vol II date / index
St. John and Paul, Martyrs about A.D. 362. St. Maxentius, Abbot, A.D. 515. St. Vigilius, Bp. A.D. 400, or 405. St. Babolen. St. Anthelm, Bp. of Bellay, A.D. 1178. Raingarda, Widow, A.D. 1135.
On the 26th of June, 1541, Francis Pizarro, the conqueror of Peru, was assassinated. He was born at Truxillo, in Spain; his birth was illegitimate, and in his youth he was a keeper of hogs. Becoming a soldier, he went to America, and settled at Punama, where he projected the prosecution of discoveries to the eastward of that settlement. By means of an expedition, which he solicited, and was intrusted to command from the court of Spain, he entered Peru when the empire was divided by a civil war between Huascar the legitimate monarch, and Atahualpa his half brother. Pretending succour to Atahualpa, he was permitted to penetrate twelve days' journey into the country, and received as an ally by Atahualpa, whose confidence he rewarded by suddenly attacking him, and making him prisoner. The exaction of an immense ransom for this king's release; the shameful breach of faith, by which he was held in captivity after his ransom was paid; his brutal murder under the infamous mockery of a trial; the horrible frauds by which he was inveigled to die in the profession of the christian faith, without being able to comprehend its tenets; and the superaddition of other acts of perfidy and cruelty, will render the name of Pizarro infamous so long as it exists.
His assassination was effected by the friends of Almagro, his original associate, with whom he had quarelled, and whom he caused to be executed when he got him into his power.
In olden times, so high a rise
Was, perhaps, a Tor or beacon ground
And lit, or 'larm'd, the country round,
For pleasure, or against surprise.
There is a cobler's stall in London that I go out of my way to look at whenever I pass its vicinity, because it was the seat of an honest old man who patched my shoes and my mind when I was a boy. I involuntarily reverence the spot; and if I find myself in Red Lion-square, I, with a like affection, look between the iron railings of its enclosure, because, at the same age, from my mother's window, I watched the taking down of the obelisk, stone by stone, that stood in the centre, and impatiently awaited the discovery of the body of Oliver Cromwell, which, according to local legend, was certainly buried there in secrecy by night. It is true that Oliver's bones were not found; but then "every body" believed that "the workmen did not dig deep enough." Among these believers was my friend, the cobbler, who, though no metaphysician, was given to ruminate on "causation." He imputed the nonpersistence of the diggers to "private reasons of state," which his awfully mysterious look imported he had fathomed, but dared not reveal. From ignorance of wisdom, I venerated the wisdom of ignorance; and though I now know better, I respect the old man's memory. He allowed me, though a child, to sit on the frame of his little pushed-back window; and I obtained so much of his good-will and confidence, that he lent me a folio of fragments from Caxton's "Polychronicon," and Pynson's "Shepherd's Kalendar," which he kept in the drawer of his seat, with "St. Hugh's bones," the instruments of his "gentle craft." This black-letter lore, with its wood-cuts, created in me a desire to be acquainted with our old authors, and a love for engravings, which I have indulged without satiety. It is impossible that I should be without fond recollections of the spots wherein I received these early impressions.
From still earlier impressions, I have like recollection of the meadows on the Highgate side of Copenhagen-house. I often rambled in them in summer-time, when I was a boy, to frolic in the new-mown hay, or explore the wonders of the hedges, and listen to the songs of the birds. Certain indistinct apprehensions of danger arose in me from the rude noises of the visitors at Copenhagen-house itself, and I scarcely ventured near enough to observe more than that it had drinking-benches outside, and boisterous company within. I first entered the place in the present month of June, 1825, and the few particulars I could collect concerning it, as an old place of public entertainment, may be acceptable to many who recollect its former notoriety. Speculators are building up to it, and if they continue with their present speed, it will in a few years be hidden by their operations.
Copenhagen-house stands alone in the fields north of the metropolis, between Maiden-lane, the old road to Highgate on the west, and the very ancient north road, or bridle-way, called Hagbush-lane, on the east; on this latter side it is nearly in a line with Cornwall-place, Holloway. Its name is said to have been derived from a Danish prince, or a Danish ambassador, having resided in it during a great plague in London; another representation is, that in the beginning of the seventeenth century, it was opened under its present name by a Dane, as a place of resort for his countrymen. "Coopen-Hagen" is the name given to it in the map in Camden's "Britannia," published in 1695.*  It is situated in the parish of Islington, in the manor of St. John of Jerusalem, in the rental of which manor, dated the 25th of February, 1624, its name does not occur;†  it is therefore probable from thence, and from the appearance of the oldest part of the present edifice, that it was not then built.
