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and my mind, when I was a boy. I invo: culators are building up to it, and if they luntarily reverence the spot; and if I find continue with their present speed, it will myself in Red Lion-square, I, with a like in a few years be hidden by their oper. affection, look between the iron railings ations. of its enclosure, because, at the same age, from my mother's window, I watched the taking down of the obelisk, stone by Copenhagen-house stands alone in the stone, that stood in the centre, and impa- fields north of the metropolis, between tiently awaited the discovery of the body Maiden-lane, the old road to Highgate of Oliver Cromwell, which, according to on the west, and the very ancient north local legend, was certainly buried there road, or bridle-way, called Hagbush-lane, in secrecy by night. It is true that Oli- on the east; on this latter side it is ver's bones were not found; but then nearly in a line with Cornwall-place, "every body” believed that “ the work. Holloway. Its name is said to have been men did not dig deep enough.” Among derived from a Danish prince, or a Danish these believers was my friend, the cobbler, ambassador, having resided in it during who, though no metaphysician, was given a great plague in London; another repreto ruminate on “ causation.” He imputed sentation is, that in the beginning of the the nonpersistence of the diggers to “pri. seventeenth century, it was opened under vate reasons of state,” which his awfully its present name by a Dane, as a place of mysterious look imported he had fathom- resort for his countrymen.
“Coopened, but dared not reveal. From ignorance Hagen" is the name given to it in the of wisdom, I venerated the wisdom of map in Camden's “ Britannia," published ignorance; and though I now know better, in 1695.* It is situated in the parish of I respect the old man's meinory. He Islington, in the manor of St. John of allowed me, though a child, to sit on the Jerusalem, in the rental of which manor, frame of his little pushed-back window; dated the 25th of February, 1624, its name and I obtained so much of his good-will does not occur;t it is therefore probable and confidence, that he lent me a folio from thence, and from the appearance of of fragments from Caxton's “Polychro- the oldest part of the present edifice, that nicon," and Pynson's “Shepherd's Kalen- it was not then built. dar," which he kept
the drawer of his seat, with “ St. Hugh's bones," the instruments of his “ gentle craft." This It is certain that Copenhagen-house has black-letter lore, with its wood-cuts, cre- been licensed for the sale of beer, and ated in me a desire to be acquainted with wine, and spirits, upwards of a century ; our old authors, and a love for engravings, and for such refreshments, and as a teawhich I have indulged without satiety. house, with a garden and grounds for It is impossible that I should be without skittles and Dutch pins, it has been fond recollections of the spots wherein I greatly resorted to by Londoners. No received these early impressions.
house of the kind commands so extensive From still earlier impressions, I have and uninterrupted a view of the metrolike recollection of the meadows on the polis and the immense western suburb,. Highgate side of Copenhagen-house. I with the heights of Hampstead and Highoften rambled in them in summer-time, gate, and the rich intervening meadows. when I was a boy, to frolic in the new- Those nearest to London are now rapidly mown hay, or explore the wonders of the destroying for their brick-earthi, and being hedges, and listen to the songs of the covered with houses ; though from Copenbirds. Certain indistinct apprehensions hagen-street, which is built on the green of danger arose in me from the rude lane from White Conduit-house, there is noises of the visitors at Copenhagen- a way to the footpath leading to Copenhouse itself, and I scarcely ventured near hagen-house, from the row of handsome enough to observe more than that it had cottages called Barnesbury-park. drinking-benches outside, and boisterous The latter buildings are in the manor company within.
I first entered the of Berners, or Bernersbury, otherwise place in the present month of June, 1825, Barnesbury; the name being denved and the few particulars I could collect concerning it, as an old place of public entertainment, may be acceptable to many
* Mr. Nelson's History of Islington.
+ To Mr. Sites, baillt of the manor, I am indebird who recollect its former notoriety. Spes for a sight of this rental.
from the Berners' family,* of whom the lord Mansfield, at Caen-wood: happily, most distinguished individual was John they did not sack Copenhagen; but Mrs. Bourchier, the last lord Berners, and “the Harrington and her maid were so alarmfifth writer in order of time among the ed, that they despatched a man to justice nobility.” He was author of “a comedy Hyde, who sent a party of soldiers to usually acted in the great church of Ca- garrison this important place, where they lais after vespers,” of which town he held remained till the riots were quelled. the command by appointment of king From this spot the view of the nightly Henry VIII.;t he also translated several conflagrations in the metropolis must
, works, and particularly “ Froissart's Cro- have been terrific. Mrs. Tomes says, she nycles, oute of Frenche into our maternale saw nine large fires at one time. On Englysshe tongue.”
