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a gently swelling ground under foot all the way. Over each pier is a recess or balcony, supported below by two Ionic pillars, and two pilasters ; which stand upon a semicircular projection of the pier, above high-water mark: these pillars give an agreeable lightness to the appearance of the bridge on either side. At each extremity the bridge spreads open, the footways rounding off to the right and left a quadrant of a circle ; by which an open access is formed to the bridge, no less agreeable than useful on the approach. There are two fights of stone steps at each end, defended by iron rails, for the conveniency of taking water. These stairs, however, by conforming to the curvatures at the ends of the bridge, are more elegant than convenient: a night of fifty narrow stone steps must be very irksome to porters going up and down with loads; and no less dangerous in frosty weather, when if a person slips down near the top, there is nothing to check the fall till the reaching of the water at the flood, or the bottom, at the ebb of the tide. This inconvenience has in some degree been remedied at the north-east end; a place for landing goods has been formed at the half-way, which is of very essential service to the water craft.
Beside the intrinsic merit of Blackfriars Bridge, it has been observed that from its situation it enjoys the concurrent advantage of affording the best, if not the only true point of view for the magnificent cathedral of St. Paul ; with the various churches in the amphitheatre, extending from Westminster to the Tower *.
Rooker has engraved a very capital representation of the wooden frames on which the arches of this bridge were turned, which were very judiciously contrived by the architect, for strength and lightness, and allowing a free passage for boats under them whilst they were standing. A curious model of one of the arches of the bridge, in ma. hogany, shewing the construction of the wood work under it, the foundations of the pier below, with the road and foot
• Critical Observations on the Buildings and Improvements of London, 410, 1771. p. 33.
passages over it, and two patterns for the rails on each side, is preserved in the British Museum.
The history of the foundation of Blackfriars Bridge, bas already engaged several pages in our First Volume.
Returning to Chatham Square, and New Bridge Street, we arrive at FLEET MARKET, which extends from the east end of Fleet Street to the west end or bottom of Snow Hill. This market consists of two rows of shops, with a handsome walk paved with rag stones between, almost the whole length; into which there is light conveyed by win: dows from the roof. In the centre is a neat turret, with a clock. At the south end the fruiterers have stands on each side, under a kind of piazzas, under which are convenient cells to deposit their stock. At the north end is a large area for kitchen garden stuff, &c.
On the east side of this market is situated The FLEET PRISON, so called from its situation. This was a prison in the reign of Richard I. and is a general place of safety for debtors, and such as are in contempt of the courts of Chancery, Common Pleas, and Exchequer. Any prisoner for debt may be removed by llabeas Corpus from any prison in England to the Fleet; and enjoy the rules, or liberty to walk abroad, and to keep a house within the liberties of the prison, provided he can give security io the warden for his forthcoming. The rules or liberties comprehend all Ludgate Hill, from the Ditch to the Old Bailey, on the north side of the bill, and to Cock Alley on the south side of the hill: both sides of the Old Bailey, from Ludgate Hill eastward to Flcet Lane, all Fleet Lane, and the east side of the ditch or market, from Fleet Lane to Ludgate Hill.
The body of this prison is an handsome, lofty, brick building, of a considerable length, with galleries in every story, which reach from one end of the house to the other: on the sides of which galleries are rooins for the prisoners. All manner of provisions are brought into this prison every day, and cried as in the public streets. Here also is kept a coffee-house, and an ordinary: with a large open area for exercise, enclosed with a bigh wall.
It is properly the prison belonging to the court of Common Pleas. The keeper is called Warden of the Fleet, a place of very great benefit as well as trust; oeing allowed considerable fees from the prisoners for turning the key, for chamber rent, &c.
The regulations adopted for the government and ordering of this prison are necessary to be known:
“ HILARY, 3d George II. 1729. 1. 2. 3. Warden or deputy to appoint turnkeys, &c. with arms: to stop persons bringing arms, and watch if an escape be in agitation.
**"* 4. Warden to distribute charity-money. He, or his agent, to keep one key of the box; and the prisoners another.
" '5. 6. 12. If a master-side debtor shall neglect for three months to pay his chamber-rent; the warden may not lock him up, but remove him to the common-side ; delivering to him his goods by a witnessed inventory. After discharge, if legal dues be still unpaid, he may be detained in the common ward ; the door of which iş never to be shut but at night (summer at ten, winter at nine): and then a watchman must attend to open it for those who have any urgency of body, or danger of life, &c.
“ 7. Such as attempt to escape, or greatly misbehave, may be shut up
in a close room or dungeon. N. B. It was reported to the four judges, who made enquiry concerning it, to be “ boarded, wholesome, and dry." HOWARD.
