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In consequence of the recent abolition of the Company's commercial privileges, the East Inilia Docks are not now appropriated to any peculiar class cf vessels; but their distance from the scat of business (being the furthest from the city,) must operate to their disadvantage. With a view of facilitating the conveyance of heavy goods from these and the West India Docks to the City, a stone tram-way was laid down along the Commercial-road in 1830, which has been attended with very beneficial results.
The St. (catherine's Docks are situated between the London Docks and the Tower. In clearing the ground for this great public work, no less than 11,300 persons were obliged to seek accommodation elsewhere. More than 1250 houses were pulled down, amongst which was the ancient Hospital of St. Katherine*. The capital embarked in the undertaking has consequently been very great, and it has been found necessary to augment it to 2,152,800/. The area witliin the walls is about 24 acres; 11J of-which are water. The warehouses, which are extensive and commodious, are supported on the side fronting the Docks, by massive Doric pillars of east-iron, a mode of construction which has been attended with a great saving of time and expense: goods can be hoisted at one operation from the hold of the vessel into the warehouses; there have consequently been instances of despatch in unloading ships in the St. Katherine's Docks, which appear almost marvellous. About 150 ships, independently of craft, can be accommodated here; and in consequence of the proximity to the city, the tonnage is progressively increasing.
The St. Katherine's Dock Steam-Packet Wharf was the first attempt made on this river to land and embark passengers, without the risk and inconvenience of boatconveyance; a landing-place is now forming on the site of Old London Bridge:—the appropriation of any part of this venerable relic of antiquity for the purposes of a steamwharf, might furnish matter for an essay.
The commodious basin of the Regent's Canal, at Limehouse, which was opened in 1820, is also used as a dock.
We have now only to notice the establishments which have been formed lor the accommodation of shipping, on the southern side of the Thames. These principally consist of the Commercial and East Country Docks, which are chiefly frequented by vessels in the South Sea, timber, and corn trades. They are very extensive, the area comprised within the walls being 49 acres, 38 of which are water. A large number of ships can also be docked in the spacious basin at the entrance of the Surrey Canal, adjoining the Commercial Docks.
In consequence of the crowded state of the river, in despite of the enormous extent of wet-docks which we have been describing, plans have been proposed, at various times, for the formation of Collier Docks, the most eligible situation for which would certainly be the Isle of Dogs. There is not the smallest probability, however, that this project will ever be carried into effect, as these ships prevent the undue accumulation of mud and rubbish in the river.
Exercises so important an influence on the navigation and commerce of the country, especially on that of the metropolis, that our account would be incomplete were we not to furnish some notice of it.
The "Guilde, or Fraternitic of the most glorious and undivided Trinitie" of Deptford Stronde, was originated by Sir Thomas Spert, Comptroller of the Navy, in the reign of Henry the Eighth. It appears, however, that a society of mariners had existed there at a much earlier period, as the charter granted by Henry the Eighth, in 1515, confirmed till "the ancient rights and privileges of the shipmen and mariners of England,'" with their property at Deptford, to the present Corporation. Originally the society was composed of seamen alone, but this was only for a short period; and, at the present time, the Marquis Camden is Master, and the King, the Duke of Wellington, Earl Grey, and many other persons of rank and influence, are numbered amongst its " Elder Brethren."
The Trinity House is invested by its charter, (which was extended and confirmed by James the Second, in 1G85,) with the power of erecting light-houses, and other seamarks, and of fixing buoys on the coasts of this island;— and all the light-houses, floating-lights, &c, except harbourlights, from the Farn Islands off Northumberland, along the eastern, southern, and western coasts of England, to
• See Saturday Magazine, Vol. II. p. 132,
the extremity of North Wales, are the property of the corporation, with the exception of the light-houses at Tynemouth, Spurn (shore), Winterton and Orford, Harwich, Foreland, Dungeness, Longships, Smalls, Skerries, &c, which are partly public, and partly private property. The Trinity House is also invested, amongst other powers connected with maritime affairs, with those of regulating and licensing pilots for the Port of London; the examination of the mathematical scholars at Christ's Hospital, intended for the navy, and of the Masters of His Majesty's ships; of settling the rates of pilotage, and of fining unqualified persons either commanding or piloting ships; of the management and emoluments of the Ballast Office, for clearing and deepening the Thames, by taking up a certain quantity of ballast, for the supply of all ships that sail out of the river, at fixed rates; and of granting licenses to poor or infirm seamen, not free of the city, to navigate on the Thames. The revenues from these and other sources are extremely large; and may be computed to amount to at least 160,000/. per annum. A portion of this sum is devoted to charitable purposes; as independently of the maintenance of two Hospitals at Deptford, and 28 Alms' Houses; it is said, that nearly 3000 decayed seamen, or the widows and orphans of seamen, are annually relieved by the Corporation. The Old Trinity House was , situated in Water Lane, near the Custom House, but this being found inconvenient, the present extensive and elegant structure, of which we give an engraving, page 1G5, was erected in 1795, on Great Tower Hill. The elevation is of Portland stone, in the purest style of Grecian architecture, and the open and advantageous situation, gives full effect to the building, which is one of the finest in the metropolis.