new-year's day previous to this, the house West of Barnesbury-park, and close to was broken into after the family had rethe footpath from thence to Copenhagen- tired to rest. The burglars forced the house, are the supposed remains of a kitchen window, and mistaking the saltRoman encampment. It is a square of box in the chimney corner for a man's about one hundred and twenty feet, sur- head, fired a ball through it. They then rounded by a ditch, with a high embank- ran up stairs with a dark-lantern, tied ment or breast work to the west. This is the man and the woman servant, burst the presumed to have been a position occu- lower pannel of Mrs. Harrington's roompied by Suetonius, the Roman general, door, while she secreted fifty pounds bewhen he destroyed eighty thousand of the tween her bed and the mattress, and Britons under Boadicea, in a memorable three of them rushed to her bedside, engagement presumed to have been fought armed with a cutlass, crowbar, and pisfrom this place in the fields of Pentonville, tol, while a fourth remained on the watch and terminating in the plain at Battle outside. They demanded her movey ; bridge, from whence that place is said to and as she denied that she had any, they have been so named.
wrenched her drawers open with the crowbar, refusing to use the keys she offered
to them. In these they found about ten From Battle-bridge up Maiden-lane, pounds belonging to her daughter, a little and from Barnesbury-park, there are still child, whom they threatened to murder footways to Copenhagen-house,which, from unless she ceased crying, while they packstanding alone on an eminence, is visible ed up all the plate, linen, and clothes, from every open spot for many miles which they carried off. They then went round. To the original edifice is attached to the cellar, set all the ale-barrels runa building at the west end, with a large ning, broke the necks off the wine-bottles, parlour below for drinking and smoking, spilt the other liquors, and slashed a round and beyond it is a billiard-room ; above of beef with their cutlasses. From this is a large tea-room. The engraving repre- wanton spoil they reserved sufficient to sents its present appearance, from a draw- carouse with in the kitchen, where they ing made for that purpose.
ate, drank, and sung, till they resolved to About the year 1770, this house was pinch the old woman, and make her kept by a person named Harrington; at find more money.” On this, they all ran. his decease the business was continued up stairs again, where she still lay in bed, by his widow, wherein she was assisted and by their threats and violence soon for several years by a young woman who obtained from her a disclosure of the came from Shropshire. This female as- hidden fifty pounds. This rather appeared sistant afterwards married a person named to enrage than pacify them, and they Tomes, and kept the Adam and Eve at seriously proposed cutting her throat for Islington; she is now a widow; and the deception; but that crime was not perfrom her information the editor of the petrated, and they departed with their plunEvery-Day Book gathers, that at the time der. Rewards were offered, by governof the London riots in the year 1780, ment and the parish of Islington, for the a body of the rioters passed Copenhagen- apprehension of the felons:
in May folhouse on their way to attack the seat of lowing, one of them, named Clarkson, was
discovered, and hopes of mercy tendered
to him if he would discover his accom+ Mr. Utterson's Preface to his edition of Lord plices. This man was a watch-maker in Berners' Froissart, 2 vo s. 4to.
Clerkenwell, the other three were trades
men; his information led to their dis- “O'er the green mead the sporting virgins covery; they were tried and executed, play; and Clarkson was pardoned ; though, Their shining veils unbound, along the some time afterwards, he, also, suffered
skies, death, for obtaining a box of plate from Tost and re-tost, the ball incessant flies."** the White-horse, in Fetter-lane, upon pretence that it had been sent thither by in the seventh century, that " whan he
It is related of St. Cuthbert, who lived mistake. The robbery at Copenhagen-house,
was viii yere old, as he played at the ball was so far fortunate to Mrs. Harrington, with other chyldren, sodeynly there stode that she obtained a subscription consider- amonge them a fayre yonge chylde,” who
admonished Cuthbert against“ vayne ably more in amount than the value of Mr. Leader, the coachmaker, in Long- his hands ; "and than Cuthbert and the the money and property she had lost. playes," and seeing Cuthbert take no
heed, he fell down, wept sore and wrung acre, who was her landlord, remitted to her a year's rent of the premises, which other chyldren lefte their playe and comat that time was 301. The notoriety of forted hym; and than sodeynly be vathe robbery increased the visitors to the that it was an angel; and, fro than forth on,
nyshed away ; and than he knewe veryly house, and Mr. Leader built the additional rooms to the old house, instead of he lefte all such vayne playes, and never
used them more." + a wooden room, to accommodate the new influx of custom; and soon afterwards in churches, and statutes passed to regu
Ball-play was formerly played at Easter the house was celebrated for fives-playing. late the size of the ball. The ceremony This last addition was almost accidental, « I made the first fives-ball,” says Mrs. the dean, or his representative, began an
was as follows: the ball being received, Tones, “ that was ever
thrown up against antiphone, or chant, suited to EasterCopenhagen-house. butcher at Highgate, a countryman of day; then taking the ball in his left hand, mine, used' the house, and seeing me
he commenced a dance to the tune, others country, we talked about our country hand. At intervals the ball was handed
of the clergy dancing round, hand in sports, and amongst the rest fives ; I told
or tossed by the dean to each of the chohim we'd have a game some day: I laid down the stone in the ground myself, and,
risters, the organ playing according to the against he came again, made a ball. i dance and sport : at the conclusion of the struck the ball the first blow and he gave refreshment. It was the privilege of the
anthem and dance, they went and took it the second, and so we played ; and as there was company they liked the sport, ball, and even the archbishop did it.
