« PreviousContinue »
and lower bowling-green, whither many of the nobility and gentry of the best quality resorted for exercise and recreation.” Piccadilly House is generally supposed to be the same place of amusement as that mentioned by Garrard in one of his letters to the Earl of Strafford. “ Since Spring Gardens was put down,” he writes, in June 1635, “ we have, by a servant of the Lord Chamberlain's, a new Spring Gardens erected in the fields beyond the Meuse, where is built a fair house, and two bowling-greens, made to entertain gamesters and bowlers, at an excessive rate, for I believe it hath cost him about 40001. A dear undertaking for a gentleman-barber. My Lord Chamberlain much frequents this place, where they bowl great matches.”
Not far from Panton Square, to the north-west, lies Golden Square; originally, according to Pennant, called Gelding Square, from the sign of a public house which formerly stood in the neighbourhood. This, however, is unquestionably a mistake. The name was originally Golding Square, as appears by the “ New View of London,” published in 1707, about ten years after its erection, and it is there distinctly stated to derive its name from one Golding, who built it. This gloomy-looking square, once one of the most fashionable sites in the metropolis, was built, after the accession of William the Third, in what were then styled the Pest House Fields, the site of a lazaretto erected by Lord Craven as a receptacle for the miserable sufferers from the great plague of 1665.
One would wish to be able to point out the house in Golden Square which was once the residence of the celebrated Henry St. John Lord Bolingbroke. Here he entertained for the last time at dinner his former colleague and friend the no less celebrated Harley, when, among other guests, were present the Duke of Shrewsbury, Earl Powlet, and Lord Rochester, and where the latter, we are told, “taking pains to calm the spirit of division and ambition,” made a vain attempt to effect a reconciliation between the rival politicians. Here, a few months afterwards, we find Bolingbroke entertaining the great Duke of Marlborough as his guest ;* here he was residing when the death of Queen Anne effected so extraordinary a revolution in his fortunes, and from bence, apparently, he departed by stealth, in the dress of a servant, on the night of his memorable escape to the continent.
Either in Golden Square, or in the immediate neighbourhood, at the house of her father, who was a painter, lived the beautiful singer Anastasia Robinson.t Although a performer at the opera, a teacher of music, and of the Italian language-occupations which constantly threw her in the way of temptation—she refused to enrich herself by any illicit connection, and for some years supported an aged father by her industry and her talents. Her beauty and her virtue captured the heart of the celebrated and eccentric Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough, who privately married her towards the * Cooke's “Life of Lord Bolingbroke." + Noble's Biog. Hist.
close of his long life. Their marriage was not acknowledged till the year 1735, but, as many as twelve years previous to its announcement, we find Lord Peterborough horse-whipping a foreign singer, Senescino, at a rehearsal, for some offence which he had given to his future Countess.* Of the year in which they were married we have no record ; indeed, it was only when broken down by disease, and when harassed by her repeated refusals to live under the same roof with him, unless be acknowledged her as his wife, that Lord Peterborough was induced to divulge his secret to the world. Even when he proclaimed his weakness, it was in a very characteristic manner. He went one evening to the rooms at Bath, where a servant had previously received orders to exclaim in a distinct and audible voice, “ Lady Peterborough's carriage waits.” Every lady of rank and fashion, we are told, immediately rose, and offered their congratulations to the new Countess. Gay, in his “ Epistle to William Pulteney," has celebrated the vocal powers of the beautiful songstress :
O soothe me with some soft Italian air,
While in her notes the heavenly choir descends.
Lady M. W. Montagu's Letters.
THE GREEN PARK AND HYDE PARK.
THE GREEN PARK.-DUEL BETWEEN THE EARL OF BATH AND LORD
HERVEY.-HYDE PARK IN THE REIGNS OF HENRY THE EIGHTH, QUEEN ELIZABETH, QUEEN ANNE, CROMWELL, AND CHARLES THE SECOND-FAMOUS DUEL BETWEEN LORD MOHUN AND THE DUKE OF HAMILTON.-MʻLEAN AND BELCHIER THE HIGHWAYMEN. - MYS
TERIOUS INCIDENT TO THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH.
PREVIOUS to the Restoration, the site of the Green Park was occupied by meadows, and it is to Charles the Second, that the children who fly kites, and the nursery-maids who make love, are indebted for its being converted into an appanage of St. James's Palace. With the exception of its being the scene of a remarkable duel between the celebrated minister Pulteney, afterwards Earl of Bath, and the scarcely less celebrated John, Lord Hervey, I am not aware that the Green Park possesses any particular feature of interest. In 1730, there appeared in print a pamphlet, entitled “ Sedition and Defamation Displayed,” which the world in general attributed to Lord Hervey, and which contained a violent personal attack on Pulteney. This pamphlet was replied to by the latter, who, believing it to be the production of Lord Hervey, vomited forth an acrimonious attack on its presumed author. Al
luding to the well-known effeminate appearance and habits of Lord Hervey, Pulteney speaks of his opponent as a thing half-man and half-woman, and dwells malignantly on those personal infirmities, produced by suffering and disease, which Pope afterwards introduced with no less acrimony, but with increased wit, in his celebrated character of “Sporus.”
Immediately on the production of the offensive pamphlet, Lord Hervey sent to Pulteney, inquiring whether he was correct in presuming him to be his maligner ? To this Pulteney replied, that, whether or no he was the author of the “Reply," he was ready to justify and stand by the truth of any part of it, “ at what time and wherever Lord Hervey pleased." “ This last message,” writes Thomas Pelham to Lord Waldegrave, “your Lordship will easily imagine was the occasion of the duel; and, accordingly, on Monday last, between three and four o'clock in the afternoon, they met in the Upper St. James's Park, behind Arlington Street, with their two seconds, who were Mr. Fox and Sir J. Rushout. The two combatants were each of them slightly wounded, but Mr. Pulteney had once so much the advantage of Lord Hervey, that he would infallibly have run my Lord through the body if his foot had not slipped, and then the seconds took an occasion to part them; upon which Mr. Pulteney embraced Lord Hervey, and expressed a great deal of concern at the accident of their quarrel, promising, at the same time, that he would