Imatges de pÓgina

if he agrees to tell me, there is no time, as which are, to say the least of them, curious. we are there.

Notably eccentric is the drummer, who, Garlands of flowers festooned across the round his volunteer uniform cap, had road, flags flying from nearly every win- twined an enormous wreath of flowers, dow, shops all closed, main street so which hangs gracefully over his face, thus crammed with folks in holiday clothes, rendering him a pleasing combination of that it is with great difficulty we can get Mars and Flora. ap to the Angel door, bells ringing, general As soon as the notes of the “Furry" glee, happiness, and perspiration-these are tune (a well-known Cornish air heard what I find at Helston. The last item is, constantly throughout the county, and to I notice, most profuse in a certain number be found in Mr. Chappell's collection of of people of both sexes, and of all ages, Ancient English Melodies) are heard, the who are the recipients of great attention bystanders gravely take their partners, from their fellow townspeople. I am and commence dancing a step, which is about to inquire what these worthies may half jig, half polka. In amazement I see have been doing, but all I can see of Mr. grey-whiskered men in black broadcloth Cumberland is the end of his coat-skirt whirling round with girls in book-muslin, vanishing into the Angel, where, following and stout matrons clinging desperately to in hot pursuit

, I find him perfectly at tall, weedy boys. All sorts and condihome. The hall and passages are crammed, tions join the throng; the Cornish taranthe coffee-room and commercial-room are tula has bitten them, and they are off! overflowing, thirsty men, clamorous for Preceded by the band, the drunken liquor, are wedged on the stairs, or cling- drummer banging at his instrument with ing like bees to the balustrades; but Mr. the heartiest goodwill, and having the Cumberland has calmly made his way to way cleared for them by a fussy old the inner bar, and there is seated, smiling policeman, the long procession dances and happy, with a “glass of bitter" by his down the passage of the Angel into the side. He knows Mrs. Bennett, of course main street. Then in at the side door (what tourist wandering through the of the next house, throngh the back Lizard district does not know and respect parlour, the furniture of which has been that queen of old-fashioned landladies, in heaped up on one side to permit of their whose hotel the acme of cleanliness and progress, down the centre of the shop, and comfort is to be found ?); he knows the out into the street again! This goes on four or five bouncing, cherry-checked wai- through countless houses, and through tresses in their clean gowns and smart caps, whole streets. Whenever the head of the who laugh and say “ La, now !” as he ad- procession emerges it is received with roars dresses them each by their christian name; of delight; whenever the tail of the prohe knows a commercial who travels in cession disappears it is followed by nucider and another who travels in hides; he merous adherents, who join on, and begin has a pleasant word for every one, and dancing too. The “ Furry" tune is quaint makes himself so agreeable that he manages and provocative in its melody; its effects to find a place for me by his side without on Nr. Cumberland, coupled, perhaps, evoking any discontent.

with those of the various “glasses of I am in the midst of my luncheon, when bitter," are such, that to my alarm and asI hear a few notes played by a band out tonishment, he forthwith announces his side, and one of the extremely warm intention of “having a turn,” and casts gentlemen whom I had previously noticed, his eyes round among the assembled a little man

in spectacles, with damp maidens, in search of one with whom to whiskers and shirt-collar, rushes into the share the pleasures of the dance. It is bar, calling out, “Second round! Take only by pointing ont to him the loss of your partners, we are starting for the official dignity which he must inevitably second round.” At this invitation every- sustain, the impossibility of doing business body jumps up with alacrity, and rushes the next day with a man who, twenty-four into the outer court, where, following them, hours previously had seen him capering I find the volunteer band, whose music 1 | to the music of an intoxicated band, that I had previously heard. Looking at the can induce him to refrain, and even then band it strikes me that I am not the only he wags his head, and beats time with his person who has been lunching. There is feet, and follows the dancers, cheering them a redness in the faces of its members, and to the echo. a wild vigour in their style of playing, There are three or four of these “rounds"


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during the day, during the course of which pographer counts up in the metropolis no nearly all the houses in the town, freely fewer than one hundred and eighty streets thrown open, are steadily danced through. which bear this appellation which has long Nor does the terpsichorean mania there ago become a misnomer. Newgate is not end; for, as I understand, about nine in very new now, for it has been a prison the evening, the better classes of the towns- since King John's time.

