Searching for Regency London

The last day of February and I have to finish edits for a book due out in the Fall.  If you like sneek peeks, how about this title.   Lady Rosabella's Ruse

Oh and I have my UK cover for More than a Mistress. Here it is here. It will be out in North America in May.


My next topic is something I have blogged about before.  The Thames River Police I . Thames River Police II

I have linked to the earlier posts so you can take a look at them as an introduction.  This time, I was able to visit the museum and can fill in a few more details.  I must say I liked the idea of standing in a building that parts of it dated back to the Regency.  And it is nice to know that the Force continues to this day, albeit in a very different form.

The pictures I am adding today were taken in the museum with the kind permission of the museum's curator Robert Jeffries, who was a member of that illustrious Police force.

This picture is from 1859, but still it gives the feel of our time, the spars and masts, the wooden boats beached on the side of the river, the building unchanged from that above.

The Museum contains many treasures and mementos from the work of the police, as you can see from this cabinet.

Of particular interest is the police boat gun from 1798. 

You can make out the stock behind the glass and the thole, a wooden pin or one of a pair, set upright in the gunwales of a rowing boat to serve as a fulcrum in rowing (rowlock), only in this case it was used to support this very large weapon.  It was too large to be held and fired.

Publicans at inn like the Town of Ramsgate, pictured in detail last time, and the Prospect of Whitby, pictured here, were owned by what were known in those days as Master Lumpers.  They organized the Lumpers, the men who unloaded the ships.  they were also the men who stole a great deal of the  contents of those ships, seeing it as a gratuity for the work they did. Everything from sugar to coal.

Some of the terminology for the Thames River Police and those working on the river at the time:

Watermen   -     constables

Surveyors    -    warrant or customs warrant.

Lighters      -  boats wich take the cargo off to unload it a the warehouses

Lumpers - the labourers who unloaded the cargo

Sweepings    - the first mate on a sugar carrying ship had the rights to "sweepings" what was left on the deck after unloading, and he would sell these rights to anyone who wanted to do the work to sweep them up.  Interesting to think about what might have been in the resulting bag of sugar.   or not.

Spillage   -  anything spilled was seen as a perk for various individuals and somehow there was a lot of spillage. 

Tipstaff - a badge of office, like a warrant card today,  and sometime used to carry a warrant for arrest in the handle. Also  a weapon, a forerunner of the truncheon.

This is an inspectors tipstaff from 1827.  And here are a couple of early handcuffs.

Note the policeman's rattle in the second picture. The l-shaped large wooden object.

Rattles came into use sometime in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century when night watchmen and/or village constables used them to "raise the alarm". They proved  an ideal method to summon aid, sound the fire alarm, or, just generally get folks attention.  A traditional rattle was constructed of wood, usually oak, where one or two blades are held in a frame and a ratchet turned - by swinging - to make the blades `snap' thus creating a very loud noise.

Of course we have only touched on the surface of the river and its police force but I do hope you have enjoyed the visit.

Until next time, Happy Rambles


Searching for Regency London

This is my latest release in the UK and I am so happy to be sharing it with some other authors.  I love the cover and the title. Just to be clear this is a Mills and Boon Anthology containing the Undone short stories by several authors which are all available in ebook format from Harlequin and Mills and Boon and in all kinds of other formats for ebooks as single stories.

If you prefer print books , then this will let you in on the action with these new stories for Harlequin and Mills.  You will find it in the UK primarily, and you can Buy it from

Returning to our topic, we are continuing our walk along the side of the Thames below London Bridge.  This is of course the dock area.  We are in Wapping. An area long known as being poor and crime ridden. This area is full of building used as warehouses for storing goods either to be shipped or coming into Britain. Many or most of them are now luxury dwelling.

                                   These pictures are taken of Wapping Old Stairs.  As you can see these stairs lead down into the Thames.

The Thames is tidal at this point and I think you can see quite clearly the high water mark on both the step and the concrete wall, which by the way supports the terrace where my guides and I had a very nice lunch and a cup of tea. There are older stairs on the right, but I was unable to access these, but here is a picture of them from Wikipedia that someone took without needing to get their feet wet.

