Northern Heights of London

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The FamLoc Edition of The Northern Heights of London, is a properly edited edition, not merely a facsimile reprint. We welcome input from local historians and family historians relating to the book.

The Northern Heights of London, by William Howitt

This book was first published in 1869, and covers Hampstead, Highgate, Belsize Park, Islington, Muswell Hill and Hornsey.
For this FamLoc Edition there have been some inevitable changes to format, especially regarding the quotations, although the prose has been faithfully retained, other than changes to one or two typographical errors, and where clarity is required.
It is over 500 pages, packed with information on the geography, people and events, and also includes 40 line drawings from photographs. This book is a valuable resource for local historians and family historians, as well as those who just want to know more about the place in which they live.

BUY The Northern Heights of London


Chapters and Contents of The Northern Heights of London:


The Manor of Hampstead
History of the grant of this Manor — Given to the Convent of Westminster — Account of it in Doomsday Book — Manor of Belsize granted to the Monks of Westminster by Sir Roger Brabazon in Edward III’s reign — A right of lodging his retainers in Hampstead and Hendon granted by Henry IV to Lord Scrope of Masham — Wolsey resting at Hendon Place on his way to York — Hendon Place pulled down in 1756 — Hampstead Manor since the Reformation    — Granted to Sir Thomas Wroth by Edward VI — Lady Wroth, niece of Sir Philip Sidney, and author of ‘Urania’ —Sold to Sir Baptist Hickes, Viscount Campden, in 1620 — Transferred to the Noels by marriage — The Noels Earls of Gainsborough — The Hon. Mrs. Baptist Noel establishes The Wells — The Manor of Hampstead sold to Sir William Langhorne — descends to Margaret Maryon, and again to Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson, Bart. —  Procession of Horns at Charlton Manor — The old Manor House at Hampstead

Manor of Belsize
Granted to the Waads (or Wades) after the dissolution of Monasteries — Sir Armigell Wade, Clerk of the Council to Henry VIII and Edward VI — sailed to America in 1536 — Sir William Wade, Ambas­sador from Queen Elizabeth to Spain — his independent conduct — employed at the Courts of France, Portugal, and Denmark, and in treating with the Queen of Scots — Lieutenant of the Tower, &c. — super­seded by Carr, Earl of Somerset, in order to the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury — his epitaph — The Manor passed from the widow of Sir William Wade, Lady Anne Wade, to the son of Lord Hemfleet — Lord Wotton of Wotton — Desperate attack on Belsize House by robbers in Lord Wotton’s time — Visit of Pepys to Belsize House in 1668 — The Manor devolved to the Earl of Chesterfield — House rebuilt — The Estate sold by Lord Chesterfield, and divided — House pulled down in 1852 — In 1718 occupied by Mr. Povey, a singular character and writer — his proceedings towards the French Ambassador and the Prince of Wales

Belsize as a Place of Amusement
Hampstead formerly inhabited chiefly by washerwomen — Became a watering-place at the commencement of the eighteenth century — Dissipation at the Wells, the Heath Races, and at Belsize House — Ben Jonson’s ‘Tale of a Tub’ — The Comedy of ‘Hampstead Heath’ — extract from it — Gardens and sports at Belsize — Howell, called the ‘Welsh Ambassador,’ the landlord of Belsize — Gambling and immorality there — Deer-hunt in the Park — Satiric poem on Belsize House quoted — Folly houses — Belsize one of them — Vauxhall Gardens an imitation of Belsize — Troop of armed men to resist the highwaymen haunting the road — Reconverted to a private house — Murder of Mr. Delarue  — House demolished about 1852 — Increase in Housing, St John’s Wood to Haverstock Hill

The Wells at Hampstead
The Wells in Well Walk — recommended as medicinal — the water sold in London — Dr. Gibbons, the advocate of Hampstead water, satirized by Garth, in his ‘Dispensary’ — Musical entertainments at the Wells — The Long Room — Chapel, and cheap weddings — Races and fairs on the Heath — put down for their immorality — Raffling shop denounced by the `Tatler’ — The Hon. Susanna Noel grants six acres to the poor of Hampstead lying around the Wells — The Long Room converted into a chapel in 1733

The Mineral Wells North of London
Music-houses — Coleman’s Music-house in Lamb’s Conduit Street — Miles’s Music-house at Sadler’s Wells — Islington Spa — account of it by Sir John Hawkins, etc. — Beer brewed from Sadler’s Wells water recommended by the doctors — The ‘Weekly Comedy’ — A monstrous eater — Character of the frequenters of the Wells — Murder of Lieutenant Waite at Sadler’s Wells — Francis Forcer, occu­pier of the Wells — these described by William Garbott in his ‘New River, a Poem’ — Old view of Sadler’s Wells — description of it in ‘Universal Harmony, or, The Gentlemen and Ladies Campaign,’ 1745 — The old house pulled down and rebuilt in 1765 —Liquors served during the performance in the Theatre — Further history of Sadler’s Wells — husband of Mrs. Siddons a proprietor — purchased by Charles Dibdin and a company in 1802 — ‘Naumachia’ acted there, 1804 — Islington Spa — The Clerks’ Well — Bagnigge Wells — House inhabited by Nell Gwynne — Kilburn Wells — St. Chad’s Well — The River of Wells, &c.

