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The present rental of those estates is reputed to exceed £25,000. per annum.
OLD BAILEY-BIRTH-PLACE OF CAMDEN-MEMOIR
OF PETER BALES-GREEN ARBOUR COURT.
“The Old Bayly," says Stow, “runneth downe by the Wall, upon the Ditch of the City, called Hounds Ditch, to Ludgate. I haue not read how this street tooke that name, but it is like to have risen of some Court of old tyme there kept ; and I finde, that in the yeere 1356, the 34 of Edward the 3, the tenement and ground vpon Hounds Ditch, betweene Ludgate on the south, and Newgate on the north, was appointed to John Cambridge, Fishmonger, Chamberlaine of London, whereby it seemeth that the Chamberlaines of London have there kept their courts, as now they doe in the Guild Hall ; and till this day, the maior and justices of this city have kept their sessions in a part thereof, now called the Sessions Hall, both for the City of London, and Shire of Middlesex.”'
“ Lower downe in the Old Bayly, is at this present a Standard of Timber, with a cocke, or cockes, deliuering faire spring water to the inhabitants, and is the waste of the water serving the prisoners in Ludgate.* It is scarcely necessary to mention, that the above Standard has long been removed.
The learned CAMDEN, to whose various publications our historians and antiquaries have been so greatly indebted, was the son of a painter-stainer, and born
* Stow's “ Survey,” p. 729, edit. 1618.
at his father's house in the Old Bailey, on the 2d of May 1550. He died at his residence at Chiselhurst, in Kent, on the 9th of November 1623, and was interred on the 19th of the same month, at Westminster Abbey, the whole college of Heralds, in their proper costume, attending his funeral. His strict regard to veracity, could not, perhaps, be more strongly asserted, than by his concluding words to the preface of his "Annals of Queen Elizabeth's reign." Describing his work, he says, "Whatever it be, I dedicate and consecrate it at the ALTAR OF TRUTH, to God, to my Country, and to Posterity."
Another celebrated inhabitant of the Old Bailey,
PETER BALES, the celebrated penman of Queen Elizabeth's reign, who was born in the year 1547, but the place of his nativity is uncertain. Wood says, "he spent several years in sciences amongst the Oxonians, particularly, as it seems, in Gloucester Hall; but that study, which he used for diversion only, proved at length an employment of profit."*
The first notice that we find of the skill of this master is in 1575, when, as Holinshed acquaints us, he "contriued and writ within the compasse of a Penie, in Latine, the Lord's Praier, the Créed, the Ten Commandments, a praier to God, a praier for the Quéene, his posie, his name, the daie of the moneth, the yeare of our Lord, and the reigne of the Quéene. And on the seuentéenth of August next following, at Hampton
* A. Wood's "Athenæ Oxoniensis," vol. i. col. 289.
Court, he presented the same to the queene's maies, tie in the head of a ring of gold, couered with a christall, and presented therewith an excellent spectacle, by him deuised for the easier reading thereof; wherewith hir maiestie read all that was written therein with great admiration, and commended the same to the lords of the councell, and the ambassadors, and did weare the same manie times vpon her finger.” In 1586, Bales was employed (probably as a decypherer, as well as to counterfeit different hand-writings) by Sir Francis Walsingham, Secretary of State, at the time that the conspiracies of Mary, Queen of Scots, were discovered with the Papists. In 1590, we find him master of a writing-school, at the upper end of the Old Bailey, and he instructed the sons and daughters of several persons of distinction, both at home and abroad. During his residence there, he published his first work, intituled, “ The Writing School Master,” in three parts, which was imprinted at London, in quarto, by T. Orwin. At the end of that book is the following Epigram
Swift, True, and Fair, good Reader, I present.
Art, Pen, and Hand, have play'd their parts in me: Mind, Wit, and Eye, do yield their free consent;
Skill, Rule, and Grace, give all their gains to thee: Swift Art, True Pen, Fair Hand, together meet, Mind, Wit, and Eye, Skill, Rule, and Grace to greet.”.
In 1595 he had a trial of skill with Daniel Johnson,
* Holinshed's “ Chronicles," v. 4, p. 330 : cdit. 1808. VOL. II.
a person eighteen years younger than himself, from whom he bore off the prize, a Golden Pen, of the value of twenty pounds. On this occasion, John Davies, his rival in the art, published the following satirical and ill-natured Epigram in his “ Scourge of Folly:"“ The Hand, and Golden Pen, Clophonian
Sets on his Sign, to shew, O proud, poor Soul, Both where he wonines, and how the same he won,
From Writers fair, though he writ ever foul : But by that Hand, that Pen so borne hath been
From Place to Place, that for the last half Yeare It scarce à sen’night at a Place is seen;
That Hand so plies the Pen, though ne'er the neare, For when Men seek it, elsewhere it is sent, Or there shut up, as for the Plague or Rent,
Without which stay it never still could stand,
Because the Pen is for a Running Hand.” From this it would appear that Bales was in distressed circumstances, and it was a common saying in the reign of James I., when any spendthrift was likely to be arrested for debt, and required bail, that “he needed the friendship of Peter Bales.” Sir George Buck, a contemporary writer, in his “ Discourse on the Third University of England,” printed at the conclusion of Howes's “ Stow's Annals,” acquaints us,
that the “arms of Caligraphy, viz. azure, a pen or, were given to Bales, as a prize, where solemn trial was made for mastery in this art, among the best pen-men in London."
On the north-east side of this street, in the part which was anciently called the Little Old Bailey, is a
small square of mean houses, named Green Arbour Court, in which Goldsmith, the poet, once resided, in a miserable apartment at No. 12. Here he is said to have composed his Vicar of Wakefield,' his "Traveller,' and other pieces; and when his landlady had arrested him for rent, Dr. Johnson kindly assisted him by selling the former work to Miller, the bookseller, for sixty pounds. It appears from the title-page, that Prynne's "Histrio-Mastix," was printed "for Michael Sparke, and sold at the Blue Bible, in Greene Arbour, in Little Old Bayly, 1633.” There is every reason to believe that, in ancient times, this spot was the site of a strong Fort or outwork, in front of the city, and in Sea-coal Lane, at the bottom of Break-neck Stairs, which lead out of Green Arbour Court towards Fleet Market, are considerable remains of massive stone walls.
MANSIONS OF THE NOBI
LITY AND PRELATES.
In ancient times the STRAND was an open space, extending from Temple Bar to the village of Charing, sloping down to the river, and intersected by several streams from the neighbouring high grounds, which in this direction emptied themselves into the Thames. In after ages, when the residence of the court at Westminster had become more frequent, and the Parliament was held there, the Strand, being the road thence from the City, became the site of several magnificent man
* Boswell's "Life of Dr. Johnson," vol. 1, p. 395. fifth edit.