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during the mayoralty of Sir Thomas Knolles, and was completed at different periods in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It suffered severely in the great Fire of 1666, but so solid were the timbers and masonry that it was able to defy the fury of the raging element. The fine old oak roof was, however, unfortunately destroyed. In the words of an eye-witness, the Rev. T. Vincent,-" Among other things that night, the sight of Guildhall was a fearful spectacle, which stood the whole body of it together for several hours, after the fire had taken it, without flames (I suppose because the timber was of such solid oak), in a bright shining coal, as if it had been a palace of gold, or a great building of burnished brass." The building was subsequently thoroughly repaired at an expense of 2,500/.

The exterior front of Guildhall, though its appearance is sufficiently striking and picturesque when seen from Cheapside, consists of a strange mixture of the Gothic, Grecian, and Oriental styles of architecture. Its principal feature is the great hall, which, notwithstanding the barbarous alterations to which it has, from time to time, been subjected, presents a very imposing appearance. It measures one hundred and fifty-three feet in length, forty-eight feet in breadth, and fifty-five in height.

The old crypt, too, beneath it, which extends the whole length of the hall is well worthy of a visit. In the hall are four monuments,-each of considerable pretensions, but of indifferent merit,—to

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the memory of the great Earl of Chatham, his illustrious son William Pitt, Lord Nelson, and Alderman Beckford. Here, also, are conspicuous the fantastic-looking figures, known as Gog and Gogmagog, but whose real names and identity have long been a difficulty with antiquaries. Comparatively speaking, they are of modern date, having been carved by Richard Saunders, and set up no later than 1708. As early, however, as the reign of Henry the Fifth, we find it the custom of the citizens of London to display a couple of gigantic figures in their pageants, in which custom the Gog and Gogmagog, in Guildhall, had evidently their origin, and they are, therefore, so far curious as forming a link between the present and a past age. For many years, Guildhall continued to be decorated with the banners and other trophies, captured at the Battle of Ramillies. They were carried hither through the city with great state and ceremony, but have long since disappeared.

Another interesting building connected with old Guildhall was its ancient chapel, which stood on the site of the present law-courts. It was dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen and All Saints, and had an establishment consisting of a warden, seven priests, three clerks, and four choristers. It was built as early as 1299, and was pulled down only as late as 1822.

The trial-scenes of many celebrated persons have taken place in Guildhall. Among these may be mentioned the fair martyr Anne Askew, who,

perished in the flames on the 16th of July 1546. Here also severally stood at the bar of justice the beautiful and accomplished Lady Jane Grey; the gallant and gifted Earl of Surrey; Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, the eminent soldier and statesman, implicated in the Duke of Suffolk's conspiracy to raise Lady Jane Grey to the throne; Garnet, the Jesuit, who was executed for his share in the Gunpowder Plot; and lastly, Edmund Waller, the poet.

The city feasts in Guildhall have been famous for centuries. In this hall, in 1613, the Elector Palatine and his young wife, Elizabeth, daughter of James the First, were entertained with great splendour by the citizens of London: and here, in 1641, Charles the First honoured the city with his company at a sumptuous feast. Pepys writes on the 29th October 1663:-"To Guildhall, and up and down to see the tables; where, under every salt, there was a bill of fare, and at the end of the table the persons proper for the table. Many were the tables, but none in the hall, but the Mayor's and the Lords of the Privy Council, that had napkins or knives, which was very strange. I sat at the merchant strangers' table, where ten good dishes to a mess, with plenty of wine of all sorts but it was very unpleasing that we had no napkins nor change of trenchers, and drank out of earthern pitchers, and wooden dishes."

In Guildhall, in 1761, the citizens of London gave an entertainment to George the Third, the cost

of which amounted to 6,8987.; and here, on the occasion of the Peace, in 1814, the city gave a still more magnificent feast, at which the Prince Regent, the Emperor of Russia, and the King of Prussia sat as guests; the total expenditure of which was estimated at the enormous sum of 25,000l. The plate alone is stated to have been worth 200,000l. On the occasion of Charles the First dining in the city, the number of dishes is said to have been 500. At the entertainment given to George the Third, they are stated to have amounted to 414, exclusive of the dessert.

King Street, Cheapside, the small street in which Guildhall is situated, is associated with a curious incident in the early life of the author of "Christabel." He was then a friendless and ill-fed boy, in the Blue-coat School. "From eight to fourteen," says Coleridge, "I was a playless day-dreamer, a helluo librorum, my appetite for which was indulged by a singular accident. A stranger, who was struck by my conversation, made me free of a circulating library in King Street, Cheapside." The particulars of this "singular accident" are thus explained by Coleridge's biographer, Mr. Gilman: "Going down the Strand," he says, "in one of his day-dreams, fancying himself swimming across the Hellespont, he thrust his hands before him as in the act of swimming, when his hand came in contact with a gentleman's pocket. The gentleman seized his hand, turned round and looked at him with some anger-What! so young, and so wicked!' at the

same time accusing him of an attempt to pick his pocket. The frightened boy sobbed out his denial of the intention, and explained to him how he thought himself Leander swimming across the Hellespont. The gentleman was so struck and delighted with the novelty of the thing, and with the simplicity and intelligence of the boy, that he subscribed, as before stated, to the library, in consequence of which Coleridge was further enabled to indulge his love of reading." The "Crown," in King Street, was the resort of the improvident poet Richard Savage.

On the south side of Cheapside is the celebrated church of St. Mary-le-Bow. Who is there who has ever passed along the crowded thoroughfare of Cheapside without turning his eyes towards the belfry of Bow Church, and recalling the nursery days when he listened with childish delight to the legend of Richard Whittington ?-how he came to London believing that its streets were paved with gold;-how disappointed. were his buoyant hopes when he found himself alone amidst a cold, strange, and comfortless multitude;-how he sat down disconsolate upon the mile-stone at Highgate; and how his face brightened, and his heart beat, when the bells of Bow Church rang their merry and prophetic peal

Turn again, Whittington,
Lord Mayor of London.


Bow Bells," if we may be allowed to continue the nursery expression, have been famous from

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