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MANY disputes have arisen among the
learned respecting the origin of the city of
London; and it has hitherto never been very
satisfactorily explained, why the two
colossal statues of Gog and Magog were
placed in the Guild-hall of that famous
capital. What has been denied to
antiquarian research, has been happily
revealed to me, for the express purpose of
being related to the rising generation; in


order that future ages may have no doubt
regarding two points of knowledge, in which
so much of the happiness and prosperity of the
citizens of the British metropolis is so deeply
In a rude age, long before the Roman
legions, under the command of Julius Caesar,
invaded the island of Britain, it appears, by the
most authentic written chronicles of the time,
that a huge giant inhabited a strong and dismal
castle, situated where the Guild-hall of London
now stands ; and that he ruled all the adjacent
country with an iron sceptre. His dominions
extended from the banks of the pleasant Brent
on the west, were bounded by the majestic
tides of the Thames on the south, on the east
they were watered by the meandering Lea, and


so far to the north, as to comprehend
the breezy hills of Hampstead and Highgate.
He was, in a word, the greatest monarch in
the county of Middlesex; and, there is even
reason to believe, that his territories actually
embraced the whole extent of the shire. But,
in a matter of this sort, it is unnecessary to
be more particular, especially as his throne
and sovereignty were utterly abolished by
the events which it is my happy duty, as a
faithful historian, to relate.
At the period alluded to, no part of the
island of Britain might have presented such
a scene of rural and pastoral beauty, as the
dominions of the giant. The soil was
surprisingly fertile, particularly in those
parts which are now occupied by the
numerous buildings of the city; indeed, the


name of Cornhill, which exists to this day,
indicates the amazing fertility of the spot: so
that, but for the tyrant of the neighbouring
castle, it would, in all human probability,
have been an earthly paradise. Alas! his
ruthless sway rendered it a solitude,
compared to what it now is.
The name of this monstrous giant was
Humbug, and his dispositions were not more
merciless than his appearance was dreadful to
behold. His hair and beard were of a coal-
black colour; his eyes sparkled with
malignant ferocity towards the whole race of
mankind ; and his complexion was of that
pallid hue, which denotes hardness of heart.
He set no bounds to his inordinate desires,
but seized everything that he coveted, in the
most lawless manner ; and the malice of his
vengeance was


chiefly directed against the defenceless,
which is always the case with persons of evil
inclinations : and giants are remarkably liable
to have inclinations of the worst kind.
In this manner Humbug had lived, or, more
property speaking, had domineered, to the
great terror and dismay of the country, for
upwards of fifty years. That he was, in
consequence, cordially hated, need not be
told ; but he had the folly to think he was
capable of inspiring a beautiful young lady
with sentiments of the tender passion : so
much does self-love blind even giants to their
defects, as well as the sons of men. For
Humbug was at this time old and corpulent ;
and the natural badness of his temper was
aggravated by the gout, a disease which he had


brought upon himself by the liberties which
he took with fish, flesh, and fowl.



ONE fine summer's day, as Humbug
was taking a stroll by himself, meditating on
the benevolence of Nature, in raising so
many nutricious herbs, to give beef, mutton,
and venison their savoury juices, he
happened to spy the charming Londona,
walking alone on the margin of a purling
brook, now known by the name of Fleet-
ditch, and highly celebrated as such by
Pope, that great poet ; but which was then a


rivulet, overshadowed with elder-trees and
Greatly astonished at the splendor of her
beauty, he thought proper to fall desperately
in love with her ; not aware that she could
never return his passion ; for she was the
daughter of a king, whom he had himself
dethroned and murdered, many years before
; and whose crown and dignity he had
usurped in the most shameful manner.
When he beheld Londona he did not know
her name ; nor, indeed, was he acquainted
that the daughter of his victim existed ; for,
from the death of her royal father, that
unfortunate princess had remained
concealed in the cottage of an old woman
called Mary Lebon, who lived at the bottom
of the verdant rising ground, so well known


to the metropolitan youth of both sexes by
the name of Primrose-hill. It has been
conjectured that the cottage of old Mary
Lebon stood on the very spot where Chalk-
farm public-house is now situated, --so
renowned as the scene of duels, and other
feats of heroism and gallantry.
Having looked at the princess some time,
and seeing her greatly agitated at the sight of
him, which he supposed was owing to the
soft impression his appearance made on her
heart, he went towards her ; and, falling on
his knees at her feet, declared his love with
all the rhetoric of which he was
master. Placing his hand on his breast, he
assured her, with the sincerity of a giant, that
the radiance of her eyes quite melted his
heart ; and that, if she did not consent to
become his


