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- London in 1731 - 2/22 -


3. Aldersgate, the ancient north gate of the city, stands to the westward of Bishopsgate. On the north, or outside of it, is the figure of King James I. on horseback, who entered the city at this gate when he came from Scotland, on his accession to the throne of England. Over the head of this figure are the arms of England, Scotland, and Ireland; and on one side the image of the prophet Jeremy, with this text engraved, "Then shall enter into the gates of this city, kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding on chariots and on horses, they and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem." And on the other side, the figure of the prophet Samuel, with the following passage, "And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that you have said unto me, and have made a king over you." On the south, or inside of the gate, is the effigy of King James I. sitting on his throne in his robes.

4. Newgate, so called from its being built later than the other principal gates, is situated on the north-west corner of the city, said to be erected in the reign of Henry I. or King Stephen, when the way through Ludgate was interrupted by enlarging the cathedral of St. Paul's and the churchyard about it. This gate hath been the county jail for Middlesex at least five hundred years. The west, or outside of the gate is adorned with three ranges of pilasters and their entablements of the Tuscan order. Over the lowest is a circular pediment, and above it the King's arms. The inter columns are four niches, and as many figures in them, well carved, and large as the life. The east, or inside of the gate, is adorned with a range of pilasters with entablements as the other, and in three niches are the figures of justice, mercy, and truth, with this inscription, viz., "This part of Newgate was begun to be repaired in the mayoralty of Sir James Campel, Knight, anno 1630, and finished in the mayoralty of Sir Robert Ducie, Bart., anno 1631; and being damnified by the fire in 1666, it was repaired in the mayoralty of Sir George Waterman, anno 1672."

5. Ludgate, the ancient western gate of the city, stands between Newgate and the Thames, built by King Lud about threescore years before the birth of our Saviour. It was repaired in the reign of King John, anno 1215, and afterwards in the year 1260, when it was adorned with the figures of King Lud and his two sons, Androgeus and Theomantius; but at the Reformation, in the reign of Edward VI., some zealous people struck off all their heads, looking upon images of all kinds to be Popish and idolatrous. In the reign of Queen Mary, new heads were placed on the bodies of these kings, and so remained till the 28th of Queen Elizabeth, anno 1586, when the gate, being very ruinous, was pulled down, and beautifully rebuilt: the east or inside whereof was adorned with four pilasters and entablature of the Doric order, and in the intercolumns were placed the figures of King Lud and his two sons (who are supposed to have succeeded him) in their British habits again; and above them the queen's arms, viz., those of France and England quarterly, the supporters a lion and a dragon. It was afterwards repaired and beautified, anno 1699, Sir Francis Child lord mayor. The west or outside of the gate is adorned with two pilasters and entablature of the Ionic order; also two columns and a pediment adorning a niche, wherein is placed a good statue of Queen Elizabeth in her robes and the regalia; and over it the queen's arms between the city supporters, placed at some distance. This gate was made a prison for debtors who were free of the city, anno 1 Richard II., 1378, Nicholas Brember then mayor, and confirmed such by the mayor and common council, anno 1382, John Northampton mayor.

The Tower of London is situated at the south-east end of the city, on the river Thames, and consists in reality of a great number of towers or forts, built at several times, which still retain their several names, though at present most of them, together with a little town and church, are enclosed within one wall and ditch, and compose but one entire fortress.

It was the vulgar opinion that the Tower was built by Julius Caesar; but, as I have before shown, history informs us that Caesar made no stay in England, that he erected no town or fortress, unless that with which he enclosed his ships on the coast of Kent, nor left a single garrison or soldier in the island on his departure.

This Tower, as now encompassed, stands upon twelve acres of ground, and something more, being of an irregular form, but approaching near to that of an oblong, one of the longest sides lying next the river, from whence it rises gradually towards the north, by a pretty deep ascent, to the armoury, which stands upon the highest ground in the Tower, overlooking the White Tower built by William the Conqueror, and the remains of the castle below it on the Thames side, said to be built by William Rufus.

As to the strength of the place, the works being all antique, would not be able to hold out four-and-twenty hours against an army prepared for a siege: the ditch indeed is of a great depth, and upwards of a hundred feet broad, into which the water of the Thames may be introduced at pleasure; but I question whether the walls on the inside would bear the firing of their own guns: certain it is, two or three battering-pieces would soon lay them even with the ground, though, after all, the ditch alone is sufficient to defend it against a sudden assault. There are several small towers upon the walls; those of the largest dimensions, and which appear the most formidable, are the Divelin Tower, on the north-west; and the Martin Tower on the north-east; and St. Thomas's Tower on the river by Traitor's Bridge; which I take to be part of the castle said to be built by William Rufus. There is also a large tower on the outside the ditch, called the Lions' Tower, on the south-west corner, near which is the principal gate and bridge by which coaches and carriages enter the Tower; and there are two posterns with bridges over the ditch to the wharf on the Thames side, one whereof is called Traitor's Bridge, under which state prisoners used to enter the Tower.