These pictures looks down the narrow alleyway that gives access to the stairs between the pub and the building beside it. The left towards the street and the right, obviously towards the river.

 In 1811, the horrific Ratcliff Highway murders took place at The Highway and Wapping Lane.  I will post about this at some other time.

     The Town of Ramsgate pub is the white building with  red trim on wone side of the alley leading to the steps. While not the original pub, the name is as it was in the Regency and it was so named as a way of attracting the custom of Kentish fishermen who used to land their wares here.  

Some where near here was located Execution Dock where pirates met their end. Several pubs claim the honour but a rather unscientific survey leads me to believe it lay closest to the Town of Ramsgate. The final hangings were George Davis and William Watts charged with piracy and hung December 1830.

And so we finish with a picture of the inn.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Searching for Regency London

First I wanted to offer my sympathy to all those readers and authors in the Brisbane area. I visited Australia two years ago and have friends there. I am devastated watching those news reports and my thoughts are with you all.


The next part of my journey involved the River Thames.  An important highway, the City grew up beside it and around it.  We walked from the Tower of London towards the docks.

 One of the first things my guide pointed out was a Thames Barge.

You can just see the red sails. Apparently they were not dyed red, but the preservative used on them turns them red.

Originally, Thames barges and lighters were rowed out from the docks from ships to large to tie up at the warves.  They would bring the goods from ship to shore.

As time went on sails were added and their heyday was around 1900, there being about two thousand working on the river by that time.

This next picture is of Jacob's Island, which you may recall as the setting from Dicken's Oliver Twist

 What you are looking at here is the point at which the River Neckinger meets the Thames at St. Saviour's Dock. While it is now a desirable area, it was once notoriously squalid.

The following pictures from earlier times will help set the picture I think.

This picture from wikipedia shows Neckinger River in 1813, which by the way my guide told me was the term for a noose for a river pirate. Further research revealed the river is believed to be named from the term "Devil's neckcloth.  Until the eighteenth century Thames pirates were excuted at what was then called Neckinger Wharf near the mouth of the inlet. The corpses were displayed further downstream as a deterrent.   

Particularly interesting is the attached map. Hard to read, but fascinating.  If you look closely you can make out Mill Street running parallel and one block to the left from the dock.  Which brings us to the next picture, circa1840.

Folly ditch.  Man made tidal ditches had surrounded Jacobs Island in earlier centuries, a way of getting goods to wharehouses. Over the years they were filled in leaving them land locked with all the attendant evils of stagnant water.
If you want to know more about Jacob's Island, earlier and later than the Regency, I found this website to be fascinating. 

Some books I found useful in preparing for my walks around London.

 Secret London: Exploring the Hidden City, With Original Walks And Unusual Places to Visit

A. to Z. of Regency London At

Or Search for the A-Z of Regency London at Abebooks where you might well find a cheaper version

More to come on the River Thames and its History next time.  Until then, Happy Rambles.

Regency London ~ My search

Enter to win a Kindle 3G! your choice of one of my books and many other prize. Go to

Regency London

My next day in London was a biggie. Talk about ramble. I walked miles. Looking back at my notes and plans, I now remember how worried I was about the volcano in Iceland. Anyone remember that?  I was on tenterhooks for weeks wondering if we would actually make it across the pond. Oh, now we have taken a side turn. Back onto the main path. That particular day, I took the underground to Tower station, where I met my fellow ramblers. Our first stop was a church

All Hallows by the Tower

London has many many churches, but this one calls itself the oldest one in the city of London.  I am hedging my bets a bit here, because I did not do the research and merely accept what they say.

The Saxon Abbey of Barking founded the church of All Hallows by the Tower in 675 AD. An arch from the original Saxon church remains. Beneath the arch is a Roman pavement, discovered in 1926, evidence of city life on this site for the best part of two thousand years.
Following their execution on Tower Hill, numerous beheaded bodies were brought into the church including those of Thomas More, Bishop John Fisher and Archbishop Laud.
William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was baptised in the church and educated in the schoolroom (now the Parish Room). In 1666 the Great Fire of London started in Pudding Lane, a few hundred yards from the church, and All Hallows survived through the efforts of Admiral Penn, William Penn's father. Apparently Samuel Pepys watched the fire from its tower.
John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the USA, was married in All Hallows in 1797. 