bride, he would expire in agonies on the
spot, and leave the recollection of his death
as a ghost to upbraid her conscience.
Londona, however, knew his character too
well, to entertain the slightest sympathy for
any such love as his ; and moreover,
reflecting that he was the murderer of her
father, she rejected his fond entreaties with
the most dignified contempt.
Her scorn, however, only served to
inflame his passion ; and he became at last
so rude and importunate, that she saw no
other way of escaping the menaces of his
affection, than by taking to her heels, and
running off as fast as she could.
Being nimbler than the giant, she would
have certainly escaped ; but, unfortunately,
in running up Holborn-hill, --which was
then a smooth and


verdant declivity, enamelled with daisies, --
her foot slipped, and she tumbled down.
Before she could recover herself, the giant
came up; and, seizing her by the hair, carried
her to his gloomy abode, and threw her into
a dark dungeon, in the hope of thereby
gaining her affections.




AT the time that Humbug the giant
committed this violent outrage on the
Princess Londona, a miller, who lived on
the identical spot where Westminster-hall now
stands, had two sons, twins, called Gog and
Magog. These young men were much
renowned among persons of their own
condition in life, for strength of body, and
the generosity of their dispositions. They
excelled all their companions in feats of
vigour and manly dexterity : in short, there
was not one in the whole district, subject to
the tyrannical giant, who could compare
with Gog and Magog, either


in masculine stature, or the valiant virtues of
frank and generous hearts.
It happened that, on the very day on which
the outrage was perpetrated, a fair was held
on a green hill ; where, by-the-bye, Julius
Caesar, many years afterwards, built the
Tower : and that Gog and Magog were at
the fair, enjoying the sports and pastimes,
when the news arrived. Filled with noble
indignation at this fresh instance of the
giant's lawless tyranny, they loudly
exclaimed to their companions, that it was
disgraceful to endure any longer the
arbitrary oppression of such a despot ;
declaring, at the same time, that if they were
well supported, they would not scruple to
attempt the rescue of the unfortunate
Their known bravery, and the valour with
which they expressed themselves,


gave resolution and energy to all who heard
them. The amusements of the fair were
suspended; and the most prompt and
decisive measures taken, on the instant, to
attack the ferocious Humbug, in his gloomy
fortress. Gog divided the young men, whom
his eloquence had inspired, into different
companies, and appointed captains to each :
while Magog went with a detachment,
breathing revenge, to provide weapons
suitable to their warlike enterprise.
It is, I presume, unnecessary to inform
my attentive auditors, that, in the rude period
in which this affair took place, fire-arms
were totally unknown ; but, perhaps, it is not
generally understood, that even swords were
not then invented : at least, I have not found
any such thing mentioned in the numerous


volumes that have furnished me with the
materials from which I have compiled this
most authentic history. The fact seems to
be, that the only warlike weapons then in
use, were clubs and shields; but even with
these the country lads, who were enjoying
the diversions of the fair, were not provided;
for I find it recorded, that Magog led his
men to the banks of the Fleet rivulet, where
they cut down the elder and willow-trees
which, as I have already mentioned,
overshadowed its limpid and purling waters,
and converted the trunks and branches into
hostile weapons. With these they returned
to Gog ; and, having distributed the clubs
thus procured, the whole body moved
towards the giant's castle in battle array.




THE warden of the castle being at his post,
on the top of the highest tower, saw the
army of Gog and Magog advancing over
Cornhill, and instantly sounded an alarm.
Humbug, with all his tyrannical qualities,
was not deficient in personal courage ; but,
as he was rather advanced in years,
corpulent and afflicted with the gout, he
could not move about with that celerity
which he was wont to shew on the field of
glory. However, he buckled on his armour
as fast as he could ; and, heading his vassals,
boldly issued from the castle-gate, with
colours flying, and


all the pride, pomp, and circumstance of
glorious war, determined to conquer or die :
at all events, to punish the insurgents with
exemplary rigour.
Gog and Magog not being then versed in
the stratagems of war, were not prepared for
those open and offensive proceedings. The
result was, that the giant and his followers,
experienced as they were in military
enterprises, completely disconcerted them ;
and, after a short conflict, in which no want
of courage was shewn on the part of the
champions of Londona, and their
companions, the brave youths were obliged
to make a precipitate retreat.
Humbug, fatigued with his exertions in
the field, was satisfied with this victory, and
retired to his castle ; while the assailants fell
back to the top of


