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Memorials of Temple Bar with some account of Fleet Street and the Parishes of St Dunstan and St Bride in 1870

Page 107 - 113 The Taverns of Fleet street

The Taverns Of Fleet Street.

There is not another street probably in the whole range of modern London which can equal Fleet Street for the historical and world-wide celebrity of its taverns and coffee houses.

"The coffee house," writes Lord Macaulay, "was the Londoner's home, and those who wished to find a gentleman, commonly asked, not whether he lived in Fleet Street or Chancery Lane, but whether he frequented the ' Grecian' or the 'Rainbow.'" It was the same in the days of Edward the Sixth, for Mr. Fosbroke* notes that two or three Serjeants and other great counsel were present at one of the Fleet Street taverns, conferring with the Lord Berkeley and his mother. "The tavern chair was the throne of human felicity," remarked the hero of the " Mitre," Dr. Johnson, and a contemporary of that day very justly added that " Fleet Street was the country of the coffee houses."

So long ago as 1388, the City ordered that no tavern was to have a larger sign than seven feet, extending over the king's highway, f so it is pretty evident the innkeepers exhibited their boards somewhat extensively even then. In the fifteenth century there was a brewhouse in Fleet Street called the " Cowpe on the Hoope," which belonged to the celebrated Sir William Sevenoaks, Lord Mayor of London, 1418, a foundling of Sevenoaks, Kent, and the founder of the celebrated school and almshouses.

The tavern keepers in St. Dunstan's parish were long a disorderly race. Thus in 1558, one was presented "for mayntayning of a fforeigner to sell beer wth. in his hous," and another " for keepinge his tapstore vehementlie suspected of evill." In 1562, there was a general indictment against all the sixteen inn holders " holdyng house and typlers withn. the parishe for that they sell and utter their drinke by stone crewetts and potts nott seiled and wantuge measure," and five years later a parishioner was called to account for "beinge a comon drunkarde and thereby a great disturbance to hys neighbors." In 1576, William Powell was presented "for keepinge victuallinge without a lycense in a seller at Temple Barre, under the house of Symon Cannon, and for receivinge of idle persons into the same sellar to eate and drinke;" as was also Widow Paneley in 1581, whose cellar had an entrance from Whitefriars, and the resort of many evil persons. In 1644, we are favoured with a most audacious attempt to trick the excise, and the city. John Beardwell, of Crown Court, Chancery Lane, was presented
"For his house standinge in the same court within ye Freedom of ye Citty, hath a backe dore "out into Middlesex whereby to free himself from the charge of the Citty and yt he doth drawe "drinke without lycense, and that he useth to travell to Oxforde and other of the Kinge's quarters."

In 1669, the inquest seized no less than sixty-three mugs and twelve cans—short measures—from seven victuallers, one of whom keeping the " Sun" in Fetter Lane, was declared to be "a disobedient person of high villifying and insulting language to the said inquest." In 1683, "all the vintners in this parish selling of wine in bottles and the victuallers selling of beer and ale that are not lawfull measure" were presented, showing that Fleet Street found plenty of work for the inquest of the day.

In 1558, the earliest year the records date back,* the total number of taverns, &c, in St. Dunstan's was twenty-six; of these two were brewers; eight " tipplers;" three innkeepers; thirteen " petty ostries." In 1600, there were twenty-nine; in 1625, there were thirty-seven; of which five were " free cooks." In 1631, the list had grown to no less than fifty-eight. Five years later the number had decreased to fifty-two, but there were an additional seventeen victuallers in Whitefriars, making a total of sixty-nine; which increased in 1650 to seventy-four. This was the height of the tavern rage in St. Dunstan, for in 1671 there were but sixty; and in 1700, thirty-seven. During this period some curious particulars appear; for in 1628, of eight licensed victuallers, five were widows; one being the hostess of the " Devil," and another of the "Mitre," and the year previous, the "Jerusalem" ordinary in Fleet Street is set down as "a Jesuit's house." Perhaps, however, the most curious instance in the list of inn keepers' names is that a Thomas Bacchus was one of the vintners of St. Dunstan's 1662-5, and that a John Bacchus, probably a son, was also a vintner 1666-7. Whether the name was assumed or otherwise is of course unknown, but it may certainly be considered curious, if not unique.