After the bombings of World War II, only the tower remains of that old church. The church continues its old medieval custom of "beating the bounds" basically walking the boundaries of the parish and whacking the ground along the line at intervals with sticks. I guess this prevents some other church from claiming their parishioners?  Since one of the boundaries actually runs down the center of the River Thames they all get on a boat to observe this part of the custom.  Now I do not know if they did this during the Regency, or if this was revived more recently, but it is just interesting.

Certainly the Church was there, beside the Tower of London, during our time and during the centuries before.

This picture shows part of the Roman street found beneath the Church in the early 20th century.

Don't forget to look out for my new short story e-book Undone out this month.
Unmasking Lady Innocent

This day was a long one and there is much more to come. Until then, Happy Rambles.

Searching for Regency London

Like most tourists, I found myself at St Paul's Cathedral, a well known sight in London now and certainly just as well known in Regency times.

Nearby and of interest to me as a writer is a medieval institution, the Guild of Stationers and their Hall. Stationers' Hall located in Ave Maria Lane, just off Ludgate Hill.

From the Middle Ages, no man was allowed to trade in the City of London unless he resided there and belonged to a Guild, later a livery company. One such was a fraternity or Guild of Stationers (booksellers who copied and sold manuscript books and writing materials and limners who decorated and illustrated them). Each appointed a warden to control and regulate them.

By the early 16th century printers had joined The Stationers' Company and by the mid century the printers had more or less ousted the manuscript trade. In 1557 the Guild received a Royal Charter of Incorporation and in 1559, the right to wear a distinctive livery. They became a livery company, numbered 47 in precedence.

The Stationers' Charter secured them from outside competition, but they had to settle their own internal disputes, which mostly concerned infringements of ownership of 'copies' or what we would now call copyright.

Until the early twentieth century the most usual way of joining the Company was by serving an apprenticeship to a freeman or liveryman. Although the system gradually declined, the Stationers' Company is unusual among livery companies in insisting that its members work in the book or allied trades.

The interior presents much the same appearance today as when it was built although the frontage was radically altered in 1800 to give it an early nineteenth century façade.

Hall Registry

By 1556 according to Guild rule it was an offence not to present to the Wardens every publication not protected by Royal Grant. A Register of copies became the written record to which claims could be referred and by which disputes as to ownership might be settled. Succeeding Copyright Acts confirmed the Company as the place where copies should be registered 'Entered at Stationers' Hall'.Registration under the Copyright Act of 1911 terminated in December 1923.

Fascinating. Until next time, happy rambles.

Searching for Regency London

Soane's Museum

This is the house of Sir John Soane, one of England's greatest architects. He was the youngest son of a bricklayer, but at fifteen moved to London as a pupil of the architect George Dance and studied at the Royal Academy. He became a highly successful architect winning the important commission of architect to the Bank of England.

His house, which he deliberately intended as a museum, is on of those places all Regency-philes hanker to visit. It is also the sort of place one might want to visit over and over again, there is so much crammed into such a small space. Soane intended his collection to educate and inspire students and amateurs in painting, architecture and sculpture.

The house is in Lincoln's Inn Fields and he first bought number 12 in 1792 and then moved into number thirteen in 1813, and right from this time he planned it as a museum, finally purchasing number fourteen in 1823.

Visitors were allowed in during his lifetime, but only in good weather. The rooms contain all kinds of artifacts, including a collection of antique marble fragments assembled in and around Rome for Henry Holland, bought on his death by Soane in 1816.

In the picture room are the two original paintings of Hogarth's series A Rake's Progress and An Election. Engravings would be done from the paintings.

