On our way to Beauchamp Tower, the Prison of Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, we passed Tower Green, where Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Catherine Howard, three queens, were beheaded.
This is the place where King Henry VIII. had several of his six wives dispatched, which he could not well have got rid of, by divorce.
I had intended to touch in these remarks a number of other points about London, and especially the almost boundless resources of England’s welthy Lords, but I can only present a single example, and must then hurry on with my account to Continental Europe. The wealthiest nobleman whose home and dwelling-place I passed, is the Duke of Maclew (a Scotchman) whose annual income is estimated at L350,000 or about $1,700,000. He lives at White Hall, near Westminster Bridge.
London to Paris.
On Wednesday, July 21st, the eight day of my stay in London, I went to Charing Cross Station and procured a ticket for Paris. Before leaving however, I exchanged my English currency for French money. The rate of Exchange is 25 francs for one sovereign. The exchange clerk explained to me the relative values of the French coins which I found to be much easier to understand than English money.
The table runs thus: 100 centimes equal one franc; and 20 francs, one napoleon. The coins are: napoleons, (20L), 10 franc and 5 franc pieces in gold; francs and half-franc coins in silver; and 10 centime, 5 centime, (the sou), and 1 centime copper and nickle coins, though the centime is not in general circulation now, being equal to but one fifth of a cent in our money. It was a great consolation to me to know that I would understand the French money perfectly, especially as I expected not to be able to speak with anybody in Paris, except, now and then, with a stray German or Englishman. Soon after entering the train at Charing Cross I met a Frenchman (Prof. P. Simond who could speak English fluently, having occupied his time in England in teaching French, and was on his way to Paris to spend his vacation there. He offered at once, very kindly, to assist me in Paris, and I felt from that moment that I should be ten-fold luckier in making my entry into Paris than I had thus far had reason to expect. The train left London at 6:35 p.m., and was to make connection with a steamer for Calais, (pron. K[)a]l’[)i]), thence by rail to Paris, reaching the latter place the next afternoon. The “through ticket” 3rd Class, from London to Paris, cost 21 shillings. Distance 262 miles.
Soon after leaving London, I discovered that I was surrounded by the family of an English merchant, who, having retired from business, had taken his wife and daughters to make a trip to the Continent, with a view to see France and Germany. The mother expressed great delight on learning that I was an American, remarking that “Americans are not so stiff in their intercourse.” It was lot long before I felt that I was in a fair position to spend the day and night en route from London to Paris pleasantly, even if we were to be confined to the cars and the boat with the exception of a few hours.