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residence of one whose follies have been immortalized by his verse. This was Theophilus, first Lord Lanesborough,
Sober Lanesborough dancing with the gout.
His country residence was on the site of the present St. George's Hospital, and originally formed the centre of the old hospital, to which two wings were afterwards added on its being adapted to charitable purposes. So paramount is said to have been Lord Lanesborough’s passion for dancing, that, when Queen Anne lost her consort, Prince George of Denmark, he seriously advised her to dispel her grief by applying herself to his favourite exercise. He died here on the 11th of March, 1723.
Apsley House, which stands on the site of the old Ranger's Lodge, was built by Lord Chancellor Apsley, afterwards second Earl of Bathurst, about the year 1770. Almost adjoining, and to the east of Apsley House, formerly stood a noted inn, the “ Pillars of Hercules,” which will always be memorable as the place where Squire Western took up his abode, when he came to London in search of Sophia, and was bursting with vengeance against Tom Jones. About the middle of the last century, the “ Pillars of Hercules” was a fashionable dining place, especially for military men. It was also much frequented by country gentlemen from the West of England, which was probably the reason that Fielding made Squire Western take up his quarters there.
The space between the “Pillars of Hercules” and Hamilton Place was formerly occupied by a row of mean houses, one of which was a public-house called the “Triumphant Chariot.” This was, in all probability, the “ petty tavern” to which the unfortunate Richard Savage was conducted by Sir Richard Steele, on the well-known occasion of their being closeted together for a whole day composing a hurried pamphlet, which they were compelled to sell for two guineas before they could pay for their dinner.* Piccadilly Terrace now stands on the site of the row of houses we have referred to. At No. 13, Lord Byron resided shortly after his marriage : here occurred his memorable separation from Lady Byron; and here he seems to have composed “ Parisina,” and “The Siege of Corinth.”
According to the authority of almost every person who has written on the subject of the streets of London, — and I am sorry to disturb an opinion 80 long received, Piccadilly derives its name from Peccadilla Hall, a repository for the sale of the fashionable ruffs for the neck, entitled piccadillies or turnovers, which were introduced in the reign of James the First. Barnabe Rice, in his “ Honestie of the Age,” speaks of the ·bodymakers that do swarm through all parts, both of London and about London.” “ The body,” he says, “ is still pampered up in the very dropsy of excess. He that some forty years since should have asked after Piccadilly, I wonder who would have under
* Johnson's “ Life of Savage.”
stood him; or could have told what a Piccadilly had been, either fish or flesh.” In Ben Jonson's “ Devil is an Ass;" in Beaumont and Fletcher's
Pilgrim ;" * and in Drayton's satirical poem Moon Calf,” will be found more than one allusion to the fashionable “ pickadel,” or “ pickadilly.” It must be remarked, however, that the earliest of these productions (and they have all evidently reference to a ridiculous and ephemeral fashion of recent introduction) dates no further back than 1616; and, moreover, according to every evidence which have been able to collect on the subject, the introduction of the “ Piccadilly” was at least not of an earlier period than 1614. When we are able, therefore, to prove, that the word “Pickadilla” was in common use as far back as 1596 (our authority is Gerard's “ Herbal," where the “small wild buglosse," or ox-tongue, is spoken of as growing upon the banks of the dry ditches “ about Pickadilla”), we are compelled to disturb the old opinion that the present street derives its name from a fashionable article of dress which we find was not introduced till nearly twenty years after “ Pickadilla” had become a familiar name, and which, moreover, was little likely to be sold in so rural a district as Piccadilly was in the days of James the First.
Let us be allowed to throw out one suggestion on the subject. Pickadilla House, which stood nearly on the site of the present Panton Square, was a fashionable place of amusement, apparently as far
* D’Israeli's “ Curiosities of Literature."
back as the reign of Elizabeth, and continued to be so nearly till the time of the Commonwealth.* It has been the custom of all countries to confer an alluring name on places of amusement, — as for instance, we find the fashionable “ Folly” floating on the Thames in the days of Charles the Second, and I cannot, therefore, but think, that Pickadilla House derived its name simply from the Spanish word peccadillo, literally meaning a venial fault, but which was intended, perhaps, to imply more than met the eye. Under all circumstances, it seems far more reasonable to suppose that the newly-invented ruff should have derived its name from being worn by the fair ladies and silken gallants who frequented Pickadilla House, than that a trifling article of dress should have given a name, first to the suburban emporium in which it is asserted to have been sold, and afterwards to one of the principal streets in Europe. Why, indeed, should a ruff have been called a pickadilla, unless from some such reason as we have mentioned? Or what lady is there who ever went into the fields to buy her attire? And, in the days of Elizabeth and James the First, Pickadilla House stood literally in the fields. The fact, however, that “ Pickadilla” was a well-known spot, nearly twenty years before the introduction of the “pickadel,” or “ turn-over,” at least puts one part of the argument at rest. We have already employed more time on the subject than perhaps it
* In Faithorne's “ Plan of London,” published in 1658, we find the spot still laid down as Pickadilly Hall.
deserves, and must leave the vexata questio to be decided by some more ingenious antiquary.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, as appears by Aggas's “Plan of London,” published in 1560, the present line of Piccadilly, extending from the Haymarket to Hyde Park Corner, was a mere road, which ran through an open country, and was called “the Roade to Readinge.” Piccadilly appears to have been formed into a street about the year 1642. It extended then no farther than the end of the present Swallow Street, and when afterwards, in the reign of Charles the Second, it was continued in the direction of Hyde Park Corner, the new street, in compliment to Catherine of Braganza, obtained the name of Portugal Street. In a map of London, printed in 1707, Piccadilly and Portugal Street are still laid down as two distinct streets. Two years afterwards, as appears by the “ Tatler” of the 18th of April, 1709, the whole line of street came to be known by its present denomination. There is an absurd story, which has received the authority of Pennant, that when Richard, the third Earl of Burlington, erected the present Burlington House, he observed that he had placed it there “because he was certain that no one would build beyond him.” So far, however, is this story from being true, that we have seen Piccadilly already extending towards Hyde Park Corner in the days of Charles the Second, whereas Lord Burlington was not even born till the reign of William the Third.
Although Piccadilly is a street comparatively of