Ludgate-hill, and halted on a spot which was
ever after deemed sacred, and is now
occupied by the magnificent structure of St.
Paul's Cathedral.
Gog and Magog, conscious that their
enterprise had been rashly undertaken, freely
confessed this to their companions, but
advised them not to consider the cause as
hopeless ; on the contrary, to assure
themselves, that, by properly using the
instruction which they had received from
adverse fortune, they would, in the end,
attain that object they had all so much at
Greatly encouraged by these cheering
assurances, the whole party resolved to
prosecute the war with redoubled vigour ;
and, in order to do so with the more effect, it
was agreed that they should march back to
the place where the fair had been held, and


the hill, as a place of refuge, from the
vassals of the giant ; and as a depot for arms
and provisions, which they perceived it
became necessary to collect, in order to
carry on the contest properly. Hence it is
that this spot, now called the Tower of
London, has, in all subsequent ages, been
the grand magazine of the military stores of
the British nation : a decided proof of' the
discernment and military genius of Gog and




WHEN the hill was fortified, by digging the
ditch around it, which remains to this day,
and the whole inclosed with a strong
pallisade, which occupied the line of the
present walls ; Gog and Magog invited
every person, who had suffered by the
tyranny of Humbug, or who resented his
manifold aggressions, to take refuge within
the inclosure : for, as it was resolved to
wage war, until he was completely subdued,
it was natural to expect he would wreak his
vengeance on all who had suffered by him ;
conscious as he was, that they must,
therefore, be his enemies.


In consequence of a proclamation to this
effect, a great number of families, with their
property, flocked into the fortress ; and the
two champions, and their friends, having, in
the mean time, improved their arms and
discipline, marched out again to hazard
another battle.
The giant, awake to the increasing
danger of his situation, was not, in the mean
time, idle. He strengthened the walls of his
castle, exercised his troops with the skill of
an experienced general ; and, in the hope
that Londona might be induced to mediate
between him and the insurgents, he softened
the rigours of her captivity. But she was not
to be deceived, nor tempted, by this change.
Her demeanour towards him remained
unaltered ; and, when he sometimes stormed
at her


stubborn virtue she replied to his fury with
silent scorn; as became her beauty, and
illustrious birth; and answered his threats, by
expressing her perfect persuasion that his
downfall was at hand.
On the morning of that day, the
anniversary of which has ever since been
consecrated to manly recreations by the
inhabitants of the English capital, under the
name of Easter Monday, Gog and Magog
advanced towards the walls of the castle,
which were thronged with formidable
warriors, and bands of archers, stationed at
the windows, and on the tops of all the
towers. They halted in a field, through
which a foot-path then ran, that, in process
of time, has become the street of Cheapside ;
and Gog, having a large horn suspended
from his neck by a leathern


thong, stepped out in front, and blew a loud
blast, summoning the giant to a parley.
Humbug regarded this as a mere bravado ;
and, instead of answering, as, according to
the laws of war, he was bound to do, he
shook his spear at the youthful champion, as
if he had been a country-gentleman, and
Gog a schoolboy coming to break into his
This convinced the army of Gog and
Magog that it was unnecessary to treat with
such a fierce and faithless tyrant; but that
blows were the only terms in which they
ought to address him. Accordingly, they
marched bravely up to the castle ; and,
getting close under the walls, the archers at
the windows, and in the towers, could do
them no offence. Humbug, who had not
anticipated any such manoeuvre, was, for a


moment, disconcerted ; but the evil genius,
which constantly attended him, soon
suggested an expedient worthy of his
character. He ordered the beautiful Londona
to be instantly brought forth, with a rope
round her neck ; and, looking down from his
lofty station over the castle-gate, he cried to
Gog and Magog, that, if they did not
immediately withdraw their troops, he
would strangle the lady before their eyes.
This singular and desperate stratagem had
the effect intended. The generous Gog and
Magog could not remain and see the lady
perish ; and, therefore, they immediately
drew off their men, and returned, extremely
down-hearted at this second failure, to their