The dues in the Port of London were extremely heavy, until about nine- years since; when the monopolies enjoyed by the Dock Companies having expired, the dock charges have gradually, in consequence of competition, been reduced to a very low rate. The charges for pilotage and lights, especially the former, are, however, extremely burdensome: but a Parliamentary inquiry is about to take place with respect to the latter; and the recent abolition of the dues at the North and South Foreland light-houses, which belonged to Greenwich Hospital, has been a considerable relief to the ship-owner.
A few years since, the charges on an American ship of 482 tons burden, inwards and outwards in this Port, for lights alone, were upwards of £58; and we cannot give a more forcible illustration of the pernicious effects resulting from such charges, in preventing foreign ships from availing themselves of the security of our ports in strong weather, than by giving the substance of an anecdote, in Sir John Hall's work on the Navigation Laws: the case is only one amongst many. Some years since, the Dutch ship Vreede, from the Texel to Batavia, on her arrival off the Wight, encountered rough weather and contrary winds which obliged her to put back. Off Dungeness, the captain laid the vessel to. He was entreated, however, by the passengers and officers, to run her into the Downs, where she might have anchored in safety; but this he refused, alleging in excuse, the very heavy charges he should be subject to for light and other dues. In the night, the vessel was driven on shore near Hythe, in Kent, and only 12 persons were saved, out of 392 that were on board!
The advance of steam-navigation, and its effect in promoting the prosperity of commerce, is one of the most interesting subjects connected with our inquiries.
In 1807, when Fulton first proposed to propel a vessel by steam on the American waters, his project was received with derision and incredulity;—little more than twenty years after, the discovery was applied by our enterprising countryman, Captain Ross, in facilitating his progress in the arctic regions'!-; and, in 1833, an iron steamer has traversed that celebrated riverj in the interior of Africa, whose very existence was so long deemed little else than a fable.
But although America first applied this gigantic power alloat to practical l uses, yet it is to Britain that the honour of the discovery is exclusively to be attributed. A native of Glasgow, Mr. Henry Bell, was the discoverer of steam-navigation. Ho communicated his ideas to Mr Fultou, and they finally proceeded to the United States, co
t See Saturday Magazine, Vol. III., p. 265.
endeavour to carry the plan into effect. Mr. Bell returned to Scotland, when its success had been established, and, in 1812, constructed the Comet, a small vessel of throehorse power, for the conveyance of passengers between Glasgow and Greenock, on the Clyde. The success of this experiment led to the construction of other vessels of larger power; and this leads to a curious steam-reminiscence of the Thames. A Mr. Lawrence, at that period, constructed a steam-boat at Bristol, which he brought to London to ply on the Thames for passengers. The Company of Watermen, however, made so strenuous an opposition to this extraordinary innovation on their "vested rights," that the proprietor was obliged to return with his steamer to Bristol; but others soon succeeded, and about twenty years subsequently, at the time we are now writing, at least 100 steam-boats plough the waters of the Thames. The progress of steam-navigation, for the first ten or twelve years after its introduction into this country, was extremely slow; most of the vessels then built were very deficient in power, and, indeed, no very material improvements in their architecture—especially in the Port of London—were made for several years later. Since 1829, the progress made in steam-navigation, both as respects its extension, and in the modelling and construction of the vessels, has been exceedingly rapid. The benefits which it has conferred on the country arc most strongly illustrated in reference to Ireland. AV'e learn, that formerly, from the time a sailing-vessel was first prepared to start from Liverpool, to the time of her arrival in Dublin, a week might be calculated as a fair average of her passage. The first steamer was established between those two ports in 1821: the voyage is now performed in about twelve hours, and the Post-office Packet, Dolphin, has made the passage, a distance of 137 miles, in 10 hours and 18 minutes! At the present period, it may fairly be computed, that a capital of nearly a million is engaged in steam-communication between the two countries. The benefit to Ireland is of course exceedingly great; her exports have consequently nearly been doubled: and some "dca of the extent of the trade may be formed from the fact, that about 400,000 head of cattle, sheep, and pigs, are annually imported into Liverpool alone; whilst the impor
tation of grain and meal from Ireland, into Great Britain, has been augmented threefold since 1815.
