Billeder på siden

1627. From him it descended to his eldest son, Henry, who was created Duke of Beaufort, when it again changed its name to that of its new occupier. The celebrated Lord Chancellor Clarendon lived in this mansion for a short time, whilst his own house was building : paying for it the then enormous rent of

£500 a year.


: The Duke of Beaufort having purchased Buckingham House at Chelsea, caused this mansion, which was in a very dilapidated state, to be pulled down, and erected a smaller house for himself, for transacting his business in town, which was afterwards, through the carelessness of a servant, burnt down. The site and grounds are now occupied by Beaufort Buildings, (which mostly consist of large and respectable houses), and by different wharfs on the river side.


WITH the exception of Dion Cassius, no mention is made by any historian of a BRIDGE over the River Thames in the Roman times; but that writer has incidentally noticed one, when recording the invasion of Britain, by the Emperor Claudius, in the year 44. His account, in substance, is, that “ The Britons, retreating upon the River Thames, where it falls into the sea, (it being, from inundation, stagnant,) readily passed over, from knowing both the firm and the easilyfordable parts, whilst the Romans, in following them, were much endangered : upon which, swimming back, another party, crossing by a Bridge a little higher up, came up with and slew many of the Britons, but pur

[graphic][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

suing the rest incautiously, were themselves entangled in the marshes, and had a great number lost."'*

But little reliance can be placed upon this information; for as Dion Cassius wrote almost two cen

l turies after the invasion by Claudius, and as no other authority ever alluded to a Bridge across the Thames, earlier than the tenth century, the probability is, that his statement was either founded on incorrect materials, or that he mistook some stream flowing into the Thames for the river itself.

The “ Saxon Chronicle,” in noticing the irruption of Olaf, or Anlaf, the Dane, (or rather Norwegian King,) under the date 993, acquaints us, that “ he sailed with 390 ships to Staines, which having plundered without opposition, he returned to Sandwich." Hence it has been inferred, that there was no Bridge across the Thames at London, at that period, or it would have been fortified by the citizens, and this incursion prevented. But William of Malmesbury, in mentioning the attack on the City by Sweyn, King of Denmark, in the following year, viz. 994, informs us,

* The original passuge is subjoined : vide Dionis “ Historiæ Romanæ,” tom. ii. p. 958. Lib. Is. Sect. xx.

αναχωρησάντων δ' εντεύθεν των Βρεττανών επί τον Ταμίσαν ποταμόν, καθ' δ ές τε τον Ωκεανόν εκβάλλει, πλημμύροντός τε αυτου λιμνάζει, και ραδίως αυτόν διαβάντων, άτε και τα σέριφα τά τε ευπορα του χωρίου ακριβως ειδότων: οι Ρωμαίοι επακολουθήσαντες σφίσι, ταύτη μεν έσφάλησαν, διανηξαμένων δ' αύθις των Κελτών, και τινων ετέρων διά γεφύρας ολίγον άνω διελθόντων, πολλαχόθεν τε άμα αυτούς προσέμιξαν, και πολλούς αυτών κατέκοψαν τούς τε λοιπούς απερισκέπτως επιδιώκοντες, ές τε έλη δυσδιέξοδα εσέπεσον, και συχνούς απέβαλαν.

that Sweyne's fleet ran "foul of the Bridge:* and again, when a second time besieged by Sweyn, he says, that "the enemy was partly overthrown, and part was destroyed in the River Thames, over which, in their precipitation and fury, they never looked for the Bridge."*

Among the statutes of King Ethelred II., inserted by Brompton in his "Chronicon," we find the following passage relating to London Bridge: "Concerning the Tolls given at Bylyngesgate.-Whoever shall come to the Bridge, in a boat in which there are fish, he himself being a dealer, shall pay one halfpenny for toll; and if it be a larger vessel, one penney."

Although it is thus evident that the Bridge existed in the Saxon times, we have no other account of its origin than what is given by Stow in the following passage:

"The originall foundation of London bridge, by report of Bartholmew Linsted, alias Fowle, last Prior of S. Marie Oueries Church in Southwarke, was this: a Ferrie beeing kept in place where now the Bridge is builded, at length the Ferri-man and his wife deceasing, left the same Ferrie to their only daughter, a maiden, named Mary, which with the goods left by her parents, as also with the profits rising of the said Ferrie, builded a house of Sisters, in place where now standeth the East part of S. Mary Oueries Church, aboue the Quéere, where she was buried, vnto the which house she gaue the ouersight and profits of the Ferry. But afterwards, the said house of Sisters being cōuerted into a Colledge of Priests, the Priests builded the Bridge of Tim

* Malmesbury's" De Gestis Regum :" fol. 38. edit. 1596.

« ForrigeFortsæt »