HUMBUG having discovered, by the effect
of this stratagem, that he had the means of
controlling his enemies in his own power,
no sooner saw the army of the champions at
a convenient distance, than he sent out a
herald, on a black charger, to demand, by
sound of trumpet, as the price of Londona's
life, that the brave twin-brothers should be
delivered into his hands. This audacious
proposal met with a suitable answer. The
whole army, with one heart and voice,
exclaimed, with indigtion [sic], that they
never would be guilty of


so great a crime ; that they knew her
her life would not be one jot safer by
sacrificing Gog and, Magog ; and that, if he
ventured to hurt a hair of her head, they
would cut him into as many pieces as there
were hairs on his own.
But Gog and Magog saw that they were
never to expect a pardon for their rebellion ;
and, therefore, thought the best thing they
could do, would be to negociate with the
giant, and offer themselves in exchange for
the princess. They accordingly
communicated this generous intention to
their companions, by whom every argument
that affection and reason could suggest was
urged, in vain, to dissuade them from this
self-immolation. They were, however, firm
to their purpose ; and, having chosen a
proper person to make


the overture to the giant, they waited his
return with undaunted serenity.
Humbug having found, by this time, that
it was hopeless to think Londona would ever
consent to become his bride, was glad of an
opportunity to get at once so well rid of her,
and to obtain his two most formidable
enemies into his hands. He therefore at once
acquiesced in the proposal ; and the next
morning was appointed to carry this treaty
into effect. The place appointed for
Londona to be delivered to the giant, and for
Gog and Magog to surrender themselves,
was on the top of Cornhill, where the Royal
Exchange now stands. Whether the name
took its rise from this transaction may be
questioned ; but the spot is still held in great
reverence by the citizens of London. It is
not, however, any part of


my task to settle differences of opinion, and
I have only alluded to the circumstance, that
some learned doctor, more conversant in
matters of this sort, may investigate the
business for the satisfaction of the members
of the Antiquarian Society, as well as the
Court of Aldermen, who are all lamentably
ignorant of the illustrious fact, of which I
have the felicity of being the first modern
historian. What ancient authorities have
said on the subject, falls not within the scope haveof the present narrative.




THE lady was led to the spot veiled, and in
tears, at the time appointed; and Gog and
Magog, her gallant champions, stepped
forward, at the same moment, with a manly
air, and delivered themselves into the hands
of the officers of their implacable enemy, by
whom they were immediately conducted to
the castle, in the hall of which Humbug was
seated, at the upper end.
It would require the pen, of a master to
describe the interview. The giant looked at
the two courageous youths with an aspect of
mingled revenge and


cruelty, and his huge bulk was terribly
shaken with the conflict of violent passions.
At one moment he seemed disposed to tear
them in pieces, and give their limbs to his
dogs ; at another he eyed them with an
expression of abhorrence, as if he had a
presentiment that they were destined to end
his flagitious career. But, after debating
within himself in what manner he might best
glut his vengeance by their destruction, and
spitting in their faces with perfect rage, he
ordered them to be thrown into separate
dungeons, to await his pleasure.
Gog and Magog, as you have seen, being
possessed of firm and undaunted minds,
listened to the exasperated threats of the
tyrant in the coolest manner ; and,
warily casting their eyes round the hall, saw
piles of clubs and


shields in different places. Having been
born twins, and resembling each other
strongly in person and character, they
happened also to think much alike ;
accordingly, without communicating their
thoughts to one another, they both resolved,
at the same time, that, when they were next
brought before the giant to take an
opportunity of seizing some of the arms in
the hall, and free themselves and their
country from his oppression on the spot.
In the mean time, Londona, who had been
conducted by the friends of Gog and Magog
to the fortress, was inconsolable at the idea
of having caused the death of two such
courageous young men ; for it was not
doubted that Humbug had sacrificed them to
his ungovernable vengeance. When she


had awhile indulged her sorrow for
their fate, she recollected that, being herself
the daughter of a British king, she was
qualified to lead armies to battle ; and that it
more became her blood, and birth, to avenge
the wrongs that had been done, than to
bewail it with tears. She thereupon rose
from the seat where she had sat weeping ;
and, going out to the crowd of young men
who were mourning the loss of their leaders,
and repining at their own want of resolution,
in permitting such a sacrifice to take place,
addressed them in very lofty language, and
rebuked them for thinking that she, the
daughter of a royal line, would tamely allow
the destroyer of her father, the usurper of her
birthright, and the wasteful oppressor of
their common


country, to continue in the enjoyment of his
The heroic sentiments of Londona met
with lively sympathy in every bosom. Shouts
of admiration and devotion answered her
address, followed with cries of impatience to
be led on to attack the tyrant in his strong-