It is a very eccentric sort of a place, not at all the typical Regency home, but a fascinating look around a town house. The rooms I enjoyed most were the Library and the dining room and the Drawing Rooms. They held dances in these upstairs rooms when Mrs. Soanes was alive. The rooms were painted in 'Turner's Patent Yellow' a fashionable colour of the day, and had matching curtains and upholstery. The staircases are lovely and take up minimum space.

Personally, I think the man would have ended up on reality tv as a hoarder.

It is difficult to do justice to the house or the museum with only words, but I highly recommend a visit.

Until next time, Happy Rambles. Off to read Georgette Heyer's Reluctant Widow, since someone mentioned it the other day.

What are you reading?

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge
Stories are flying out thick and fast from yours truly. This short story, Unmasking Lady Innocent will be available on line on December 1. Another great cover, even if it is an on line one. Just in case you want to know what it is about:

Spinster Diana Buntin has accepted that handsome Lord James Grey will never look at her as more than a friend. Yet she is tired of waiting to experience passion. Armed with a list of rakes known to specialize in seduction, Diana arranges to meet her first lover at a masked ball—keeping their identities secret and her reputation intact.

But while Diana feels a powerful attraction to her mystery seducer, she also senses that he may not be a stranger after all....

The Foundling Hospital, Bloomsbury, London

Not all things Regency leave one with a happy feeling. Certainly my next stop did not. The Foundling Museum is interesting, but sad.

The Foundling Hospital (hospital meaning hospitality to those less fortunate rather than medical facility) was founded in the mid 1700’s and continued until the 1920’s. It was founded by Thomas Coram who was shocked by the number of dead and dying babies on the streets. Its mission was the education and care of abandoned children.

The children left here were not orphans; rather they were children of women who could not care for them because the fathers had abandoned them. Mothers were interviewed before they were allowed to leave their children who had to be under 1 year-old. The mothers had to be of good character, even if not married, and the child must be their first. Mothers would line up outside the high wrought iron gates for the chance to leave their “unwanted” children, because they knew they would receive better care than they could provide. Both Hogarth and Handel raised funds for the hospital by way of their art.

In 1801 the hero of the Nile and some of his friends the establishment with a visit and stood sponsors to several of the children The names given on this occasion were Baltic Nelson William and Emma Hamilton Hyde Parker &c Up to a very late period the Governors were sometimes in the habit of naming the children after themselves or their friends but it was found to be an inconvenient and objectionable course inasmuch as when they grew to man or womanhood they were apt to lay claim to some affinity of blood with their nomenclators The present practice therefore is for the Treasurer to prepare a list from which the children are named

A register on view at the Museum, records the names of the children admitted, the care they received, including if they were wet nursed or dry (fed bread and water) and their ultimate date of departure at age fourteen either to enter society as apprentices, or the date of their demise. In Georgian times, there were between 200 and 400 children under the care of the hospital.

Dec. 31, 1814,

Children remaining alive, and
on the hospital establishment...........................352

Received in the year ending Dec. 31, 1815...........58

Apprenticed and sent to sea, within the said
Children in the hospital, Dec. 31, 1815............192
Children at nurse in the country......................179

Children at nurse in the country, meant children under five who were sent out of the city to be wet nursed and cared for, since the city air was thought to be bad for them

You can find a history of the Hospital in the following book as well as at

The history and objects of the Foundling Hospital: with a memoir of the founder
By John Brownlow, Foundling Hospital (London, England)

Sometimes the mothers would come back for the child when their circumstances improved. Heartrendingly, many times they would discover their child had not survived. Among the artifacts left with the children were lockets and tiny rings, buttons and religious talismen, which were left as a way of identifying their child. They are still held in the Museum.

I found it hard not to feel sad as I walked around, even knowing that these children were better off than those left on the streets or in the workhouses. If you ever have a chance to visit, make sure you take a kleenex or two.

Until next time, Happy Rambles

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge

I just had to share this one, it comes out in January. This is a collection of HH Undones in Paperback including my first one - The Rakes Intimate Encounter. So if you are a person who prefers paper to e-book, here is your chance to try several Undones which to date were only available on line.

You will of course be hearing more about this one, but I just love the cover and had to share it.