It is certain that Copenhagen-house has been licensed for the sale of beer, and wine, and spirits, upwards of a century; and for such refreshments, and as a tea-house, with a garden and grounds for skittles and Dutch pins, it has been greatly resorted to by Londoners. No house of the kind commands so extensive and uninterrupted a view of the metropolis and the immense western suburb, with the heights of Hampstead and Highgate, and the rich intervening meadows. Those nearest to London are now rapidly destroying for their brick-earth, and being covered with houses; though from Copenhagen-street, which is built on the green lane from White Conduit-house, there is a way to the footpath leading to Copenhagen-house, from the row of handsome cottages called Barnesbury-park.
The latter buildings are in the manor of Berners, or Bernersbury, otherwise Barnesbury; the name being derived from the Berners' family,*  of whom the most distinguished individual was John Bourchier, the last lord Berners, and "the fifth writer in order of time among the nobility." He was author of "a comedy usually acted in the great church of Calais after vespers," of which town he held the command by appointment of king Henry VIII.;†  he also translated several works, and particularly "Froissart's Cronycles, oute of Frenche into our maternale Englysshe tongue."
West of Barnesbury-park, and close to the footpath from thence to Copenhagen-house, are the supposed remains of a Roman encampment. It is a square of about one hundred and twenty feet, surrounded by a ditch, with a high embankment or breast work to the west. This is presumed to have been a position occupied by Suetonius, the Roman general, when he destroyed eighty thousand of the Britons under Boadicea, in a memorable engagement presumed to have been fought from this place in the fields of Pentonville, and terminating in the plain at Battle-bridge, from whence that place is said to have been so named.
From Battle-bridge up Maiden-lane, and from Barnesbury-park, there are still footways to Copenhagen-house, which, from standing alone on an eminence, is visible from every open spot for many miles round. To the original edifice is attached a building at the west end, with a large parlour below for drinking and smoking, and beyond it is a billiard-room; above is a large tea-room. The engraving represents its present appearance, from a drawing made for that purpose.
About the year 1770, this house was kept by a person named Harrington; at his decease the business was continued by his widow, wherein she was assisted for several years by a young woman who came from Shropshire. This female assistant afterwards married a person named Tomes, and kept the Adam and Eve at Islington; she is now a widow; and from her information the editor of the Every-Day Book gathers, that at the time of the London riots in the year 1780, a body of rioters passed Copenhagen-house on their way to attack the seat of lord Mansfield, at Caen-wood: happily, they did not sack Copenhagen; but Mrs. Harrington and her maid were so alarmed, that they despatched a man to justice Hyde, who sent a party of soldiers to garrison this important place, where they remained till the riots were quelled. From this spot the view of the nightly conflagrations in the metropolis must have been terrific. Mrs. Tomes says, she saw nine large fires at one time. On new-year's day previous to this, the house was broken into after the family had retired to rest. The burglars forced the kitchen window, and mistaking the salt-box in the chimney corner for a man's head, fired a ball through it. They then ran up stairs with a dark-lantern, tied the man and woman servant, burst the lower pannel of Mrs. Harrington's room-door, while she secreted fifty pounds between her bed and the mattress, and three of them rushed to her bedside, armed with a cutlass, crowbar, and pistol, while a fourth remained on the watch outside. They demanded her money; and as she denied that she had any, they wrenched her drawers open with the crowbar, refusing to use the keys she offered to them. In these they found about ten pounds belonging to her daughter, a little child, whom they threatened to murder unless she ceased crying, while they packed up all the plate, linen, and clothes, which they carried off. They then went to the cellar, set all the ale-barrels running, broke the necks off the wine-bottles, spilt the other liquors, and slashed a round of beef with their cutlasses. From this wanton spoil they reserved sufficient to carouse with in the kitchen, where they ate, drank, and sung, till they resolved to "pinch the old woman, and make her find more money." On this they all ran up stairs again, where she still lay in bed, and by their threats and violence soon obtained from her a disclosure of the hidden fifty pounds. This rather appeared to enrage than pacify them, and they seriously proposed cutting her throat for the deception: but that crime was not perpetrated, and they departed with their plunder. Rewards were offered, by government and the parish of Islington, for the apprehension of the felons: in May following, one of them, named Clarkson, was discovered, and hopes of mercy tendered to him if he would discover his accomplices. This man was a watch-maker in Clerkenwell, the other three were tradesmen; his information led to their discovery; they were tried and executed, and Clarkson was pardoned; though, some time after wards, he, also, suffered death, for obtaining a box of plate from the White-horse, in Fetter-lane, upon pretence that it had been sent thither by mistake.