Kilburn Priory
Originally a Hermitage — made over to the Abbey of West­minster — a nunnery for ladies of rank — superintendence usurped by the Bishops of London — The nunnery falls into destitution — its condition at the dissolution — made over by Henry VIII to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem — granted to the Earl of Sussex — Manor of Shuttup Hill granted to Sir Roger Cholmeley — Subsequent changes

Hampstead Heath and its Associations
Attempts of Lords of Manors to claim the feesimple of commons — More recent doctrine — Rights of the public asserted — Contest of the people of Hampstead with Sir Thomas Wilson — Hampstead Heath a resort of wolves in the twelfth century —  Frequent highway robberies on it at the beginning of this century — Brave resistance of a London tradesman in 1803 — The Hampstead Coach robbed at the same time — A Bill filed by a highwayman against his accom­plice for division of profits — specimen of the Bill — the fate of both the robbers, and of their lawyer — Robberies on Finchley Common — Townsend the Bow-street officer’s evidence on the decrease of highway robberies

The Groves of Hampstead
Well Walk — John Keats there seen by Hone — House of Mary Ann Clarke

Lord Erskine at Evergreen Hill
Biographical account of him — his late entry into the legal profession — his sudden and permanent triumph before Lord Mansfield — pronounced the most eloquent pleader at the Bar — defends Admiral Keppel and Lord George Gordon — enters the House of Commons — contest for the Rights of Juries with Mr. Justice Buller —  Case similar to that of William Penn and William Mead — Erskine’s noble stand occasions the Parliamentary settlement of the Rights of Juries — his defence of Stockdale — of Thomas Paine — of Perry and Gray, of the ‘Morning Chronicle’ —  of Hardy, Thelwall, and Tooke — Lord Campbell’s opinion of Erskine’s position at the English bar — his account of his private life — his assertions of public liberty in Parliament — defence of William Stone and the Bishop of Bangor — of Thomas Paine again — noble eulogium on the Christian religion — defence of Hatfield, who shot at the King, as insane — made Lord Chancellor in 1806 — lost the Great Seal again in 1807 — advocates concessions to the Catholics — brings in a Bill for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — the cause taken up by Martin, and a Bill passed  — is invested with the Scottish Order of the Thistle — opposes the despo­tism of the Ministers of the Prince Regent, and Lord Castlereagh’s ‘Six Acts’ — defends Queen Caroline in his place in the Peers — his formation of his house and grounds at Evergreen Hill — his great parties — noblemen who were entertained by him — fondness for animals, and defence of them — thrashes a man on Hampstead Heath for cruelty to a dog — his witty sallies — the elephant and his trunk — six-and-thirty editions of his ‘Causes and Consequences of War’ — writes a romance called ‘Armata’ — Lord Brougham’s estimate of Lord Erskine — Last scene with Burke — Lord Erskine’s children

North End, Hampstead Heath
Retreat of Lord Chatham — his strange ailment — disastrous consequences of it — Various murders — Aikenside at North End — Modern authors resident there — Sir Fowell Buxton

Hampstead Heath Continued
The Vale of Health — Its quietness broken up — great hotel there — vast resort of holiday people to the Heath — the old tea-drinkings — Mr. Davenport Hill, late Recorder of Birmingham, resided there — Leigh Hunt once resided in the Yale of Health — visited by Shelley and Keats there — unhappy fates of Shelley and Keats  — harsh treatment of Shelley — extraordinary scene on the Heath through Shelley’s benevolence — Heath Lodge: Mrs. Lessingham — Mysterious death of John Sadleir

The Ponds

The Village of Hampstead
Origin of the name of Hampstead — Fine views from the neighbourhood — Old houses and gardens

The Upper Flask
Formerly a public house — Clarissa Harlowe represented by Richardson as entertained there — The Kit-cat Club held there — The old mulberry-tree — the property of the Countess of Warwick — Steevens, the annotator of Shakespeare, lived there — singular biography of George Steevens — miserable end — Miss Hawkins’s account of him — fact men­tioned in the ‘Universal Museum’ of 1764

Celebrated Men Mentioned by Lysons as

Once Resident at Hampstead

Judge’s Bench or Judge’s Avenue
Branch Hill Lodge, residence of Lord Loughborough — ancient painted glass once there — Grove Lodge — Montagu Grove, once residence of Edward Montagu, and of Richard Richards, Chief Justice of Chester — The Old Workhouse, once residence of Booth, Wilks, and Colley Cibber

The Church and Churchyard
Originally a Chapel-of-ease to the Church of Hendon — became a separate Church in 1561 — rebuilt in 1747 — one of its most remarkable incumbents, the Rev. Dr. Warren of Charlton — succeeding incumbents — the present incumbent, the Rev. Charlton Lane  — In the Church are monuments or memorial tablets of Dr. Anthony Askew — the wife of Lord Erskine — the mother of Mr. Tierney, M.P. — In the Church­yard are memorials of Daniel Bedingfield, Clerk of Parliament in 1637 — Lady Elizabeth Norton — Lord and Lady Delamere — Hon. Elizabeth Booth — John Harrison the chronometer-maker — Miss Joanna Baillie, her mother and sister — Sir James Mackintosh — Henry Cort — Constable the artist — In the Register are the names of Sir Arthur Athye — a son of Sir William Jones — Tyke Marrow — Thomas Jevon, actor — John Pate, actor — a Countess of Pembroke — Christopher Bullock, actor, &c. — Dr. George Sewell — the Earl of Buchan (1745) — the Countess of Buchan — Joseph Dorman, dramatic writer — James Pitt — William Popple —  James MacArdell and Charles Spooner, mezzotinto engravers — Henry Barnes, legal author — Sir William Duncan, physician to George III — James Pettit Andrew, historian, and advocate of chimney-sweep reform — Remarkable cases of longevity

Benefactors of Hampstead
John Stock leaves money to educate and apprentice orphans — Elizabeth, Viscountess Campden, leaves money for the poor, and for apprenticing children — An unknown benefactress — The Hon. Susanna Noel and her son, the Earl of Gainsborough, gave the site of Hampstead Wells and six acres of land — Robinson, Bishop of London, leaves £100

The Old Manor House
Henry Bradshaw Fearon

Frognal Hall
Its successive inhabitants

Frognal Priory
Mr. Memory — Corner Thompson — Gregory, ‘the Satirist’ — present condition

Old West End
Anecdotes of the Fair there — Independent Chapel — The Countess of Huntingdon — Heath Street Chapel