The present people meet in the ball-room of the Angel, building dates back to a year after the Gorand dance away until dawn. These rites, don riots, and four of the allegorical figures however, are not for me, nor, indeed, for that adorn its south front are as old as 1672. Mr. Cumberland, who, in the midst of all It was originally the fifth of the seven gates his pleasure, is mindful of business, and of London Wall, and was erected, according remembers that he has to be up betimes to Stow, in the reign of Henry the First, the next day. So we once again climb on or Stephen, when St. Paul's was rebuilding, to Davey's coach, and through the sweet and the highway from Aldgate and Cheap spring evening air are carried back to to Ludgate was stopped up. It was repaired Penryn, taking with us into the rattling in 1422 by the executors of the famous train a pleasant reminiscence of the quaint Whittington, lord mayor, and on that celebration at which we have assisted, and account the figure of Liberty which used of the lovely appearance of Falmouth har- to adorn the building had a cat at its feet. bour, bathed in the moonlight, which we It was large enough for its purpose in 1672, canght a glimpse of ere we were borne when it was rebuilt; but London vice and away by the steam dragon.

crime soon out-grew the prison, and the

result was such a crowding of felons that THE PASSING BELL.

at once produced disorder and immorality, The mist creeps upward from the shadowy vale,

and disease and death followed remorseThe mist hangs thickly o'er the little town, lessly as ever on their track. The ventilaThe swollen river stirs its willows pale,

tion was bad, the water insufficient, and The swollen rill foams murky from the down. The heavy drops upon the cold winds float, the room altogether inadequate. In his eviThe long gray grasses rustle in the dell,

dence before the House of Commons, Mr. And from the minster towers, note by note, Booms the deep echo of the Passing Bell.

Akerman, one of the keepers of Newgate,

stated that, independently of great morThe Passing Bell, it wont of old to say,

“Pray for the parting soul, ye Christians all.” tality among the prisoners, nearly two The eager traveller paused upon his way,

sets of turnkeys had died of jail-fever The busy peasant let his mattock fall.

since he had been in office; and that at The loiterer crossed his brow and hushed his jest, The laughing child laid by his latest toy,

the memorable spring sessions in 1750, The solemn summons thrilling every breast, two of the judges, the lord mayor, several Waking to prayer, love, business, grief, and joy.

of the jury, and others, to the number of Advancing years our ancient customs steal, We toll the bell when all is over now,

sixty persons and upwards, had died of When our stern truthful creed no late appeal,

the Newgate jail-distemper. The result Against our God's great dictum can allow. was, that a new building was proposed by But human agony, but human loss, For the tree fallen, for the darling gone,

George Dance, the architect of the ManBut nature's cry beneath the bitter cross,

sion House; and on the 31st of May, Wails in the Passing Bell's funereal tone. 1770, Alderman Beckford laid the first Thy wild wet dawn, oh year so newly born,

stone. Tby days by fever's lurid lustre lit,

The work evidently went on but slowly, Thy nights of sobbing rain and winds forlorn, Well does the dirge thy gloomy mood befit!

for in 1780, when the old prison was burnt Pass thou-let winter hear the sad earth's prayers, by the Gordon rioters, the new prison was

Come to thy throne usurped, gay glittering frost; not yet completed. The building was And crisp dead leaves on fresh north breezes tossed. then pushed on; and in 1783, Tyburn was

abandoned, and the first execution took CHRONICLES OF LONDON

place before the walls of Newgate.