“ 8. 18. Warden to repair the whole house, chapel, drain, &c. and keep all clean. To take care that Divine service be duly performed, and the sacrament administered. Prisoners to attend.
“ 9. Against clandestine Fleet-marriages.
“ 10. Those who blaspheme, curse, swear, or are disorderly, to be set in the stocks.
“ 11. 13. Warden or deputy to dispose of the chambers, and tap: : and see that good order be observed in the public rooms, &c.
• 14. Warden to take effectual care no prisoner be carried to a spunging-house; and that no garnish be demanded from a new comer.
“ 15. Warden to cause a table of gifts and bequests, written in a fair and legible hand, to be hung up in the hall. And to see that no prisoner be defrauded of his share. None of the servants to partake or distribute.
“ 16. Every prisoner who swears in court or before a commissioner that they are not worth five pounds, and cannot subsist 4
without charity, have the donations which are sent to the prison, the begging-box, and the grate.
“ 17. Two rooms to be an infirmary for common-side debtors. No prisoner obliged to so sleep with one that is diseased.
“ 19. Coroner's inquest upon the dead : and corpse to be delilivered to the friends, free of cost.
“ 20. Warden not to remove a prisoner to the King's Bench by Habeas Corpus.
“ 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26. Warden to keep books, and register commitments, courts from whence, declarations, discharges, writs of Habeas Corpus. Tipstaff and judge's clerk to keep each a separate book of prisoners delivered up at a judge's chamber.
• 27. All those books, except the tipstaff's, to be kept in the public office of the clerk of the papers; accessible to all persons for copying, &c.
“ 23. No clerk, officer, or servant of any judge to take a fee on occasion of a petition or complaint, founded upon the foregoing orders, or any misgovernment.
“ 29. That the warden and his officers do treat the several prisoners in his custody with all tenderness and humanity: and that such prisoners do behave themselves toward the warden with that submission and regard which the law requires.”
Here is a neat chapel, where prayers and sermon are said every Sunday. The chaplain has the fee of One Guinea *.
The premises are very airy, and there is a plentiful supply of excellent water.
There are also two rooms appropriated, as before said, for an INFIRMARY, but without any established medical asristance. Upon à petition to Mr. Grey (now lord Howick,) from the prisoners of the King's Bench, in 1790, respecting this highly necessary appendage to prisons, that gentleman, in the House of Commons, moved for relief, wbich the le
* It appears by Paterson's Ecclesiastical State of London, that the duty of the Fleet chapel should be “ Morning prayers on all ordinary days at eleven; on Sundays and holidays at ten, and in the evening at three; besides a Sermon every Sunday in the forenoon. And besides the first Sunday in the month, the Holy Sacrament was usually administered at Christmat, Easter day, Whitsunday, and before Michael. mas term.” p. 85. The allowance to the chaplain was then 40l. per annum.
gislature would undoubtedly have granted, had not the in-. temperate conduct of a few individuals in that prison ob. structed the intended benefit.
We cannot, however, resist offering an opinion on this subject. The convicted felon has every advantage of medical aid, whenever afflicted with disease. If the humatity of government has extended itself to benefit the baser sort of the community, why is the unfortunate debtor excluded from similar consideration ? LORD HOWICK is now in power; and the renewal of such a humane proposal, which would, no doubt, be acceded to, must redound to his honour, as well as preserve the healths of thousands of his fellow-creatures; more especially as the humane HOWARD constantly urges every caution in assistance to his fears respecting contagious distempers in prisons.
The ground on which this prison, and the buildings to Skinner Street, formed the eastern shore of the town ditch, denominated
FLEET Ditch. This was formed by the waters of Turnmill Brook, Old-bourne, from the confluence called Fleet. In 1307, it was of depth and width sufficient “that ten or twelve ships navies at once, with merchandizes, were wont to come to the bridge of Fleete.” * The tide flowed as high as Holborn bridge, where there were five feet water at the lowest tide, and brought up barges of considerable burthen. There were flood gates erected in the year 1606; and after the Fire of London, it was, by order of the mayor and court of aldermen, cleansed, enlarged, and made navigable; the sides built of stone and brick, with warehouses on each side, which ran under the street, and were designed to be used for laying in of coals, and other commodities; the wharfs on each side of the channel were thirty-five feet broad; and were rendered secure from danger in the night by rails of oak: being placed on each
* Stom. It must be recollected, that at this period there were draws bridges upon London Bridge, through which ships of a certain size might pass, and discharge their cargoes at the mouth of ihc Fleet.-Pennant. Vol. II, No. 76.