are the words Honi soit qui mal y pense, and this within a fine compartment of palm-branches, and placed under an imperial crown, etc., all finely carved in stone. [W.R. refers to William IV who succeeded to the throne in 1830. ]The intercolumns of the lower range of pilasters are thirty-three ornamental windows and six niches, and of the upper range thirty-seven windows and about thirty niches, many whereof are adorned with columns, entablature, and pediments; and at the east end is a sweep, or circular space, adorned with columns and pilasters, and enriched with festoons, fruit, incense-pots, etc., and at the upper part is a window between four pieddroits and a single cornice, and those between two large cartouches.The ascent to the north portico is by twelve steps of black marble; the dome of the portico is supported and adorned with six very spacious columns (forty-eight inches diameter) of the Corinthian order. Above the doorcase is a large urn, with festoons, etc. Over this (belonging to the upper range of pilasters) is a spacious pediment, where are the king’s arms with the regalia, supported by two angels, with each a palm-branch in their hands, under whose feet appear the figures of the lion and unicorn.You ascend to the fourth portico (the ground here being low) by twenty-five steps. It is in all other respects like the north, and above this a pediment, as the other, belonging to the upper order, where is a proper emblem of this incomparable structure, raised, as it were, out of the ruins of the old church, viz., a phoenix, with her wings expanded, in flames, under which is the word RESURGAM insculped in capital characters.The west portico is adorned and supported with twelve columns below and eight above, fluted, of the respective orders as the two ranges, the twelve lower adorned with architrave, marble frieze, and a cornice, and the eight upper with an entablature and a spacious triangular pediment, where the history of St. Paul’s conversion is represented, with the rays of a glory and the figures of several men and horses boldly carved in relievo by Mr. Bird. The doorcase is white marble, and over the entrance is cut in relieve the history of St. Paul’s preaching to the Bereans (as in Acts xvii. 2). It consists of a group of nine figures, besides that of St. Paul, with books, etc., lively represented by the same hand as “The Conversion.”On the south side of the church, near the west end, is a forum or portal, the door case being enriched with cartouches, volutas, and fruit, very excellently carved under a pediment, and opposite to this on the north side is the like door case. And, in brief, all the apertures are not only judiciously disposed for commodiousness, illumination of the fabric, etc., but are very ornamental.At the west end is an acroteria of the figures of the twelve apostles, each about eleven feet high, with that of St. Paul on the angle of the pediment, and those of the four evangelists, two of each cumbent between as many angles on a circular pediment. Over the dials of the clock on the fronts of the two towers, also an entablature and circles of enrichment, where twelve stones compose the aperture, answering to the twelve hours.The said towers are adorned with circular ranges of columns of the Corinthian order, with domes upon the upper part, and at the vertex of each a curious pineapple.The choir has its roof supported with six spacious pillars, and the church with six more, besides which there are eight that support the cupola and two very spacious ones at the west end. All which pillars are adorned with pilasters of the Corinthian and Composite orders, and also with columns fronting the cross-aisle, or ambulatory, between the consistory and morning prayer chapel, which have each a very beautiful screen of curious wainscot, and adorned each with twelve columns, their entablatures arched pediments, and the king’s arms, enriched with cherubims, and each pediment between four vases, all curiously carved. These screens are fenced with ironwork, as is also the cornice at the west end of the church, and so eastward beyond the first arch.The pillars of the church that support the roof are two ranges, with their entablature and beautiful arches, whereby the body of the church and choir are divided into three parts or aisles. The roof of each is adorned with arches and spacious peripheries of enrichments, as shields, leaves, chaplets, etc. (the spaces included being somewhat concave), admirably carved in stone; and there is a large cross aisle between the north and south porticoes, and two ambulatories, the one a little eastward, the other westward from the said cross-aisle, and running parallel therewith. The floor of the whole is paved with marble, but under the cupola and within the rail of the altar with fine porphyry, polished and laid in several geometrical figures.The altar-piece is adorned with four noble fluted pilasters, finely painted and veined with gold, in imitation of lapis lazuli, with their entablature, where the enrichments, and also the capitals of the pilasters, are double gilt with gold. These inter-columns are twenty-one panels of figured crimson velvet, and above them six windows, viz., in each intercolumniation seven panels and two windows, one above the other; at the greatest altitude above all which is a glory finely done. The aperture north and south into the choir are (ascending up three steps of black marble) by two iron folding-doors, being, as that under the