The jail-birds that have rubbed their STREETS.

hideous faces against Newgate bars, have NEWGATE AND THE GORDON RIOTS.

not been remarkable for the milder virtues. There is nothing that more strikingly The mere burglar shone a saint among proves the utter want of imagination in such villanous murderers and highwaythe ordinary run of people than the habit men as Jerry Abershaw and Blueskin, in cities of naming a street, terrace, or Galloping Dick and Sarah Malcolm; but square “New :" nor are Londoners more still the prison has held good men with imaginative than others. Some recent to large hearts and pure hands, for Penn

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thought over Christian charity in New- garret window, and stole softly down. gate, and De Foe wrote there brave words stairs-a woman of the house hearing against tyranny and intolerance.

his irons clink, but thinking it was the The first great instance of prison-break- cat—and let himself out. Just after ing from Newgate occurred in 1724, when twelve he passed by the watch-house of the escapes of that nimble thief, Jack St. Sepulchre, and going up Gray’sSheppard, were for a time the talk of all inn-lane, hid himself in a cow-house London. On August the 30th, in that in the fields near Tottenham-court. The year, Sheppard and Blueskin were next day he bribed a shoemaker with tenced to death for stealing cloth from a twenty shillings to procure him a smith's Mr. Kneebone, a draper in the Strand, hammer and punch, and he then got rid who had apprenticed Sheppard. Nimble of his irons. A few nights after he broke Jack first broke off the spike from a hatch into a pawnbroker's shop in Drury-lane, in the lodge at Newgate, leading from the stole a sword, some coats, snuff-boxes, condemned hole, and by the assistance of rings, and watches, and rigged himself out two women who came to see him at the in wig, ruffled shirt, silver-hilted sword, hatch, was pulled through, and so escaped. diamond ring, and gold watch. That On being retaken at Finchley, where he was same night, getting drunk, he was retaken hiding, the jailers threw the quick-eyed and thrown into Newgate. Sir James young thief into a strong room called the Thornhill, Hogarth's father-in-law, painted Castle, handcuffed him, loaded him with a his portrait in prison; and he was hung heavy pair of irons, and chained him to at Tyburn on the 16th of November, in a stout staple in the floor. People of all the twenty-third year of his age. An ranks came to see him, and all gave him opera and a farce were founded upon his money, but extreme care was taken that adventures, and allusions to him no one should pass him a chisel or file. made by several City preachers of the day. One quiet afternoon, when the keepers were Of the state of Newgate in 1744 we busy at the sessions, Jack went to work. have a very interesting record in the anHe had already found a small nail, with tobiography of that most excellent selfwhich he could unfasten his chain from denying man, Silas Told, one of Wesley's the floor. He then slipped off his hand school teachers. His narrative shows us

-cuffs, and then fastened up his fetters as what vast good was effected by the Weshigh as he could with his garters. In leyan missionaries in a corrupt city, at a getting up the chimney, being stopped by time when our Church was rich and fat as an iron bar, he worked it out with a piece it was lazy and intolerant. A sermon by of his broken chain; with this weapon he Wesley, on the text, “I was sick and in soon forced his way into the Red Room prison, and ye visited me not,” struck like over the Castle, and there found a large an arrow in the conscience of Told, and nail, which was in the highest degree use- the faint whisper of the inner voice roused ful to him. The Red Room door had not him as if it had been a thunder-call from been opened for seven years; but Jack heaven. He felt it was his duty to visit wrenched off the lock in less than seven prisoners; and, a few days after, a mesminutes, and got into the passage leading senger came to the school, begging that to the chapel.

To force a bolted door here, some one might be sent to visit ten malehe broke a hole through the wall, and so factors then under sentence of death. In pushed back the bolt; with an iron spike the Wesleyan language, “they were all from the chapel door he got into an entry much awakened ; one of them, named John between the chapel and the lower leads. Lancaster, was converted, and appeared In the dark, Sheppard forced the box of full of the love of God." Told went to the lock of the door of this entry. The Newgate, and desired Lancaster to call his next door being also locked, he forced that companions together into his cell. They also. It was now eight o'clock; he now

all - seemed clear of their acceptance;" unbolted another door, and got over a and Lancaster said that “that morning, wall to the upper leads. He then boldly about four o'clock, his conversion had taken went back for his blanket, as he resolved place.” to alight on a turner's house adjoining Out of these ten men, the death-warrants Newgate. He made the blanket fast to came down for eight; the other two, wbo the wall of Newgate, and sliding down, remained hard and impenitent, were redropped on the turner's leads just as the spited. The night before their execution clock struck nine. He got" in at a the keeper had been requested to lock them