The robbery at Copenhagen-house, was so far fortunate to Mrs. Harrington, that she obtained a subscription considerably more in amount than the value of the money and property she had lost. Mr. Leader, the coachmaker, in Long-acre, who was her landlord, remitted to her a year's rent of the premises, which at that time was 30l. The notoriety of the robbery increased the visitors to the house, and Mr. Leader built the additional rooms to the old house, instead of a wooden room, to accommodate the new influx of custom; and soon afterwards the house was celebrated for fives-playing. This last addition was almost accidental. "I made the first fives-ball," says Mrs. Tomes, "that was ever thrown up against Copenhagen-house. One Hickman, a butcher at Highgate, a countryman of mine, 'used' the house, and seeing me [']country,' we talked about our country sports, and amongst the rest fives; I told him we'd have a game some day: I laid down the stone in the ground myself, and, against he came again, made a ball. I struck the ball the first blow and he gave it the second, and so we played; and as there was company they liked the sport, and it got talked of. This was the beginning of the fives-play, which has since become so famous at Copenhagen-house."
A word or two on ball-play.
Fives was our old hand-tennis, and is a very ancient game.
In the fourteenth century there was a game at ball, where a line, called the cord, was traced upon the wall, below which the stroke was faulty. Some of the players were on foot; others had the two hands tied together, or played in a hollow cask.* 
Hand-ball was before the days of Homer. He introduces the princess Corcyra, daughter of Alcinous, king of Phœacia, amusing herself, with her maidens, at hand-ball:—
"O'er the green mead the sporting virgins play;
Their shining veils unbound, along the skies,
Tost and re-tost, the ball incessant flies."* 
It is related of St. Cuthbert, who lived in the seventh century, that "whan he was viii yere old, as he played at the ball with other chyldren, sodeynly there stode amonge them a fayre yonge chylde," who admonished Cuthbert against "vayne playes," and seeing Cuthbert take no heed, he fell down, wept sore and wrung his hands; "and than Cuthbert and the other chyldren lefte their playe and comforted hym; and than sodeynly he vanyshed away; and than he knewe veryly that it was an angel; and, fro than forth on, he lefte all such vayne playes, and never used them more."†
Ball-play was formerly played at Easter in churches, and statutes passed to regulate the size of the ball. The ceremony was as follows: the ball being received, the dean, or his representative, began an antiphone, or chant, suited to Easter-day; then taking the ball in his left hand, he commenced a dance to the tune, others of the clergy dancing round, hand in hand. At intervals the ball was handed or tossed by the dean to each of the choristers, the organ playing according to the dance and sport: at the conclusion of the anthem and dance, they went and took refreshment. It was the privilege of the lord, or his locum tenens, to throw the ball, and even the archbishop did it.‡
The French palm-play consisted in receiving the ball and driving it back again with the palm of the hand. Anciently they played with the naked hand, then with a glove, which, in some instances, was lined; afterwards they bound cords and tendons round their hands, to make the ball rebound more forcibly; and hence, says St. Foix, the racket derived its origin.
In the reign of Charles V., palm-play, which, Strutt says, may properly enough be denominated hand-tennis, or fives, was exceedingly fashionable in France, being played by the nobility for large sums of money; and when they had lost all that they had about them, they would sometimes pledge a part of their wearing apparel rather than give up the game. The duke of Bourbon having lost sixty francs at palm-play with M. William de Lyon, and M. Guy de la Trimouille, and not having money enough to pay them, gave his girdle as a pledge for the remainder.
A damsel, named Margot, who resided at Paris in 1424, played at hand-tennis with the palm, and also with the back of her hand, better than any man; and what is most surprising, says St. Foix, at that time the game was played with the naked hand, or at least with a double glove.
Hand-tennis still continues to be played, though under a different name, and probably a different modification of the game: it is now called fives, which denomination, perhaps, it might receive from having five competitors in it, as the succeeding passage shews: When queen Elizabeth was entertained at Elvetham, in Hampshire, by the earl of Hertford, "after dinner about three o'clock, ten of his lordship's servants, all Somersetshire men, in a square greene court before her majesties windowe, did hang up lines, squaring out the forme of a tennis court, and making a cross line in the middle; in this square they, being stripped out of their dublets, played five to five with hand-ball at bord and cord as they tearme it, to the great liking of her highness."* 
Fives-playing at Copenhagen-house, is recorded in a memoir of Cavanagh, the famous fives-player, by Mr. Hazlitt. It first appeared in the Examiner of February 17, 1819, and is subjoined, with the omission of a passage or two, not essentially connected with the subject.
