« AnteriorContinua »
THE REFORM CLUB, Pall Mall, stands between the Travellers' and the Carlton. Sir Charles Barry furnished the designs, and the building was erected in 1838-39. It has been greatly admired as a successful imitation of the Italian palazzo. It has a front of 135 feet, 6 floors, and 134 rooms. A leading feature of the interior is the grand hall, 56 feet by 50, covered with glass, and surrounded by colonnades, the upper one forining a picture gallery. The principal drawing-room is over the coffee-room in the garden front, each about 130 feet in length. This is the only club-house at which members can obtain sleeping accommodation. Soyer wow chief cook here for some years. The kitchen arrangements are very complete, and are shewn to strangers as one of the admirable points of the establishment. Water is obtained from an Artesian well 360 feet deep. The number of members is limited to 1400, exclusive of peers and members of the Lower House. The entrance-fee is 25 guineas ; the annual subscription for the first five years 10 guineas, afterwards 8 guineas.
THE TRAVELLERS' CLUB is between the Athenæum and the Reform. It was built in 1832, and is another of Barry's designs in the Italian palazzo style. The garden front has been highly eulogized. One of the rules of this club is, that no person shall be eligible for a member who shall not have travelled out of the British Islands to a distance of at least 500 miles from London in a direct line—not so great a feat now-adays, as it was when the rule was instituted. Foreigners are admitted to the privileges of this club during their temporary stay in London, if properly recommended. Talleyrand was accustomed to play whist in the card-room of the Travellers'. Members are limited to 700 ; the entrance-fee is 20 guineas ; the annual subscription 10 guineas.
THE UNION CLUB is at the corner of Cockspur Street, with a front in Trafalgar Square. Sir Robert Smirke was the architect, and the building was erected in 1824. The stock of wine is reputed to be larger here than in any other club-house. Members limited to 1000. Entrance-money 31 guineas ; annual subscription 6 guineas.
THE UNITED SERVICE CLUB have their house over against the Athenæum, at the corner of Pall Mall, and the approach to St. James' Park. It was built in 1826 from Nash's designs. Stanfield's Battle of Trafalgar, and other pictures, adorn the interior.
Members limited to 1500 ; entrance-fee £30 ; annual subscription £6.
THE UNIVERSITY CLUB limits its members to 500 from Oxford and 500 from Cambridge, who pay an entrance fee of 25 guineas, and an annual subscription of £6. The club-house was built in 1824, in Suffolk Street, Pall Mall, east, from Wilkins' designs.
Besides these, the principal clubs, there are several others of more or less note, some of which boast of considerable age. For instance, WHITE'S, 37 and 38 St. James' Street, a Tory club which originated about 1736. It is written in its annals that the club in 1814 gave a ball to the allied sovereigns, then in London, which cost £9850; and three weeks afterwards a dinner to the Duke of Wellington, which cost £2480. BROOKS' has always been a Whig club. It was founded in 1764 by Charles James Fox and the leading Whigs of the day ; the present house, 60. St. James' Street, was opened in 1778. Both this nd W te's were notorious for high play, as was CROCKFORD'S, 50 St. James' Street, at a later period, now converted into a public dining-room. BOODLE's, 28 St. James' Street, also dates from the last century. Fox, and Gibbon the historian, were members.
CHESS CLUBS.—Strangers who may delight in the noble game of chess may like to know that, besides the public rooms where chess is played (amongst which Kilpack's Divan, 42 King Street, Covent Garden, and the Divan opposite Exeter Hall in the Strand, should be mentioned), there are two chess clubs in the metropolis-viz., the St. George's, meeting at 20 King Street, St. James'; and the London, at the George and Vulture Tavern, Cornhill, City. For information respecting them, apply to the secretaries.
A great chess congress has been arranged for the summer of the present year, which is to comprise a grand tournament, blindfold chess play, consultation matches, and several other interesting events. Mr. Hampton of the St. George's Club, or Mr. G. W. Medley of the London Club, will give information and receive subscriptions.
CHAPTER THE SIXTEENTH.
THEATRES, CONCERT ROOMS, AND PLACES OF PUBLIC AMUSEMENT.
Adelphi Theatre-Astley's Amphitheatre-Covent Garden Theatre
Drury Lane Theatre—Haymarket Theatre-Her Majesty's Theatre -Lyceum Theatre—Marylebone Theatre—Olympic Theatre-Pavilion Theatre - Princess' Theatre - Sadler's Wells TheatreStandard Theatre-Surrey Theatre—Victoria Theatre—Exeter Hall, St. James' Hall, etc.—Polytechnic Institution—Tussaud's Exhibition of Waxworks, etc.—Bazaars.