The Lower Flask and Flask Walk
For­merly a Fair there — The Chicken House — formerly resembling a farm­house —  curious painted glass formerly in the windows — portraits and memorandum regarding James I and the Duke of Buckingham there — frequented by Lord Mansfield and his legal friends at one time — becomes a resort of thieves — Gale, the antiquary, died there — remains of the house

Churches and Chapels near Flask Walk
Old Presbyterian Chapel — Mr. Barbauld once minister — Trinitarian Presbyterians — Catholic Chapel — Christ Church — Wesleyan Chapel — Hampstead Sunday School — Old Presbyterian Chapel —— New Unitarian Chapel — New Presbyterian Church — Catholic Chapel — The Morell family — Freneh refugees — Christ Church — Origin of the Sunday School at Hampstead

Leigh Hunt and Description of Hampstead

The Aikin Family and Mrs. Barbauld
Memoir of Mrs. Barbauld — Sir Walter Scott at Hampstead — Dr. Beddoe’s cure of disease by the breath of cows — Cows taken into bedrooms — The Barbaulds’ astonishment at the sight of cigars — Mrs. Barbauld and Wedgwood — Dr. Aikin and Miss Lucy Aikin

Artists Resident at Hampstead
Miss Margaret Gillies — Mr. Clarkson Stanfield — Mr. Herbert — House formerly occupied by the Messrs. Longman — House of Sir Harry Vane and Bishop Butler — Now the Soldiers’ Orphan Asylum — Memoir of Sir Harry Vane — his noble character — his defence of the British Constitution, and of religious liberty — his trial and exe­cution — Bishop Butler afterwards occupied this house — stained-glass in the windows in his time — house pulled down, and rebuilt as the Soldiers’ Orphan Asylum

Rosslyn House and Lord Rosslyn
Formerly Shelford Lodge — purchased by Wedderburn, Lord Rosslyn, and named Rosslyn Lodge — since inhabited by Sir Francis Freeling — School for Soldiers’ Daughters — Memoir and character of Lord Rosslyn — his violent attack on Dr. Franklin — a ruthless tool of a despotic government — the first to deny the right of the poor to glean in harvest-fields — his ostentatious style of living — violent opponent of peace with the Americans — also with France — thorough opponent of Reform — his strenuous endeavours to condemn Horne Tooke, Hardy, and Thelwall — estimates of his character by George III, and Lords Camden and Brougham

Other Old Houses at Hampstead
Queen Elizabeth’s House — The Conduit, Shepherds’ Fields — The old water-carriers — Hampstead Geeen — Collins, the painter, lived on Hampstead Green for a time — House of Sir Rowland Hill — Grose, the antiquary, killed on Haverstock Hill — Moll King, celebrated by Hogarth, resident at Hampstead — Dick Turpin practised there

Sir Richard Steele’s Cottage
Once occupied by Sir Charles Sedley — Notice of Sir Charles — his profligacy — companion of Charles II — his reform, and admirable speech in Parliament — his satirical poems and dramas — his descendants some time ago living in Nottinghamshire — Sir Richard Steele’s letter from this cottage regarding Sir Charles Sedley — Many of the papers of the ‘Spectator’ written by Steele here — Steele the father of our periodical literature — his labours associated with those of Addison —  beneficial influence of his writings in the ‘Spectator,’ ‘Tatler,’ etc. — denounces the barbarities of his time — prosecuted by Government for his plain speaking — expelled from his seat in Parliament — married a Welsh lady—his struggles and necessities — retired to his wife’s estate in Wales, and died there — The cottage on Haverstock Hill pulled down in 1867

Primrose Hill
Primrose Lane — Murder of Sir Edmond Bury Godfrey — a great mystery never cleared up — Primrose Hill formerly called Barrow Hill, supposed to be the scene of a battle — Chalk harm, adjoining it, famous for duels — Singular occurrence in 1805, near Primrose Hill

