« НазадПродовжити »
EXHIBITING THE MOST
RARE AND REMARKABLE OBJECTS OF INTEREST
IN THE METROPOLIS ;
Uearln fifty Years' Personal Recollections.
BY JOHN TIMBS, F.S.A.
LACONICS, THE YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS, ETC.
Werkes gerabyteopTelipego portare any callebabnphyap bmnan
Charter granted by William the Conqueror to the City of London,
A.D. 1007. (See page 460.)
LITTLE deed be said to bespeak the interest of readers in the staple of the present work—the Notable Things in the History of London through its Nineteen Centuries of accredited antiquity. Still, I am anxious to offer a few words upon the origin and growth of this volume ; and the means by which I have striven to render it as complete as the extent and ever-varying nature of the subject will allow.
Twenty-seven years since (in 1828), I wrote in the parlour of the house No. 3 Charing Cross (then a publisher's), the title and plan of a volume to be called “ CURIOSITIES OF LONDON;" and the work here submitted to the public is the realisation of that design. I then proposed to note the most memorable points in the annals of the Metropolis, and to describe its most remarkable objects of interest, from the earliest period to my own time,--for the Present has its “ Curiosities” as well as the Past. Since the commencement of this design in 1828,-precisely midway in my lifetime,-I have scarcely for a day or hour lost sight of the subject; but, through a long course of literary activity,* have endeavoured to profit by every fair opportunity to increase my stock of materials ; and by constant comparison, “not to take for granted, but to weigh and consider,” in turning such materials to account. In this labour I have been greatly aided by the communications of obliging friends, as well as by my own recollection of nearly Fifty Years' Changes in the aspects of “enlarged and still increasing London,"
" Thinking how different a place London is to different people," I have, in this volume, studied many tastes ; but its leading cha
• WORKS BY THE AUTHOR OP THE PRESENT VOLUME: A Picturesque Promenade round Dorking in Surrey, 1822. The same, 2d edit., 1823.-Laconics; Gr, the Best Words of the Best Authors, 3 vols. 1826.—Mirror, edited, 1827-1838 (Twenty-two vols.).—Signs before Death, 1828.- Cameleon Sketches, 1828.Companion to the Theatres, 1829 – Arcana of Science and Art, 1828-1838 (Eleven vols.).-Wine-drinker's Manual, 1830.-Family Manual, 1831.-Knowledge for the People; or, the Plain Why and Because, 4 vols. 1831-2.-Popular Zoology, 1834.-Domestie Life in England, 1835.-The Instructor, Vol. 2 (written for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge), 1835.–Family Handbook, 1837.-Literary World, 3 vols, 1839, 1840.--London Anecdotes, 2 vols. 1848.Illustrated Year-book, 2 vols. 1850, 1851.-Wellingtoniana, 1852.-Year-book of Facts, 1839-1855. (Seventeen vols.)
racteristics will be found to consist in what Addison's Freeholder calls “ the Curiosities of this great Town.” Their bibliographical illustration, by quotations from Old Poets and Dramatists, Travellers and Diarists, presents a sort of literary chequer-work of an entertaining and anecdotic character ; and these historic glimpses are brought into vivid contrast with the Social Statistics and other Great Facts of the London of to-day.
The plan of the book is in the main alphabetical. Districts and localities are, however, topographically described; the arrangement of streets being generally in a sub-alphabet. The Birth-places, Abodes, and Burial-places of Eminent Persons—so many sites of charmed ground - are specially noted, as are existing Antiquities, Collections of Rare Art and Virtu, Public Buildings, Royal and Noble Residences, Great Institutions, Public Amusements and Exhibitions, and Industrial Establishments; so to chronicle the renown of Modern as well as Ancient London. The articles describing the Churches, Exchanges, Halls, Libraries and Museums, Palaces and Parks, Parliament-Houses, Roman Remains, and the Tower of London, are, from their importance, most copious in their details.
The utmost pains has been taken to verify dates, names, and circumstances ; and it is trusted that no errors may be found in addition to those noted at the close of the volume, with the changes in the Metropolis during the progress of the printing of the work.* The reader, it is hoped, will regard these inaccuracies with indulgence, when the immense number of facts sought to be recorded in this volume is considered. Lastly, it has been my aim to render the “Curiosities” useful as well as entertaining, and with that view are introduced several matters of practical information for Londoners as well as visitors.
JOHN TIMBS. 88 SLOANE-STREET, CHELSEA,
Jan. 16, 1855.
• See ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS, pp. 782-784.
THE FRONTISPIECE.—This Portrait has been engraved from a painting by Thomas John Gullick : exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1854, and pronounced to be the work of an artist of great promise.
THE VIGNETTE.—This Charter, described at page 460, is in English as follows:
" William the King friendly salutes William the Bishop, and Godfrey the Portreve, and all the Burgesses within London, both French and English. And I declare, that I grant you to b-- all law. worthy, as you were in the days of King Edward; and I grant that every child shall be his father's heir, after his father's diys; and I will not suffer any person to do you wrong. God keep you."