DEATH OF JOHN CAVANAGH.
— "And is old Double dead? See, See, he drew a good bow; and dead! he shot a fine shoot. John of Gaunt loved him well, and betted much money on his head. Dead! he would have clapt in the clout at twelve score, and carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a half, that it would have done a man's heart good to see."
Died at his house in Burbage-street, St. Giles's, John Cavanagh, the famous hand fives-player. When a person dies, who does any one thing better than any one else in the world, which so many others are trying to do well, it leaves a gap in society. It is not likely that any one will now see the game of fives played in its perfection for many years to come—for Cavanagh is dead, and has not left his peer behind him.
It may be said that there are things of more importance than striking a ball against a wall—there are things indeed that make more noise and do as little good, such as making war and peace, making speeches and answering them, making verses and blotting them, making money and throwing it away. But the game of fives is what no one despises who has ever played at it. It is the finest exercise for the body, and the best relaxastion for the mind.
The Roman poet said that "Care mounted behind the horseman, and stuck to his skirts." But this remark would not have applied to the fives-player. He who takes to playing at fives is twice young. He feels neither the past nor future "in the instant." Debts, taxes, "domestic treason, foreign levy, nothing can touch him further." He has no other wish, no other thought, from the moment the game begins, but that of striking the ball, of placing it, of making it! This Cavanagh was sure to do. Whenever he touched the ball, there was an end of the chase. His eye was certain, his hand fatal, his presence of mind complete. He could do what he pleased, and he always know exactly what to do. He saw the whole game, and played it; took instant advantage of his adversary's weakness, and recovered balls, as if by a miracle and from sudden thought, that every one gave for lost. He had equal power and skill, quickness and judgment. He could either outwit his antagonist by finesse, or beat him by main strength. Sometimes, when he seemed preparing to send the ball with the full swing of his arm, he would, by a slight turn of his wrist, drop it within an inch of the line. In general, the ball came from his hand, as if from a racket, in a strait horizontal line; so that it was in vain to attempt to overtake or stop it. As it was said of a great orator, that he never was at a loss for a word, and for the properest word, so Cavanagh always could tell the degree of force necessary to be given to a ball, and the precise direction in which it should be sent. He did his work with the greatest ease; never took more pains than was necessary, and while others were fagging themselves to death, was as cool and collected as if he had just entered the court.
His style of play was as remarkable as his power of execution. He had no affectation, no trifling. He did not throw away the game to show off an attitude, or try an experiment. He was a fine, sensible, manly player, who did what he could, but that was more than any one else could even affect to do. He was the best up-hill player in the world; even when his adversary was fourteen, he would play on the same or better, and as he never flung away the game through carelessness and conceit, he never gave it up through laziness or want of heart. The only peculiarity of his play was that he never volleyed, but let the balls hop; but if they rose and inch from the ground, he never missed having them. There was not only no body equal, but nobody second to him. It is supposed that he could give any other player half the game, or beat them with his left hand. His service was tremendous. He once played Woodward and Meredith together (two of the best players in England) in the Fives-court, St. Martin's-street, and made seven and twenty aces following by services alone—a thing unheard of. He another time played Peru, who was considered a first-rate fives-player, a match of the best out of five games, and in the three first games, which of course decided the match, Peru got only one ace.
Cavanagh was an Irishman by birth, and a house-painter by profession. He had once laid aside his working-dress, and walked up, in his smartest clothes, to the Rosemary Branch to have an afternoon's pleasure. A person accosted him, and asked if he would have a game. So they agreed to play for half-a-crown a game, and a bottle of cider. The first game began—it was seven, eight, ten, thirteen, fourteen, all. Cavanagh won it. The next was the same. They played on and each game was hardly contested. "There," said the unconscious fives-player, "there was a stroke that Cavanagh could not take: I never played better in my life, and yet I can't win a- game. I don't know how it is." However, they played on, Cavanagh winning every game, and the bye-standers drinking the cider and laughing all the time. In the twelfth game, when Cavanagh was only four, and the stranger thirteen, a person came in, and said "What are you here, Cavanagh!" the words were no sooner pronounced than the astonished player let the ball drop from his hand, and saying, "What! have I been breaking my heart all this time to beat Cavanagh?" refused to make another effort. "And yet, I give you my word," said Cavanagh, telling the story with some triumph, "I played all the while with my clenched fist."
