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time when the future dramatist attended “a private school,” in the Church of St. Martin's-in-theFields. “Though I cannot,” says Fuller, “ with all my industrious inquiry, find him in his cradle, I can fetch him from his long coats. When a little child he lived in Hartshorne Lane, near Charing Cross, where his mother married a bricklayer for her second husband.” At the south end of Northumberland Street, on the site of what is now Wood's Coal Wharf, stood the residence of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, whose position as an opulent timber merchant led to his appointment to the magistracy and to his untimely fate.
RESIDENCES OF THE OLD NOBILITY IN
NORTHUMBERLAND HOUSE. - STORY OF ITS FOUNDER.HUNGERFORD
HOUSE.-YORK HOUSE. ITS MAGNIFICENCE WHEN POSSESSED BY
THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.-DURHAM HOUSE.-SALISBURY AND
NORTHUMBERLAND House stands on the site of a chapel, or hospital, founded in the reign of Richard the Third, by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, by whom it was dedicated to St. Mary Rouncivall, and constituted by him an appendage to the priory of Roncesvalles, in Navarre. It was suppressed by Henry the Fifth among the alien priories, but was afterwards restored by Edward the Fourth. Shortly after the dissolution of the monastic houses, the ground on which it stood was granted by Edward the Sixth to Sir Thomas Cawarden.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the property passed into the hands of the notorious Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton,-second son of the gifted and ill-fated Earl of Surrey,—who erected a mansion on the spot, about the year 1605, after the designs, it is said, of Bernard Jansen and Gerard Christmas, two well-known architects in the reign of James the First. It is not improbable, however, that the Earl had himself a share in designing the edifice, inasmuch as Lloyd informs us that he was the principal architect of his other princely mansion, Audley End.
The story of the founder of Northumberland House is a somewhat singular one. He himself used to relate, that when a mere infant it was predicted to his father, by an Italian astrologer, that in middle life his son would be so reduced as to be in want of a meal, but that in old age his wealth would be abundant. At the time that the prediction was made, there certainly appeared but very little probability that a scion of the powerful House of Howard would ever be in want. Nevertheless the prediction was fulfilled. In consequence of the attainder and execution of his grandfather, the Duke of Norfolk, and the consequent forfeiture of his estate, his family became so impoverished, that, to use the words of his biographer, the Earl was often fain “ to dine with Duke Humphrey.” It was observed of him by one of his adulators, that “he was the most learned amongst the noble, and the most noble amongst the learned.” Every other account of him, however, which has been bequeathed to us by his contemporaries, describes him as a dangerous and insidious man, constantly on the watch to make dupes of his fellow-creatures, and versed in all the arts of “cunning flatteries,” of dissimulation and intrigue. It is not improbable, indeed, that in Northumberland House were hatched those dark designs (half of which are still veiled in mystery), which led to the divorce of his abandoned niece, the Countess of Essex, from her youthful lord, and to the subsequent frightful murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. That Northampton, notwithstanding he had attained to his seventieth year, was deeply and darkly implicated in these infamous intrigues, there cannot be a doubt. Sir Jervis Elways, in his dying moments on the scaffold, passionately accused him of having “ drawn him into the villany which brought him to that shameful end.” And yet the old Earl died calmly in his bed,-apparently without the least compunction of conscience. His death took place at Northampton House, as Northumberland House was then styled, on the 15th of June 1614, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. There is extant a curious letter, addressed by him in his last moments to his companion in crime, the Earl of Somerset, written in the full consciousness that his days were numbered. Not only, however, do we find no reference in it to the fearful crime in which they had apparently been joint actors, but the letter is creditable to him as exhibiting a kindly interest in the faithful followers whom he was compelled to leave unprovided for behind him. After preferring a few requests in their behalf,—“Assurance," he says, “ from your Lordship, that you will effect those final requests, shall send my spirit out of this transitory tabernacle with as much comfort and content as the bird flies to the mountain.” And he concludes; “ Farewell, noble lord ; and the last farewell in the last letter that ever I look to write to any man. I presume confidently on your favour in these poor suits, and will be, both living and dying, your affectionate friend and servant, H. Northampton.”
None are all evil ; quickening round the heart,
Some softer feeling will not quite depart. On the death of the Earl of Northampton, Northumberland House passed into the possession of his nephew, Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, whose profligate political intrigues, in the reign of James the First, are but too well known. From this period it became known as Suffolk House, and apparently gave the name to the present Suffolk Street, Pall Mall East. It continued to be the London residence of the Earls of Suffolk, till the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter of Theophilus, the second Earl, with Algernon Percy, tenth Earl of Northumberland, when it passed, as a part of the portion of the bride, into the hands of the Percys, and thenceforward became known as Northumberland House.
Evelyn, in his “Diary," mentions a visit which he paid to Northumberland House, in June 1658. Under its roof, too, it was, that two years afterwards General Monk carried on those famous intrigues which led to the restoration of the House of Stuart.
Horace Walpole, in his delightful letters, has bequeathed us more than one interesting account of visits which he paid to Northumberland House. From hence he describes himself sallying forth with