all together in one cell, that they might most remarkable case in his autobiography unite in prayer; and in the morning early, is that of six gentlemen, who, getting drunk Silas Told and Sarah Peters, another at an election dinner at Chelmsford, went school-teacher, visited them. “When the out and committed a highway robbery. One men were led down from the cell, they of these unfortunate men was Mr. Brett, the appeared like giants refreshed with wine, son of a Dublin clergyman; the second, Mr. nor was the fear of death apparent on Whalley, a country gentleman; a third, any of their countenances.” Then going Mr. Morgan, an officer in the navy, enup to the chapel, Told and the young gaged to be married to Lady Elizabeth woman conversed with them in the press Hamilton, the Duke of Hamilton's daughyard room. Upon being called out to ter. After ceaseless importunities, the king, have their irons taken off, Lancaster came George the Second, pardoned Mr. Morgan, first. While they were unfettering his but only on condition that he should not legs, in presence of the sheriff, Lancaster hear of the respite till at the place of execulooked up to heaven with a pleasant smile, tion. The poor fellow fainted when the and said: "Glory be to God for the first sheriff produced the respite, and they moment of my entrance into this place! loosened the halter, and lifted him out of For before I came hither my heart was the cart; and he was then put into a coach, as hard as my cell wall, and my soul was in which Lady Hamilton was seated, and as black as hell; but O, I am now washed, driven back, only half recovered by his clearly washed from all my sins, and by love's tears and kisses, to Newgate. The one o'clock shall be with Jesus in paradise;" other culprits, not a bit more guilty than and he then exhorted the spectators to the lucky lover of a duke's daughter were flee from the wrath to come.

hung without mercy. Told, indefatigable The sheriff shed tears at hearing this, in doing good, also attended to the last and asked Mr. Lancaster if he was in three of the Spitalfields weavers, who were carnest, “ being so greatly affected with hung for the “halter riots” at Bethnalhis lively and animated spirits.” When green. He has also left minute account their irons were taken off they were re- of the behaviour of Mrs. Brownrigg, who manded back to the press-yard room; but flogged to death her apprentice in Flowerby some accident the smiths were a long de-Luce-court. The wretched hag contime removing the last man's fetters. fessed to him that when taken at WandsWhen he approached, Lancaster clapped worth she had hidden a clasp-knife in her his hands together and shouted with joy : stays, intending to stab herself, and prevent “Here comes another of our little flock!" the shame and reproach of a public execuThen when the time came for the eight con- tion. On the day of execution, when the demned men to get into the cart, Lancaster spectators (especially the women) were very exhorted the populace to forsake their sins cruel-cursing her, cheering, and throwing and to come to the throne of grace. stones and mud—Told attended the peni.

After this, Told formed a sort of religious tent woman to the last. As he sat with society, thirty-six of the Newgate debtors her in the cart, after the executioner had being the first members. Sometimes I tied her up to the gallows, at the Fleetconversed in public among the felons, street end of Fetter-lane, Mrs. Brownrigg says this excellent man; "and the Lord is said to him, a horrible dread distorting her witness to the horrible scenes and the countenance: “Mr. Told, I have many times dreadful emblem of the infernal pit which passed by this place, and always experienced was there portrayed, consisting of swearing, that, when near this spot, a dreadful horror cursing, blasphemies, and foul conver- seized me, for fear that one day or other I sation." For several years, Told says, he should come to be hanged; this enters afresh met with repulses from the keepers and on my mind now, and greatly terrifies me. ordinary, as well as from the prisoners From the Old Bailey Session Papers for themselves. On Sunday mornings, Mr. June, 1780, we gather a very vivid and Taylor, the ordinary, stationed himself near picturesque notion of the attack on Newthe door at Newgate to obstruct Told's gate during the Gordon riots. The mob entrance, On Sundays this good man came pouring down Holborn, between six preached to forty of the prisoners on the and seven o'clock, on the evening of debtors' side, and formed them into an the 6th of June. There were three flags organised Wesleyan congregation. Some carried by the ringleaders—the first of of Told's experiences among the criminals green silk, with a Protestant motto; the of Newgate were of a singular kind. The second, dirty blue, with a red cross; the


