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several good houses. In the north west corner is a large house, which was formerly the residence of Sir Samuel Dashwood, lord mayor of London, 1703.
It is recorded in the register of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, that Edward Alleyn, the benevolent founder of Dulwich College, was born near Devonshire House in 1566, near where Sir Francis Baring has his present residence. Jeremiah Collier, who was an enemy to plays and players, has yet the justice to terin Alleyn the Roscius of his age ; and “ that as he out-acted others in his life, so at his death, (alluding to his extensive charities) he out-did himself."
New STREET is occupied by very large, and seemingly the most extensive of the East India warehouses; as they cover a space of nine acres of ground, and reach hence to Houndsditch. They are appointed for the reception of goods for Private Trade, which are of such importance, that a military guard is kept on the premises every night.
The Old ARTILLERY GROUND was a short way north east of Devonshire Square. This was originally a spacious field, called TEAZEL CLOSE, from its being planted with teazles for the use of clothworkers. It was afterwards let to cross. bow makers, who used to shoot there ; but being at length inclosed with a brick wall, it afterwards was used as an artillery ground, to which the gunners of the Tower resorted every Thursday, when they levelled brass pieces of artillery against a butt of earth raised for that purpose.
« The last prior of St. Mary Spital granted to the gun. ners of the Tower this artillery ground for thrice ninety nine years, for the use and practice of great and small artillery ; and king Henry VIII gave the company a charter. Hence this artillery ground became subject to the Tower; the streets, &c. compose one of the Tower Hamlets, and the inhabitants are still summoned on juries belonging to the courts held on Tower Hill.
“ In the year 1585, the city being put to great trouble and expence by the continual musters and training of sol. diers, some brave and active citizens, who had obtained experience both at home and abroad, voluntarily exercised
themselves, and trained up others in the use of arms, so that within two years there were almost three hundred merchants, and other persons of distinction, qualified to teach the common soldiers the management of their guns, pikes, and halberts, as well as to march and countermarch. These met every Thursday, each person by turns bearing office from the corporal to the captain, and some of these gentlemen had the honour of having a body of forces under their command at the great camp at Tilbury, in the year 1588, when the Spaniards sent against England their pretended invincible Armada, and these commanders were generally called Captains of the Artillery Garden.
“ This noble exercise became afterwards discontinued for a long time, but was renewed in the year 1610, when several gentlemen having obtained the permission of king James I. undertook at their private expence a weekly exercise in the same artillery ground, and in the year 1662, erected an armoury, in which they placed five hundred sets of arms, of extraordinary beauty and workmanship. The Artillery Company now greatly increased, and the people resorted to the artillery ground to learn to defend themselves and their country; and even many gentlemen from every county went to learn martial exercises, in order to teach them to superintend the militia, in the distant parts of the kingdom.
“ At length the company being so much increased that this artillery ground was scarcely able to contain them, for they amounted to about six thousand : they removed to the New Artillery Ground near the upper end of Moorfieids, where they still continue to assemble."
Further down is Union Street, a very excellent modern improvement, forming a grand line of communication from Spital Fields church to Smithfield.
Near this place, was antiently the priory and hospital of St. Mary, called St. Mary Spital, founded by Walter Brune, sheriff of London, and Roisia, his wife. The first stone was laid by Walter, archdeacon of London, in the year 1197; its boundaries were from Berward's Lane
(near Widegate Alley) towards the south, and extending in breadth to the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, towards the north; in length it reached from King Street (or the High Street of Bishopsgate Without) on the west, to the bishop of London's field, called Lollesworth (now Spital Fields) on the east.
This hospital was endowed with several lands and tenements. Edward I. by charter gave, for the repose of his soul, to the prior and convent, several churches and lands in the diocese of Winton.
• A part of the large church-yard belonging to the hospital, but separated by a brick wall, was remaining in Stow's time, in which was a pulpit cross, similar to that in St. Paul's church yard; adjoining was built a house, which was appointed for the lord mayor, aldermen, and corporation of London, where they were seated to hear sermons preached during the Easter holidays. It
It appears it was usual in those times, that on Good Friday a divine of eminence should, by appointment, expatiate on Christ's Passion, in a sermon at Paul's Cross; on the three days -next Easter, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, a bishop, a dean, and a doctor of divinity, should preach at the Spital concerning the Resurrection; and on Low Sunday another learned divine was to rehearse the substance of the other four in a fifth sermon. At these the lord mayor
and corporation always attended, robed in violet gowns, on Good Friday and Easter Wednesday; and, on the other days, in scarlet. This custom continued till the Great Rebellion in 1642, when it was discontinued ; however, it was revived after the Restoration, except that instead of being preached at Paul's Cross, which had been demolished, the sermons were in the choir of the cathedral. After the Great Fire, they were discontinued both at St. Paul's church, and at the Spital, and the Easter sermons were delivered at some appointed church; and at last at St. Bridget, in Fleet Street, where they continued invariably till the late repairs of that church, when they were removed to Christ Church, Newgate Street, where they still continue.