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THE BANKS OF THE THAMES.
other nations, and her own aounaance and prosperity. And in addition to these grounds of pre
eminence, looking at the earlier part of its progress, The Thames is the king of English rivers, the there is nothing which more distinguishes the sovereign of that fair commonwealth of streams Thames, nothing which more entitles it to palm which wind and wander, silver-clad, among our and sceptre, than the noble edifices which rise begreen meadows and wooded hills, through our side its path, with all their picturesque accessories busy towns and by our quiet villages; reflecting and storied associations. from their faces the scenes they pass, and enter- We purpose during these summer weeks to take taining by their cheerful company those who some strolls along the river-side, and to stop and ramble on their banks in genial mood. His is examine a few of the far-famed edifices and other a right royal course—a regal progress of some objects which bid welcome to, and repay with a two hundred miles, across a rich domain. Nine large gratification, the intelligent and goodcounties rejoice in his presence, while they border humoured tourist. And while we specially direct his banks with manifold beauties, and increase his attention to remarkable buildings on the banks, fulness and strength with their affluents and we shall not overlook the natural scenery which tributaries. For a fourth portion of his course, environs them, nor the changeful aspects of the that which he runs last on his way to the sea-he stream itself, at morning, noon, and sunset; and, carries on his bosom the costliest treasures of the though we shall eschew all wearisome prosaic world. No river in any clime can boast such moralisings, it cannot be doubted that ever and wealth of shipping, such a prodigious amount of anon something will suggest itself which points to stores and merchandise, as the Thames, between higher themes and interests; for who can glide the Nore and London Bridge. Not so often as along or wander near a river, in a thoughtful way, was once the case, but still very often, does the without finding much that ought, by God's grace, traveller catch the first view of the great metro- to mend his mind and purify his heart, and make polis from this huge river-inlet, and nowhere can him altogether a wiser and a better man ? such an impression be derived of England's pre- We shall begin neither at the beginning nor at eminent commercial resources, her traffic with the end, for neither place would suit our particular purpose. The celebrated places by the Thames | whom a palace was first built. We are left to are mostly in the middle of its course, and there- paint upon the blank of a remote age some rude fore it is thereabouts we shall ramble and loiter ; old castellated structure, encircled by a moat, yet, inviting the friendly companionship of our reader from its open and exposed situation by the waterfor we like to feel ourselves in company-and, side, showing, so Selden says, that bishops were under that impression, to think aloud. In this held sacred persons whom nobody would hurt, middle portion of the Thames region, however, we while noblemen lay within the city for safety and shall not commence at the end nearest to the source, security. The present buildings are mostly modern, but at the end nearest to the sea; for somehow or but some parts remain of ancient date, which we other, in all our river rambles we like to penetrate shall notice as we proceed. upwards towards the fountain, rather than down- Before we cross the moat, and pass through the wards towards the mouth. And again, as ours is gates, do just turn and look at the fine avenue of a summer ramble, we must not enter within the lime-trees, running up beside the moat, as far as range of London smoke. The Tower, and Somer- the Fulham road. They were planted at the time set House, and Lambeth Palace, and many other of the Revolution by bishop Compton, when king objects architecturally imposing and full of historic William and his Dutch companions introduced into interest, are very tempting; but we have to tear this country their own national taste for gardening, ourselves unwillingly away from them, for we are and, among other things not so graceful, taught bent, under the influence of these bright blue skies our fathers to plant long straight avenues, which and yonder magnetic green fields, upon confining now after the lapse of ages look so venerable and ourselves to rustic haunts.
