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The Royal Institution of Great Britain was incorporated for “ the diffusion of knowledge, and facilitating the general introduction of useful mechanical improvements.” But the chimerical experiments of Count Rumford savour too much of quackery to exa cite much hope that his plans of economy can ever be realized.
The Royal Society, and Antiquarian Society, hold their meetings in the rooms appropriated to them in Somerset-Place.
1. The British Museum is a depository of antiquities, libraries, manuscripts, and curiosities in natural history. This structure is situated in Great Russel-Street, Bloomsbury; and tickets of free admission may be obtained by application at the porter's lodge at the entrance.
ii. The Leverian Museum, consisting of a collection of subjects of natural history, is situated on the Surry side of Blackfriars-Bridge. The terms of admission one shilling.
HOSPITALS and PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Christ's Hospital, to the north of Newgate-street, was founded by Edward VI. for the maintenance and education of the orphans of poor freemen of London.
One thousand children are at present on this excellent establishment, and the annual expediture is £30,000.
St. Bartholomew's Hospital was founded in 1102, for the relief of the sick and maimed, and rebuilt of stone in the present magnificent style in 1730. This structure is situated near West-Smithfield. Indigent persons, maimed by accident, are admitted without previous recommendation at all hours of the day and night ; and diseased persons are received on petition, signed by a governor. A committee of the
governors sit every Thursday at the Hospital, to determine on petitions.
St. Thomas's Hospital, situated in the Borough of Southwark, was originally erected in the year 1215, for the relief of the indigent, maimed by accident or afflicted with disease.
Guy's Hospital was erected by Thomas Guy, a bookseller of London, who founded it at the expence of £.20,000, and bequeathed £.220,000 for its endowment. The in-patients in this establishment are 432 in number, besides about 2000 out-patients, who are annually relieved.
Bethlem Hospital, for the cure of lunatics, is an extensive structure of brick and stone, situated on the south side of Moorfields. At present this hospital contains about 250 patients.
St. Luke's Hospital, for the cure of lunatics, is an extensive structure, built of brick and stone, in a simple and beautiful style of architecture. Its situation is airy and salubrious, on the western side of the City Road; and the interior is the most perfect model of cleanliness and convenience.
The Foundling Hospital was established by royal charter in the year 1751, “ for preventing the further murders of poor niserable infants at their birth, and for suppressing the inhuman custom of exposing new-born infants to perish in the streets."
The Magdalen Hospital was opened in 1751, for the reception of penitent prostitutes; and a majority of the young women admitted, have been restored to their friends, or placed in situations where they can earn an honest livelihood. Froin the first institution of this Hospital, Aug. 10th, 1758, to Jan. 7th, 1802, there have been 3437 women admitted, most of whom were under twenty years of age. Of this number nearly 3000 have been reclaimed, and restored to domestic happiness.
The Asylum, for female orphans, was instituted to prevent prostitution.
Bayswater general Lying-in Hospital, and four others of inferior note, are instituted for the reception of poor pregnant women.
Greenwich Hospitat, justly celebrated for its magnificent architectural beauty, is situated on the southern bank of the Thames, at the distance of five miles from London-Bridge. It was founded by William III. for the relief of invalid seamen; and no less than 2410 pensioners, together with about 3000 out-pensioners, now receive benefit from this excellent institution.
Chelsea Hospital was founded by Charles II. for the relief of invalid soldiers, and affords relief to 500 in-pensioners and 10,000 out-pensioners.
Besides the abovementioned Hospitals, there are others for the relief of misery and indigence; and the estimate of the annual expenditure of the various Charitable Institutions of the metropolis, amounts, according to the calculations of Mr. Colquhoun, to £.850,000.
PALACES and ROYAL PARKS. St. James's Palace was built by Henry VIIT. The apartments are extremely elegant, although the exterior of the building, which is of brick, is by no means gratifying to the admirer of architecture.
This palace was the town residence of Queen Anne, Geo. I. and Geo. II. but is now only used by the King for purposes of state.
The Queen's Palace, or Buckingham House, is an elegant structure of brick. It stands at the western extremity of St. James's Park, and is the winter residence of his present Majesty.
St. James's Park is nearly two miles in circumference, of an oblong form, and adorned with a canal and noble rows of elms and lime-trees,
Hyde Park is situated at the western extremity of the capital. It is beautified with many plantations of young trees, and the Serpentine river adds much to the fine effect of the groves of Kensington Gardens. The extent of those magnificent gardens is nearly three miles and a half. In fine weather, on Sundays, in the spring, the promenades of HydePark and Kensington Gardens, present a most amusing assemblage of human beings to the eye of the observer.
Kensington Palace is a heavy brick building. The Banquetting House, which is all that remains of Whitehall Palace, is a beautiful fraginent, consisting of two stories, the front of hewn stone, adorned with columns and pilasters of the Ionic and composite orders, with the capitals richiy ernbellished.
The Palace of Westmirister is a Gothic building, situated near the Abbey, and compreheading within
its precincts Westminster Hall, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons.
The Tower of London stands eastward of LondonBridge, and the exterior of the ditch which surrounds this fortress is 3156 feet in extent. On a platform, which runs along the bank of the Thames, sixty-one nine-pounders are mounted, which are fired on state holidays, and when victory is obtained over the enemies of the nation.
The Curiosities of the Tower are numerous, and consist of the Royal Train of Artillery; Horse Armory; Small Armory; Spanish Armory; Jewel Office; Mint; Lions, and other wild Beasts. The whole
may be seen for three shillings.
COMMERCE. ACCORDING to the estimate of a judicious calculator, the imports and exports of the port of London amount to upwards of seventy millions a year; including the value of the hull, tackle, and stores of the shipping.
Of this the trade of the East-India Company is estimated at six millions and a half; and that of the West-India trade, to the enormous sum of seven millions annually.
The domestic wholesale business of the metropolis is calculated to amount to fifty millions a year ; and the retail trade is altogether incalculable, being carried on in more than twenty thousand shops and warehouses.
The principal manufactures of London consist of Jewelry, Gold and Silver, Japan ware, Porter breweries, manufactories of sugar, soap, sails, cordage, and a variety of other articles.