What were called coffee houses two centuries ago are now called taverns, and mostly up long passages behind other houses. "Two worthies, each in their way beyond their fellow men, may here be noticed. In April, 1740, is recorded the death, " aged 110, of Mr. Davies, who lately kept Harry's coffee house, Fleet Street; he retained all his senses till his death, and would read the smallest print without spectacles."! On March 29th, 1750, "lay at the point of death, Mr. Thomas Ashburnham, of St. Bride's parish, who after several tedious peregrinations through this troublesome life, having had nine wives, and now in the 97th year of his age, is desirous of being released."* This was no "penny-a-liner," for ten years previously I find in a list of marriages this disciple of bluff King Hal marrying his eighth wife, aged 45, he being aged 85.

Coffeehouses in London date from 1657, when Thomas Garway surprised the natives by publicly selling "the excellent leaf called tea," which before could not be purchased for less than from £6 to £10 a pound! He opened shop in Change Alley, Cornhill, and sold " the drink of Princes," at from 16s. to 50s. a pound. That shop, though rebuilt and modernised, still exists as Garraway's. The second coffee house was opened the same year, by one James Farr, a barber, dwelling at the "Rainbow," next the Inner Temple Gate, Fleet Street:—

ANDERTON'S HOTEL, 164, Fleet Street.—This house was given, in 1405 to the Goldsmiths' Company, under the title of " The Horn in the Hoop." Machyn mentions it in 1557, and the register of St.Dunstan 1597, has an entry:—-"Raphe was slained at the Horne,buryed." In the reign of James the First, it is described as being between the Red Lion, over against Serjeant's Inn, and Three Legged Alley, over against Whitefriars.

BELL TAVERN, Bell Yard, originally belonged to the Priors of St. John. It is mentioned in the parish register in 1572. In 1672, Daniel Bland, at the "Bell," lost his servant, horse, and £100 in money, for whose recovery he advertised.

BELLE SAVAGE, Ludgate Hill.—Of all inn signs, this has caused, in its time, the most exciting speculation. Mr. Lysons met with its origin in the Clause Roll, dated February 5th, 31 Henry the Sixth, 1453, wherein John French gave to his mother Joan French, widow, " Savages Inn, otherwise called the ' Bell in the Hoop,' " in the parish of St. Bride, &c. Mr. Riley mentions that in 1380, a certain William Lawtone was sentenced to the pillory for an hour, for trying to obtain from William Savage, in Fleet Street, in the parish of St. Bridget, 20s. by means of a forged letter. In 1568, John Craythorne, gave the reversion of the "Belle Savage," and, after his wife's death, his house called the " Rose," in Fleet Street, to the Cutlers' Company for ever, on condition that two exhibitions to the universities, and certain sums to poor prisoners be paid by them out of the estate. A portrait of Mrs. Craythorn hangs in Cutlers' Hall. The landlord's token, issued between 1648 and 1672, exhibits upon it an Indian woman holding a bow and arrow. In the 16th century, the inn yard was used by strolling players. In 1584, the inn is described as " ye Belle Savage," and in 1602, Lawrence Holden, the tenant, had three cans seized for short measure. In Belle Savage Yard, at No. 11, lived Grinling Gibbins, who carved a pot of flowers so naturally, that they shook as the vehicles passed in the street. The site of the inn, &c., are now printing offices.

BOAR'S HEAD, No. 66, Fleet Street, is dated 1616, but I find the " Boar's Head" Alley is mentioned at least eighty years previous. In 1775, "Sarah Fortescue, a widow, victuallar at the " Boar's Head Ale House," was presented for keeping a disorderly house.

BOLT-IN-TUN, now a Railway Parcels' office, but once a great coaching house, derived its title from Prior Bolton of St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, being a rebus or his name. A similar adoption of this rebus occurs in the death of Thomas Bolton, at the " Bolt and Tun," in Cornhill, August 1666, and " Job Bolton, at the ' Bolt and Tun,' in Lombard Street, who kept running cash in 1677. The Fleet Street house is mentioned in the Patent Roll, 21 Henry the Sixth, 1443, and in the parish registers 1629 and 1660. In 1665, on September 2nd, during the raging of the plague, is an entry:—" A boy found dead in the hay-loft, in Boult-in-Tun Stables, was buried." In 1759, its host, Thomas Walker, was presented for entertaining disorderly women, &c

CASTLE TAVERN stood at the S.W. corner of Shoe Lane, and is first mentioned in 1432. Here the Clockmakers' Company held their meetings, before the Great Fire; and, in 1708 the "Castle" possessed the largest sign in London. Early in the last century its proprietor was Alderman Sir John Tash, who died in October, 1735; the most considerable wine merchant of his day, and worth, it was understood, a quarter a million of money.