According to a Parliamentary return, the number of steam vessels in 1829, was 342, of the aggregate burden of 31,355 register tons; of which number, 241 vessels and 20,C11 tons belonged to England; 75 vessels and 5953 tons to Scotland; and 26 vessels and 4791 tons to Ireland. About 30 steamers have on an average been built annually since that period, so that the present number in the United Kingdom, may be computed at nearly 500.
The number of steamers belonging or trading to the Port of London has nearly doubled since 1829, and now exceeds 100, the largest of which is the Monarch, a magnificent ship of 1200 tons burden, recently built for the station between London and the Scottish metropolis. A list of the places where the London steamers sail to direct will, perhaps, give the best idea of the present extent of the trade, vis, Hamburgh, Rotterdam, Antwerp. Ostend, Calais, Boulogne, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Stockton, Hull, Yarmouth, Ipswich, Northlieet, Gravesend, Southend, Sheemess, Chatham, Whitstable, Heme Bay, Margate, Ramsgate, Dover, Exeter, Plymouth, Falmouth, Cork, Dublin, Belfast, and Liverpool.
The most striking illustration of the increase of this mode of communication is evinced in the instance of Gravesend, which, for the information of our country readers, we should state is a town containing about 10,000 inhabitants, situated on the banks of the Thames, about 30 miles, by water, below the metropolis. In 1821, the number of persons that landed at Gravesend from London, was only 27,291; in 1831, upwards of 240,000 persons landed and embarked there. This year it may fairly be estimated, from the formation of a landing-pier, and other causes, that the number will be increased to 400,000. About thirteen steamers, six of which have been constructed this year, some being of the power of 100 horses, will, in future, ply to Gravesend during the season. The passage to Margate, a distance of 84 miles, has been performed (excluding stoppages) by the Magnet and Royal William, in five hours. On the importance of steam for the purposes of towing in a river like the Thames, it is unnecessary to comment.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OK THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
THE WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL. The Engraving on the preceding page, presents a correct view of the handsome, spacious, and commodious building, lately begun, and now almost completed, near the north-west corner of Westminster Abbey. Before we describe this edifice, a short historical sketch of the institution to which it belongs, may not be uninteresting to our readers, i*, having been the first in this kingdom established and supported by voluntary contributions.
From the time of the Reformation to the beginning of the last century, the only public establishments for medical and surgical relief to the poor of London were, the royal foundation hospitals of St. Bartholomew and St. Thomas. It was not till the year 1715 that a project was set on foot for furnishing them with this necessary aid, by means of private subscriptions. This measure, it should be gratefully remembered, was suggested by Mr. Henry Iloare, then a banker in Fleet Street, whose descendants are still liberal contributors to the Westminster Hospital, one of them, Mr. Charles Hoare, having the kindness to act as the joint-treasurer of its funds, with Mr. Hallett, the Chairman of the present Building Committee. Mr. Hoare's suggestion was made at a meeting at St. Duustan's Coffee. House, on the 14th of January, 1715. A room, as A repository for medicines, -was opene4 in the Bird-Cage Walk, St. James's Park, and after increased exertions had been made by many active and benevolent persons (among whom the names of Mrs. Froud, and of Sir John Cofbatch, an eminent physician, are particularly recorded), a house for the accommodation of thirty persons was opened in Petty France, now called York Street, Westminster. On this building, which was not far from the site of that now about to be exchanged for the one represented in our engraving, were inscribed the words, "Publick Infirmary for the Sick and Needy." At the instigation of tlie celebrated and eccentric Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who was a liberal subscriber to the charity, a petition was addressed in 1721 to King George the First, for his royal protection to it, grounded in part on an apprehension then entertained, that the plague was likely soon to visit his dominions. The Princess Royal became a subscriber, and the gradual increase of the funds, to about £700 a year, at length enabled the governors to open a house in Chapel Street, for sixty patients, on the 10th of June, 1724. Two years afterwards, the very distinguished anatomist, Cheselden, became the Lithotomist to the hospital, an office which he retained for fifteen years, receiving the particular thanks of the governors on his retirement, which was occasioned by his declining health. His portrait is in the present Board-Room, and will, of course, be transferred to an honourable situation in the new one, with those of other eminent professional men, who have, at different periods, rendered the Hospital their gratuitous and valuable services.
