3 Annotations

First Reading

Richard Foden  •  Link

Used as London point of departure for stage coaches from the 1650s onwards.

See advert in Mercurius Politicus, April 8th 1658, quoted in Martim de Albuquerque's "Notes and Queries" No. 14, page 146, published 1850 :

"All persons who desire to travel into the cities, towns and roads, herein herafter mentioned ... let them repair to the George Inn at Holborn Bridge, London, and thence they shall be in good coaches with good horses, upon every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at and for reasonable rates"

Pepys took his wife there on Monday 28th July 1662 to take the coach to Bugden (Buckden in Cambridgeshire).

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

My geography is strained here, but I think this is the same George:

Tucked away in the heart of the busiest part of the city, overshadowed by tall, modern buildings and all but a thin strip of it hidden from view, is a piece of old London.

This is the "George and Vulture," known throughout the world as the tavern where Mr. Pickwick and his friends made their favourite city headquarters.

The address in the directory of this inn is St.Michael's Alley, Cornhill;
The Pickwick Papers describe it as being in George Yard, Lombard Street.
Both are correct.
If the latter address is followed, the inn is not easy to find, for the sign "Old Pickwickian Hostel" is so high up over the upper window in the far left-hand corner that it is the last thing one sees.
It's little better from the other approach, as the alley with tall buildings facing each other so closely as to almost touch, makes it necessary to search for the entrance doorway.

Originally the George was the London lodging of Earl Ferrers, and in 1175 his brother was slain thee in the night.
The George and described by Stow as "a common hostelry for travellers."

When the Great Fire of 1666 swept through these alleys it devoured everything in its path and left the George as a shell of embers.
A wine merchant of George Yard, whose sign was a tethered live vulture, lost his home and his livelihood, and after the tavern was rebuilt he negotiated with the landlord for part use of the George.
Unhappy with the idea of having a live bird squawking around the door the innkeeper agreed to change the name of his house to the "George and Vulture".

Fixed to a wall inside the tavern are 2 boundary markers defining the dividing line between the parishes of St. Michael's, Cornhill and St, Edmund the King, Lombard Street. They come from pre-fire days when City churches were so close together they needed boundary stones at the limits of each parish. The boundary line runs through the bar.

Poets and literary men frequented The George from the earliest times, and although there is no record to substantiate a claim that Chaucer used the house, it seems possible that his father, who was a licensed victualler, knew it well.
John Skelton, the satirical poet of the 15th century, enjoyed its hospitality, as he has left a record that he was acquainted with it:

Taverns were the resort of the prominent men of the day, and were used like clubs as friendly meeting places for businessmen, authors, artists, lawyers, doctors, actors and the fashionable with no particular calling, all of whom treated "mine host" as an equal and not as a servant.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

PART 2 -- 18th century titillation:

Men like Addison and Steele were here; Jonathan Swift and his coteric gathered in a corner to discuss the pros and cons of that great fraud, the South Sea Bubble; Daniel Defoe was a constant guest of the host of his time; that was John Wilkes.

It is known his fellow-members of "The Hell Fire Club" (founded in 1719 by two prominent Freemasons; the Duke of Wharton and George Henry Lee, 2nd Earl of Lichfield) met at drinking hole called the George and Vulture in the 1730s.
Thomas De Quincey records a story concerning an unnamed lord who tied a man to a spit and roasting him, presumably at the George and Vulture.

Hogarth's "Charity in the Cellar", painted c. 1739, is presumed to be the same club. The 5 depicted are identifiable and can be connected with 2 other alleged members, the 4th Earl of Sandwich and Sir Francis Dashwood.

FROM https://www.bowyers.com/meetingPl…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.