COCK, 201, Fleet Street. This tavern is one of the most celebrated in London, and Alfred Tennyson, Poet Laureate, has sung the praises of its head waiter:—

"Oh plump head waiter at the 'Cock,'
To which I most resort."

It was originally the "Cock and Bottle ;" its proprietor issuing a token in 1655, and during the Great Plague, ten years later, discharged all the servants and shut up the house. Here, in April, 1668, Pepys "eat a lobster and sang and mightily merry," with his two lady friends, Mrs. Pierce and Mrs. Knipp—a custom we of to-day would call the height of impropriety. Its fine old chimneypiece was of King James's time, and its carved gilt bird, over the doorway, is said to be by Grinling Gibbons.

COGERS' HALL, 15, Bride Lane, and the Discussion hall, 10, Shoe Lane, though separate houses, are nevertheless to be linked together, because the "Cogers " hold their festivals at the latter house, now in the possession of our esteemed Common Councilman George Walters. An account of the Society of Cogers is given in "All the Year Hound," 15th February, 1868. It was founded by Daniel Mason, about the year 1755. The Cogers of old included Curran, Daniel O'Connell, and Judge Keogh.

DEVIL TAVERN, which formerly stood upon the site of the present Child's Place, No. 2, Fleet Street, is first mentioned in the reign of James I. * "Mr. Benjamin Jonson, Bricklayer," employed in the erection of the Lincoln's Inn garden wall, &c, in Chancery Lane, formed his celebrated " Apollo" Club at the " Devil," and framed his rules commencing :—

"Welcome all! who lead or follow
To the Oracle of Apollo,"

which were written in letters of gold on a black ground; and over the chimney in the room where Steele wrote in 1709; and still in the possession of Messrs. Child, who in June, 1787, purchased for £2,800 the freehold of the premises, and erected Child's Place and a portion of their banking-house upon the site. In the Record Office is a letter from Chamberlain to Carleton, dated 19th June, 1624, in which occurs this paragraph: "I send here certain leges convivales of Ben Johnson made for a faire roome or chamber lately built at the taverne or signe of the Divill and St. Dunstan by Temple Barre; they bee reasonable goode, and not improper for such a place."  Here Jonson composed some of his plays, especially "The Devil is an Asse," written "when I and my boys drank bad wine at the 'Devil';" his ''boys" being his brother wits. Aubrey tells us that the poet, to be near the " Devil," lived without Temple Bar, at a comb maker's shop, but by the document which Mr. Carter has kindly allowed me to publish (see page 99) he was living close to Cripplegate in 1619. In his "Welcome," he makes old Simon Wadlow. the vintner and host of the tavern, declare :—

"Hang up all the poor hop drinkers,
Cries Old Sym the King of Skinkers.''

But Mr. Chappell says the song: "Old Sir Simon the King," was of earlier date than Jonson's time, but then altered to suit the times and Wadlow's great popularity. The vintner reigned supreme at his tavern for many years; he died in 1627,  was succeeded by his widow and his son John, who issued a token with the popular legend of St. Dunstan holding the devil by the nose. When Charles the Second entered London to his coronation in 1661, Pepys saw Wadlow leading a company of'' young comely men in white doublets; " later we find him deserting the '' Devil "and opening the " Sun Tavern," behind the Exchange. The "Devil" continued the resort of the wits and poets of the day. Here, March 18th, 1703, in the Apollo Chamber (hence Apollo Court, No. 201, Fleet Street), was sold the beautiful Duchess of Richmond's jewels; and here, 1709, the wedding entertainment mentioned by Steele, as held in " a place sacred to mirth, tempered with discretion." Here Dean Swift, Garth, and Addison dined, 1710; here in 1737 was a musical and dancing academy; here for several years, from 1746, the Royal Society kept its dinners. From the "Devil Tavern," April 1st, 1771, was issued by the " Firebrand Society," a political squib asserting the people's "rights" &c.; the very year that nearly saw the whole buildings destroyed by fire. Dr. Johnson, with the Ivy Lane Club, here regaled Mrs. Lennox, and crowned her with a wreath of laurel. "Mr. Fletcher, master of the 'Devil Tavern' at Temple Bar" died at Croydon, July 4th, 1757; and thirty years later the house was closed for ever. In the " Battle of Temple Bar" print, of 1769, the devil is represented with a long beak,-holding the sign with one hand and offering the other with the invite " Fly to me my bairns." Hogarth in his plate, "Burning of the Rumps " shows the sign, but places it on the wrong side of the street. An opposition tavern was called the " Young Devil" (No. 8, Fleet Street) under the present shop of Messrs. Dunn and Duncan, "and the entrance thereto was from a flight of steps leading down below ground from the adjoining narrow passage of entrance to Dick's Coffee House."* On December 5th, 1707, Wanley and a few other literary characters (afterwards the Society of Antiquaries) having "agreed to meet together each Friday in the evening by six of the clock upon pain of forfeiture of sixpence," at the " Bear Tavern," in the Strand; they on January 9th removed to the " Young Devil; Peter le Neve Norrey being chairman, and Humphrey Wanley, secretary. Mr. Gosling, the bookseller, (see bankers) a member, subsequently received the Society's letters; and the meetings from 1728 till 1753, were held at the " Mitre." About two years after the society met at the "Young Devil," the host failed and they removed to the " Fountain Tavern," "as we went down into the Inner Temple, agaiflst Chancery Lane," a tavern mentioned in 1636, and whose proprietor in 1648, Widow Hicks, was presented for keeping a disorderly house.