I have been sacrificing chocolate bars to the cover god and she seems to appreciate the love, so here is the result. lol

This is the entrance to Russel Square, built by the Duke of Bedford in 1804 and named after his family's surname.

The square has been redesigned to go back to its original early nineteenth century layout. Next time I am in London I will spend a bit more time at the square. I was very taken with the Russell Hotel but it is Victorian and therefore unworthy of a picture on my blog.

The portrait painter Thomas Lawrence had a studio at number 65 (1805–1830) Russell Square. Or was it 67, there are some differences depending on which information you read. I am going with 65 since that is what is recorded in Old and New London 1878.

A note in the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1818, by the Rev. John Mitford, says:—"We shall never forget the Cossacks, mounted on their small white horses, with their long spears grounded, standing as sentinels at the door of this great painter, whilst he was taking the portrait of their general, Platoff." [Platov]

A wonderful mental image. Somehow I have to find a way to put that in a story. Lawrence's house, (seen left) has since been demolished in favour of the Imperial Hotel.

It was also from Bolton House, on the corner of Guilford Street that, on the 21st of June, 1799, George III., with the Queen and several members of the Royal Family, assembled and after partaking of a cold collation, proceeded to view the nearby Foundling Hospital. I will be posting about the hospital next.

That is all for today, until next time, Happy Rambles.

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge

New Cover!

This is my December book The Gamekeeper's Lady out in the UK, isn't it gorgeous? Drooling here. I don't yet have a copy but I am very pleased with this new style and the cover itself. So like my heroine.

Regency London

You would think after a day of tramping around Hampstead, I would have had the sense to go home and have a nice cup of tea. Not.

That evening I took the underground to Southwark. This is Southwark Cathedral, at night of course. I must say blogger is being very slow with pictures today, which may limit the number I post this time, so please excused the short post.

This was originally a priory and was not a cathedral during the regency era, but it was one of England's first Gothic churches and stands at the entry to London Bridge, the only way into London for many centuries.

The real reason for my visit to Southwark is of course the coaching inn. One of the few remaining where one can still see the galleries.

This is the George Inn in Southwark. Only one of its sides - the south side now remains. I wanted to see it at night.

I also went there during daylight hours.

The George can be traced back to 1542 although it is likely that an inn existed here prior to this. Built around three sides of a courtyard - the style became known as an 'inn-yard'. The inn served as an Elizabethan inn-yard theatre. Its wide, double-tiered balconies were an excellent vantage point for the Elizabethan plays. William Shakespeare lived and worked in the area and there is no doubt that he would have frequented the Inn on a regular basis and even possibly have played there, though not in the building we see now, the original inn burned down in 1676, but was rebuilt the same as the old one.

Coaches would have left from here to go through Tunbridge Wells to Dover during the Regency.

Well that is all from me today, so until next time, Happy Rambles.

Searching for Regency London

Fenton House Continued
by Ann Lethbridge

Another view of the garden just to tempt you.

There are two more smaller rooms on the first floor, and their size make photographs less than satisfactory, so I can give you only a glimpse. Note that the first room also had a powder room and the second was originally linked to the master bed room.

Interestingly enough there were six more small rooms in the "attic". I assumed this was where the servants would sleep. But no. Although they could only be reached by the servants' staircase, these would have been family rooms too. Likely the younger children. Most of the families inhabiting this house had from seven to nine children. I was unable to visit these rooms on this occasion but it is on my list for another time.

The servants would have slept in the basement, not open to visitors.

Next time we have our fashion article, before we do more searching in London. Until then Happy Rambles.

Searching for Regency London

Fenton House, Hampstead, Continued
by Michele Ann Young

How about that for a garden and a view from a window. So green and well organized. The weeds in my garden won the battle this year.

This is just a small sample of the lovely views. I took more but thought this was probably enough to "get the idea". I might add another one at the end.

So leaving the ground (first) floor we go up stairs. Here you can see down from the top and get a better sense of the twisted balusters and the large window.

On this floor there are four rooms set around a square landing. The servant's stairs also emerge on this landing, making the two north facing rooms quite small.