even august, and make us feel the ancient nobility Traversing the silent highway, up from West of the domain they cover. We pass the lodge, that minster, the first point really wearing a country picturesque accompaniment of an English mansion, aspect is Fulham, of which Putney Bridge com- and feel how cheerful are the smiles of the trees mands a striking view. Leaning over it, and and flowers around us, and how very merry all watching the quiet onward flow of the deep broad those little butter-cups on the lawn-like mead are tide--so quiet, onward, deep, and broad for cen looking, as they nod and laugh under the gentle turies on centuries past, like time itself-a thing fanning of summer winds. of sameness, yet a thing of change, blending iden- We soon reach the principal entrance, under a tity with variation most mysteriously—our eyes large brick gateway, built by Fitzjames in the are at length drawn away from poring over this reign of Henry VII. It forms the western end of metaphysical puzzle—this moral emblem--to look the palace, and through it we come into a quadon the noble and majestic row of trees on the right rangle, surrounded by plain piles of building in the hand before us, forming so cool and pleasant a Tudor style, retaining still their primitive appearshade on a hot summer's day by the water-side ; ance, with a stone fountain of ancient form but and to survey, through the openings of the foliage, modern workmanship standing in the middle. a spacious mansion of modern appearance, but with Here in loneliness and quietude, as the hot sun antique appurtenances; and hard by that, and disposes the imagination to indulge in dreamy nearer to the bridge, the tall tower of a mediæval pictures of the past, one thinks of antique proceschurch. Here we have Fulham Palace and Ful. sions which have swept through that old gateway, ham Church, two buildings that might detain us and marched up to the entrance-porch in state, much longer than either you, gentle reader, or we filling the quaint old square with ecclesiastic, civil
, have time to spare.
or military pomp—with gaiety, bustle, and merriWe do not intend to dabble in etymologies, ment. In addition to dim visions of what might which of all archæological matters are the most have been in earlier times, there comes very disdry, unsatisfactory, and unprofitable. We have tinctly before us reminiscences of what has been. said nothing about the derivation of the word The high and mighty sovereign Elizabeth enters “Thames;" we have not even adverted to Gibson's with all her courtiers and attendants on a visit to vindication of its claim as an independent appella- bishop Bancroft, whom we see with lowly revertion; how, then can we think of dwelling on such ence advancing to meet his royal mistress. And an inferior inquiry as to how Fulham came by its then there comes king James, just before his name—whether it means Foulham, a dirty place; coronation, to enjoy the hospitalities of the same or Fowlham, a place for birds ? Since the birds bishop. And then there come Charles I and Hen. are now singing very cheerfully in the Bishop's rietta to dine with bishop Mountaigne. And lastly Walk, as the path is called, under the trees just there comes, telling of great changes in church and mentioned, we shall accede to that derivation, at state, his highness the protector Cromwell to least for the nonce; and making our way under partake of a magnificent entertainment prepared their broad protecting branches, with the river on for him by colonel Edmund Harvey, to whom one side and a moat surrounding the palace on the parliament had sold the palace. other, we come up at last to a goodly gateway Having amused one's self with these facts of and lodge, which, by special permission from the the past, it is time to enter into the palace, where, present distinguished occupant of the palace, we however, but few vestiges of its former character proceed to enter. That distinguished individual, remain, the building being for the most part as everybody knows, is the Bishop of London, and modernized, and presenting now the aspect of an here from a very early period his episcopal prede- abode commodious, handsome, and tasteful, rather cessors have had a summer residence. The manor than magnificent and imposing. In bishop Robinwas granted to Bishop Erkenweld in the year 691, son's time, about 1715, large alterations were made, and has ever since been held uninterruptedly by and