He used frequently to play matches at Copenhagen-house for wagers and dinners. The wall against which they play is the same that supports the kitchen-chimney, and when the wall resounded louder than usual, the cooks exclamed, "Those are the Irishman's balls," and the joints trembled on the spit!
Goldsmith consoled himself that there were places where he too was admired: and Cavanagh was the admiration of all the fives-courts where he ever played. Mr. Powell, when he played matches in the court in St. Martin's-street, used to fill his gallery at half-a-crown a head, with amateurs and admirers of talent in whatever department it is shown. He could not have shown himself in any ground in England, but he would have been immediately surrounded with inquisitive gazers, trying to find out in what part of his frame his unrivalled skill lay.
He was a young fellow of sense, humour, and courage. He once had a quarrel with a waterman at Hungerford-stairs, and they say, "served him out" in great style. In a word, there are hundreds at this day, who cannot mention his name without admiration, as the best fives-player that perhaps ever lived (the greatest excellence of which they have any notion)— and the noisy shout of the ring happily stood him instead of the unheard voice of posterity.
The only person who seems to have excelled as much in another way as Cavanagh did in his, was the late John Davies the racket-player. It was remarked of him that he did not seem to follow the ball, but the ball seemed to follow him. Give him a foot of wall, and he was sure to make the ball. The four best racket-players of that day were Jack Spines, Jem Harding, Armitage, and Church. Davies could give any one of these two hands at time, that is, half the game, and each of these at their best, could give the best player now in London the same odds. Such are the gradations in all exertions of human skill and art. He once played four capital players together, and beat them. He was also a first-rate tennis-player, and an excellent fives-player. In the Fleet or King's Bench, he would have stood against Powell, who was reckoned the best open-ground player of his time. This last-mentioned player is at present the keeper of the Fives-court, and we might recommend to him for a motto over his door,—"who enters here, forgets himself, his country, and his friends." And the best of it is, that by the calculation of the odds, none of the three are worth remembering!
Cavanagh died from the bursting of a blood-vessel, which prevented him from playing for the last two or three years. This, he was often heard to say, he thought hard upon him. He was fast recovering, however, when he was suddenly carried off to the regret of all who knew him.
Jack Cavanagh was a zealous Catholic, and could not be persuaded to eat meat on a Friday, the day on which he died. We have paid this willing tribute to his memory.
"Let no rude hand deface it,
And his forlorn 'Hic Jacet.'"
Fives-play from the year 1780 was a chief diversion at Copenhagen-house, particularly while Mrs. Harrington remained the landlady. She was careless of all customers, except they came in shoals to drink tea in the gardens and long room up stairs, or to play at fives, skittles, and Dutch pins, and swill and smoke. The house was afterwards kept by a person named Orchard, during whose time the London Corresponding Society, in 1795, held meetings in the adjacent fields.*  In 1812, it was proposed by a company of projectors to bring sea-water through iron pipes "from the coast of Essex to Copenhagen fields," and construct baths, which, according to the proposals, would yield twelve and a half per cent. on a capital of 200,000l.; but the subscription was not filled up, though the names of several eminent physicians sanctioned the undertaking, and the project failed.† 
After Orchard's tenancy, Copenhagen-house was kept by one Tooth, who encouraged brutal sports of the sake of the liquors he sold. On a Sunday morning the fives-ground was filled by bull-dogs and ruffians, who lounged and drank to intoxication; so many as fifty or sixty bull-dogs have been seen tied up to the benches at once, while their masters boozed and made match after match, and went out and fought their dogs before the house, amid the uproar of idlers attracted to the "bad eminence" by its infamy. This scene lasted throughout every Sunday forenoon, and then the mob dispersed, and the vicinity was annoyed by the yells of the dogs and their drunken masters on their return home. There was also a common field, east of the house, wherein bulls were baited; this was called the bull-field. These excesses, although committed at a distance from other habitations, occasioned so much disturbance, that the magistrates, after repeated warning to Tooth, refused him a license in 1816, and granted it to Mr. Bath, the present landlord, who abated the nuisance by refusing to draw beer or afford refreshment to any one who had a bull-dog at his heels. The bull-field has since been possessed and occupied by a great cow-keeping landlord in the neighbourhood, though by what title he holds it is not known, certainly not by admission to it as waste of the manor. This field is close to the mud cottage hereafter mentioned in Hagbush-lane, and ancient way to Highgate-hill.
