Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

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Ajarn Philip
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Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by Ajarn Philip »

While temporarily distracted from work (I have no idea how that happened...), I came across Old and New London vol. 2, by Walter Thornbury (Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878). Chapter XLVI is devoted, in considerable detail, to CH. I'm sure it's known to many of you, but it's new to me.

You can access it online at https://www.british-history.ac.uk/old-n ... /pp364-380.

I had hoped to be able to download a copy from Z-Library, at https://z-lib.org/, an excellent source of (completely legal) free e-books, but could only find vol. 1.

To give you a taste, the opening paragraph reads:
Lives there a Londoner who has not, at some stray hour or other, leant against the tall iron gates in Newgate Street, and felt his golden youth return, as he watched the gambols of the little bareheaded men in blue petticoats and yellow stockings? Can any man of thought, however hurried Citywards, but stop a moment to watch and see the "scrouge," the mad rush after the football, the dashing race to rescue prisoners at the bases? Summer or winter, the yellow-legged boys form a pleasant picture of perpetual youth; nor can one ever pass a strapping young Grecian in the streets without feeling some veneration for the successor of Coleridge and Charles Lamb, Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt.
Another snippet, which was news to me:
The founder of the school is by most people supposed to have been Edward VI., but it was really his father, Henry VIII., and it was one of the few works of mercy which originated in that cruel tyrant. At the dissolution, when sacramental cups and crucifixes were being melted down by the thousand, to maintain a bad king in his sumptuous splendour, the English Sultan, in one of his few good moments, near the end of his reign, gave the Grey Friars' church to the City, to be devoted to the relief of the poor. The building had previously been used as a storehouse for plunder taken from the French.
Phil Underwood Ma A Col A Mid B 69-75
Trongon Charsley
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Re: Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by Trongon Charsley »

Ajarn Philip wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:44 pm To give you a taste, the opening paragraph reads:
...nor can one ever pass a strapping young Grecian in the streets without feeling some veneration for the successor of Coleridge and Charles Lamb, Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt.
This needs to be nipped in the bud! Hazlitt, although a well-known associate of the other three, was not himself an Old Blue. (Sounds like a fascinating book though.)
sejintenej
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Re: Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by sejintenej »

Ajarn Philip wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:44 pm While temporarily distracted from work (I have no idea how that happened...), I came across Old and New London vol. 2, by Walter Thornbury (Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878). Chapter XLVI is devoted, in considerable detail, to CH. I'm sure it's known to many of you, but it's new to me.

You can access it online at https://www.british-history.ac.uk/old-n ... /pp364-380.

To give you a taste, the opening paragraph reads:
Lives there a Londoner who has not, at some stray hour or other, leant against the tall iron gates in Newgate Street, and felt his golden youth return, as he watched the gambols of the little bareheaded men in blue petticoats and yellow stockings? Can any man of thought, however hurried Citywards, but stop a moment to watch and see the "scrouge," the mad rush after the football, the dashing race to rescue prisoners at the bases? Summer or winter, the yellow-legged boys form a pleasant picture of perpetual youth; nor can one ever pass a strapping young Grecian in the streets without feeling some veneration for the successor of Coleridge and Charles Lamb, Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt.
Many thanks for that, Phil. Somehow, somewhere, back in the mists of time I had read that paragraph previously. I had a collection of CH related books, now purloined by my daughter and I suspect it was in a history of CH published around 1953.

I note that we were being shortchanged by the Lord Mayor on St Mathews Day when he used to hand out to each boy the shilling (of considerable value in those days) plus also a glass of wine and two buns. The pupils in the RMS are apparently even more shortchanged. There is also mention of a pupil "whose talents were wasted according to Samuel T Coleridge" whose great grand daughter my wife tells me I could and should have married. By good chance I went abroad to that was not to be; she is a great horsewoman still - and I am apparently allergic to horses! Yes, definitely an interesting history of CH to be read at ones leisure
Last edited by sejintenej on Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by Katharine »

Thanks for bringing it to our attention. That bit about our founder goes against everything we were ever told. I wonder whether there is any corroboration of the statement?

I’ll check whether it’s referenced in the 1953 book, I have my father’s copy.
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time please
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Re: Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by time please »

At the start of 2020 I was working in the town of Kiruna. ( a place in the far north of Sweden where the whole town is being dismantled and moved as SKAB are to start mining under the town ) and with a few hours to spend before my flight left I visited a second hand bookshop. And there I found a copy of the same book. I hardly dare to open as it is falling apart but found on page 377 the following: The breakfast, till 1824, was plain bread and beer.....

Then there is a reference to " small beer". Did we not have something like that in the seventies? Not for breakfast bit during some evenings?
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Re: Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by Katharine »

Ajarn Philip wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:44 pm While temporarily distracted from work (I have no idea how that happened...), I came across Old and New London vol. 2, by Walter Thornbury (Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878). Chapter XLVI is devoted, in considerable detail, to CH. I'm sure it's known to many of you, but it's new to me.

....

Another snippet, which was news to me:
The founder of the school is by most people supposed to have been Edward VI., but it was really his father, Henry VIII., and it was one of the few works of mercy which originated in that cruel tyrant. At the dissolution, when sacramental cups and crucifixes were being melted down by the thousand, to maintain a bad king in his sumptuous splendour, the English Sultan, in one of his few good moments, near the end of his reign, gave the Grey Friars' church to the City, to be devoted to the relief of the poor. The building had previously been used as a storehouse for plunder taken from the French.
I’ve just looked up HenryV111 in the index of the 1953 book. Pages 3&4 apply. It says that the opportunity for CH’s creation had been made by the dissolution of the monasteries - which had brought new problems to London. The then Lord Mayor of London, Sir Richard Gresham according to Wiki, Lord Mayer in 1537 wrote to the King asking
for the return of some of the monastic property for use in their original functions as Hospitals or Spitals
The King ignored the the letter for some time
but shortly before his death he gave the Conventual grounds and buildings together with Hospital of St Bartholemew to the City for ‘reliefe of the poore’.
The book goes on to say that one monastery wasn’t enough and then gives the familiar story of the sermon preached before EdwardV1
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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LongGone
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Re: Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by LongGone »

The great advantage of having Henry as our founder is Immediate recognition: when you say Edward VI it elicits mainly blank looks followed by “The guy who abdicated?”
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Foureyes
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Re: Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by Foureyes »

It seems to me that there is a misunderstanding here. Henry VIII gave some former monastic buildings to the Lord Mayor 'for the relief of the poor' but that was simply buildings. At no point that I can find did Henry specify that they were to be used as a school, so he was definitely not the 'founder' of CH. That was the role of Edward VI. So, history, in this case, was correct.
David :shock:
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Re: Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by Katharine »

I agree with you David. In the Book I quoted only one former monastery was quoted and that wasn’t for a school.
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Re: Old and New London by Walter Thornbury

Post by Foureyes »

Gosh - a thank you! Very grateful for that, Katherine.
As a matter of interest last night's edition of Antiques Roadshow showed a book Rationes Decem, in its first edition of 1581. It was written by a famous Old Blue - and, as far as I know - our only official saint, Edmund Campion (1540-1581)(CH 1552-1555). The English version is still in print which, the Bible and Q'ran apart, must be something of a record.
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