the once princely extent of this episcopal resihis successors. We cannot ascertain when or by dence was much diminished. All the buildings northward of the great dining-room were pulled Till the year 1810 an old decayed chair existed in down, and about filty or sixty rooms left, besides the gardens, in which it was said that Bonner used the chapel, hall, and kitchen. Sabsequent addi- to sit and judge the protestants; and many readers tions and repairs, especially under bishop Howley will remember that frightful wood-cut in the Book and his present lordship, have brought the whole of Martyrs, entitled “The right picture and true into the state we find it. What once formed the counterfeit of Bonner and his cruelty in scourging | grand hall is now the bishop's private chapel. To of God's saints in his gardens at Fulham.". There the left of the principal entrance, and in the paint- he is, fat and burly in figure and ferocious in couned windows, three on the west and one on the east tenance, as history tells us that he really was, --through which the light comes with an effect thrashing with merciless severity the victims of chastened and sombre--there may be traced the his intolerance. We should be glad to think that arms of the see and of its successive occupants-a in this monster's heart there could come a touch of study for masters of heraldry, but a subject too humanity. John Byrde, a deprived bishop of the minute and technical for us to notice here. Beyond reformed chureh, we are told, found an asylum the private apartments is the library, probably with Bonner, and upon his coming, Lysson says, erected by bishop Sheldon, and forming the east quoting Anthony Wood," he brought his present side of the palace next the garden. Here are por- with him, a dish of apples and a bottle of wine." traits of the prelates down to Randolph, and a good But on turning to the Athena Oxoniensis, we find collection of books in original bindings, bequeathed that Wood adds: “While he was there, he exhortby Porteus-altogether very tempting to a student. ed Mr. Hawkes, convented for pretended heresy The place is a most fitting one in which to read before Bonner, to learn of his elders, and to bear Sherlock and Lowth; the lawn and trees outspread with some things, and be taught by the church not before the window very much as those accomplished to go too far. In that queen's reign he became scholars and divines beheld them, when, under their Bonner's suffragan, and vicar of Dunmow in Essex." soothing influence, they thought over matters of The whole story rather shows the pliability of poor criticism and taste, and of themes more important Byrde than the humanity of the notorious Bonner. than either.
Deprived of the bishopric on the accession of ElizaThe present dining-room is quite modern. What beth, Bonner remained in confinement till his death, is now the kitchen enjoyed that higher distinction in September, 1569, when he was privately buried till of late; and it is very curious to see the richly- at midnight in St. George's, Southwark, “to avoid decorated ceiling and some of the panels of the the notice of the citizens, and the vengeance of wall still there, surmounting the goodly fireplace, the people.” “By his night-burial,” says bishop the shelves and dressers, and all the other conveni. Grindall
, his successor, writing to Sir W. Cecil, ences for the culinary art. The windows now look “ both these inconveniences have been avoided, and out into a dull and gloomy little garden, but of the same generally liked ; what shall be endued of old they commanded a view of the meadows; and it at court I cannot tell; it is possible the report here, in the reign of George III, on the 4th of June, of his burial hath not there become publie; but the bishop of London, after the royal levee, used this I write unto you is the very truth." to entertain his episcopal brethren in celebration of In a postscript to this same letter, dated Sept. his majesty's birthday, when the exhibition of the 9th, 1569, the writer says: “My grapes this year haymakers at their rustic toils in front of the are not yet ripe; about the end of the next week I dining-room formed a part of the usual entertain- hope to send some to the qneen's majesty." This ment. It was by bishop Sherlock that the room gives us a glimpse of the early fame of the Fulham was built, and by bishop Howley that it was gardens, the grapes of which seem to have had a metamorphosed.