THOSE who intend to partake of theatrical and musical entertainments should consult the advertising columns of some of the daily newspapers, where they will be kept advised from day to day of the pieces to be performed, the actors and singers who are to take part in them, and the hours of commencement, with the prices of admission. Here we must confine ourselves to a short description and history of the principal houses, which we shall place alphabetically. Strangers must keep in mind that gentlemen are not admitted into either opera-house, who are not in full evening dress, viz., dress-coat, black trowsers, and black or white waistcoat, and tie.
ADELPHI THEATRE ROYAL is opposite Adam Street in the Strand. It is a most comfortable theatre, having been lately rebuilt on an enlarged scale, by the lessee Mr. Benjamin Webster, who has long been known as a successful manager. The first house on this site was called the Sanspareil. It was built about sixty years ago by a Mr. Scott, a colour maker. The piece called “ Tom and Jerry” was brought out at this house some forty years since, and the combined names have hardly yet died out of recollection. Terry, Sir Walter Scott's friend, became joint lessee and manager with Yates. Afterwards Charles Matthews the elder took the house and brought out his popular “At Homes." Since Mr. Webster has had the management, a number of comic actors of note have assisted him in giving a high character to the house. There are seats for 1400 persons. The size of the present theatre (of which Mr. T. H. Wyatt was the architect) is about 70 feet in breadth and 107 feet in depth.
(ASTLEY'S) THE THEATRE ROYAL, Westminster Bridge Road, Lambeth, recently repaired and adapted for a play-house by Mr. Boucicault. The present building is the fourth house erected on the site, the three previous houses having been destroyed by fire. Astley, after whom it was called, was a cavalry soldier, whose first theatre was a structure of deal boards, put up in 1773. The place afterwards passed into the hands of Andrew Ducrow, and was called by his name. During his proprietorship it was burned down, and he died insane a few months subsequently.
CITY OF LONDON THEATRE, Shoreditch; principally for melodramas.
COVENT GARDEN THEATRE (Royal Italian Opera), Bow Street. The first playhouse on this site was opened in 1733. This was destroyed by fire ; and another theatre, erected from the designs of R. Smirke, was opened in 1809, the cost having been about £180,000. The prices of admission having been raised, there ensued the famous O. P. riots, which were only terminated at the end of two months by a return to the previous charges. The taste of the public running upon musical entertainments, the theatre was converted into an Italian opera house in 1847. Smirke's building was destroyed by fire in 1856. The present handsome theatre is not quite so large as its predecessor. It was designed by E. M. Barry, and was erected in the space of six months (at a cost of nearly £80,000), being opened to the public in May 1858. When used for the opera it will hold about 2300 comfortably-seated spectators; when otherwise fitted, 3000 or more visitors can be easily accommodated. The statues of tragedy and comedy, and the figures on the friezes in bas-relief at the Bow Street front, are from Flaxman's chisel. The following table will give some dimensions of the house in comparison with those of other large theatres.
DRURY LANE THEATRE, near Covent Garden Market, is renowned in the annals of the British drama, the first house on this site dating from 1663. It was built for Thomas Killigrew, and others, “ the king's servants,” in Charles the Second's reign. When that theatre was burned down, Sir Christopher Wren designed its successor. Rich, Steele, and Garrick, were amongst the patentees ; and here the last took leave of the stage. Sheridan afterwards became one of the proprietors, and in his time the theatre was pulled down and rebuilt. The new house was destroyed by fire in 1809, and then succeeded the present building, designed by B. Wyatt, which was opened in 1812, Lord Byron writing the address. This occasion gave rise to that amusing production of the Smiths, “ Rejected Addresses.” The Doric portico in Brydges Street, and the iron colonnade in Little Russell Street, were added during Elliston's lessee-ship. The hall contains a cast of Scheemaker's statue of Shakspere, and a statue of Edmund Kean, by Joseph. Amongst the celebrated actors and actresses who have appeared at Drury Lane were, Nell Gwynne, Mrs. Siddons, John Kemble, Edmund Kean, and Macready.
THE HAYMARKET THEATRE, the name of which indicates its locality, was built from Nash's design, and opened in 1821. In a theatre which stood only a few feet distant from the site of the present one, the Beggar's Opera, that made Gay rich, and Rich gay, was produced in 1727. Foote afterwards became manager, and was succeeded by the Colmans. Mr. Buckstone is lessee of the present house.
THE ST. JAMES' THEATRE, King Street, St. James', was built by Braham the singer, at a cost of £26,000, and was opened in