Near the spot at which Hagbush-lane comes out into the Holloway-road to Highgate, the great lord Bacon met with the cause of his death, in a way not generally known. He was taking an airing in his coach, on a winter-day, with Dr. Witherborne, a Scotchman, physician to James I., and the snow laying on the ground. It occurred to lord Bacon that flesh might be preserved in snow as well as in salt; resolving to try the experiment, they alighted from the carriage, and going into a poor woman's cottage at the foot of Highgate-hill, they bought a hen; his lordship helped to stuff the body with snow, which so chilled him that he fell ill, and could not return to his lodgings; he therefore went to the earl of Arundel's house at Highgate, where a bed was warmed for him with a pan of coals; but the bed not having been lain in for about a year before was damp, and so increased his disorder that in two or three days he died.
It is not to defame so great a man, the greatest of modern times, but merely to illustrate his well-known attachment to particular favourites, that a paper is here for the first time printed. It is a bill of fees to counsel, upon an order made in the court of chancery by lord Bacon, as keeper of the great seal, during the first year he held it. From this it appears that counsel had been retained to argue a demurrer, on the first day of Michaelmas term, 1617; and that the hearing stood over till the following Tuesday, before which day "one of my lord-keeper's favourites" was retained as other counsel, and, "being one of my lord-keeper's favourites," had a double fee for his services. The mention of so extraordinary a fact in a common bill of costs may perhaps justify its rather out-of-the-way introduction in this place[.] The paper from whence it is here printed, the editor of the Every-Day Book has selected from among other old unpublished manuscripts in his possession, connected with the affairs of sir Philip Hoby, who was ambassador to the emperor of Germany from Henry VIII., and held other offices during that reign.
Termino Micalis, 1617.
To Mr. Bagger of the Iner-Temple, Councellor, the firste day of the Tearme, for attending at the Chancery barr, to mayntain or. demurrer against Sr. Tho. Hoby, by my Lo: Keeper's order, that daye to attend the Corte, wch. herd noe motions that daye, but deferd it of until Tusday following
- - - - - - - - - xxxii. s.
Uppon Tusdaye following wee had yonge Mr. Tho: Finch, and Mr. Bagger, of our Councell, to attend there to mayntaine the same demurrer, and the cause be cancelled; Upon (which) my Lo: Keeper ordered, that he refferred the cause to be heard before Sr. Charles Cesér King, one of the docters of the Chancery, to make a reporte unto his Lo: of the Cause, that his Lo: might better consider, whether the demurrer should stand good, or noe:—Mr. Tho: Finch his fee, being one of my Lo: favourites, had
- - - - - - - - - - 44s
Mr. Bager his Fee
- - - - - - - - - - 22s.
At Copenhagen-house, the eye and the stomach may be satisfied together. A walk to it through the fresh air creates an appetite, and the sight must be allowed some time to take in the surrounding prospect. A seat for an hour or two at the upstairs tea-room windows on a fine day is a luxury. As the clouds intercept the sun's rays, and as the winds disperse or congregate the London atmosphere, the appearance of the objects it hovers over continually varies. Masses of building in that direction daily stretch out further and further across the fields, so that the metropolis may be imagined a moving billow coming up the heights to drown the country. Behind the house the
"Hedge-row elms, o'er hillocks green,"
is exquisitely beautiful, and the fine amphitheatre of wood, from Primrose-hill to Highgate-archway and Hornsey, seems built up to meet the skies. A stroll towards either of these places from Copenhagen-house, is pleasant beyond imagination. Many residents in London to whom walking would be eminently serviceable, cannot "take a walk" without a motive; to such is recommended the "delightful task" of endeavouring to trace Hagbush-lane.
Crossing the meadow west of Copenhagen-house, to the north-east corner, there is a mud built cottage in the widest part of Hagbush-lane, as it runs due north from the angle formed by its eastern direction. It stands on the site of one still more rude, at which until destroyed, labouring men and humble wayfarers, attracted by the sequestered and rural beauties of the lane, stopped to recreate[.] It was just such a scene as Morlan would have coveted to sketch, and there fore Mr. Fussell with "an eye for the picturesque," and with a taste akin to Morland's, made a drawing of it while it was standing, and placed it on the wood whereon it is engraven, to adorn the next page.
Cottage formerly in Hagbush-lane.