This bedroom is the largest. It once had a closet, now an alcove beside the fireplace for powdering ones wig (rather than one's nose).

The columns were thought to be added in 1810 replacing a wall which created the narrow access passage to the clock in the centre east front wall. Where the plates are was originally another concealed or jib door to the adjacent bedroom. The instrument shown in the alcove is a spinet.

This next room is a drawing room, and apparently was always a drawing room. So this house only had three bedrooms on this second floor. The decoration of this room, the dentil frieze and the arched alcoves are likely early nineteenth century.

We still have two more rooms on this floor, but the photos take forever to load and the sunny day is calling me outside. So until next time, Happy Rambles.

Searching for Regency London

By Michele Ann Young

Fenton House continued

We saw the narrow servants' stairs in the previous set of pictures. Here are the stairs the family would have used.  Not the impressive staircase of some of the houses we have seen, but clearly wide, with lighting from a large window on the first landing, which itself is wide enough for a chair. The window looks out over the walled garden.

This is the original seventeenth century staircase with twisted balusters. Now we go upstairs

This next room on the ground floor has been described as a small sitting room, or study and displays some of the finest figurines from England and the continent in the eighteenth century. Some of the English makers are Bristol, Bow, Chelsea and Derby.

The mirror between the windows is fine gilt gessor, or sconce, once equipped with branches for candles from 1715. The instrument is a 1612 harpsicord.

This is the last room on the ground floor, and its use in our time is not described. The alcove off to the right would have been a closet, not open as it is now.

It now displays early Chinese ceramics some of which were imported into England in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Next time we will climb the staircase and look around upstairs. Until then Happy Rambles.

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge

One of my most interesting visits this summer was to Fenton House in Hampstead.

Pictured first is the South Front, which faces down Holly Hill (a particularly steep hill I might add)

In the regency period, Hampstead was a small city separate from London and a place where the middle class professionals lived, rather than the fashionable, though the Heath itself drew many visitors. The village and the heath sits high on a hill overlooking London and at one time could be seen as wooded hills behind the city from the other side of the river.

Fenton House has remained remarkably untouched since it was built in 1756, being a substantial brick house with extensive gardens of fruit trees and kitchen gardens enclosed in a brick wall.

Today much of the house is given over to collections of pictures and musical instruments which are interesting. My main interest however was with the house itself. The way it would have been lived in.

Various parts of the house has been altered over the years, but still it retains much of its original structure.

The entrance hall shown here, with the service stairs behind which can be shut off by a door is a far more modest area that we see in the grand houses we have visited. The frieze around the ceiling dates from about 1810.

The long case clock you can see dates from 1700.

Here is a closer look at the frieze:

Moving into the dining room we can see that it was once divided into two rooms, a dining room and a drawing room.

The chairs at the table are 18th century mahogany. The harpsicord off in what was a drawing room is a Shudi and Broadwood from 1770. One of the earliest with the Broadwood name.

These lyre back chair are Regency and there is also a winecooler in the shape of a classical sarcophagus tucked under the sideboard which is also Regency.

The alcove, part of what was the drawing room which clearly goes into one of the protrusions you can see on the outside of the house contains one of the very popular Broadwood Square pianos, this one from 1774

Sadly this is all we have time for today. But lots more next time. Until then, happy rambles.

Searching for Regency London

by Michele Ann Young

Another week gone already? Oh no. I want summer to last forever.

After Horse Guards I wandered back to my hotel. Refreshed, the next day I had one very particular spot on my mind. St. George's, Hanover Square, because Ann had just written a wedding scene there for "The Gamekeeper's Lady", due out in Hardcover in December. Anyway, my luck wasn't in. The Church is closed for renovations. They need lots of donations and I am providing you with a link to the official site. Dame Judi Dench is their Patron. However, I did take some pictures, as we were interested in the steps and the access.

One thing you need to know, the Church is not in Hanover Square, but on St George's Street to the south of the square.  You will see this quite clearly on Google if you wish, and probably in the A to Z of Regency London.

Here you can see along the street, with Hanover Square behind on the left.  There are several very nice Georgian buildings remaining in this street.On the right is a picture taken looking up towards the square, where the trees are. Again, more Georgian buildings.