organ-gallery, etc., exquisitely wrought into divers figures, spiral branches, and other flourishes. There are two others at the west end of the choir, the one opening into the south aisle, the other in the north, done by the celebrated artist in this way, M. Tijan.And what contributes to the beauty of this choir are the galleries, the bishop’s throne, Lord Mayor’s seat, with the stalls, all which being contiguous, compose one vast body of carved work of the finest wainscot, constituting three sides of a quadrangle.The cupola (within the church) appears erected and elevated on eight pillars of a large magnitude, adorned with pilasters, entablature, circular pediments, and arches of the Corinthian order, and each pillar enriched with a spacious festoon. Here are also as many alcoves fronted with curious ironwork, and over the arches, at a great height from the ground, is an entablature, and on the cornice an ambulatory, fronted or fenced in with handsome ironwork, extending round the inside of the cupola, above which is a range of thirty-two pilasters of the Corinthian order, where every fourth inter-column is adorned with a niche and some enrichments; and it said that in every foot of altitude the diameter of this decreaseth one inch.On the outside of the dome, about twenty feet above the outer roof of the church, is a range of thirty-two columns, with niches of the same altitude, and directly counter to those aforesaid within the cupola. To these columns there is entablament, and above that a gallery with acroteria, where are placed very spacious and ornamental vases all round the cupola. At twelve feet above the tops of these vases (which space is adorned with pilasters and entablament, and the inter-columns are windows) the diameter is taken in (as appears outwardly) five feet, and two feet higher it decreases five feet, and a foot above that it is still five feet less, where the dome outwardly begins to arch, which arches meet about fifty-two feet higher in perpendicular altitude, on the vertex of which dome is a neat balcony, and above this a large and beautiful lantern, adorned with columns of the Corinthian order, with a ball and cross at the top.Christ’s Hospital is situated between Newgate Street and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in Smithfield. Here, as has been observed already, was anciently a monastery of grey friars, founded about the year 1325, which, upon the dissolution of monasteries, was surrendered to King Henry VIII., anno 1538, who, in the last year of his reign, transferred it to the City of London for the use of the poor. King Edward VI. endowed this hospital – together with those of Bridewell and St. Thomas’s Hospital in Southwark – with large revenues, of which the City were made trustees, and incorporated by the name of the mayor, commonalty, and citizens of the City of London, governors of the possessions, revenues, and goods of the hospitals of Christ, Bridewell, and St. Thomas the Apostle, to whom the king granted 3,266 pounds 13s. 4d. per annum. [Equivalent to £586,376.87 today.]It was opened in the year 1552, in the month of November, and a good writing-school was added to this foundation in the year 1694 by Sir John More, Kt., and alderman.The children admitted into this hospital are presented every year by the Lord Mayor and aldermen and the other governors in their turns, a list of whom is printed yearly and set up at the counting-house, and a letter is sent to each of the said governors, some days before the admission, reminding him of the day of choosing, and how those he presents should be qualified, wherein is enclosed a blank certificate from the minister and churchwardens, a blank petition to the president and governors, and a paper of the rules and qualifications of the child to be presented. Upon this the governor, having made choice of a child to present, the friends of the said child come to the counting-house on the admission-day, bringing the said petition and certificates, rules, and letter along with him, and on the back side of the said petition the governor who presents endorseth words to this effect.”I present the child mentioned in the certificate on the other side, and believe the same to be a true certificate
“Witness my hand . . . the day . . . of 17.” Which the said governor signeth, and the child is admitted.
The said rules and qualifications are as follows:
1. That no child be taken in but such as are the children of freemen of London.
2. That none be taken in under seven years old.
3. That none be taken in but orphans, wanting either father or mother, or both.
4. That no foundlings, or that are maintained at the parish charge, be taken in.
5. That none who are lame, crooked, or deformed, or that have the evil, rupture, or any infectious disease, be taken in.
6. That none be admitted but such as are without any probable means of being provided for otherways; nor without a due certificate from the minister, churchwardens, and three or four of the principal inhabitants of the parish whence any children come, certifying the poverty and inability of the parent to maintain such children, and the true age of the said child, and engaging to discharge the hospital of them before or after the age of fifteen years if a boy, or fourteen years if a girl, which shall be left to the governor’s pleasure to do; so that it shall be wholly in the power of the hospital to dispose of such child, or return them to the parent or parish, as to the hospital shall seem good.