reputation like the strawberries of my Lord of Ely Of course we think, while standing here, of the in his Holborn gardens. A few days afterwards many distinguished men who have assembled round Grindall sent his annual tribute to the queen, of the hospitable board which the room once contained, the first-fruits of his vines, which, under the cirnor do we forget the visits of Hannah More here in cumstances, nearly brought him into great trouble ; the time of Porteus, but fancy that we see the smiles for it was reported that the plague had broken out of the amiable prelate, as his poetical guest reads in his house at Fulham, which alarmed the queen to him her now well-known lines on Bonner's and court, lest contagion should have been conveyed ghost. Bonner's ghost ! that haunts with ghastly by the bishop's present. He wrote to Cecil in selfterror both the palace and the gardens, in contrast vindication, acknowledging that one of his housewith other memories bright and pleasant ! How hold had just died, but not of the plague ; adding, different that man's beginning was from the pro- “But I thank God there is none sick in my honse. gress and conclusion of his life! He went to Rome Neither would I so far have overseen myself as to to plead for Catherine's divorce, and so inveighed have sent to her majesty, if I had not been more against the tyranny of the pope, that his holiness assured that my man's sickness was not of the threatened to throw him into a caldron of molten plagne : and if I suspected any such thing now, lead. At Paris, he favoured Coverdale in the print- I would not keep my household together as I do." ing of the scriptures, and used to visit the travs- Grindall's grapes have brought us into Fulham lator, and at his own cost give him and his associ- gardens, whose celebrity from his time became ates English dinners. The only principle on which matter of historical interest. Fuller, in his “ Worthese acts can be harmonized with others in his thies," informs us that Grindall brought the tamalife is, that in the first of the cases just mentioned risk-tree from Switzerland and planted it at Fulham, he was seeking the favour of Henry, and in the "where the soil being moist and fenny well comsecond the favour of Cromwell, Henry's chief plied with the nature of this plant, which since is minister and Coverdale's avowed friend and patron. removed and thriveth well in many other places."
Bishop Compton was a great botanist, and enriched Legh in marble, in the costame of James the First's the gronnds with many plants and shrubs from reign, with a baby in her arms, just like a little North America, which attracted the attention of mummy, and another, the fellow to it, perched by the eminent naturalist John Ray, who, in the second her side, as though it were a ninepin; and there volume of his history of plants, gives a catalogue is Mrs. Catherine Hart, of about the same date, of them, and greatly praises the garden, as a whole, kneeling on a cushion with her two daughters for the taste of its cultivation, and its rare and behind, and her two sons before, the second holding curious specimens. Other botanists from time to a skull in his hand. And there, very Roman-like, time record the condition of the palace garden, in toga and sandals, stands my Lord Mordaunt giving at different periods catalogues of the famous upon a slab which rests on supporters of no orditrees. It has, like the building, seen some changes; nary ugliness. We must pass by numerous other many of its ancient curiosities have disappeared, monuments and tablets in the interior to notice but a few very old trees remain amidst the modern the tombs outside. We pause, with much interest, improvements of the present tasteful and scientific at the east end to decipher the inscriptions over gardener. Lysson and Faulkner give lists of the the graves of Louth, and Sherlock, and Gibson, and valuable relics of Compton's botanical additions, Compton, and Robinson, all bishops of London and subjoin the admeasurement of their girths. and men of celebrity; and had we time, perhaps The history of the growth of trees is no mean we might select some other names of interest, and study, but it would rise far higher still, "could certainly we might supply abundant specimens of they but speak as in Dodona ouce;" then might epitaphs and inscriptions-a species of lore which they
the rambler is sure to study, and by means of correct, erronous oft,
which the stranger in a village, ignorant of the The clock of history, facts and events
living, speedily becomes acquainted with the dead : Timing more punctual, unrecorded facts Recovering, and misstated setting right
not always, we fear, a just acquaintance, for in our Desperate atteinpt till trees shall speak again.” English graveyards the observation of the poet is
decidedly contradicted : In the meantime they tell their own history, and
“ The evil that men do lives after them; illustrate the laws of vegetable growth and in