lord, or his locum tenens, to throw the and it got talked of. This was the beginning of the fives-play, which has since ceiving the ball and driving it back again
The French palm-play consisted in rebecome so famous at Copenhagen-house." with the palm of the hand. Anciently
they played with the naked hand, thea A word or two on ball-play.
with a glove, which, in some instances, Fives was our old hand-tennis, and is a was lined; afterwards they bound cords very ancient game.
and tendons round their hands, to make In the fourteenth century there was a the ball rebound more forcibly; and game at ball, where a line, called the hence, says St. Foix, the racket derived cord, was traced upon the wall, below its origin. which the stroke was faulty. Some of In the reign of Charles V., palm-play, the players were on foot; others had the which, Strutt says, may properly enough two hands tied together, or played in a
be denominated hand-tennis, or fires, was hollow cask.*
exceedingly fashionable in France, being Hand-ball was before the days of played by the nobility for large sums of Homer.
He introduces the princess money; and when they had lost all that Corcyra, daughter of Alcinous, king of they had about them, they would somePhæacia, amusing herself, with her times pledge a part of their wearing apmaidens, at hand-ball:
parel rather thau give up the game. The
• Pope's Homer
Mr. Fosbroke's Dict. of Antiquities,
• Mr. Fosbroke's Dict. of Antiquities.
duke of Bourbon having lost sixty francs one else in the world, which so many at palm-play with M. William de Lyon, others are trying to do well, it leaves a and M. Guy de la Trimouille, and not gap in society. It is not likely that any having money enoughto pay them, gave one will now see the game of fives played his girdle as a pledge for the remainder. in its perfection for many years to come
A damsel, named Margot, who resided for Cavanagh is dead, and has not left his at Paris in 1424, played at hand-tennis peer behind him. with the palm, and also with the back of It may be said that there are things her hand, better than any man; and of more importance than striking a ball what is most surprising, says St. Foix, at against a wall—there are things indeed that time the game was played with the that make more noise and do as little naked hand, or at least with a double good, such as making war and peace, glove.
making speeches and answering them, Hand-tennis still continues to be played, making verses and blotting them, making though under a different name, and pro- money and throwing it away. But the bably a different modification of the game of fives is what no one despises who game: it is now called fives, which deno- has ever played at it. It is the finest mination, perhaps, it might receive from exercise for the body, and the best relaxahaving five competitors in it, as the suc- tion for the mind. ceeding passage shews : When queen The Roman poet said that “ Care Elizabeth was entertained at Elvetham, mounted behind the horseman, and stuck in Hampshire, by the earl of Hertford, to his skirts." But this remark would "after dinner about three o'clock, ten of not have applied to the fives-player. He his lordship's servants, all Somersetshire who takes to playing at fives is twice men, in a square greene court before her young. He feels neither the past nor fumajesties windowe, did hang up lines, ture “in the instant.” Debts, taxes, squaring out the forme of a tennis court, “ domestic treason, foreign levy, nothing and making a cross line in the middle; can touch him further.” He has no other in this square they, being stripped out of wish, no other thought, from the moment their dublets, played five to five with the game begins, but that of striking the hand-ball at bord and cord as they tearme ball, of placing it, of making it! This Cait, to the great liking of her highness.” vanagh was sure to do. Whenever he
touched the ball, there was an end of the
chase. His eye was certain, his hand Fives-playing at Copenhagen-house, is fatal, his presence of mind complete. He recorded in a memoir of Cavanagh, the could do what he pleased, and he always famous fives-player, by_Mr. Hazlitt. It knew exactly what to do. He saw the first appeared in the Examiner of Fe- whole game, and played it; took instant bruary 17, 1819, and is subjoined, with advantage of his adversary's weakness, the omission of a passage or two, not ess and recovered balls, as if by a miracle sentially connected with the subject.
and from sudden thought, that every gave for lost.