Biographical Notices
In 1664 only one family in Hampstead who gave in a pedigree — Lord Chief Baron Wylde, who drew up the impeachment against the Bishops, resident at Hampstead — Sir Geoffrey Palmer, mana­ger of the evidence against the Earl of Strafford, died at Hampstead in 1670 — Henry Millar murdered on the Heath — the murderer gibbeted on the spot in 1672 — one gibbet-tree remaining — The Right Hon. Lord Wharton, father of the notorious Duke of Wharton, died here in 1695-96 — Dr. Sherlock died here, 1707 — Joseph Keble, an eccentric law-reporter, lived here — William Popple, Esq., Secretary of the Board of Trade, etc., and a dramatic author, died here in 1722 — Dame Julia Blackett, a lady of much note, died here — Christopher Bullock, an actor, died here, 1722 — Robert Millingen — Sir George Sewell, translator of Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses,’ etc., died here in 1725 —John Gay, the poet, at Hampstead — John Merry, governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, died here — Dr. Arbuthnot at Hampstead for his health — Mr. Andrew Pitt — his curious interview with the Prince of Wales in 1736 — received a letter from Voltaire — Mark Akenside — introduced to Hampstead by the Hon. Jeremiah Dyson — Dyson and Akenside fellow-students at Leyden — settled together at North-End — haughty conduct of Akenside — removes to Bloomsbury Square — Bucke’s account of Akenside — great success of his ‘Pleasures of Imagination’ — want of success in practice at Northampton — generous conduct of Mr. Dyson — Akenside in­troduced at Court — Miss Hawkins’s account of Akenside — his personal appearance — his treatment of patients in the Hospital of St. Thomas — The Lords Delamere — Dr. Johnson at Hampstead — Visits his wife at Hampstead — James Pitt buried here — mentioned in the ‘Dunciad’ — James MacArdell and Charles Spooner, mezzotinto engravers, buried here — Richard Cromwell, a descendant of the Protector — his daughters possessed portraits and other valuables inherited from their great ancestor — James Newnham, lieutenant in Marlborough’s army — fought at Blenheim — died here, 1773 — Dr. Anthony Askew, collector of classical works, died here in 1774 — John Harrison, the Chronometer Maker Buried here, 1776 —Mr. Isaac Ware — lived at Hampstead — translator of Palladio’s ‘Architecture,’ etc. — Lady Janetta de Conti died here in 1784 — Jenny Diver, the pick­pocket, died here in 1783 — an accomplice of Barrington — her legacy  — Mr. Thomas Longman, publisher, lived at Hampstead, and died there in 1797 — his son, Thomas Longman, killed by a fall from his horse — Admiral Barton — his singular history — Dr. George Armstrong, the poet, practised medicine at Hampstead — his writings — Mrs. Mary Green — Richard Pepper Arden, Lord Alvanley, resident at Hampstead — Sir Francis Delaval resi­dent at Hampstead — Lovell Edgeworth’s telegraph — Thomas Day, author of ‘Sandford and Merton,’ resident at Hampstead — Romney, the painter, at Hampstead — his house and gallery there — died in 1802 at Kendal — character of his works — Mrs. Tierney, mother of the M.P. — Mrs. Dorothea Baillie, mother of Dr. Matthew Baillie and Joanna Baillie, died here, 1806 — Dame Joanna Watson and Chief Justice Watson — William Collins, the painter — his cottage at Hampstead — his rambles in early life about Hampstead with Morland — anecdotes of Morland — Collins and Kirton at Highgate and Willesden — Collins settles at Hampstead — visits Coleridge — Edward Irving — Collins at North-End and Hampstead Green — removes nearer to the Heath — incidents at Hampstead — removes to Bayswater — pictures painted and money made by him — Sir David Wilkie at Hampstead — John Constable — fond of painting Hampstead Heath —  lived in Well Walk — character of his paintings — his tomb in Hampstead Churchyard — Sir William Beechey resident at Hampstead — Crabbe the poet — his visits to the Hoares of Hampstead — distinguished people met there — anecdote of the ‘Black-cock’ — Haydon, Leigh Hunt, and Words­worth — Haydon’s fondness for the Heath — Joanna Baillie — Her good and retiring character — her long life at Hampstead

Wedgwood’s views of Hampstead and Highgate

Fossils, etc. in pos­session of Mr. Dutton


All-devouring London
Its aston­ishing spread — view of it from Highgate — ancient Forest of Middlesex — wild cattle — famous for yew trees — deforested in 1218 — popula­tion of London at various eras — Henry VIII prohibits sporting over his preserves at Westminster — Elizabeth’s visits to Highgate — endeavours of successive monarchs to check the growth of London — similar endea­vours by Cromwell — war upon hawkers and street-stalls — Sir Matthew Hale’s calculation of the population of England and Wales — the popula­tion of London in 1697 and 1801 — a Census unknown till the reign of Elizabeth — progressive growth since — causes of it

Old and New Aspects
For ages Highgate a mere hamlet in the forest — In the fourteenth century a highway made by the Bishop of London — placed a toll-gate there, whence High-gate —  Bishop’s Palace at Lodge Hill — Remains of episcopal property about Highgate —  The Hermit’s Cell — this granted (in 1565) to the new Grammar School endowed by Sir Roger Cholmeley — Pool and road attributed to the Hermit — The old Chapel-yard — Coleridge’s tomb

Highgate Grammar School
Founded in 1562 — Charters of the School — the original Governors — rule for the appointment of Masters — the ordinances regarding the Schoolmaster — charge for admission and books — the Master’s original salary — his house, garden, and land — different advance­ments of salary — income of property at different periods —  number of scholars on the foundation — improvement of the School under Dr. Dyne — the poor and retail tradesmen’s children shut out of the benefit in­tended for them — rebuilt in 1866

The Old Chapel
Memorials of persons of distinction — Dr. Lewis Atterbury — Sir Francis Pemberton, Chief Justice in Charles II’s reign — Nathaniel Hobart, son of Chief Justice Hobart — Lady Judith Platt, relict of Sir Hugh Platt, author of `The Garden of Eden,’ etc. — Members of the Sprignell, De la Warre, Mainwaring, and other families — Robert Earl of Warwick and Ellenor Countess of Sussex — The Blounts of Holloway — Sir Henry Blount, author of ‘Travels in Turkey,’ etc. — fought at Edge-hill — Thomas Pope Blount, author of ‘Censura celebriorum auctorum,’ etc. — Charles Blount, deistical writer, committed suicide — Sir John Wollaston, commissioner for the sale of Church lands, and also founder of Almshouses at Highgate, buried here, 1658 — Lady Ann Peerpoint, daughter of the Marquis of Dorchester, married here to John La Rosse, son of the Earl of Rutland — Sir John Pettus, cupbearer to Charles II — Charlotte, his daughter — Sir Francis Pemberton and Dame Anne, his widow — Mr. John Shower, Dissenting minister, author of a work on Earthquakes — Curious memorial of Christopher Wilkinson, merchant adventurer — Sir Jeremy Topp — Rev. Edward Yardley, author of ‘Genea­logy of Christ,’ etc. — Richard Browne, citizen and macon of London

