[Illustration: FLAXMAN’S HOUSE, BUCKINGHAM STREET.]
Canning’s house, on the south side of Conduit Street is greatly changed since the great statesman lived in it. It originally formed a wing of Trinity Chapel, which has been swept away within the last few years. This chapel was the successor of the chapel-on-wheels which was used at the Hounslow camp in the reign of James II., and was subsequently brought up to London. It is shown in Kip’s view of old Burlington House as standing in the fields at the back of that house. When Conduit Street was built, a chapel was erected on the south side to supersede the chapel-on-wheels. The house on the west side of the chapel, where Canning lived for a time, was subsequently inhabited for many years by the famous physician, Dr. Elliotson, F.R.S. After his death, the front was altered, and a large shop window made, as seen in the accompanying figure. It is now in the possession of Mr. Streeter, the jeweler.
[Illustration: CANNING’S HOUSE.]
Dr. Johnson had so many residences in London that there is some difficulty in choosing the one that is most interesting to us. The house in Gough Square has special claims to attention, as it was there that the great lexicographer chiefly compiled his dictionary. The garret, with its slanting roof, in which his amanuenses worked, and his own study are still to be been. Johnson himself, in his “Life of Milton,” observes, “I cannot but remark a kind of respect, perhaps unconsciously, paid to this great man by his biographers; every house in which he resided is historically mentioned, as if it were an injury to neglect naming any place that he honored by his presence.” Emboldened by this expression of opinion, Boswell one evening, in the year 1779, ventured to ask Johnson the names of some of his residences, and he obtained the following list, which he printed in his “Life of Johnson:” (1) Exeter Street, off Catherine Street, Strand, (2) Greenwich; (3) Woodstock Street, near Hanover Square; (4) Castle Street, Cavendish Square, No. 6, (5) Strand; (6) Boswell Court; (7) Strand again; (8) Bow Street; (9) Holborn; (10) Fetter Lane; (11) Holborn again, (12) Gough Square; (18) Staple’s Inn; (14) Gray’s Inn; (15) Inner Temple Lane, No. 1; (16) Johnson’s Court, No. 7; (17) Bolt Court, No. 8. In this last place he died in 1784.
[Illustration: JOHNSON’S HOUSE.]
In April, 1879, the corporation of the city of London were asked to co-operate in this work, and to undertake the erection of suitable memorial tablets within the city boundaries. The matter was referred to the city lands committee, with which body the secretary has had several communications with respect to the localities suggested for memorials, the result being that the committee agreed to erect such tablets within the city boundaries.—Journal of the Society of Arts.
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