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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/234

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190


NOTES AND QUERIES. [io s. XIL SEPT. 4, im


LONDON TAVERNS IN THE SEVEN- TEENTH CENTURY.

(10 S. xii. 127.)

AMONGST prominent inns nourishing during this period may be mentioned the following : " The Magpie " stood upon the present site of " The Three Nuns," adjacent to the Aldgate Station of the Underground Rail- way. The old hostel was pulled down to make way for the later. Some of its tokens are still preserved. They are dated 1648, and have " W. A. G." stamped upon them. These letters are assumed to be the taverner's initials. De Foe in ' Memoirs of the Plague ' (1665) refers to the inn as " the Pie Tavern over against the end of Houndsditch."

Hard by, in the Minories, contemporary with " The Magpie," there flourished a curiously constructed half-timbered hostel known as " The Old Fountain." It was taken down in 1793.

In Henry V.'s time Eastcheap was known as " the street of Cookshops." A celebrated tavern in that thoroughfare was " The Boar's Head." It stood between Rood and Philpot Lanes, upon the site of the present Worcester House. Shakespeare refers to it. It was consumed in the Great Fire of 1666, rebuilt soon afterwards, and finally demo- lished in 1831. The ancient sign of the second inn, carved in stone, is preserved in the Guildhall Museum.

" The Bear at the Bridge " was close to the foot of old London Bridge. It was popular in the seventeenth century amongst passengers who used the tilt boats thai plied on the Thames. It also possessed a famous bear-baiting garden. Pepys in his diary notes that the Duke of Richmonc eloped with the Bang's cousin, the fair Frances Stewart, and joined the latter at the "Bear at the Bridge Foot." A token issued by a keeper of this tavern i preserved in the British Museum. Upon i is a representation of a muzzled and chainec bear.

The old " Tabard " in the Borough was originally built in 1307 by the Abbot o Hyde. It was destroyed during a large conflagration in Southwark, and rebuil in Elizabeth's reign.

"The White Hart," also in Southwark was consumed in the same fire. It wa Jack Cade's head-quarters in 1450.

"The Swan Tavern," in Crooked Lane E.C., was originally known as " The Leaden


orch." In 1461 it was the property of Sir John Merston.

' The Three Cranes," which was situated lear to what is now Upper Thames Street, was a famous hostel in the days of King ames I.

" The Pope's Head " was in Pope's Head

Alley, E.G. It was a popular place of

meeting in the reign of Edward IV. In 1615

he first Earl of Craven gave it to the

Vterchant Taylors' Company for charitable

purposes. This tavern was another of

he many destroyed by the Great Fire,

and rebuilt. It was finally demolished in

1790.

"The King's Head" (formerly "The ilose "), in the Poultry, was also consumed in the Great Fire. At the Restoration it was most popular inn. Its sign was the work of the celebrated Dutch painter Samuel van EEoogstraaten.

" The Blossoms " was in Lawrence Lane, E.C. When Charles V., Emperor of Ger- many and King of Spain, visited London in 1522, he directed the landlord of "The Blossoms " to provide " xx beddes and a stable for Ix horses " for the use of a portion of his retinue.

" The Mermaid " stood at the corner of Bread Street and Cheapside. Sir Walter Raleigh is believed to have there formed the Mermaid Club, of which Shakespeare is said to have been a member.

" The Goose and Gridiron " was in London House Yard. It was built upon the site of " The Mitre," which was destroyed in the Great Fire. The name " Goose and Grid- iron " was given in ridicule of " The Swan and Harp," then a usual sign for inns in which musical entertainments took place. During the rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral Sir Christopher Wren was for some little time the Worshipful Master of the St. Paul's Masonic Lodge, whose meetings were held at this tavern. He presented to it the mallet and trowel he used in the laying of the foundation stone of the Cathedral in 1675.

" The Castle " was in Fleet Street, at the corner of Shoe Lane. References are made to it so long ago as 1432. It was long the meeting-place of the Clockmakers' Company. Rebuilt after the Great Fire, it claimed (in 1708) to possess the largest sign in London. " The White Hart " in the Borough (already alluded to) boasted of the second in point of size.

The well-known " Cheshire Cheese " in Fleet Street was rebuilt in 1667 upon the site of a more ancient hostel.