Billeder på siden

The arcade beneath the Hall, is built with blocks of Heytor granite, highly wrought; the remainder of the front is of Portland stone : the back-front and end walls are of brick: the roof is covered with lead. The basement story contains the kitchen, (which is 67 feet in length, and 33 feet in width,) butteries, cellars, and other requisite appendages.*

The elegance and good taste displayed in this Hall augur most favourably for the grandeur, solidity, and conveniency of the whole pile, when rebuilt according to the plans and designs, which, under the direction of the Governors, Mr. Shaw has prepared for that purpose. The old buildings of the Hospital had been altered, enlarged, and augmented, at different periods, without any regard to symmetry, or architectural arrangement; they were also becoming ruinous and unsafe: in consequence of which, the Governors, in 1803, determined to rebuild the whole, as soon as a sufficient sum of money could be raised to accomplish the work. A part of the general revenues of the Hospital was therefore appropriated to the establishment of a building fund; and with that, aided by a grant of £5000 from the Corporation of London, and many private benefactions, this grand undertaking has been commenced by the erection of the noble edifice described above. The scale upon which the new arrangements are designed, is for the accommodation of one thousand children.

* In the second volume of Britton and Pugin's “ Illustrations of the Public Buildings of London,” is an elevation, with plans, of the Hall and basement floor of this Edifice. The numerous interesting plans, sections, views, and elevations of modern metropolitan buildings, contained in that work, render it one of the most useful that the scientific architect and amateur cạn possess,

From 130 to 150 boys are admitted annually into this foundation, exclusive of 90 children whom the bequests of deceased benefactors, bave rendered it imperative to receive. The presentations are distributed among the Governors according to a particular routine.

“ The boys are taught, to the utmost extent that is usual in other great schools,-reading, writing, arithmetic, all classical learning, and Hebrew: part in mathematics, and part in drawing. According to a recent regulation, all the boys proceed as far in the classics as their age and talent will allow. They all leave at fifteen, except those who are intended for the University, or the sea.

“A sufficient number complete the classical course of education, to fill up the University exhibitions as they become vacant. About 200 are taught in the classics at Hertford, and are transferred to the London establishments as vacancies occur, through the senior boys leaving the school.

There are seven exhibitions or scholarships for Cambridge, and one for Oxford, belonging to this institution; the value of which at Cambridge, is £60 per annum; and at Pembroke Hall an additional exhibition from the College, making about £100 for the four years, and 50 for the last three years; to which may be added the Bachelor's and Master's Degrees, which are defrayed by the Hospital. The Oxford exhibitions are £10 more, or £70. The Governors discharge all fees of entrance,

[ocr errors]


£20 towards furnishing the room, £10 for books, and £10 for clothes, making at least £50 for the outfit."*

The government of Christ's Hospital is vested in the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, and twelve of the Common Council, chosen by lot out of their own body; who are assisted in the general management by such persons as have become Governors by benefactions of £400, or upwards; but the immediate direction is vested in the Treasurer and a Committee, who, from time to time, report upon the state of the foundation to the General Courts. The arms of this Hospital are, argent, a cross gules, in the dexter chief, a dagger of the first (City of London); on a chief azure, between two fleurs-de-lis or, a rose argent.

Among the Portraits of Founders, Presidents, and Benefactors, preserved here, is a half-length by Holbein, of Edward the VIth, who is represented with a very fair and delicate countenance; a ditto of Charles the I Ind, by Sir Peter Lely; James the lInd. ; Sir Richard Dobbs, knight ; and a Mr. St. Anand, grandfather of James St. Amand, Esq., who, in August 1749, bequeathed it to the Hospital, together with the residue of his property, on condition that the said picture should never be alienated; but if that trust was violated, the bequest was then devised to the


[ocr errors]

• Wilson's “ Brief History of Christ's Hospital," p. 34. This little work contains many useful particulars of the internal economy of the Hospital, modes of admittance, and general regulations.

University of Oxford, Strype has given the following inscription, as under the portrait of the first President:


Sir Richard Dobbs, Knight, Maior, anno 1552. Christ's Hospital erected was, a passing deed of Pity, What time Sir Richard Dodds was Maior of this most

famous City: Who careful was in Government, and furthered much the

same; Also a Benefactor good, and joyed to see it Frame. Whose Picture here his Friends have put, to put each

Wight in mind, To imitate his Vertuous Deeds, as God hath us assigned.”.

Besides the numerous trusts which have been committed to the Governors of this Hospital, for purposes immediately connected with the foundation itself, the management of several other extensive charities have been vested in them; and particularly, that devised by William Hetherington, Esq., of an annual pension of £10 to 400 blind persons.

[ocr errors]




The first aërostatic experiment successfully made in England, was that by Vincent Lunardi, an Italian, who came over to this country, as secretary to the Neapolitan Ambassador, Prince Caramanico, in the year 1784. It was his intention to have ascended from the gardens of Chelsea Hospital, permission having been granted him by the King, and the Governor, Sir George Howard; but that permission was afterwards with

[blocks in formation]

drawn, under a well founded apprehension, that, in case of failure, the Hospital might have been exposed to the insults of a mob.*

Through the kindness of Sir Watkin Lewis, who, at that period, was Colonel of the City Artillery Company, Lunardi was eventually accommodated with the use of the Artillery Ground, at Moorfields, on engaging to give one hundred guineas to the distressed family of Sir Bernard Turner. His balloon, which was spherical in form, and 321⁄2 feet in diameter, was composed of oiled silk, arranged in alternate stripes of blue and red. This immense globe, inflated with common air, was, for some time exhibited at the Lyceum; but, from the base conduct of the then proprietor of the exhibition room, Lunardi was compelled to obtain assistance from the magistrates, to remove, by force, his machine and apparatus to the Artillery Ground.

On Wednesday, September the 15th, 1784, the day appointed for the ascent, every avenue leading to the spot was at an early hour crowded to excess, and

• A Frenchman of the name of De Moret, determined to be beforehand with Lunardi in this, his first attempt, and accordingly appointed a day for his ascent previous to that fixed upon by him, and near the same spot at a garden in Chelsea. Moret attempted to inflate his balloon with rarified air, according to the mode which had been practised by Montgolfier, in France; but, by some accident in the process, it sunk upon the fire; and the populace, who regarded the whole as an imposture, rushing in, completely destroyed the machine, besides levelling the fences, and committing other devastations throughout the whole neighbourhood.

« ForrigeFortsæt »