Highgate Church
Built in 1832 — memorial tablets brought from the old chapel

Historical Events at Highgate
Duke of Gloucester and other nobles meet in Hornsey Park in opposition to Richard II — these nobles ar­raigned for high treason — Richard II, in 1398, brought prisoner through Highgate — Henry V met here by the Lord Mayor of London — Henry VII met also by the Lord Mayor returning from the capture of Lambert Simnel — Thomas Thorpe, Baron of the Exchequer, beheaded in Highgate in 1461 — Queen Elizabeth met at Highgate on her accession by the Lord Mayor — Venner and the ‘Fifth Monarchy Men’ retreat to Caen Wood in 1661 — General Monk encamped on Finchley Common — Trainbands en­camped on Finchley Common to resist the Pretender — Hogarth’s ‘March to Finchley’ — Rebel lords brought through Highgate seen by Miss Haw­kins’s mother — Lord Lovat taking refreshment at the inn at the corner — The author sees an old man who was at the Battles of Prestonpans and Culloden — General Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, shot woodcocks where Regent Street now is — The ‘Fox Inn’ on Highgate Hill — Rescue of the present Queen by the landlord — Remarks of passers-by — Fine views from Highgate — Distinguished men once resident in this vicinity — Aris­tocratic families who have lived in and around Highgate —John, Lord Russell, died there in 1584 — Sir Richard Baker, author of ‘Baker’s Chronicle,’ resided there — Dr. Sacheverel died there, 1724 — Nicholas Rowe, dramatist — Mrs. Barbauld — Countess of Huntingdon — Dr. Isaac Watts — General Wade — Hogarth — Morland’s visits to Highgate — Cole­ridge at Mr. Gilman’s

Coleridge at Highgate
Biographical notice of him — settled in 1810 in Highgate — works produced there — his wonderful powers of conversation — many celebrated visitors — Edward Irving — Coleridge as a philosopher — the house in which he lived — his great estimation in America — last days

Other Famous Residents of Highgate
John Taylor — Thomas Pringle — Mr. MacDowell, the sculptor

Ceremonies of the Horns at Highgate
Practice of swearing travellers on the horns — Similar ones at other places

Fitzroy Park
Severance of the Southampton property from the Deanery of St. Paul’s — Dr. Southwood Smith resident in Fitzroy Park — his public services — bequest of the body of Jeremy Bentham — singular preservation of the skeleton — Dufferin Lodge, the residence of Lord Dufferin

Caen Wood and Lord Mansfield
House and Park of Caen Wood — hiding of the ‘Fifth Monarchy Men’ there — Traitor’s Hill — the ancient mound near it — Paterson, founder of the Bank of England — originator of the Hampstead and Highgate Ponds — Successive proprietors of Caen Wood — John Bill, Esq. — Duke of Argyll — Lord Bute — Lord Mansfield — Formerly spelt ‘Ken’ Wood — Lord Bute’s good qualities — Lady Mary Wortley Montagu at Caen Wood — Mr. Wortley Montagu, her son — Exclusive habits of Englishmen — Lord Mansfield’s early life — his ride to London — his family Jacobites — employed as Attorney-General against the Jacobite rebels — suspicions of his Jacobite tendencies — his house burnt in the Gordon riots — Lord Campbell’s character of him — his beneficial innovations of legal custom — founder of the commercial law of England — declares the freedom of negroes — opponent to freedom of the American colonies — also to rights of juries — charges of ‘Junius’ against him — Lord Brougham’s estimate of him — instances of liberal conduct in him — his fortitude on the loss of his library — poem of Cowper on that occasion — Lord Mansfield’s steady pursuit of wealth — Noble conduct of the landlord of the ‘Spaniards’ in defence of Caen Wood

Cromwell and Andrew Marvell
Old houses of Highgate — Cromwell House built for General Ireton — substantial building of Cromwell House — flimsy building of Rome in its decline, as of London in our day — Account of Ireton — Marvell’s House, near to Lauderdale House — charac­ter of Marvell — his life repeatedly attempted — his poetry — hostility of the Court to Marvell — attempt of Charles II to bribe him — his cottage at Highgate no longer remaining

Arabella Stuart and Lord Bacon
Arundel House supposed to have be­longed to the Cornwallis family — to have been occupied for a time by Gondamar, the Spanish ambassador to Elizabeth — Sir William Cornwallis visited at Highgate by James I — house becomes Lord Arundel’s — Lord Bacon feasted there by the Countess of Arundel — King James at Arundel House — Flight from it of Arabella Stuart — retaken, and dies in the Tower — pardon and long life of her husband — Lord Bacon in disgrace — attempts in our time to clear him of the acceptance of bribes — Sir Arthur Weldon’s account of him — Anecdote by Basil Montagu — Bacon’s greatness in his philosophy — his death at Arundel House

Lauderdale House and Nell Gwynne
Nell Gwynne and Charles at Lauder­dale House — Lord Macaulay’s portrait of Lauderdale — Marvell’s picture of Charles II — Amiable character of Nell Gwynne — Nell and Bishop Ken — anecdote of Nell at Lauderdale House — Duke of St. Albans

The Whittington Stone
Story of Dick Whittington — Fugger of Augsburg — Whittington’s palace in London — his noble works in London — founda­tion of the Whittington Almshouses — public benefactor

Blake’s Orphanage
Founder of an Orphan School at Highgate — spent his whole fortune upon it — wrote ‘Silver Drops’ as an appeal on its behalf — his singular style — his appeal in vain

Religious Communities in Highgate
Jewish Synagogue — Jewish Academy — School for Jewish young ladies — Presbyterian Chapel — now the National School — Baptist Chapel — new Independent Chapel — John Wilkes and his father frequenters of the Presbyterian Chapel — names of successive ministers — Catholic Chapel, St. Joseph’s Retreat

David Williams
Founder of the Royal Literary Fund — once minister of the Presbyterian Chapel — author of various works — defends Mossop against Garrick — preached sermons on religious hypocrisy — his life and character — founds the Literary Fund — becomes its permanent secretary — his bust by Westmacott — great success of the Fund

Highgate in Former Times of Ritual­ism
Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick — cheering of Burton in Highgate

Highgate Cemetery
The Highgate Père La Chaise — vast importation of bodies from London — fine views from the Cemetery — persons of distinction buried there — Tomb of Tom Sayers most visited — Artists interred there — Alfred Edward Chalon — Charles Joseph Hullmandel — William Henry Hunt — Sir William Ross — Mrs. Bartholomew — Alaric Alexander Watts — Wife and daughter of Dr. Robert Chambers

