Page images
PDF
EPUB

life was passed by him in “poverty, total idleness, and the pride of literature.”

It was in the Temple that Boswell paid his first visit to Dr. Johnson, of which he has given us so graphic a description. “ He received me,” says Boswell, very courteously; but it must be confessed, that his apartment and furniture, and morning-dress were sufficiently uncouth.” At this period, his frequent place of resort was the neighbouring Mitre Tavern in Fleet Street. Boswell himself was at one period a resident “at the bottom of Inner Temple Lane;” and at No. 4 in this lane Charles Lamb had chambers on the third floor.

In addition to Oliver Goldsmith, another distinguished resident in King's Bench Walk was the once gay and gallant William Murray, afterwards Lord Chief Justice and Earl of Mansfield. The apartments which he occupied were at No. 5, to which circumstance Pope refers in his imitation of Horace's beautiful ode, “ Intermissa, Venus, diu, &c.”:*

Mother too fierce of dear desires !

Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires :
To number five direct your doves,

There spread round Murray all your blooming loves;
Noble and young, who strikes the heart

With every sprightly, every decent part;
Equal the injured to defend,

To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend ;
He with a hundred arts refined.

Lib. iy. ode 1.

Pope, in another imitation of Horace,* also eulogizes him :

Graced as thou art with all the power of words,
So known, so honoured, at the House of Lords.

a couplet which was thus wickedly parodied at the time:

Persuasion tips his tongue whene'er he talks,

And he has chambers in the King's Bench Walks. In the reign of Queen Anne, John Dixon, a pupil of Sir Peter Lely, and once eminent as a painter in miniature and crayons, was residing in King's Bench Walk. Here also resided Anstey, the witty author of the “New Bath Guide," but the rooms which he inhabited are no longer in existence. Anstey, in the “ Pleader's Guide,” thus alludes to the localities of the Temple :

Fig-tree, or fountain-side, or learned shade
Of King's Bench Walk, by pleadings vocal made-
Thrice hallowed shades ! where slip-shod benchers muse,

Attorneys haunt, and special pleaders cruize. Samuel Lysons, the author of “Magna Britannia,” had chambers at No. 6, King's Bench Walk.

Besides the many eminent men whom we have mentioned as having resided in the Temple, it remains to record the names of some others, who were members of one or other of the Inns of Court, and who, if they were not actual residents within its walls, must frequently have wandered along its classic courts and shady groves. Of the Inner

* “Imitations of Horace," book i. ep. 6.

Temple, the following may be mentioned as among the most eminent members :

The great lawyer, Sir Thomas Littleton ; died in 1481.

The accomplished Lord Chancellor, Sir Christopher Hatton ; died in 1591.

Thomas Lord Buckhurst, the poet and successor to Lord Burleigh as Lord High Treasurer ; died in 1608.

Francis Beaumont, the dramatic writer ; died in 1615.
Sir Edward Coke ; died in 1634.

William Browne, author of “Britannia's Pastorals ;" died circ. 1645.

John Selden; died in 1654.
The infamous Judge Jefferies ; died in 1689.

Henry Fielding, the great novelist, entered himself as a student of the Inner Temple at the age of thirty ; died in 1754.

The list of illustrious men who were students of the Middle Temple is more numerous :

Sir Edward Montague, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, who drew up the will of Edward VI., settling the Crown on Lady Jane Grey ; died in 1556.

The learned lawyer, Sir James Dyer ; died in 1581.

Edmund Plowden, author of the famous “ Commentaries ;" died in 1584.

The poet and courtier, Sir Thomas Overbury; poisoned in the Tower in 1613.

Sir Walter Raleigh : he was residing in chambers in the Temple in 1576; beheaded in 1618.

Sir John Davies, the poet, and author of the “ Reports :" he was expelled from the Middle Temple for having beaten in the hall Mr. Richard Martin, himself a poet, and afterwards Recorder of London : Sir John was afterwards readmitted a member, and died in 1626.

John Marston, the dramatic poet ; died circ. 1633.
John Ford, the dramatic poet; died circ. 1639.
Sir Simonds d'Ewes ; died in 1650.
Henry Ireton, the republican general ; died in 1651.

The great Lord Clarendon ; died in 1674.

Bulstrode Whitelocke, the author of the “Memorials;" died in 1676.

Thomas Shadwell, the dramatic poet ; died in 1692.
John Evelyn ; died in 1706.
William Wycherley, the dramatic poet ; died in 1715.
The great Lord Somers; died in 1716.
William Congreve, the dramatic writer ; died in 1729.
Thomas Southerne, the dramatic writer ; died in 1746.
Philip Yorke, first Earl of Hardwicke; died in 1764.
Arthur Onslow, the Speaker; died in 1768.
Sir William Blackstone; died in 1780.
Edmund Burke; died in 1797.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan ; died in 1816.
William Scott, Lord Stowell ; died in 1836.
John Scott, Lord Eldon; died in 1898.
Thomas Moore, the poet.

[ocr errors]

Gower and Chaucer, the fathers of English poetry, are presumed to have been members of the Temple; but in neither case, we believe, has the fact been substantiated.

TIIE STRAND.

BAD STATE OF THE ROADS BETWEEN THE CITY AND PAŁACE THROUGH

THE STRAND.-STRAND FORMED INTO A REGULAR STREET.-TEMPLE

BAR. —PALSGRAVE PLACE. BUTCHER ROW.- DEVEREUX

COURT

AND ESSEX STREET.-STRAND LANE. CHURCH OF ST. CLEMENT DANES.--CLEMENT'S, NEW, AND LYON'S INNS.- ARUNDEL, NORFOLK, AND HOWARD STREETS.-ST. MARY-LE-STRAND.-MAYPOLE IN THE STRAND. —EXETER 'CHANGE.-SOUTHAMPTON STREET.-NEW EXCHANGE, STRAND. —THE ADELPHI.- GARRICK'S DEATH.-PETER THE GREAT.-HUNGERFORD MARKET.

In the days when our Saxon monarchs held their court at Westminster, the Strand constituted, as it does at present, the principal land thoroughfare between the Palace and Abbey of Westminster and the City of London. And yet, as late as the year 1315, we find complaints of the road being rendered almost impassable from its deep ruts and holes; while the foot-passengers were scarcely less inconvenienced by the brambles and bushes which interrupted their progress. We must remember that at this period the Strand was merely a suburban highway; the only buildings between Westminster and London being the small village of Charing; the great palace of the Savoy, which had recently been built; the old Church of St. Mary-leStrand ; and perhaps here and there to the north a

« PreviousContinue »