These are views of buildings from the steps.  I thought it particularly interesting that one of the shops, the one with the bow front was a bespoke taylors which now incorporates Hicks and Sons, established in 1797.  Hicks and sons would have been most likely located in Saville Row, but the building they occupy now might well have been around at the time.

And below are the steps up which the hero's brother dashed just in time!

Since I had walked to Hanover Square, in search of my church, we ought to pay it a visit too.

Hanover Square was the first square built in London. Started in 1717, it was originally surrounded by fields. This picture shows it around 1754 looking north.

Included in the surrounding buildings in our time were the Hanover Square rooms built in 1774-75 in place of the original Number 4. They were built by the Swiss-Italian dancing master to the royal family, Sir John Gallini. Bach was a shareholder in the rooms and gave concerts there from 1775-1782, as did Hayden between 1791 to 1794.  The musical connection continued well past the Regency until 1874.

Number 21 was occupied by the French Ambassador, Prince Tallyrand, but after our period.

Today, there are a great many more trees, a whole lot more traffic of a very different sort, and it is fenced in with iron railings.

That is all I have time for tonight, I hope you enjoyed this visit. Lots more to come, until then, Happy Rambles.

What I am reading right now.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge

Horse Guards.

When I visited they were preparing for the trooping of the color, and there were bleachers up against the walls, so I am using this picture from Wikipedia for the wide angle shot.

The present day building was finished in 1753 and was built on the site of the stable yard for the old Whitehall palace. The Duke of Wellington was based here when he was commander in chief of the British Army.

Here we see the clock with the royal arms of George II beneath.

And this is the chick sentry, so called because a soldier called to account for being asleep on duty indicated he was supposed to be guarding the sergeant's chickens when in fact he is guarding the stables. At the time of the Regency there was stabling for 62 horses.

The basement also included a cockfighting pit and a raised viewing area. Something to keep those "Hyde Park soldiers" entertained.

The sentries, mounted and dismounted, still guard the Whitehall side of Horseguards.

As an army brat, I tend not to bug soldiers at their duty and so only took this one picture from a distance of the mounted sentries, but you can find them all over the web.

I was glad to have this opportunity to wander around Horse Guards, since two as yet published books have scenes set in this location and being there really helps make the scenes authentic. I took a great many more pictures for myself, but these give the flavor of what existed during the regency.

We will be searching for more of regency London next time. Until then, Happy Rambles.

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge

Still on my first afternoon in London, I walked past the British Museum an few steps past my hotel and wandered along Greek Street. While the buildings date back to the 18th century, most of the facades were added in the early 1900's.

Here we see the The Seven Pillars of Hurcules Pub with its 1733 structure and updated front. Dickens referred to this pub and a couple of other buildings in this street in his Tale of Two Cities.

The story of course is set during the the Rein of Terror in France, which is something that interests me as a writer.

The buildings beside the pub were also from the 1730's but were updated during the early 1800's.

This building, numbers 12-13 the largest in Greek Street was originally named Portland House.

From 1794 until 1797 Josiah Wedgewood displayed his wares here.
The rooms mentioned on the ground floor were a 'Hall', 'Counting house' and 'Shop' and on the first floor a 'Great room', another room, a 'Flowerpot room' and a 'Gallery'. Outside, mention is made of 'Painting Shops, Stable, damaged ware room, Scowering room, retort room, Pearl ware room, Laboratory, Printing and Pattern rooms' and of a 'Chapel-Building with Packing and unpacking House'

The firm then moved to 8 St James Square.

My destination is Horse Guards. But I realize I have used up the time set aside for this blog and since I took quite a few pictures, I will save them for next time we go rambling in London.

Searching for Regency London

by Michele Ann Young
I received my copies of the Mammoth Book of Regencies and boy are there some neat writers inside the covers.

Can't wait to read everyone's stories. Short stories are great. I have started reading one every day while I am on my exercise bike. Exercising is now a treat.

This is not a very exciting picture, given the scaffolding, but if you were following the earlier post on adventures in London you will remember we paused in Bedford Square.

