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the water which it supplies flows from the “ Clerk's Well.”

As late as 1780, Clerkenwell, to the north of the upper end of St. John's Street, was bounded by fields, through which a solitary road led to Islington. It was, even at this recent period, so infested by highwaymen, that travellers usually preferred sleeping all night at the Angel Inn at Islington, to journeying by this dangerous thoroughfare after dark. Those whose business called them into the country at a late hour used to assemble at the upper end of St. John's Street, where there was an avenue of trees, called Wood's Close ; here they waited till they were reinforced by other travellers, when they were escorted by an armed patrol to Islington.t

In the middle of the last century, when any extraordinary performance at Sadler's Wells Theatre was likely to tempt thither the nobility and gentry from the fashionable quarters of London, it was the custom to announce in the play-bills, that a horse patrol would be stationed, for that particular night, in the New Road, and also that the thorough

* The inscription is as follows:-"A.D. 1800, William Bound, Joseph Bird, church wardens. For the better accommodation of the neighbourhood, this pump was removed to the spot where it now stands. The spring by which it is supplied is situated four feet eastward, and round it, as history informs us, the parishclerks of London, in remote ages, commonly performed sacred plays. That custom caused it to be denominated Clerks’-well, and from whence this parish derived its name.”

† See “History and Description of the Parish of Clerkenwell.” ---J. and H. S. Storer, and T. Cromwell.

church of St. Mary repeatedly styled, Ecclesia Beata Marie, de fonte Clericorum. • There are about London,” says Fitzstephen, “on the north of the suburbs choice fountains of water, sweet, wholesome, and clear, streaming forth among the glistening pebble stones. In this number, Holywell, Clerkenwell, and St. Clement's Well, are of most note, and frequented above the rest when scholars and the youth of the city take the air abroad in the summer evenings.” This and other springs in the neigbourhood pursued their murmuring course till they flowed into the Fleet River, which was then a pure and limpid stream, and which, from this circumstance, obtained its name of the “River of Wells.”

In the days when Fitzstephen wrote, the Clerk's Well bubbled in the midst of verdant meadows and shady lanes; the richly wooded uplands of Hampstead and Highgate rising behind them. Such was Clerkenwell when, in 1390, the Clerks performed here during three successive days in the presence of Richard the Second, his Queen, and the nobility; and again in 1409, in the reign of Henry the Fourth, when the Creation of the World formed the subject of their drama, and when, in the words of Stow, there flocked " to see the same the most part of the nobles and gentles in England." Close to Ray Street, Clerkenwell, are some houses which still retain the rural denomination of Coppice Row. Here, also, may be seen a dilapidated-looking pump, on which an inscription informs us that

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the water which it supplies flows from the “ Clerk's Well."*

As late as 1780, Clerkenwell, to the north of the upper end of St. John's Street, was bounded by fields, through which a solitary road led to Islington. It was, even at this recent period, so infested by highwaymen, that travellers usually preferred sleeping all night at the Angel Inn at Islington, to journeying by this dangerous thoroughfare after dark. Those whose business called them into the country at a late hour used to assemble at the upper end of St. John's Street, where there was an avenue of trees, called Wood's Close ; here they waited till they were reinforced by other travellers, when they were escorted by an armed patrol to Islington.

In the middle of the last century, when any extraordinary performance at Sadler's Wells Theatre was likely to tempt thither the nobility and gentry from the fashionable quarters of London, it was the custom to announce in the play-bills, that a horse patrol would be stationed, for that particular night, in the New Road, and also that the thorough

* The inscription is as follows:-"A.D. 1800, William Bound, Joseph Bird, church wardens. For the better accommodation of the neighbourhood, this pump was removed to the spot where it now stands. The spring by which it is supplied is situated four feet eastward, and round it, as history informs us, the parishclerks of London, in remote ages, commonly performed sacred plays. That custom caused it to be denominated Clerks’-well, and from whence this parish derived its name.”

† See “ History and Description of the Parish of Clerkenwell.” -J. and H. S. Storer, and T. Cromwell.

fare leading to the city would be properly guarded.

In January, 1559, we find Sir Thomas Pope, the virtuous and high-minded minister of Henry the Eighth, breathing his last at his mansion at Clerkenwell. At a much later period, between the reigns of James the First and Charles the Second, Clerkenwell was still a fashionable district. We have already seen Sir Roger Wilbraham occupying the old gate way of St. John's in the reign of James the First; and, about the same time, Sir Thomas Chaloner, the younger, tutor to Henry Prince of Wales, and eminent as a poet, a scholar, and a statesman, erected a fine mansion in the Priory, over which Fuller informs us that he inscribed the following verses :

Casta fides superest, velatæ tecta sorores

Ista relegatæ deseruere licèt ;
Nam venerandus Hymen hic vota jugalia servat,

Vestalemque forum mente fovere studet.

Sir Thomas was the son of that fine old soldier, Sir Thomas Chaloner, who was knighted by the Duke of Somerset for his heroic gallantry at Musselburgh: he attended Charles the Fifth in the wars, and, shortly after the unfortunate expedition to Algiers, was shipwrecked in a very dark night on the coast of Barbary. At the moment when he was exhausted with swimming, and when his arms were rendered entirely powerless, he suddenly came in contact with the cable of a ship. With great presence of mind he caught hold of it with his teeth, and with the loss of several of them was drawn up into the vessel. His gifted son, Sir Thomas, the younger, by his knowledge of chemistry and natural history, was enabled, when at Rome, to distinguish the similarity of soil between that on his own estate at Gisborough, and the soil which was used in the alum works of the Pope. Having with great care made himself master of the process of manufacture, and having bribed several of the workmen to accompany him to England, for which he was afterwards solemnly anathematized by the Pope, he overcame every difficulty, and at a great expense established an alum manufactory in England. Suddenly, however, just as the result promised to be eminently successful, his lands were seized by the Crown, on pretence that he was interfering with the prerogative of the royal mines. As a recompense indeed for his loss, he received the appointment of Governor of the Prince of Wales ; but, gratifying as was the compliment to himself individually, it offered but a slight compensation to his family for the loss of wealth which they had unquestionably sustained. Apparently this act of royal injustice was never forgiven by them; at least if we may judge from the striking fact of two of his sons, Thomas and James, having signed the warrant for the execution of Charles the First.

Compton Street and Northampton Square point out the site of what was formerly the London residence of the Comptons, Earls of Northampton ; the

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