The good is oft interred with their bones.” crease. We have before us a list, from which we observe that, in 1813, the famous cork-tree, three A narrow little street, lined with houses which feet frota the ground, measured in circumference take you back a hundred years, conducts into eight feet four inches; in 1853, it measures ten the town of Fulham, where now we look in vain feet. The black walnut-tree, juglans nigra, in for the old Golden Lion, which forty years ago 1793 measured eleven feet two; in 1813, eleven Faulkner described as an ancient house of the feet five; in 1853, fifteen feet ton : the white cak, time of Henry VII, with the original wainscotting or quercus alba, in 1793, seven feet eleven; in 1813, and chimneypiece; and the old King's Arms, eight feet one; in 1853, twelve feet three: the where the Londoners used to come and rest after evergreen oak, or quercus ilex, in 1793, eight feet; nutting in the neighbouring woods, on the first of in 1813, nine feet one; in 1853, eleven feet six : September, in commemoration of their fathers the ash-leaved maple and the cluster pine also coming there, during the fire of London, after continue among these survivors of the patriarchs gathering nuts in Fulham fields for their repast, of Fulham gardens; and while we mark their slow at that time of miserable loss and privation. The growth, as connected with their long duration, old houses are gone, and modern structures occupy their amazing strength and their noble appearance, their place. one is reminded of the analogous moral law. In We have not space to tell of the celebrated inthe heart as in the garden, the richest plants are habitants of Fulhain parish, including the great of slowest progress,
Sir Thomas Bodley, the founder of the Oxford A remnant of Fitzjames' time appears in an old Library; and the greater Lord Bacon, who had gateway, surmounted by his arms, leading into the his abode here just after his disgrace; and the kitchen garden. Large white lilies unfold them- Earl of Peterborough, who used here to entertain selves in the moat near the Thames, and have long John Locke and Dean Swift ; and Samuel Richardborne the playful appellation of the Bishop's Wigs. son, who gathered within his house on Parson's They are in this respect now mementoes of the Green the blue-stockings of his time; and poor past.
Theodore Hook, who somewhere here laughed and Fulham church is hard by the palace. We go sung and squandered away his brilliant talents. round by the Bishop's Walk again, and come into Nor can we wander back into the distant olden the churchyard opposite the west tower. It is of time, when the Danes came and encamped in this the fourteenth century, according to Lyon, and neighbourhood, as so many of the old chroniclers has been recently restored in good taste. In other unite to relate. Even the celebrity of Fulham respects the architecture is by no means remark. | during the civil wars can receive from us but a able, and exhibits some unskilful alterations of passing notice. What a bustle there was here about the last century, but its position in the midst when the lord-general caused a bridge to be built, of a retired churchyard, girdled with trees and a upon barges and lighters, over the river Thames, few old-fashioned houses, strikes one as very plea- between Fulham and Putney, to convey his army sant and interesting; and the whole place is a and artillery into Surrey to follow the king's specimen of quiet rural simplicity, such as the forces ; and when colonels, and captains, and adjugrowth of London and its suburbs has left few tants were quartered in the principal houses of the indeed for us to visit and admire. The church has village, according to a list now before us. But all several monuments. There sits the virtuous Lady that bustle has been changed for centuries into quietude and silence, broken only by peaceful occu- | trees, and wild flowers that picture peace, and pations, and the pleasures of citizens and suburban listening to birds and insects which in merry songs residents, and the ancient stately revolutions of coach and soothing murmurs tell of peace. And more and wagon wheel, and the modern brisker rotation than right pleasant, everywhere perfectly beautiof the wheels of carriages, cabs, and omnibuses. ful, in some parts even enchanting, is the ride or
It is now time to get back to the river, and as walk from Windsor up the stately avenue, and over the evening is pleasant, and the shadows of houses the crown of the forest on Snow Hill. What a and trees fall on the smooth surface of the water view you have there !--the boast of Englishmen and like images of the past, we shall muse upon both the wonder of foreigners. Turn round and look at as we go gently up the stream, and think with Windsor Castle in the blue distance, rising above thankful joy upon the blessed change since Bon- the great ocean of verdure which forms the green ner's days. So, good night, gentle reader : we foreground to the picture! One may long look and hope to meet you again higher up the river. linger, and then linger and look again. Those
majestic oaks, elms, and beeches, and the dells yonder shaded by trees of lesser growth, how
temptingly they detain our steps, and almost perTHE CANVASS CITY.
