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pointed for keeping the king's falcons, so early as the reign of Richard II. and the “ accomplished Sir Simon Burley," knight of the garter, bore that office; so that it must have been of great honour.*
The royal stables at Lemesbury, since called Bloomsbury, being destroyed by fire in the year 1537, Henry VIII. caused the hawks to be removed, and this place to be enlarged and fitted up for the royal stables. In the reign of George II, the old part of the building going to decay, the king, in the year 1732, caused the north side to be rebuilt in a magnificent mamer.t
There is something in this part of the Mews very noble, particularly the centre, which is enriched with columns and a pediment, and the continuity of the architecture continued. The smaller pediment and rustic arch under the cupolas, or lanthorns, are properly subordinate, but set so close to the balustrade, that its intent as a gallery is destroyed.
Upon reviewing this edifice, it is impossible not to be offended at the wretched buildings which form the other sides of the square. It is indeed much to be wished that they were made to correspond with the main building ; this, if it were done, and a suitable regular entrance made from Charing Cross, would make the Royal Stables one of the greatest ornaments of this metropolis. Some of the finest horses, both for the coach and saddle are to be seen here. · On the east side of the square is a mean place, with folding doors, for the reception of His Majesty's State Coach, which, for its magnificence and beauty, is worthy of a description. The carriage of the coach is composed of four tritons, who support
• This office was granted by Charles II. to Charles Duke of St. Albans, his son, by Mrs. Gwynne, and the heirs male of his body: it still continues attached to the title.
+ It was from this place, during the civil wars of the houses of York and Lancaster, that the Lincolnshire rebels, under Robert Rydydsdale, took Lord Rivers, and his son, John, carried them away, and beheaded them at Northampton.
the body by cables, fastened to the roots of their fins; the two placed on the front of the carriage bear the driver ou their shonl. ders, and are represented in the act of sounding shells to an. nounce the approach of the monarch of the sea, and those on the back part, carry the imperial fasces, topped with tridents, instead the ancient axes. The driver's foot-board is a large escallop shell, supported by bunches of reeds, and other marine plants. The pole reseinbles a bundle of lances; and the wheels are imitations from the ancient triumphal chariots. The body of the coach is composed of eight palm-trees, which, brauching out at the top, sustain the roof. The four angnlar trees are loaded with trophies, alluding to the victories obtained by Britain over her enemies. On the centre of the roof stand three boys, representing the gevii of England, Scotland, and Ireland, supporting the imperial crowil, and holding in their hands the sceptre, the sword of state, and ensigns of knighthood; their bodies are adorned with festoons of laurel, which fall thence to the four corners of the roof. The intervals between the palm-trees, which form the body of the coach, are filled in the upper part with plate glass, which, on account of the attempt on the king's life in 1795, bave been cased on the inside with iron plates. The pannels below are adorned with beautiful paintings. On the front is represented Britannia seated on a throne, holding in her hand the staff of Liberty, attended by Religion, Justice, Wisdom, Valour, For. titude, aud Victory, presenting her with a garland of laurel : on the back pannel Neptune issuing from his palace, drawn by sea. horses, and attended by the Winds, Rivers, Tritons, Naiads, &c. bringing tribute from every quarter of the world to the British shore. On one of the doors are represented Mars, Minerva, and Mercury, supporting the imperial crown of Britain ; and on the other Industry and Ingenuity, giving a cornucopia to the Genius of England. The other four pannels represent the liberal Arts and Sciences protected; History recording the reports of Fame ; and Peace burning the implements of war. The inside of the coach is lined with crimson velvet; richly embroidered with gold. All
the wood work is triple gilt ; and all the paintings varnished. This grand performance was designed by Sir William Chambers, and executed under his direction. The carving was the work of Wilton ; the painting by Cipriani; the chasing by Coit; the coach work by Butler; the embroidery by Barret; the gilding by Pujolas ; the varnishing by Ansel; and the harness by Ringstead. The whole of the expence was upwards of 10,0001.
The Mews are now undergoing a complete repair. The stone front is to be beautified; and the two weather-cocks are already re-gilt, and surmounted by a royal crown.
In Castle Street, a little behind The Mews, is a library founded by Dr. Tennison, in the year 1685, for the use of his school, over which it is placed, and now consists of upwards of. five thousand volumes.
In 1697, the Doctor, who was then vicar of St. Martin's, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, gave 10001, towards a fund for the maintenance of his school; and afterwards, by the consent of Dr. Patrick, bishop of Ely, and another sum of 5001. which had been left to them jointly, in trust, to be disposed of in eharitable uses : which two sums, together with two leasehold messuages, for the term of forty years, he vested in trustees, for the support of his school and library ; out of the profits of which the librarian and masters have an annual salary for teaching thirty boys, sons of inbabitants of St. Martin's parish.
We will now retrograde eastward, and approach the parish of St. Paul's, Covent GARDEN, pregnant with various objects of importance.
The ground on which this parish is built was formerly fields, thatched houses, and stables. T'he garden belonged to the abbot and monks of Westminster, whence it was called Convent Garden, a name since corrupteil into Covent, and sometimes Common Garden. At the dissolution of religious houses it fell to the Crown, and was given first to Edward Duke of Somerset; but soon after, upon the attainder, reverted to the Crown; and Edward VI. granted it in 1552 to John Earl of Bedford, together
with a field, named the Seven Acres, which being afterwards built into a štreet, is, from its length, called Long Acre.
Here is a large square, called Covent Garden Market. It contains three acres of ground, and is the best inarket in England for herbs, fruit, and flowers. It is surrounded by a wooden rail, and a column was formerly erected in the middle, on the top of which were four sun dials. There is a magnificent piazza on the north side of this square, designed by Inigo Jones, which, if carried round according to the plan of the architect, would have rendered it beyond dispute one of the finest squares in Europe. There was another piazza at the south-east corner; but that being consumed by fire, has not been rebuilt on a similar plan with the other sides.
The parochial church of St. Paul, Covent Garden, was erected , in the year 1640, as a chapel of ease to St. Martin in the Fields,
at the expence of Francis Earl of Bedford, for the convenience of his tenants.
In 1645, the precinct of Covent Garden was separated from St. Martin's, and constituted an independant parish, which was confirmed after the restoration in 1660, by the appellation of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, when the patronage was vested in the Earl of Bedford.
The structure is a prime specimen of the vast abilities of Inigo Jones. The earl is said to have been consulted respecting the structure, by the architects, and observed, “ that a plain looking building, a barn, would do.” Jones conceived that his noble employer wished him to consult simplicity, and he took the hint, so as to make it at once plain and majestic. The frout exhibits a plain, but noble portico of the Tuscan order; the columặs are massy, and the intercolumniations large. The building, though as plain as possible, is happily proportioned; the walls are of brick, covered with plaister : and the corners of stone. The roof is flat; and though of great extent, is supported by the walls alone, without columns. The pavement is stone; the windows of the Tuscan order, like the portico ; the altar-piece is