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third, a flag of the Protestant Union. A servant, named Benjamin Bowsey, after. sailor named Jackson had hoisted the wards hung for his share in the riot. One second flag in Palace-yard, when Justice of the leaders in this attack was a mad Hyde had launched a party of horse upon waiter from the St. Albans Tavern, named the people; and when the rabble had sacked Thomas Haycock; he was very prominent, the justice's house in St. Martin's-street, and he swore that there should not be a Jackson shouted, “Newgate, a-hoy!” and prison standing in London on the morrow, led the people on to the Old Bailey. Mr. and that the Bishop of London's house Akerman, a friend of Boswell's, and one of and the Duke of Norfolk's should come the keepers of Newgate, had had intima- down that night. They were well suption of the danger two hours before, when ported, he shouted to the mob, for there a friend of one of the prisoners called upon were six or seven noblemen and members him just as he was packing up his plate for of Parliament on their side. This man removal, told him “ he should be the one helped to break up a bureau, and collected hung presently,” and cursed him. Exactly sticks to burn down the doors of Akerat seven, one of the rioters knocked at Mr man's house. While Akerman's house was Akerman's door, which had been already still burning, the servants escaping over barred, bolted, and chained. A maid. the roofs, and Akermau's neighbours were servant had just put up the shutters, when down among the mob, entreating them to the glass over the hall-door was dashed spare the houses of innocent persons, a into her face. The ringleader who knocked waiter, who wore a hat with a blue cockwas better dressed than the rest, and wore ade in it, named Francis Mockford, went a dark brown coat and a round hat. The up to the prison-gate and held up the main man knocked three times, and rang three key, and shouted to the turnkeys, “D— times; then, finding no one came, ran down you, here is the key of Newgate; open the the steps, “ made his obeisance to the mob,” door !” Mockford, who was eventually

” !” pointed to the door, then retired. The sentenced to death for this riot, aftermob was perfectly organised, and led by wards took the prison keys and flung them about thirty men walking three abreast. over Westminster Bridge. George Sims, Thirty men carried iron crowbars, mattocks, a tripeman in St. James's Market, always and chisels, and after them followed "an forward in street quarrels, then went up innumerable company,” armed with blud- to the great gate in the Old Bailey with geons and the spokes of cart-wheels. The some others, and swore desperately that he band instantly divided into three parts would have the gates down-curse him,

-one set went to work at Mr. Akerman’s he would have the gates down! Then the door with the mattocks, a second went to storm broke; the mob rushed on the gate the debtors' door, and a third to the felons'. with the sledge-hammers and pickaxes they A shower of bludgeons instantly demolished had stolen from coachmakers, blacksmiths, the windows of the keeper's house; and and braziers in Drury-lane and Long-acre, while these sticks were still falling in and plied them with untiring fury. The showers, two men, one of them a mad tripeman, who carried a bludgeon, urged Quaker, the son of a rich corn-factor, who them on; and the servant of Akerman, wore a mariner's jacket, came forward with having known the man for several years, a scaffold-pole, and drove it like a battering- called to him through the hatch, "Very ram at the parlour shutters. A lad in well, Mr. George the tripeman; I shall mark a sailor's jacket then got on a man's you in particular!" Then John Glover, a shoulders, and jammed in the half-broken black, a servant of a Mr. Phillips, a barshutters with furious blows of his bullet rister in Lincoln's Inn, who was standing head. A A chimney-sweeper's boy then on the steps leading to the felons' gate scrambled in, cheered by the mob, and the main gate), dressed in a rough short after him the mad Quaker. A moment jacket, and a round hat trimmed with dirty more and the Quaker appeared at the first- silver lace, thumped at the door with a floor window, flinging out pictures into the gun-barrel, which he afterwards tried to street. Presently, the second parlour thrust through the grating into the faces window gave way, the house door was of the turnkeys, while another split the forced, and the furniture and broken door with a hatchet. The mob, finding they chattels in the street were set in a blaze. could not force the stones ont round the All this time a circle of men, better dressed hatch, then piled Akerman's shattered furthan the rest, stood in the Old Bailey, niture, and placing it against the gates, set exciting and encouraging the rioters. The the heap on fire. leader of these sympathisers was a negro Nine or ten times the gate caught fire,


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