"Why this cottage, sir, not three miles from London, is as secluded as if it were in the weald of Kent."
This cottage stands no longer: its history is in the "simple annals of the poor." About seven years ago, an aged and almost decayed labouring man, a native of Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, with his wife and child, lay out every night upon the road side of Hagbush-lane, under what bough and branch they could creep for shelter, till "winter's cold" came on, and then he erected this "mud edifice." He had worked for some great land-holders and owners in Islington, and still jobbed about. Like them, he was, to this extent of building, a speculator; and to eke out his insufficient means, he profited, in his humble abode, by the sale of small beer to stragglers and rustic wayfarers. His cottage stood between the lands of two rich men; not upon the land of either, but partly on the disused road, and partly on the waste of the manor. Deeming him by no means a respectable neighbour for their cattle, they "warned him off;" he, not choosing to be houseless, nor conceiving that their domains could be injured by his little enclosure between the banks of the road, refused to accept this notice, and he remained. For this offence, one of them caused his labourers to level the miserable dwelling to the earth, and the "houseless child of want," was compelled by this wanton act to apply for his family and himself to be taken into the workhouse. His application was refused, but he received advice to build again, with information that his disturber was not justified in disturbing him. In vain he pleaded incompetent power to resist; the workhouse was shut against him, and he began to build another hut. He had proceeded so far as to keep off the weather in one direction, when wealth again made war upon poverty, and while away from his wife and child, his scarcely half raised hut was pulled down during a heavy rain, and his wife and child left in the lane shelterless. A second application for a home in the workhouse was rejected, with still stronger assurances that he had been illegally disturbed, and with renewed advice to build again. The old man has built for the third time; and on the site of the cottage represented in the engraving, erected another, wherein he dwells, and sells his small beer to people who choose to sit and drink it on the turf seat against the wall of his cottage; it is chiefly in request, however, among the brickmakers in the neighbourhood, and the labourers on the new road, cutting across Hagbush-lane from Holloway to the Kentish-town road, which will u[l]timately connect the Regent's-park and the western suburb, with the eastern extremity of this immensely growing metropolis. Though immediately contiguous to Mr. Bath, the landlord of "Copenhagen-house," he has no way assisted in obstructing this poor creature's endeavour to get a morsel of bread. For the present he remains unmolested in his almost sequestered nook, and the place and himself are worth seeing, for they are perhaps the nearest specimens to London, of the old country labourer and his dwelling.
From the many intelligent persons a stroller may meet among the thirty thousand inhabitants of Islington, on his way along Hagbush-lane, he will perhaps not find one to answer a question that will occur to him during his walk. "Why is this place called Hagbush-lane?" Before giving satisfaction here to the inquirer, he is informed that, if a Londoner, Hagbush-lane is, or ought to be, to him, the most interesting way that he can find to walk in; and presuming him to be influenced by the feelings an dmotives that actuate his fellow-citizens to the improvement and adornment of their city, by the making of a new north road, he is informed that Hagbush-lane, though now wholly disused, and in many parts destroyed, was the old, or rather the oldest north road, or ancient bridle-way to and fro London, and the northern parts of the kingdom.
Now for its name—Hagbush-lane. Hag is the old Saxon word hæg, which became corrupted into hawgh, and afterwards into haw, and is the name for the berry of the hawthorn; also the Saxon word haga signified a hedge or any enclosure. Hag afterwards signified a bramble, and hence, for instance, the blackberry-bush, or any other bramble, would be properly denominated a hag. Hagbush-lane, therefore, may be taken to signify either Hawthornbush-lane, Bramble-lane, or Hedgebush-lane; more probably the latter. Within recent recollection, Whitcomb-street, near Charing-cross, was called Hedge-lane.
Supposing the reader to proceed from the old man's mud-cottage in a northerly direction, he will find that the widest part of Hagbush-lane reaches, from that spot, to the road now cutting from Holloway. Crossing immediately over the road, he comes again into the lane, which he will there find so narrow as only to admit convenient passage to a man or horseback. This was the general width of the road throughout, and the usual width of all the English roads made in ancient times. They did not travel in carriages, or carry their goods in carts, as we do, but rode on horseback, and conveyed their wares or merchandise in pack-saddles or packages on horses' backs. They likewise conveyed their money in the same way. In an objection raised in the reign of Elizabeth to a clause in the Hue and Cry bill, then passing through parliament, it was urged, regarding some travellers who had been robbed in open day within the hundred of Beyntesh, in the county of Berks, that "they were clothiers, and yet travailed not withe the great trope of clothiers; they also carried their money openlye in wallets upon their saddles."*  The customary width of their roads was either four feet or eight feet. Some parts of Hagbush-lane are much lower than the meadows on each side; and this defect is common to parts of every ancient way, as might be exemplified were it necessary, with reasons founded on their ignorance of every essential connected with the formation, and perhaps the use, of a road.