He had equal DEATH OF JOHN CAVANAGH, power and skill, quickness and judg
ment. He could either outwit his anta“ And is old Double dead? See, see, he gonist by finesse, or beat him by main drew a good bow; and dead! he shot a fine strength. Sometimes, when he seemed
John of Gaunt loved him well, and preparing to send the ball with the full betted much money on his head. Dead! he swing of his arm, he would, by a slight and carried you a foreband shaft a fourteen turn of his wrist, drop it within an inch and fourteen and a half, that it would have of the line. In general, the ball came done a man's heart good to see.”
from his hand, as if from a racket, in a Died at his house in Burbage-street, vain to attempt to overtake or stop it.
strait horizontal line; so that it was in St. Giles's, John Cavanagh, the famous As it was said of a great orator, that he hand fives-player. When a person dies,
never was at a loss for a word, and for the who does any one thing betier than
properest word, so Cavanagh always could tell the degree of force necessary to
be given to a ball, and the precise direc• Birute's sports, from Mr. Nichol's Progresses of tion in which it should be sent. He did Queen Elizabeth, &c.
his work with the greatest ease; never all the time. In the twelfth game, when took more pains than was necessary, and Cavanagh was only four, and the stranger while others were fagging themselves to thirteen, a person came in, and said, death, was as cool and collected as if he “ What are you here, Cavanagh !" The had just entered the court.
words were no sooner pronounced than His style of play was as remarkable as the astonished player let the ball drop his power of execution.
He had no from his hand, and saying, “ What! have affectation, no trifling. He did not throw I been breaking my heart all this time to away the game to show off an attitude, beat Cavanagh ?" refused to make anoor try an experiment. He was a fine, ther effort.
* And yet, I give you my sensible, manly player, who did what he word,” said Cavanagh, telling the story could, but that was more than any one with some triumph, “I played all the else could even affect to do. He was the while with my clenched fisi.” best up-hill player in the world; even He used frequently to play matches at when his adversary was fourteen, he Copenhagen-house for wagers and dinners. would play on the same or better, and The wall against which they play is the as he never flung away the game through same that supports the kitchen-chimney, carelessness and conceit, he never gave and when the wall resounded louder than it up through laziness or want of usual, the cooks exclaimed, “Those are heart. The only peculiarity of his play the Irishman's balls,” and the joints tremwas that he never volleyed, but let the bled on the spit ! balls hop; but if they rose an inch from Goldsmith consoled himself that there the ground, he never missed having them. were places where he too was admired : There was not only no body equal, but and Cavanagh was the admiration of all nobody second to him. It is supposed the fives-courts where be ever played. that he could give any other player Mr. Powell, when he played matches in half the game, or beat them with his the court in St. Martin's-street, used to left hand. His service was tremendous. fill his gallery at half-a-crown a head, He once played Woodward and Mere with amateurs and admirers of talent in dith together (two of the best players in whatever department it is shown. He England) in the Fives-court, St. Martin's- could not have shown himself in any street, and made seven and twenty aces ground in England, but he would have following by services alone-a thing un- been immediately surrounded with inheard of. He another time played Peru, quisitive gazers, trying to find out in what who was considered a first-rate fives- part of his frame his unrivalled skill lay. player, a match of the best out of five He was a young fellow of sense, bugames, and in the three first games, mour, and courage. He once had a quarte! which of course decided the match, Peru with a waterman at Hungerford-stairs, and got only one ace.
they say, “served him out" in great style. Cavanagh was an Irishman by birth, In a word, there are hundreds at this day, and a house-painter by profession. He who cannot mention his name without had once laid aside his working-dress, admiration, as the best fives-player that and walked up, in his smartest clothes, perhaps ever lived (the greatest excellence to the Rosemary Branch to have an after- of which they have any notion)—and noon's pleasure. A person accosted him, the noisy shout of the ring happily stood and asked him if he would have a game. him instead of the unheard voice of
post So they agreed to play for half-a-crown a terity. game, and a bottle of cider. The first The only person who seems to have game began-it was seven, eight, ten, excelled as much in another way as Cathirteen, fourteen, all. Cavanagh won it. vanagh did in his, was the late John The next was the same. They played on and Davies, the racket-player. It was reeach game was hardly contested. “There," marked of him that he did not seem to said the unconscious fives-player, “ there follow the ball, but the ball seemed to was a stroke that Cavanagh could not follow him. Give him a foot of wall, and take: I never played better in my life, and he was sure to make the ball. The four yet I can't win a- game. I don't know best racket-players of that day were Jack how it is.” However, they played on, Ca- Spines, Jem Harding, Armitage, and vanagh winning every game, and the bye- Church. Davies could give any one of standers drinking the cider and laughing these two hands a time, that is, half the