suade us to give up a sight of the Canvass City, for Two years ago the great point of attraction was the sake of enjoying a few hours in this woodland the Glass Palace. Thousands flocked to Hyde Park, region, with its tuneful and winged population. to see the hive of industry, with all its curious But the reader, perhaps, is more curious about wonders. Rich and poor met together on a level, the camp than we. Well then, passing by Virginia and stood side by side, contemplating the beautiful Water, and threading a lane or two, we come upon works of art which were piled up before them in a few white tents of conical shape, tipped with red, such rich profusion. Now the great point of at- forming a sort of outpost to the encampment, and traction is the Canvass City; and people, in smaller indicating that we are now not far from the object but yet growing numbers, are assembling on Chob- of our search. Some little way further on, and the ham Heath to see the portion of the British army white specks are seen peering above the hedges encamped there, presenting a specimen of the pretty plentifully, and then, at last, in goodly curiosities of military life. The noble and the numbers, tents appear dotting the heath for a conlowly are again close together, eying carefully siderable distance all over; though perhaps, after groups of tents, with all their strange accompani- all, judging from our own impressions, not seeming ments; or watching the progress of a sham fight, so numerous as imagination had led one to expect. full of mysterious evolutions. We spent many Arrived in front of the camp, which lies at our leisure hours in visiting the peaceful Exhibition of right hand, we have a pretty large assemblage of 1851, and were well repaid, not only by rational booths and marquees, exhibiting, in letters of recreation, but, we hope, by an improvement of gigantic proportions, signs and names indicative of taste and an increase of knowledge. We do not the "good accommodation for man and horse" intend to devote much time to the warlike Exhibi- therein provided. All this wears very much the tion of 1853, for it can never either gratify or re appearance of a fair, especially in parts where it pay us like its predecessor; but it was to be ex- may be observed provision is made for amusepected that we should go and see what is now ments by no means of a first-rate order. occupying the attention of everybody, and our Turning round and looking at this strange town readers will not, we hope, be displeased at our we have come to visit, built chiefly of woven hemp, devoting some small space in these pages to a our curiosity is attracted by divers little round record of our impressions. War always inspires huts of straw, very like rude coarse beehives. They ns with horror; and the associations in our mind do not look large enough for human beings either between military spectacles and their relation to to stand or sit in; but the women, busying about purposes of real war is so indissoluble, that the them, spreading out clothes to dry, whom at once pleasure of a visit to Chobham is greatly marred. we recognise as soldiers' wives, inform us that We are relieved by the thought, however, that these miserable holes are their habitations, inaswhat we witness there is only a show. While we much as they are excluded from dwelling in the abhor shams in general, we make an exception in Canvass City, though their presence and toils are reference to fighting, and beg to avow a decided indispensable to the personal cleanliness of its inpreference for a pretended over a real battle. Nor, habitants—personal cleanliness being indeed, as we when disturbed by the unpleasant associations re should suppose, the chief comfort which the poor ferred to, do we fail to seek some indemnification for fellows can enjoy in their present circumstances. the loss of our equanimity, by reflections on the Passing the sentinels and entering the lines, we phases of human life before us, and by historical cannot but notice the sentry-boxes built of branches recollections connected with the neighbourhood; of fir interwoven with fern, affording a welcome though here, alas! in trying to escape from thoughts shelter from the rain, which has hitherto been too of war in one shape we get amongst them in another plentiful for a camp life, and having too a touch of -so full of strife is the story of the past, even in picturesque taste abont them. These simple and our own land.
serviceable structures, which give a rural element Beautiful contrasts to all that is warlike sur- to the scene, were, as we are informed, "improround us as we approach the camp in the out. vised in an incredibly short space of time under the spread country, chequered with fields and striped direction of the sappers and miners.” This portion with woods. Right pleasant is it to pass the Surrey of the camp we are now visiting is formed of two farms, homesteads, and plantations on the road grand divisions, the one composed of cavalry, and from Staines or Chertsey, gazing on hedges, the other of infantry. Here, having a large plant.