*"Burns' Catalogue of Tradesmens' and Coffee House Tokens," privately printed for the Corporation of London, edit. 1855, p 100-107, gives a long account with an interesting view of the "Devil Tavern," and Temple Bar.

t "State Papers." dom. series, vol. 168.

t "Popular Music of the Olden Time," 1859, vol. i, p. 262-8.

|| " The Ashmolean MS.," 38, fo. 179, contains some lines in praise of "Simon Wadlowe, vintner, dwelling at the signe of ye 'Devill and St. Dunstan'." It is printed in Camden's "Remaines " edit. 1636, p. 413


DICK'S COFFEE HOUSE, No. 8, Fleet Street, took its name from its original waiter called "Richard." It was established before 1681, for on December 7th that year a quarrel here commenced between Rowland St. John and John Stiles, of Lincoln's Inn, as to the measurement of two dishes which they had seen at the " St. John's Head," in Chancery Lane, which terminated by St. John running his companion through the body at another tavern—the '' Three Cranes." "Dick's " has been " time honoured" by the " Tatler," and in 1737 by the Rev. James Miller in his comedy of " The Coffee House," and by the poet Cowper. Here are held the dinners of the St. Dunstan's Club, founded in 1796.

DOLPHIN TAVERN, opposite Fetter Lane, was another seventeenth century house. Its host, Timothy Howe, was being continually presented, and in 1618 he and a neighbour in Ram Alley were so indicted " for keepinge their tobacco shoppes open all nighte and fyers in the same without any chimney and uttering hott water and selling ale without license, to the great disquietude, terror and annoyance of that neighbourhood." In 1630 he and another were presented "for annoyinge the judges at Serjeants inne with the stench and smell of their tobacco"

GLOBE TAVERN is mentioned in 1636, and in 1649 was leased to Henry Hothersall for forty-one years " at the yearly rent of £75 and ten gallons of Canary sack," and £400 fine. He laid out £1,000 in rebuilding, and, after the Great Fire, a new lease was granted for sixty-one years at £40 per annum, with a piece of ground in the rear "for the more commodious landing of his wines from Shoee Lane into his backyard." The "Globe" gained some celebrity in the last century under the proprietorship of Deputy Thorpe and his predecessors. Here met at one table Woodfall the reporter; Mackiin, the comedian; Kelly; Archibald Hamilton, the printer; Thomas Cornan, the bookseller, who won the action against the Stationer's Company for almanack printing; Akerman, keeper of Newgate; Dunstall, another comedian, famous for his "Love in a Village;" Tom King, &c Dr. Glover was the life of the Club, though very poor and very sensitive. No. 134. Fleet Street, marks the tavern site.

GREEN DRAGON TAVERN, No. 56, Fleet Street, mentioned in 1636, was destroyed by the Great Fire, and rebuilt in 1667, being then set back some six feet from its original frontage. It was here and at the "King's Head " further west that two out of four " Clubs " were held in 1678 respecting the celebrated Papish plot of that year. And here stood Roger North when he viewed the great annual ceremonial of the burning of the Pope. The " Green Dragon " is now famous for its " Discussion Forum."