THE war, which I have thus described as
commencing at Easter, had raged all the
summer in the bosoms of the antagonists,
and the autumn was by this time long over.
In fact, it was the 9th of November when the
exchange of Londona for Gog and Magog
took place, a day annually commemorated
by the Lord Mayor resigning the magisterial
functions to his successor ; a ceremony
instituted to keep up to all posterity the
memory of the deliverance of LondonA.
When Humbug had settled his scheme of
torture, he seated himself at his supper-table,
and ordered Gog and


Magog to be brought before him. The
prisoners, expecting to be put to death, had
thought it unnecessary that morning to take
any breakfast ; they were, therefore,
exceedingly hungry. The giant knew this,
and had directed his cook to prepare a
sumptuous banquet, of the most savoury
viands, that he might sharpen their appetite
with the smell. Smarting with the pains of
hunger, as Gog and Magog then were, they
bore the tantalizing offers which Humbug
made them, of dainty morcels on his fork,
with as much apparent equanimity as their
statues overlook the vanishing luxuries of
the city-feast, which is annually held in the
same place, to perpetuate a just abhorrence
of the tyrant's method of torture.
When the giant perceived that they were
not to be moved by his insulting


and refined cruelty, he grew exceedingly
fierce ; and, bending forward, he grinned
with vexation in their face. This was too
much for their patience ; and they both
simultaneously hit him such a blow in the
mouth, with their fists, that it loosened
several of his enormous teeth. The
instantaneous pain of the blow stunned him
for a moment, and he rose upon them like a
One of his attendants, having observed the
manner in which they had struck the giant,
would have sacrificed them on the instant,
but Humbug called to him to forbear, for
they were his own prey, and he would give
into fractions the audacious mortal that
dared to interfere with his revenge.
The prisoners, who had retreated to
the bottom of the hall from the presence


of the wrathful giant, saw no possibility of
escape ; and the servants, whom the uproar
had gathered round, stood so between them
and the piles of clubs and shields, that they
had no means of defence in their power.
The giant came towards them, dilated with
passion, and thundering vengeance ; but,
just as he approached so near as to put forth
his hand to seize Gog by the throat, Magog
leapt forward, and gave him such a stamp
with his heel on the gouty toe, that the
monster roared out in an agony of pain, and
the courageous youths again escaped from
his clutches.




IN the meantime, the spirited Londona
advanced towards the castle, and, the night
being dark, she led her army close to the
walls undiscovered ; when she paused for a
moment, and listened to the noise which
raged within ; for the outcry of the giant
sounded loud and terrible, and she feared
that he was then busy with the destruction of
his victims.
Without loss of time she therefore
directed a number of her stoutest men to
kneel down on all-fours, and the rest, to
mount on their backs, and so to scale


the walls, herself shewing them a most
intrepid example. By this bold and skilful
enterprise, she made herself mistress of the
walls and towers before the warden had time
to sound an alarm ; and when he had winded
his horn, the vassals and retainers who were
assembled in the hall, thought at first that he
had only done so in consequence of the
uproar between Humbug and the prisoners..
This fortunate misconception of the
signal on their part, enabled the courageous
Princess to attack the inner wards before the
household were aware of their danger :
indeed, it was not until the noise of the
assailants over-powered the groans and
roaring vengeance of the giant, that those
who were in the hall had the slightest notion
of what was going forward. Humbug


himself first observed the noise, and
exclaimed, with a tremendous oath, that he
would make dog's-meat of the rioters. But,
in the same moment, a thundering peal was
rattled on the folding doors of the hall ; and,
the doors flying open, Londona entered,
followed by a number of her troops. At the
sight of her, the giant saw that he was
undone ; and Gog and Magog, having
obtained a club a-piece, levelled together
such a blow on his forehead, that they laid
him brainless at the feet of the Princess.