Highgate Archway
Fall of the tunnel — present Archway — Fossil remains found there — Bishop’s Woods — Church property offered for building — Archway Road completed by Telford — a road formerly projected by Caen Wood and Millfield Lane to save the heavy traffic on the Hill — defeated by private interests — the suffering to horses still continues — West Hill — Holly Lodge — Duchess of St. Albans — Miss Burdett Coutts — The Hermitage — Its curious history — The Prince of Wales and Sir Wallis Porter — Lord Nelson — Fauntleroy — his forgeries and execution — Hermitage demolished — House of Charles Mathews — John Ruskin

Kentish Town and Camden Town
Progress of population

Muswell Hill
Formerly a great resort to the Mouse or Moss Well — Descent of property at Muswell Hill — Alexandra Park — Modern resi­dences — Lalla Rookh Cottage —Moore once resident there —The Well

Bishop of London Lord of the Manor — Bishop’s House once at Lodge Hill — traces of it — Palace there burnt down in 1576 — Meeting of nobles in Hornsey Park in Richard II’s time — Roger Bolingbroke and the Rev. Canon Southwell accused of sorcery at Lodge Hill in the reign of Henry VI — Great case of Dame Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester — Bolingbroke hanged — Southwell died in prison — Penance and imprisonment for life to the Duchess — Margery Jourdemain burnt for a witch, as accomplice — Shakespeare’s account of this case — Edward V conducted through Hornsey by Richard of Gloucester to murder him — met at Hornsey Park by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen — Henry VII met there by the citizens of London — Samuel Buckley, editor of ‘Thuanus’ resident at Hornsey — Rogers the poet buried there — Thomas Westfield, afterwards Bishop of Bristol — Thomas Lant ejected from the living by the Puritans — Lewis Atterbury — William Cole, Cambridge antiquary — Reginald Gray of Ruthin, Earl of Kent — John Lightfoot, learned Hebraist and Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge — Supposed age of parish church


Origin of the name — various theories — mentioned in the ‘Tourna­ment of Tottenham’ — State of the neighbourhood at the Conquest — Famous for its open fields, frequented by shepherds and graziers — Supposed to have a church in the Saxon times — Old church pulled down in 1751 — The inhabitants of Islington broke down enclosures in 1514 — Lord Macaulay’s description of the northern suburbs of London in Charles II’s reign — Cowley’s ‘Monster London’ — John Evelyn’s account of the Lon­doners in Islington Fields at the time of the Great Fire — Queen Elizabeth crossing Islington Fields — Elizabeth beset by ‘begging rogues’ — Gerard the herbalist botanizing in Islington Fields — The ‘Angel Inn,’ in the open country — Finsbury Fields the resort of archers — Boys playing at ball there in Henry II’s time — Popular sports mentioned by Fitzstephen — Ditto by Stow — Archery practised there — patronised by Henry VIII — Establishment of the City Artillery Company — Rules of the Company — King Henry’s Walk at Kingsland — Henry dubs one Barlo Duke of Shoreditch, for his skill in archery — Similar titles frequent amongst the archers — In Henry VIII’s time the archers broke down all en­croaching enclosures — Grand shooting matches — Paul Hentzer, in Queen Elizabeth’s time, notes the decline of archery — James I’s endeavour to revive its use — he and Charles I keep the grounds open for archery — Shooting at ‘rovers’ — Markham’s ‘Art of Archery’ — Woodcuts of archers in full costume — Engraved tickets of admission to members of Archery Societies — Charles II present at the Archery Meeting at Finsbury in 1682 — Pepys takes a walk in the Archery Fields — Sir William. Davenant describes archers in his ‘Long Vacation’ — Robin Hood and the King introduced in Finsbury Fields in the Ballads — The Archery Company repeatedly broke down enclosures — Distance at which an archer could hit a mark — Topham, the strong man, and the Archers — Enclosures finally drove out the archers — Odd names of citizens’ summer houses — The Wells and Public Houses — Drunken Barnaby — ‘Merry Milkmaid of Islington’ — Ned Ward’s ‘Walk to Islington’ — George Colman’s ‘Spleen’ — Sunday excursions of the citizens to Islington described by Bonnel Thornton — Goldsmith’s ‘Shoemakers’ Holidays’ at Islington and High­bury — Sir William Davenant’s ‘Citizen going to Islington’ — The dairies and milk, cakes, syllabubs, and custards — Islington called the ‘London Hospital’ for resort of invalids — Anecdote of a lodging-house keeper — The citizens fortifying the roads at Islington against the Pretender — The Fields now buried under brick and mortar

Ponds, Conduits, and Rivers
The ducking-ponds — A ducking-pond in Aldgate — one in Mayfair — one in Limehouse — a number of them about Islington — Ducking-pond House — Wheel Pond, very dangerous — Howell’s description of the duck-hunting and other sports there — Pepys in the Ducking-pond Fields — The various conduits supplied by these ponds — The New River — The grand enterprise of Sir Hugh Myddelton, a native of Wales — neglected by the City, but supported by King James — The New River, for some reason, not appreciated — Liberal conduct of James I and Charles I to Sir Hugh — Original cost of the New River — Subsequent improvements — Rules and government of the Company — Descendants of Sir Hugh — Small grants to them by the Company — Extensive growth of the Company — Stow’s Account of the first opening of the New River — Portrait of Sir Hugh in Goldsmiths’ Hall