The removal of the establishment to James Street took place in 1733, but not till after much controversy had arisen among the governors, many of whom preferred the site of Lanesborough House, near Hyde Park-comer, and accordingly withdrew their subscriptions, in order to establish St. George's Hospital there. Cheselden and the celebrated Dr. Mead adhered to the parent institution, which, though it found a formidable rival in its more favoured offspring, has continued for a century to dispense its benefits to the rapidly increasing population of a distressed neighbourhood, in a house containing one hundred beds, with accommodations also as a dispensary for out-patients. Nor has the Royal
support been withheld from it. Queen Charlotte became its Patroness, and at her death, the title of Patron was accepted by His late Majesty, then Prince Regent. Soon after the Accession, their present Majesties graciously allowed their names to appear as Patron and Patroness, accompanying that permission with liberal contributions. The Duke of Sussex, about ten years ago, became Vice-Patron.
One of the most memorable instances of the Royal Patronage towards this hospital, occurred at the commemoration of Handel in Westminster Abbey, under the sanction of George the Third. It was the original intention of the projectors of those performances in 1784, that the profits should be given to the Fund for the support of Decayed Musicians. The claims of the Westminster Hospital were, however, deemed by His Majesty of sufficient importance to entitle it to share with the Musical Fund, and accordingly, it received from the four successive annual commemorations, no less a sum than £5500. It has, till very recently, been confidently hoped, that the arrangement for the intended performances at the Abbey in June, would include an equally beneficial provision for the hospital. In fact, long before these performances were projected, a suggestion was made for augmenting the hospital building-fund, by a series of oratorios, at the same place, and on the same grand scale. Unfortunately, the difficulties which seemed likely to be opposed to the accomplishment of the plan, added to the responsibility which the funds of the charity would incur, in the possible, though improbable event of failure, were suffered to weigh down the practical judgment and experience of the gentleman by whom the suggestion was offered. Should all chance of a participation in the profits of the ensuing concerts be finally frustrated, it may still be hoped that the liberal feelings of those who may attend them will be powerfully excited in favour of this institution, by the opportunity they will have of viewing the noble structure raised for its benevolent purposes, and of alleviating the disappointment which has been thus occasioned.
It only remains to add a brief statement of the circumstances which have attended the erection of the New Hospital. The present house in James Street having become much dilapidated, as well as insufficient in size and accommodations, for the purposes of relieving the daily-increasing objects of the ■ charity, a meeting was held at the Thatched House Tavern in 1819, where a subscription for an enlarged building was commenced, under the munificent auspices of the Duke of Northumberland, President of the Institution. The fund thus begun, having increased, in the year 1831, to more than 19,000/., the governors, after a careful consideration and examination of other sites which had been offered to them, felt themselves justified, in entering into a negotiation with His Majesty's Government, for the purchase of the then vacant spot of ground near the Abbey, considering its situation to combine every local advantage that could be desired. This purchase was completed for 6000/., paid by the proceeds of a sale of stock, belonging to the general funds of the Hospital. The execution of the measure was then confided to a building-committee, who proceeded to examine the designs of eight eminent architects, and finally selected one, which was offered to them by Messrs. Inwood and Son, under whose superintendence, the present structure has been built by Mr. Barron. It is in the Tudor style, of white Suffolk brick, with stone battlements and enrichments: the centre is seventy-two feet in height; the front extends to about 200 feet, and the total number of windows is 260. There are nineteen wards, affording accommodation for 202 patients, and the number of beds, including those for officers, nurses, and servants, will amount to about 240. The interior arrangements, and the ventilation, are considered to be excellent.
With an anxious desire to prevent a lavish expenditure on useless decorations, the committee, nevertheless, found themselves under the necessity of sanctioning such an architectural elevation, as in its style and execution, should not disgrace its neighbourhood. In so doing, with the most rigid and minute attention to economy, they have been unable to complete their contracts for a less sum than 27,500/., which will be augmented to above 30,000/., by the interior fittings up and furniture. They have, therefore, exceeded, in their expenditure, the amount of the building-fund, by a very considerable sum, even if Government should be disposed to authorise the remission of the 6000/., paid to them for the site—a measure which, it is conceived, the legislature would not deem an unreasonable indulgence to a charity so closely connected with the two Houses of Parliament. But it is not alone for the purpose of defraying building-expenses, that a large augmentation of the funds of the Hospital has become necessary. It is obvious that a great increase of annual expenditure must be occasioned in the support of the establishment, which has more than doubled its capabilities of being useful. On both these grounds, therefore, it is confidently hoped, that an appeal to "public benevolence will not be made in vain, for ensuring continued and extended prosperity to an institution which has already administered relief to more than 230,000 patients.
