Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

unto trunk-makers; whereby, by means of their daily knocking and noyse, the church is greatly disturbed." More than twenty houses also had been built against the outer walls of the Cathedral; and part of the very foundations was cut away to make offices. One of those houses had a closet literally dug in the wall; from another was a way, through a window, into a ware-room in the steeple; a third, "partly formed by St. Paul's, was lately used as a play-house," and the owner of a fourth, "baked his bread and pies in an oven excavated within a buttress."

GREAT PLAGUE OF LONDON.-STORY OF THE BLIND PIPER.

AMONG the anecdotes connected with the Great Plague, most persons have heard the story of the "Blind Piper," who, having been taken up in the streets when stupidly intoxicated, was thrown into a dead-cart, but coming to himself whilst in the cart, he "set up his pipes," which frightening the buryers, they all ran away. De Foe, in his "Journal of the Plague Year," relates the tale differently. He says the circumstance occurred within the bounds of "one John Hayward," who was under-sexton (during the time of the plague) of the parish of St. Stephen, Coleman-street, without ever catching the infection.

"This John told me," says our author, " that the fellow was not blind, but an ignorant, weak, poor man, and usually walked his rounds about ten o'clock at night, and went piping along from door to door, and the people

usually took him in at the public-houses, where they knew him, and would give him drink and victuals, and sometimes farthings; and he, in return, would pipe and sing, and talk simply, which diverted the people, and thus he lived. During the plague the poor fellow went about as usual, but was almost starved; and when any body asked how he did, he would answer, the dead-cart had not taken him yet, but had promised to call for him next week.' It happened one night that this poor fellow, having been feasted more bountifully than common, fell fast asleep, “and was laid all along upon the top of a bulk or stall, in the street near London Wall, towards Cripplegate, and, that upon the same bulk or stall, the people of some house hearing a bell, which they always rung before the cart came, had laid a body, really dead of the plague, just by him, thinking too, that this poor fellow had been a dead body as the other was, and laid there by some of the neighbours.

Accordingly, when John Hayward, with his bell and the cart, came along, finding two dead bodies lie upon the stall, they took them up with the instruments they used, and threw them into the cart, and all this while the piper slept soundly. From hence they passed along, and took in other dead bodies, till, as honest John Hayward told me, they almost buried him alive in the cart, yet all this while he slept soundly. At length the cart came to the place where the bodies were to be thrown into the ground, which, as I do remember, was at Mount Mill, and as the cart usually stopt some time before they were ready to shoot out the melancholy load they had in it, as soon as the cart stopped, the fellow awakened, and struggled a little to get his head out from among the dead bodies, when raising himself up in the cart, he called out 'Hey! where

[ocr errors]

am I?' This frightened the fellow that attended about the work; but, after some pause, John Hayward, recovering himself, said, 'Lord, bless us! there's somebody in the cart not quite dead.' So another called to him, and said, 'Who are you?" The fellow answered, 'I am the poor piper. Where am I?' Where are you?' says Hayward, why you are in the dead-cart, and we are agoing to bury you.' But I an't dead tho', am I?' says the piper, which made them laugh a little, though, as John said, they were heartily frightened at first; so they helped the poor fellow down, and he went about his business."

·

MERCHANT TAYLORS' COMPANY AND HALL.

THIS ancient and respectable Company arose from a Guild or Fraternity, dedicated to St. John Baptist; and called "time out of mind," says Stow, "Taylors. and Linen Armourers of London." This Guild received a confirmatiou from Edward the First, in his 28th year, with power to "hold a feast, at Midsummer, to choose a master and wardens." At that period, and during a long succession of years, the master was denominated "the Pilgrim,- -as one that travelled for the whole Companie, and the four wardens were then called Purveyors of Alms."* In the year 1466, a more regular incorporation took place, under the authority of the Letters Patent of Edward the Fourth, who was himself a freeman of this company, as all his predecessors in the sovereignty had also been

• Stow's "Survey," edit. 1633: p. 142.

[graphic]
[graphic]

Hayward, recote.

there's sotebol
< called to him, a

answered, I am the here are you?' · dead.cart, and per *t dead tho', am 17's augh a little, though, rightened at first; so they ", and he went about is

[ocr errors]

66

COMPANY AND HALL. able Company arose inn icated to St. Jobn Baptist; aind," says Stow, "Tagalors

London." This Guild it om Edward the First, in his "bold a feast, at Midsummer

, wardens.” At that period, and ion of years, the master we tim, -as one that travelled for and the four wardens were there

In the year 1465, a rion took place, under the 2Patent of Edward the fourth eman of this company,

[ocr errors]

as

21 ne sovereignty had also beca

ey,adit. 1833: p. 142.

« ForrigeFortsæt »