Remarkable Buildings and Institutions
Districts of Islington — The Old Lazaar-house near the Whittington Stone — The Whittington Stone sup­posed to be the base of an ancient cross — Cromwell’s House at Upper Holloway — The ‘Crown’ Public House, now pulled down — Sir Arthur Haselrigge assaulted — Great danger of the roads about Islington as late as 1770 — People at night only dared to pass thence to the City in company — The robber Duval — Butler’s allusion to Duval — Dick Turpin near Islington — The Mother Redcaps in different places — Drunken Barnaby at the ‘Mother Redcap’ at Holloway — Cheesecake houses at Holloway — Cheese­cakes sold by a man on horseback in London — Allusion to them in ‘Jack Drum’s Entertainment’ — Holloway the residence of the Blount family — suicide of Charles Blount — Highbury House — Highbury famous for springs and conduits — The Corporation of London made excursions to the Springs — Gerard the herbalist’s notice of plants there — Manor of Highbury formerly called Tollington — Manor House re-erected on the supposed site of a camp — probably a British barrow—Manor House of Highbury, a favourite retreat of the Priors of St. John — demolished by Jack Straw — Sir William Walworth knighted, on the sandhills near Islington, for killing Wat Tyler — Others knighted, and some ennobled there — The dagger that killed Wat Tyler long preserved in Islington —Manor of Highbury granted successively to Lord Cromwell, Queen Mary, Prince Henry of Wales — Sold by Charles I, and passed through many hands — Highbury Barn — The ancient farm to the Manor House — Barn synonymous with dairy — Barn-measure of milk — Cream Hall — Resorts of Londoners to drink milk and eat custards, &c. — Highbury Barn becomes a tavern and tea-garden — Court Baron held there — Place made very popular by Mr. Willoughby before 1785 — Great place for public dinners — Freemasons dined there, 500 in number — The Dissenters’ ‘Highbury Society’ — their singular mode of proceeding thither — their game of hop-ball — their standing toast — Portrait of Father Ponder, Treasurer of the Society — Highbury Barn of to-day — The Eel Pie House, and Hornsey Wood House — Highbury College

Former names of Canonbury — Formerly the property of the Berners Family — Granted by them to the Priory of St. Bartholomew — At the dissolution granted to Lord Cromwell — At his death Ann of Cleves dowered out of it — Granted to Dudley Earl of Warwick — Granted by Queen Mary to Lord Wentworth — Left by him to Sir John Spencer — Crosby Hall, Sir John’s town-house — Canonbury Tower in its best state — The attempt to kidnap Sir John — His daughter carried off by Lord Compton — Sir John reconciled to his daughter by Queen Elizabeth — Lord Compton deranged by the vastness of his wealth — The famous letter of Lady Compton — Lodgers at Canonbury Tower — Newbery the publisher — Oliver Goldsmith writes several of his works there — Wash­ington Irving visits the Tower — Smart the poet, Chambers editor the ‘Cyclopaedia,’ Humphreys the poet, lodgers there — Hone visited the Tower — Earlier residents there — Sir Arthur Athye, Lord Ellesmere, Lord Bacon, Lord-Keeper Coventry, Earl of Denbigh, Arthur Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons, and other distinguished men

Newington Green
House of the Mildmay family — House used by Henry VIII — Algernon Percy, Earl of Northumberland, the lover of Ann Boleyn, had a house there — Ruinous consequences to Wolsey of his treat­ment of the Earl — The Presbyterian Chapel — amongst its ministers Dr. Price, Mr. Barbauld, and a descendant of Cromwell — Memorials of Dr. Price and Mrs. Barbauld

Islington Green
The Fisher house — The Fowler House — Account of the Fowlers and Fishers — Queen Elizabeth’s Lodge — The Old Queen’s Head — an account of it — a new house built on its site — The Pied Bull — house of Sir Walter Raleigh — still remaining — traces of former state — Proofs of Sir Walter’s possession of it — Ward’s Place — Supposed to have belonged to Lord Hunsden — King John’s Place — belonged to Earl of Leicester — then to Sir Robert Ducy — pulled down

The Old and New Parish Church
Numerous churches in Islington — Date of the Old Church — Memorials of people buried in it — The bequests of Richard Cloudesley — New Church built in 1751 — Remains of persons of note within the New Church — Mother of Sir George Saville — Monu­ment of Dr. Hawes — In the Churchyard inscriptions in memory of Sir John Mordaunt — John Nichols, of the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ — persons who died of the plague — Sir William Perriam — Sir Henry Yelverton — Lady Worcester — many members of the Fowler and Fisher families — Marchioness of Clanricarde — Sir Henry Ascough — Sir Henry Dymock — Sir George Wharton — Duel fought at Islington — Names on the Register — Playford, writer on music — Bishop Blackburn — Dr. Poole, traveller — Osborne the bookseller — Rev. John Lindsay, author of ‘History of the Regal Succession’ — John Hyacinth de Magelhaens — Cooke the Miser of Pentonville — Rev. John Pridden, epitomizer of the Rolls of Parliament, &c. — Mrs. Olivia Serres, soi-disant Duchess of Cumberland — Her daughter, Mrs. Ryves — Her trials for her supposed rights — Contradictory stories of Mrs. Serres — Exposé of her claims by Sir Robert Peel — Exposé in the ‘Leeds Mercury’ — Pretended Will of George III — The Duke of Kent imposed on

The Angel Inn
The old inn pulled down in 1819 — description of it

Priory of St. John of Jerusalem
Remains of the Priory — Account of the Order — Great possessions of the Order — Its abolition — Monastic bodies having property in Islington

Dame Alice Owen’s Hospital and Schools
The old School and Alms­houses — Rebuilt in 1840-41 — The origin of the bequest — The present state of the property