There is an old story, that when tea was first introduced into England, some person, ignorant of its use, boiled it to eat as spinach: the fashion, however, never seems to have spread, nor do we think that the following manner of drinking it, and washing the cup, met with by Captain Turner in Bootan, would be much more likely to meet with imitators. *' During our visit, the Raja held out upon the points of the fingers of his right hand, a small, shallow lacquered cup, which was filled with tea. Three cups had been set down before us; the Raja directed his sen-ant to fill them also; still holding the cup, he repeated, in a low and hollow tone of voice, a long invocation; and afterwards, dipping the point of his finger three times into the cup, he threw as many drops upon the lloor, and then began to sip his tea. Taking this as a signal we followed the example, and partook of the dishes of parched rice, that were served up with it. We found this liquor extremely unlike what we had been used to drink, under the same name; it was a compound of water, Hour, butter, salt, and bohea tea, with some other astringent ingredients, all boiled, beat up, and intimately blended together. I confess the mixture was by no means to my taste, and we had hitherto shunned, as much as possible, these unpalatable potations, yet we now deemed it necessary to submit to some constraint, and having at last, with a tolerable grace, swallowed the tea, we yet found ourselves very deficient in the conclusion of the ceremony. The Raja, with surprising dexterity, turned the cup, as he held it fast between his fingers, and in an instant passed his tongue over every part of it; so that it was sufficiently clean to be wrapped up in a piece of scarlet silk, which bore evident marks of its having been, for some time, devoted to this service. The native officers, who had entered with us, were not permitted to partake of this repast, and, but for the honour of it, we would willingly have declined so flattering a distinction.
For the sake of health, medicines are taken by weight and measure; so ought food to be, or by some similar rule. Skelton.
He is rich who saves a penny a year; and he poor who runs behind a penny in a year. Skjslton.
THE SEA OF TIBERIAS.
This immense lake is almost equal, in the grandeur of its appearance, to that of Geneva. Its eastern shores present a sublime scene of mountains, extending towards the north and south, and seeming to close it in at either extremity; both towards Chorazin, where the Jordan enters; and the Aulon or Campus Magnus, through which it flows to the Dead Sea. The cultivated plains reaching to its borders, resembled, by the various hues their different produce exhibited, the motley pattern of a vast carpet. To the north appeared snowy summits, towering, beyond a scries of intervening mountains, with unspeakable greatness.
As we rode towards the Sea of Tiberias, the wind rendered its surface rough, and called to mind the situation of our Saviour's disciples, when, in one of the small vessels which traverse these waters, they were tossed in a storm, and saw Jesus, in the fourth watch of the night, walking to them upon the waves. Often as this subject has been painted, combining a number of circumstances adapted for the representation of sublimity, no artist has been aware of the uncommon grandeur of the scenery, memorable on account of the transaction. The lake of Gennesareth is surrounded by objects well calculated to heighten the solemn impression made by such a picture; and, independent of the local feelings likely to be excited in its contemplation, affords one of the most striking prospects in the Holy Land. It is by comparison alone, that any due conception of the appearance it presents can be conveyed to the minds of those who have not seen itj and, speaking of it comparatively, it may be described as longer and finer than any of our Cumberland and Westmoreland lakes, although, perhaps, it yields in majesty to the stupendous features of Loch Lomond in Scotland. It does not possess the vastness of the Lake of Geneva, although it much resembles it in particular points of view. The Lake of Locarno in Italy, comes nearest to it in point of picturesque beauty, although it is destitute of any thing similar to the islands, by which that majestic piece of water is adorned. It is inferior in magnitude, and, perhaps, in the height of its surrounding mountains, to the Lake Asphaltites, but its broad and extended surface, covering the bottom of a profound valley, environed by lofty and precipitous eminences, added to the impression of a certain reverential awe, under which every Christian pilgrim approaches it, give it a character of dignity unparalleled by any similar scenery.
Having reached the end of the plain, a long and steep declivity of two miles yet remained, to the town of Tiberias, situated upon the borders of the lake. We had here a noble view of this place, with its castle and fortifications. Groups of Arabs, gathering in their harvest upon the backs of camels, were seen in the neighbourhood of the town. Beyond it appeared, upon the same side of the lake, some buildings erected over the warm mineral-baths of Emmaus, which are much frequented by the people of the country; and still further, the south-eastern extremity of the lake. Turning our view towards its northern shores, we beheld, through a bold declivity, the situation of Capernaum, upon the boundaries of the two tribes of Zabulon and Naphtali. Along the borders of this lake, may still be seen the remains of those ancient tombs, hewn by the earliest inhabitants of Galilee, in the rocks which face the water. They were deserted in the time of our Saviour, and had become the resort of wretchea. men, afflicted by diseases, and made outcasts °*