HERCULES PILLARS was another famous Pepysian house occupying the site of the present No 27, Fleet Street. It is mentioned in the reign of James the First, and subsequently its court was famous for its numerous taverns. Mrs. Evans, its proprietress, about 1736, reopened the celebrated Cuper's Gardens, at Lambeth, facing Somerset House, long a rival to Vauxhall, and was closed in 1753. Hercules Pillars Alley is still a small court by the side of No. 27, Fleet Street, but is '-without a name."

KING'S HEAD TAVERN, " an elegant mansion" of Edward the Sixth's reign, formerly stood at the S. W. corner of Chancery Lane. Its sign was the head of Henry the Eighth, and the house is said to have occupied the site of the residence of Sir John Oldcastle, Baron Cobham (Shakespeare's " Sir John Falstaff"), who met so ignominious a death in St. Giles' Fields in 1417. In 1585 John Kent was presented for pouring forth bad water upon the people's heads below; and the occupier next door, in 1588, "Henry Marshe for an oven in his house very dangerous joynage to the Kinges Heade wch. hath heretofore dangered his neighhours by fyre and doth yet remayne dangerous." Marsh, it seems, kept a "tabling house," so it is easily understood the neighbourly feeling. In the seventeenth century taverns were not restricted to ground floors' hence the fact of Richard Harriot, subsequently Isiac Walton's publisher, " keeping shop in 1665 " under the " King's Head Taverne." At this house met the Popish plot conspirators of 1678, the council being headed by Lord Howard, and here were the meetings of the " Green Ribbon Club "—a society of men without religion or morals, whose chief aim was to make others as bad as themselves. It was long notorious for its political associations, so much so that in 1629 John Marshall, who kept the house, had his doors closed by the authorities as "a suspected place," and not alone he, but Widow Sutton, who kept the " Mitre." The old house, five stories high, of carved oak, was pulled down for City improvements in 1799, and is engraved in J. T. Smith's "Ancient Typography." MITRE TAVERN, the house of so many interesting associations, was situated at No. 39, Fleet Street, upon part of the site of the present banking house of Messrs. Hoare. It dated back to the time of Shakespeare, for Thorpe, the bookseller, marked lot 4,272 in his catalogue of MSS. a volume of poems by Richard .lackson, a poet contemporary with immortal Will, fifty guineas. The verses were about 5,500 in number, beside prose, and of date 1625 or 1630. The first was headed " Shakespeare's Rime which he made at ye ' Myter' in Flete strete," being five seven line stanzas commencing " From ye Rich Lavinian Shoare,"a portion only previously printed, " but," adds Thorpe, " never hitherto been known to be by Shakespeare." The earliest notice of the tavern that I have met with is in the register of St. Dunstan's, May 10, 1613. "William Hewitt from the ' Myter' was buryed ;" and in the following year I find John Hewitt and another, " neer Serjantes inne," presented for using false measure. The house was "very much demolished and decaied in severall parts, and the Balcony was on fire and pulled downe " during the Great Fire. In the eighteenth century the "Mitre" became the resort of Wanley, Vertue, Dr. Stukeley, Hawkesworth, Percy, Johnson. Boswell, Lord Stowell, and a host of other worthies. It was here the " Tour to the Hebrides " was planned by Johnson and his biographer, who records how uneasy the great lexicographer was if he failed to pat encouragingly every post in Fleet Street between his lodgings and the tavern. Johnson and Boswell first dined here in June, 1763. It was here on July 6th following, at a supper given by Bozzy to the Doctor, and Goldsmith, Davies, the bookseller, Mr. Eccles, and the Rev. John Ogilvie, that Johnson, who hated the Scotch, launched out into the most severe " table talk " ever indulged in against them. "But, Sir," said he to Mr. Ogilvie. " let me tell you the noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England!" At the "Mitre," 1728-53, met the Society of Antiquaries, after making ineffectual attempts to purchase a piece of ground at Whitefriars. And here at the same time, though not the same hour, met the Royal Society. Here, April 3rd, 1733, Thomas Tophom, "the strong man," rolled up with his hands a pewter dish, four feet ten inches diameter, in the presence of eight persons, the "Mitre" being then kept by John Innocent, whose name first appears in the parish books 1714, and who was one of the Common Council 1727-36. In 1788 the tavern ceased to exist, and the house became Macklin's "Poet's Gallery," subsequently Saunder's Auction Rooms, and finally pulled down by Messrs. Hoare for their banking house in 1829. The present " Mitre Tavern " in Mitre Court was in the last century known as " Joe's Coffee House."