7. That no child be admitted that hath a brother or sister in the hospital already.
8. To the end that no children be admitted contrary to the rules abovesaid, when the general court shall direct the taking in of any children, they shall (before taken in) be presented to a committee, consisting of the president, treasurer, or the almoners, renters, scrutineers, and auditors, and all other governors to be summoned at the first time, and so to adjourn from time to time: and that they, or any thirteen or more of them, whereof the president or treasurer for the time being to be one, shall strictly examine touching the age, birth, and quality of such children, and of the truth of the said certificates; and when such committee shall find cause, they shall forbid or suspend the taking in of any child, until they receive full satisfaction that such child or children are duly qualified according to the rules abovesaid.And that such children as may be presented to be admitted in pursuance of the will of any benefactor, shall be examined by the said committee, who are to take care that such children be qualified according to the wills of the donors or benefactors (as near as may consist with such wills) agreeing to the qualifications above.The Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen present each their child yearly, but the rest of the governors only in their turns, which may happen once in three or four years.No child is continued in after fifteen years of age, except the mathematical scholars, who are sometimes in till they are eighteen, and who, at the beginning of the seventh year of their service as mariners are at His Majesty’s disposal; and of these children there is an account printed yearly, and presented to the king the 1st of January, setting forth, (1) each boy’s name; (2) the month and year when they were bound out; (3) their age; (4) the names of their masters; (5) the names of the ships whereof they are commanders; (6) what country trade they are in; (7) the month and year when they will be at His Majesty’s disposal. Also an account of the forty children annually enjoying the benefit of this mathematical foundation, etc., setting forth their names and age.The governors, besides the Lord Mayor and aldermen, are many, and commonly persons that have been masters or wardens of their companies, or men of estates, from whom there is some expectation of additional charities. Out of these one is made president, who is usually some ancient alderman that hath passed the chair; another is appointed treasurer, to whom the care of the house and of the revenues are committed, who is therefore usually resident, and has a good house within the limits of the hospital. There are two governors also, who are called almoners, whose business it is to buy provisions for the house and send them in, who are attended by the steward.The children are dieted in the following manner: They have every morning for their breakfast bread and beer, at half an hour past six in the morning in the summer time, and at half an hour past seven in the winter. On Sundays they have boiled beef and broth for their dinners, and for their suppers legs and shoulders of mutton. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they have the same dinners as on Sundays, that is, boiled beef and broth; on the other days no flesh meat, but on Mondays milk-porridge, on Wednesdays furmity, on Fridays old pease and pottage, on Saturdays water-gruel. They have roast beef about twelve days in the year by the kindness of several benefactors, who have left, some 3 pounds, some 50s. per annum, for that end. Their supper is bread and cheese, or butter for those who cannot eat cheese; only Wednesdays and Fridays they heave pudding-pies for supper. [Furmity was boiled wheat.]The diet of these children seems to be exceeding mean and sparing; and I have heard some of their friends say that it would not be easy for them to subsist upon it without their assistance. However, it is observed they are very healthful; that out of eleven or twelve hundred there are scarce ever found twelve in the sick ward; and that in one year, when there were upwards of eleven hundred in this hospital, there were not more than fifteen of them died. Besides, their living in this thrifty parsimonious manner, makes them better capable of shifting for themselves when they come out into the world.As to the education of these orphans, here is a grammar-school, a writing-school, a mathematical-school, and a drawing-school.As to grammar and writing, they have all of them the benefit of these schools without distinction; but the others are for such lads as are intended for the sea-service.The first mathematical school was founded by King Charles II., anno domini 1673. His Majesty gave 7,000 pounds towards building and furnishing this school, and settled a revenue of 370 pounds per annum upon it for ever; and there has been since another mathematical school erected here, which is maintained out of the revenues of the hospital, as is likewise the drawing-school.This hospital is built about a large quadrangle, with a cloister or piazza on the inside of it, which is said to be part of the monastery of the Grey Friars; but most part of the house has been rebuilt since the Fire, and consists of a large hall, and the several schools and dormitories for the children; besides which there is a fine house at Hertford, and another at Ware, twenty miles from London, whither the youngest orphans are usually sent, and taught to read, before they are fixed at London.The College of Physicians is situated on the west side of Warwick Lane. It is a beautiful and magnificent edifice, built by the society anno 1682, their former college in Amen Corner having been destroyed by the Fire. It is built of brick and stone, having a fine frontispiece, with a handsome doorcase, within which is a lofty cupola erected on strong pillars, on the top whereof is a large pyramid, and on its vertex a crown and gilded ball. Passing under the cupola we come into a quadrangular court, the opposite side whereof is adorned with eight pilasters below and eight above, with their entablature and a triangular pediment; over the door case is the figure of King Charles II. placed in a niche and between the door and the lower architrave the following inscription, viz.:- VTRIVSQVE FORTVNAE EXEMPLAR INGENS ADVERSIS REBVS DEVM PROBAVIT PROSPERIS SEIPSVM COLLEGIJ HVJUSCE, 1682.The apartments within consist of a hall, where advice is given to the poor gratis; a committee-room, a library, another great hall, where the doctors meet once a quarter, which is beautifully wainscoted, carved, and adorned with fretwork. Here are the pictures of Dr. Harvey, who first discovered the circulation of the blood, and other benefactors, and northward from this, over the library, is the censor’s room.The theatre under the cupola at the entrance is furnished with six degrees of circular wainscot seats, one above the other, and in the pit is a table and three seats, one for the president, a second for the operator, and a third for the lecturer; and here the anatomy lectures are performed. In the preparing room are thirteen tables of the muscles in a human body, each muscle in its proper position.This society is a body-corporate for the practice of physic within London, and several miles about it. The president and censors are chosen annually at Michaelmas. None can practise physic, though they have taken their degrees, without their license, within the limits aforesaid; and they have a power to search all apothecaries’ shops, and to destroy unwholesome medicines.By the charter of King Charles II. this college was to consist of a president, four censors, ten elects, and twenty-six fellows; the censors to be chosen out of the fellows, and the president out of the elects.By the charter granted by King James II., the number of fellows was enlarged, but not to exceed eighty, and none but those who had taken the degree of doctors in the British or foreign universities were qualified to be admitted members of this college.The fellows meet four times every year, viz., on the Monday after every quarter-day, and two of them meet twice a week, to give advice to the poor gratis. Here are also prepared medicines for the poor at moderate rates.The president and four censors meet the first Friday in every month. The Lord Chancellor, chief justices, and chief baron, are constituted visitors of this corporation, whose privileges are established by several Acts of Parliament.