Historical Facts connected with Islington
Battle of the Romans with Queen Boadicea — Description of the place by Tacitus — Roman London — Account of the battle at Battlebridge — Skeleton of an elephant found on the place — Welshmen with Prince Llewellyn at Islington in reign of Edward I — Arrest of Henry VI at Islington — Edward IV met near Islington by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen — Henry VII met in Hornsey Park by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen — Henry VIII a frequent visitor at Islington — Queen Mary’s deputation to meet the ambassadors of the King of Muscovy at Islington — Several Protestants burnt by Queen Mary at Islington — many treacherously captured in a field there — committed by Sir Roger Cholmeley — thirteen of them burnt — Queen Elizabeth at Islington — The Earl of Essex, on his way to Ireland, passing through Islington — James I conducted through Islington to the Charter House — Charles I passing through Islington from Scotland — Breaking out of the Rebellion — Oliver Cromwell’s stoker, Colonel Okey, lived at Is­lington — Sir Arthur Haselrigge, the friend of Cromwell, living at Hollo­way — Accident to General Skippon in Islington — Plot against Cromwell — Vowell the schoolmaster — Private and Public Meetings — Copenhagen House originated and frequented by Danes menaced by the Gordon rioters — Place of political meetings — fre­quented by Horne Tooke, Hardy, and Thelwall — Great Trades’ Union meeting in 1834 — The Cattle Market — Established in Copenhagen Fields — Mr. Perkins’s Cattle Market near Ball’s Pond — New Prison at Pentonville — New City Prison at Holloway

Remarkable Persons who have lived in the Parish of Islington
John, second Baron Berners — Dame Juliana Berners — Lord Berners, the translator of Froissart — Manor of Barnsbury passes to the Fowler family — thence to the Wilsons — Sir Henry Yelverton, a judge under James I — Robert Brown, founder of the Brownists — his singular character — Rise of the Independents — Bishop Stillingfleet, prebendary of Is­lington — John Bagford, collector of books — Addison — an idea of his sojourn at Islington doubtful — Defoe educated at Islington — singular treatment of him — Halley the Astronomer resident at Islington — account of him — Topham the Strong Man — anecdotes of him — killed his wife and committed suicide — John Banks, bookseller and writer — Mrs. Forster, granddaughter of Milton — kept a chandler’s shop at Lower Holloway — account of her by Dr. Johnson — Collins the Poet — some time at Islington — his fate — beauty of his Odes — Colley Cibber — lived at Islington — Mrs. Clarke, his daughter, kept a public house at Islington — Alexander Cruden, author of the ‘Concordance’ lived at Islington — his singular character — confined as a lunatic — his eccentric philanthropy — attempts at reform of prison discipline — the forerunner of Mrs. Fry — sound sense displayed in his literary labours — James Burgh, author — John Allingham, dramatic writer — Dr. Nicho­las Robinson, medical writer — Isaac Ritson, translator of ‘Homer’s Hymn to Venus,’ &c. —Joseph and Mary Collyer, translators from Klopstock, Gesner, &c. — their son Joseph, a celebrated engraver — Oliver Goldsmith — Arrested by his landlady at Canonbury — Dr. Richard Price — account of him — a great calculator — zealous republican — friend of Dr. Priestley, John Howard, Franklin, &c. — The Rev. George Marriott — The Rev. John Palmer — Mary Wollstonecraft — kept a day-school at Newington Green — buried in Old St. Pancras church­yard — Baron D’Aguilar — A wealthy Portuguese Jew, developing into a most cruel miser and debauchee, living on the banks of the New River — miserable scene in his house — awful starvation of his animals — his miserable end — large amount of his property — strange enigma of such characters — Alexander Aubert — The friend and patron of Smeaton, the engineer — Abraham Newland — Celebrated manager of the Bank of England — his plod­ding habits — his house at Highbury — his peculiar life — his constant residence at the Bank — Dibdin’s song of ‘Abraham Newland’ — Dr. William Hawes, founder of the Royal Humane Society — Account of him — his opposition to premature interments — Lectures on suspended animation — Benevolent exertions on behalf of the Spitalfields weavers — Great success of his Society — Humane character of his brother, Benjamin Hawes — James Elphinston — Critic and translator of Racine the younger — Joseph White — Collector of Saxon coins — Sir Brook Boothby — Tanslator of Sappho — William Huntington — Coalheaver preacher — account of him — his singular epitaph for himself — The Rev. Timothy Priestley — Brother of Dr. Priestley — Thomas Skinner Surr — Novelist — author of ‘Splendid Misery,’ ‘George Barnwell,’ &c. — John Thurston and Robert Branston — Engravers — Thomas Davison — Excellent printer of Whitefriars — Mr. and Mrs. Barbauld — John Nichols — Proprietor of the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ — an account of him and his numerous and excellent works — his tomb in Islington Church­yard — Daniel Wilson — Vicar of Islington — Bishop of Calcutta — his works — Dissenting ministers — Burder, Bogue, and Clayton — The Rev. Rowland Hill in White Conduit Fields — William Woodfall, the reporter — John Thomas-Smith — Keeper of prints in the British Museum — author of the ‘Life and Times of Nollekens,’ and many other works — Samuel Rogers the poet — An account of him — proceeds of his books, pictures, &c. — Charles Lamb — Account of him and his sister — his friend George Dyer nearly drowned in the New River by Lamb’s house — numbered all the great writers’ of the time as his friends —  Wainwright, the poisoner, a fellow-writer in the ‘London Magazine’ — his end — Lamb’s last days — Sir Richard Phillips — His origin and progress — imprisoned in Leicester Jail for selling Paine’s works — Daniel Lambert, of obese fame — His jailor — became a sheriff of London — started the ‘Monthly Magazine’ — Combated Newton’s philosophy — a vegetarian — a specimen of his vegetarian habits — Sir Richard a literary curiosity — Miss Lawrence — Dr Jackson, present Bishop of London.

Images from The Northern Heights of London:

The Northern Heights of London, by William Howitt

This book was first published in 1869, and covers Hampstead, Highgate, Islington, Muswell Hill and Hornsey.
For this FamLoc Edition there have been some inevitable changes to format, especially regarding the quotations, although the prose has been faithfully retained, other than changes to one or two typographical errors, and where clarity is required.
It is over 500 pages, packed with information on the geography, people and events, and also includes 40 line drawings from photographs. This book is a valuable resource for local historians and family historians, as well as those who just want to know more about the place in which they live.


BUY The Northern Heights of London


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