"PEELE'S," No. 177 and 178, Fleet Street, once a coffee house, but now a tavern, dates back a century and a half. A portrait of Dr. Johnson, said to be by Sir Joshua Reynolds, was painted on the key stone of the mantel piece. Peele's was long noted for its files of newspapers, and of late years as the Central Committee Room of the Society for Repealing the Paper Duty, in 1861; a work which, under the presidency of the Right Honorable T. Milncr Gibson, and the Chairmanship of Mr. John Cassell.at last was crowned with success.

RAINBOW TAVERN, No. 15, Fleet Street, was the second coffee house opened in London. In the 17th century, it was in the occupation of several persons, and in 1657, we find it first noticed for the coffee making nuisance. The Wardmote Inquest presentment of December 21st that year, has been often quoted, but the entry in the records has never been given in its complete form. It reads thus :—

"Disorders and Annoys. Item, we pr'sent James Ffarr, barber, for makinge and selling of a "drinke called coffee, whereby in makeing the same, he annoyeth his neighbrs. by evil smells "and for keeping of flier for the most pt. night and day, whereby his chimney and chambr. hath "been sett on ffire. to the great danger and affrightment of his neighbrs. Witness and compts. "Mr. Ro. Meade, Mr. John Rae, Mr. Daniel Pakeinan.Mr. Willm. Leake and Widd. Lashley." Of the five complainants, three were booksellers, and one a noted scrivener. Robert Meade, stationer, was buried in St. Dunstan's Church, September 17th, 1658; Daniel Pakeman, stationer, September 3rd, 1664; William Leake, stationer, December 8th, 1681; Mr. John Ray, or Rea, "scrivener," between the two Temple Gates was knighted by Charles the Second, retired to Richmond, where he was buried February 7th, 1670. Pepys tells us that the notorious miser Hugh Audley of the Temple, once lodged with this Rea, and that having lost by him some £6,000 forgives him in his will without mentioning his name. Audley commenced business in 160S with £200, and died November 15th, 1662, worth £400,000. In 1636, two men were captured while in the act of robbing his chambers, in the Inner Temple; they had managed to take, by means of entering a third floor window, some £550, and used the Temple Church for dividing the spoil. One of Hugh Audley's friends was Sir Thomas Davies, of whom Pepys' gossips: "the little fellow the bookseller, my schoolfellow, and now sheriff, which is a strange turn methinks." Audley left him a legacy, which enabled him, in 1667, to be elected Alderman of Farringdon Without, and continued to represent it till 1680. He was Lord Mayor in 1677, and gave two large silver cups to the Stationers' Company, of which he was master in 1668 and 1669, upon being translated to the Drapers. Three booksellers kept shop at the " Rainbow." Ephraim Dawson, 1636; Pakeman, 1650; and Samuel Speed, 1662. Farr was buried in St. Dunstan's, 1680, and at the "Rainbow," about 1682, was established by Dr. Nicholas Barebone, the Phoenix Fire Office, for assuring £100 for seven years by paying 30s. In 1860, at an expense of several thousand pounds, the " Rainbow " was rebuilt and reopened by Mr. John Argent. READ'S COFFEE HOUSE, No. 102, Fleet Street, was till 1833. another celebrated establishment. Originally opened, says Mr. Hotten, in 1719, by one Lockyer who adopted " Mount Pleasant " for his sign. It was subsequently a " Saloop" house, when coffee scld for 7s. a pound, and was a luxury, being the only place in London where the liquor, made from Sassafras chips, could be obtained. Lockyer, who began life with half-a-crown, died in March 1739, worth £1,000. Thomas Read, its tenant early this century, gained such celebrity, that Charles Lamb specially mentions him in one of his essays. "I have seen," writes he, "palates, otherwise not uninstructed in dietetical elegancies, sup it up with avidity," chimney sweepers greatly admired it, and its success caused some coffee stalls to be set up in the streets, " to dispense the same savoury mess to humbler customers."

RED LION TAVERN "Over against Serjeant's Inn," (hence the present'Red Lion Court, No. 169,) is mentioned as early as 1592, and in 1602, "Ambrose Lupton, inn-holder at the ' Red Lyon' in Fleet Streete, and by his freedome, keepeth a cellar at the Red Lyon Gate," had no less than six cans and eleven pots seized for false measure. The last mention of the tavern occurs in July 1666, a few weeks previous to the great fire.


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