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celebrated Jeremy Bentham lived and died; and a little to the east is Storey's Gate, formerly called Storehouse Gate, from a storehouse of the ordnance having formerly stood here. Almost immediately facing Buckingham Palace, and adjoining Storey's Gate, the houses on the western side of Duke Street, Westminster, look into the Park. The Chapel,-a conspicuous object as we pass from the Birdcage Walk,- was originally a wing of the mansion of the infamous Judge Jeffries, and it was by the particular favour of his sovereign, James the Second, that he was allowed to construct the flight of steps, which still lead into the Park. The house in Duke Street was afterwards purchased by the Government from the son of Lord Jeffries, and was used as the Admiralty Office, till the erection of the present unsightly building in Whitehall.
Let us pass from the Park through Storey's Gate into Westminster.
KING STREET, WESTMINSTER-ST. MAR
WESTMINSTER, KING STREET.RESIDENCE OF SPENSER, CAREW, LORD
DORSET, CROMWELL. —GREAT PLAGUE.—MRS. OLDFIELD.-DOWNING STREET.-GARDINER'S LANE.—CANNON ROW.-ST. MARGARET'S CHURCH.--THE SANCTUARY.
The old city of Westminster,—with its venerable Abbey, its remains of the ancient palace of the Saxon Kings, and its gloomy and narrow streets, once the residence of peers, courtiers, and poets, -constitutes, perhaps, the most interesting district of the great metropolis. We have the Sanctuary, too, famous in history,—the beautiful but mouldering cloisters of the old Abbey,—the Almonry, anciently called the Eleemosynary, where the monks distributed alms to the poor, and where Caxton, under the auspices of Bishop Islip, established the first printing-press in England; and, lastly, we have still left to us Westminster Hall, with all its host of historical associations.
Fashion,—or rather an entire change in the rank and character of its inhabitants,—has revolutionized the aspect of the streets of Westminster far more than time. It was only yesterday that the author made a pilgrimage through its confined streets and
dingy alleys, and, with one single exception, he found every street which he was in search of, bearing the same name by which it was distinguished two centuries ago. Milton, Spenser, Herrick, Ben Jonson, Davenant, Dorset,—with how many of the greatest or the sweetest of our national poets are those streets associated! To the author, the most pleasing part of his labours, in composing the present work, has been to search out the haunts,and they generally comprise the calamities, — of departed genius,
Free from the crowd, each hallowed spot I roam,
Through life beloved, and wept o'er in the tomb. J. H. J. Previous to the building of the present Par
liament Street, late in the last century, King Street constituted the only thoroughfare between the cities of London and Westminster; and such was its miserable state, that, to a late period,-on the days on which the sovereign opened or dissolved Parliament, — faggots were thrown into the ruts to render the passage of the ponderous state-coach more easy.
When we consider this circumstance, it is not a little curious, in glancing over the “ New View of London,” published in 1708, to find King Street dignified as “the most spacious street and principal for trade in Westminster, being between the gate at the south end of the Privy Garden and the Abbey Yard.” It may be mentioned that the gate, here alluded to, was not the one designed by IIolbein, which we shall describe in our notices of Whitehall,—but a smaller one which spanned King Street, immediately to the north of where Downing Street now stands. The latter originally formed a part of the palace of Whitehall, and in the reign of Charles the First contained the apartments of the beautiful and intriguing Mary Countess of Buckingham, the mother of the great favourite, George Villiers Duke of Buckingham. She died in the “ Gatehouse Whitehall,” in 1632, and from hence her body was conveyed with great pomp to Westminster Abbey, where it lies beside the murdered remains of her ill-fated son.
King Street is replete with interesting associations. Either in this gloomy thoroughfare, or in the streets which diverge from it, have lived or
died many illustrious persons whose names are familiar to us in the literary or historical annals of our country; moreover, through this mean thoroughfare, the majority of our Kings, since the Conquest, have passed to their coronations at Westminster, and not a few of them subsequently to their tombs in the Abbey.
The first illustrious name with which King Street is associated, is that of Edmund Spenser. When Tyrone’s rebellion burst forth in Ireland, in 1598, the political opinions of the great poet rendered him so obnoxious to the infuriated insurgents, that his only hope for safety was in an immediate flight. He had scarcely turned his back on his beloved home at Kilcolman, when the rebels took possession of it; his goods were carried off; the house was set on fire, and an infant child, whom he had been compelled to leave behind in the confusion of his flight, perished in the flames. Ruined and brokenhearted, the great poet flew to England, and, on his arrival in the vast metropolis, took up his abode in a small inn or lodging-house in King Street, Westminster. The circumstances of his end are too painful to reflect upon. Drummond of Hawthornden tells us in his “Conversations with Ben Jonson;" —“ Ben Jonson told me that Spenser's goods were robbed by the Irish in Tyrone's rebellion; his house and a little child of his burnt; and he and his wife merely escaped ; that he afterwards died in King Street by absolute want of bread; and that be refused twenty pieces sent him by the Earl