It is not intended to point out the tortuous directions of Hagbush-lane; for the chief object of this notice is to excite the reader to one of the pleasantest walks he can imagine, and to tax his ingenuity to the discovery of the route the road takes. This, the ancient north road, comes into the present north road, in Upper Holloway, at the foot of Highgate-hill, and went in that direction to Hornsey. From the mud-cottage towards London, it proceeded between Paradise-house, the residence of Mr. Greig, the engraver, and the Adam and Eve public-house, in the Holloway back-road, and by circuitous windings approached London, at the distance of a few feet on the eastern side of the City Arms public-house, in the City-road, and continued towards Old-street, St. Luke's. It no where communicated with the back-road, leading from Battle-bridge to the top of Highgate-hill, called Maiden-lane.
Hagbush-lane is well known to every botanizing perambulator on the west side of London. The wild onion, clowns-wound-wort, wake-robin, and abundance of other simples, lovely in their form, and of high medicinal repute in our old herbals and receipt-books, take root, and seed and flower here in great variety. How long beneath the tall elms and pollard oaks, and the luxuriant beauties on the banks, the infirm may be suffered to seek health, and the healthy to recreate, who shall say? Spoilers are abroad.
Through Hagbush-lane every man has a right to ride and walk; in Hagbush-lane no one man has even a shadow of right to an inch as private property. It is a public road, and public property. The trees, as well as the road, are public property; and the very form of the road is public property. Yet bargains and sales have been made, and are said to be now making, under which the trees are cut down and sold, and the public road thrown, bit by bit, into private fields as pasture. Under no conveyance or admission to land by any proprietor, whether freeholder or lord of a manor, can any person legally dispossess the public of a single foot of Hagbush-lane, or obstruct the passage of any individual through it. All the people of London, and indeed all the people of England, have a right in this road as a common highway. Hitherto, among the inhabitants of Islington, many of whom are opulent, and all of whom are the local guardians of the public rights in this road, not one has been found with sufficient public virtue, or rather with enough of common manly spirit, to compel the restoration of public plunder, and in his own defence, and on the behalf of the public, arrest the highway robber.
Building, or what may more properly be termed the tumbling up of tumble-down houses, to the north of London, is so rapidly increasing, that in a year or two there will scarcely be a green spot for the resort of the inhabitants. Against covering of private ground in this way, there is no resistance; but against its evil consequences to health, some remedy should be provided by the setting apart of open spaces for the exercise of walking in the fresh air. The preservation of Hagbush-lane therefore is, in this point of view, and object of public importance. Where it has not been thrown into private fields, from whence, however, it is recoverable, it is one of the loveliest of our green lanes; and though persons from the country smile at Londoners when they talk of being "rural" at the distance of a few miles from town, a countryman would find it difficult to name any lane in his own county, more sequestered or of greater beauty.
WRITTEN IN HAGBUSH-LANE.
A scene like this,
Would woo the care-worn wise
And courting lovers court to tell their bliss.
Had I a cottage here
I'd be content; for where
I have my books
I have old friends,
Whose cheering looks
Make me amends
For coldnesses in men: and so,
With them departed long ago,
And with wild-flowers and trees
And with the living breeze,
And with the "still small voice"
Within, I would rejoice,
And converse hold, while breath
Held me, and then—come Death!
Blue Sowthistle. Sonchus Cœruleus.
Dedicated to B. Raingarda.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. Mr. Nelson's History of Islington. [return]
2. To Mr. Simes, bailiff of the manor, I am indebted for a sight of this rental. [return]
3. Mr. Nelson's History of Islington. [return]
4. Mr. Utterson's Preface to his edition of Lord Berners' Froissart, 2 vos. 4to. [return]
5. Mr. Fosbroke's Dict. of Antiquities. [return]
6. Pope's Homer. [return]
7. Golden Legend. [return]
8. Mr. Fosbroke's Dict. of Antiquities. [return]
9. Strutt's sports, from Mr. Nichol's Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, &c. [return]
10. Mr. Nelson's History of Islington. [return]
11. Ibid. [return]
12. Hoby MSS. [return]