Everywhere you go, there are these blue signs, noting who lived at various houses.

This one is for Lord Eldon, Lord Chancellor from1801-1827 with a brief respite for one year early on.

The interesting thing about this man for me, is that as well as being Lord Chancellor, he was the son of a coal fitter, and rose to the peerage.

He was also one of those men who as a youth ran off with an heiress, Besse Surtees in November 1772. Using a ladder to get her out of the house no less, he whisked her off to Scotland to be married. And their love endured until her death in 1831. He followed her in 1838. A true romance.

He is certainly an interesting man, (pictured here in his Chancellor's robes) and while we would not agree with many of his ideals today, he was a rogue as a lad, a romantic as a young man and moved up by his own efforts to be involved in the leadership of his country during very interesting times. He certainly warrants more study.

We are going to move on from this square next time. Until then, Happy Rambles

Searching for Regency London

by Ann Lethbridge

On my way to Bedford Square, mentioned in my previous blog, I found the mews for my hotel, or townhouse as it would have been in the Regency.

These mews, Gower Mews, run at right angles to Gower Street partway down the block, not behind the houses they were intended to serve. Though on other streets I found examples of the mews running behind the houses.

Note the narrowness of the entry, one carriage wide, opening out enough to allow for a carriage to turn.

And here it is from the other side. These mews are dwellings now, and the stables beneath are garages rented separately, though in some other mews I did notice these garages were converted into part of the dwelling.

A two bedroom flat in these mews still owned I believe by the Bedford Estate, can be rented for around 500 pounds a week.

Back to Bedford Square, which is actually more of an oval, at least in the middle.

Here are a couple of pictures around this wonderful square for your enjoyment, although I admit to taking many more.

This square is still uniform with its large double town house in the centre of each side of the square with the pediment above and the individual townhouses flanking it.

A great example of London in the Regency. I will have some information next time about one Regency person who lived here.

On my first day, my foray into London enchanted me and I took a great many pictures. So our ramble through London is going to be a slow one, since I have so far walked only a few steps from my hotel.

Until next time Happy Rambles.

Adventures in London

by Ann Lethbridge

The Arosfa Hotel is a refurbished 200-year old Georgian Town House in the historic Bloomsbury district, the former home of the famous Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir John Everett Millais.

Staying in a Georgian Town House near Bedford Square is a treat in itself I must say. I am right at the top of the house at the back, so it is quite a climb. No forgetting things and running back for them, I can assure you.

My first day here, Sunday, was hot and sunny and since it was too early to occupy my room, I left my luggage and set off on a long walk in search of all things Regency.

First stop, Bedford Square. One of the best preserved examples of Georgian architecture in London.

More to come on the square, of course, but the hour grows late and so I must wish you happy rambles, until next time.

Regency London

by Michele Ann
It's been a while since we visited London, but I thought we might have a change of scene.

Inns in our period were very important places. The larger ones were not only watering holes, but they were meeting places, transportation terminals and hotels.

The Talbot pictured here in 1810. This inn which was established in 1307 on the east side of Borough High Street in Southwark. A principal route in and out of London.

(Originally called the Tabard after a short coat, either sleeveless, or with short sleeves or shoulder pieces, which was a common item of men's clothing in the middle ages.)

The Tabard appears in Chaucer's Cantebury Tales as the place where the pilgrims gathered prior to setting out on their journey.

It was renamed after a fire destroyed it and it was rebuilt 1669.

It became a posting house, and a place for visitors to London to stay on the other side of the Thames opposite the city.

The gallery which runs around the inside of the courtyard of many these inns always reminds me of a modern motel.

The Cock Inn Leadenhall Street.

This is a lesser known inn according to my source "Inns and Taverns of Old London" and was thought to be originally a boys charity school - the carvings of small boys holding up the over-hanging second story giving it away. You can also make out the cockerel sign below the bay window. It is a beautiful building and still in existence during our period. It is a tavern rather than a coaching inn and would have provided food as well as a favourite libation.

That's all from me. Until next time, happy rambles.