The principal places and buildings within the Tower, are (1) The parochial church of St. Peter (for the Tower is a parish of itself, in which are fifty houses and upwards, inhabited by the governor, deputy-governor, warders, and other officers belonging to the fortress).

(2) To the eastward of the church stands a noble pile of building, usually called the armoury, begun by King James II. and finished by King William III., being three hundred and ninety feet in length, and sixty in breadth: the stately door-case on the south side is adorned with four columns, entablature and triangular pediment, of the Doric order. Under the pediment are the king's arms, with enrichments of trophy-work, very ornamental. It consists of two lofty rooms, reaching the whole length of the building: in the lower room is a complete train of artillery, consisting of brass cannon and mortars fit to attend an army of a hundred-thousand men; but none of the cannon I observe there were above four-and-twenty pounders; the large battering-pieces, which carry balls of thirty- two and forty-eight pounds weight, I perceive, are in the king's store-houses at Deptford, Woolwich, Chatham, and Portsmouth. In the armoury also we find a great many of the little cohorn mortars, so called from the Dutch engineer Cohorn, who invented them for firing a great number of hand-grenades from them at once; with other extraordinary pieces cast at home, or taken from the enemy.

In the room over the artillery is the armoury of small arms, of equal dimensions with that underneath, in which are placed, in admirable order, muskets and other small arms for fourscore thousand men, most of them of the newest make, having the best locks, barrels, and stocks, that can be contrived for service; neither the locks or barrels indeed are wrought, but I look upon them to be the more durable and serviceable, and much easier cleaned. There are abundance of hands always employed in keeping them bright, and they are so artfully laid up, that any one piece may be taken down without moving another. Besides these, which with pilasters of pikes furnish all the middle of the room from top to bottom, leaving only a walk through the middle, and another on each side, the north and south walls of the armoury are each of them adorned with eight pilasters of pikes and pistols of the Corinthian order, whose intercolumns are chequer-work of carbines and pistols; waves of the sea in cutlasses, swords, and bayonets; half moons, semicircles, and a target of bayonets; the form of a battery in swords and pistols; suns, with circles of pistols; a pair of gates in halberts and pistols; the Witch of Endor, as it is called, within three ellipses of pistols; the backbone of a whale in carbines; a fiery serpent, Jupiter and the Hydra, in bayonets, &c. But nothing looks more beautiful and magnificent than the four lofty wreathed columns formed with pistols in the middle of the room, which seem to support it. They show us also some other arms, which are only remarkable for the use they have been put to; as the two swords of state, carried before the Pretender when he invaded Scotland in the year 1715; and the arms taken from the Spaniards who landed in Scotland in the year 1719, &c.

The small arms were placed in this beautiful order by one Mr. Harris, originally a blacksmith, who was properly the forger of his own fortune, having raised himself by his merit: he had a place or pension granted him by the government for this piece of service in particular, which he richly deserved, no nation in Europe being able to show a magazine of small arms so good in their kind, and so ingeniously disposed. In the place where the armoury now stands was formerly a bowling-green, a garden, and some buildings, which were demolished to make room for the grand arsenal I have been describing.

In the horse-armoury the most remarkable things are some of the English kings on horseback in complete armour, among which the chief are Edward III., Henrys V. and VII., King Charles I. and II., and King William, and a suit of silver armour, said to belong to John of Gaunt, seven feet and a half high. Here also they show us the armour of the Lord Kingsale, with the sword he took from the French general, which gained him the privilege of being covered in the king's presence, which his posterity enjoy to this day.

The office of ordnance is in the Tower, with the several apartments of the officers that belong to it, who have the direction of all the arms, ammunition, artillery, magazines, and stores of war in the kingdom.

The White Tower is a lofty, square stone building, with a turret at each angle, standing on the declivity of the hill, a little below the armoury, and disengaged from the other buildings, where some thousand barrels of powder were formerly kept; but great part of the public magazine of powder is now distributed in the several yards and storehouses belonging to the government, as at Woolwich, Chatham, Portsmouth, Plymouth, &c., to prevent accidents, I presume; for should such a prodigious quantity of powder take fire, it must be of fatal consequence to the city, as well as the Tower. The main guard of the Tower, with the lodgings of the officers, are on the east side of this building.

In the chapel of the White Tower, usually called Caesar's Chapel, and in a large room adjoining on the east side thereof, sixty-four feet long, and thirty-one broad, are kept many ancient records, such


London in 1731 - 2/22

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