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of Cardigan and Powis, resided in Lincoln's Inn fields, and the Earls of Clare, Anglesea, and Craven in Drury Lane.*
When James the Second, worn out by the reproaches of his young wife and the arguments of his priests, determined on separating from his celebrated mistress Catherine Sedley, he created her Baroness of Darlington and Countess of Dorchester, and removed her from her apartments in the royal palace of Whitehall to a house which he presented to her in St. James's Square. In a letter of the period, dated 6th of April, 1686, the writer says, “I imagine your Countess of Dorchester will speedily move hitherwards, for her house is furnishing very fine in St. James's Square, and a seat taken for her in the new consecrated St. Ann's Church.”+
Yet Vane could tell what ills from beauty spring, And Sedley cursed the charms which pleased a king. When Dr. Johnson wrote this well-known couplet, he must have been strangely ignorant of the true history and real character of Lady Dorchester. She retired from the embraces of her royal lover with a coronet, a handsome fortune, a house in St. James's Square, and a pew in St. Ann's Church. With these she possessed a wit and exuberance of spirits, which continued with her apparently to the last. Speaking of the eccentric physician, Dr. Radcliffe, she said, “Dr. Radcliffe and myself together
* Chamberlain's “ Angliæ Notitia for 1683." + The Ellis' Correspondence.
could cure a fever."* With these advantages, what reason could she have had to curse the charms which had fascinated her royal lover?
In St. James's Square lived another minion of a court, William Bentinck, Earl of Portland, the Dutch favourite of William the Third, and here his body lay in state previous to its interment in Westminster Abbey:t
In the “New View of London,” published in 1708, St. James's Square is described as “a very pleasant, large, and beautiful square, mostly inhabited by the prime quality; all very fine spacious building, except that side toward Pall Mall.” At this period there were residing here, on the north side, the Dukes of Northumberland and Ormond, and the Earl of Pembroke; on the east side, the Earls of Sunderland and Kent, and Lords Ossulstone and Woodstock; and, on the west side, the Duke of Norfolk and Lord Torrington.
To St. James's Square were conveyed the remains of the unfortunate Duke of Hamilton, after he was killed in his famous duel with Lord Mohun. Swift writes, on the 15th of November, 1712, “ This morning at eight my man brought me word that Duke Hamilton had fought with Lord Mohun and killed him, and was brought home wounded. I immediately sent to the Duke's house in St. James's Square; but the porter could hardly answer for tears, and a great rabble was about the house. He was brought home in his coach by eight, while
# Lord Chesterfield's “ Letters.” + Biog. Britannica.
the poor Duchess was asleep. They have removed her to a lodging in the neighbourhood, where I have been with her two hours, and am just come away. I never saw so melancholy a scene. She has moved my very soul. The lodging was inconvenient, and they would have removed her to another; but I would not suffer it, because it had no room backward, and she must have been tortured with the noise of the Grub Street screamers mentioning her husband's murder in her ears."
Sir Robert Walpole lived at one period of his life in St. James's Square, and at the same time, nearly opposite to him, lived the celebrated Lord Chesterfield, on the other side of the square. When George the Second quarrelled with his eldest son, Frederick Prince of Wales, in 1737, and when he issued his peremptory order to the Prince to quit St. James's Palace with his family, the latter took up his residence at Norfolk House, on the east side of the square, which immediately became the centre of opposition and political intrigue.t His court was necessarily a small one, for the King at the same time issued an order that no persons who paid their court to the Prince and Princess should be admitted to his presence.
In Norfolk House George the Third was born, on the 4th of June, 1738. He was a “seven-months' child," as is evident from his sister, afterwards Duchess of Brunswick, having been born on the 11th of August,
* “Journal to Stella,” 15th Nov. 1712. + Lord Mahon's “Hist. of England.”
1737. “The identical bed,” says Wraxall, “in which the Princess of Wales was delivered, is now at the Duke of Norfolk's seat of Worksop, in the county of Nottingham; and it forcibly proves the rapid progress of domestic elegance and ease within the last eighty years. Except that the furniture is of green silk, the bed has nothing splendid about it, and would hardly be esteemed fit for the accommodation of a person of ordinary condition in the present times. *»
In St. James's Square lived Warren Hastings, one of the greatest men who were ever persecuted by an ungrateful country. The residence of the unfortunate statesman, the Marquis of Londonderry, better known as Lord Castlereagh, was at No. 16, at the north corner of King Street. No. 15 was formerly occupied by Sir Philip Francis, the reputed, and, I believe, indisputable author of Junius;t next door, No. 13, is Litchfield House, celebrated for having been the scene of Whig cabals in the present century; and at No. 11, in the north-west corner, lived the amiable scholar and statesman, William Windham.
There remain the names of two other individuals whose history is associated with St. James's Square, one of which at least is no less illustrious than any we have yet mentioned, while both of them excite
* Wraxall's “ Memoirs."
+ This house was occupied by Queen Caroline during the period of her celebrated trial, and from hence she proceeded in state to the House of Lords on each day that it lasted. VOL. I.
feelings of deep and painful interest. We allude to Dr. Johnson, and Savage, the poet. It is melancholy to reflect, that to such a state of misery and destitution were they reduced, at one period of their lives, that they were unable to defray the expenses of a lodging, and were consequently compelled to wander together during whole nights in the streets. In after years, Johnson mentioned a particular night to Sir Joshua Reynolds, when, without a shilling between them, he had perambulated St. James's Square for hours with his unfortunate friend. * Misfortune and misconduct generally mean the same thing; and whatever the errors or the habits of the great philosopher may have been at this period of his life, by improved industry and a life of virtue he grew to hold a high position in society and in the literature of his country, while the illfated Savage, by a long course of dissipation and self-indulgence, was reduced to a miserable death, within the precincts of a provincial gaol.
It may be necessary to observe, that the statue in the centre of St. James's Square is that of William the Third.
From St. James's Square we pass into Charles Street, of which I have nothing to remark but that it was at one period the residence of Edmund Burke. Close by is Jermyn Street, which derives its name (as does St. Alban's Place, running out of Charles Street,) from Henry Jermyn Earl of St.
* Boswell's “Life of Johnson."