THE remorseless tyrant, who had so long
oppressed the country, being thus laid low,
his vassals and retainers surrendered at
discretion, and the castle and territory were
declared the conquest of the princess
LondonA. After a day of danger and fatigue,
there is nothing so comfortable as an
excellent supper; and fortunately, the
sumptuous banquet which Humbug had
prepared for his own luxurious appetite,
stood ready to regale the victors. The
Princess accordingly taking the head of the
table, and requesting Gog and Magog to
place themselves on her right and left, she


directed her most distinguished officers also
to be seated ; and, cutting up a large venison
pasty, she commenced the convivial
operations of that ever-memorable evening.
After supper, on the cloth being removed,
and Non Nobis sung with great effect, she
filled a bumper, and proposed as a toast--
The health of Gog and Magog ; observing
that, " but for their bold and masterly
measures, she might still have been in the
thraldom of her implacable enemy, and the
whole country still groaning beneath the
intolerable burthen of his oppression."
Her speech was frequently interrupted by
the most enthusiastic shouts of admiration,
and the toast received with thunders of
When the acclamations had subsided,
Gog arose ; and, in a speech replete


with the noblest sentiments, returned thanks
for the Honour that had been done to him
and his brother ; declaring that, " while a
drop of blood flowed in their veins, they
would cheerfully shed it in defence of
injured innocence ; that it was particularly
gratifying to him, as well as his gallant
relation, to meet such an assemblage of their
countrymen on so interesting an occasion. "
We feel," exclaimed the magnanimous Gog,
"that we are, more than repaid for all our
endeavours in the field of battle ; for all the
dangers we have encountered ; and for all
the insults that we have endured, - by these
flattering testimonies of your approbation,
than which nothing can be more gratifying
to our hearts - and we are free to declare,
and we do so with the utmost sincerity, that
our feeble exertions


would have been of no avail in the great
struggle for all that was dear to us as men,
had those exertions not been seconded by
the heroic achievements of that
incomparable Princess at the head of' the
table - a Princess, whose wisdom in council
is only surpassed by her abilities in the field
; and how much these excel those of every
other lady, I need not point out to your
judicious attention : for ye have witnessed
with what intrepidity she advanced, with
what resolution she persevered, until the
enemy of social order, and the child and
champion of anarchy and confusion, was
laid prostrate at her feet. With your
permission, after returning you my warmest
thanks for the honour you have done to me
and my gallant relative on the left of the
chairwoman, I would therefore propose the
health of the princess LondonA."


It would be in vain for me even to attempt
to describe the rapture with which this toast
was received by the whole company.
Suffice it to say, that there never was an
evening spent with more convivial
reciprocity, and that the form of
proceedings, as to drinking healths and
returning thanks, practised on that
interesting occasion, has become a
precedent which the citizens of London have
never allowed to become obsolete when they
entertain the illustrious or the renowned.




NEXT morning the Princess summoned a
council of all her followers, the friends and
companions of Gog and Magog ; and,
having informed them, that being happily
restored to the throne of her ancestors, with
dominions extended by the overthrow of the
giant Humbug, she was determined to build
a capital city, and that she thought the
families who had taken refuge within the
fortress of her gallant deliverers, should
remain on the spot, and become the first
The proposal was received with great
approbation and Gog and Magog advised


the Princess to honour with particular
privileges all the brave young men who had
cooperated in the storming of the castle.
This suggestion not only met the disposition
of Londona, but of all present ; and she
accordingly declared, that those who had
united themselves to the enterprise of Gog
and Magog, should be distinguished from
the rest of the inhabitants as her special
vassals; by which, in the process of time,
they came to be known as the liverymen of
LondonA. To these, as they were too
numerous for purposes of business, she gave
authority to elect a certain number of the
most intelligent members of their body to
form a council ; and out of this institution
grew the now far-famed common council of
When she had thus given a foundation and
a constitution to the city,


and called it London, after her own
name ; as Rome, several ages later,
was named from its founder Romulus ;
the brother of Remus, who, as every
classical scholar knows, were suckled
by a wolf.




THIS amiable and legitimate Princess being
thus restored to the throne of her ancestors,
the first instance of so joyful an event in the
records of British history, - and her subjects
being extremely anxious to obtain an heir to
the throne, of the same illustrious race, it
was suggested, in Common Council
assembled, that a most dutiful and loyal
address should be drawn up, and, presented
to the Princess, imploring that her highness
might be graciously pleased to take into her
royal consideration the


expediency of allying herself with some
distinguished family, in order to secure, to
her loving subjects and their posterity, the
great blessings which they already
experienced under her benign sway.
In a matter of such grave importance, too
much deliberation could not be employed ;
and therefore it was moved, by Mr. Deputy
Gog, that the different wards of the new city,
which was daily increasing in population,
should be required to select from among the
eldest of the wisest of the housekeepers, in
the respective wards, a fit person to advise
and assist in drawing up the said dutiful and
loyal address. His brother, Mr. Deputy
Magog, seconded the motion ; which, after
some judicious observations from Deputy
Dixit, and a long irrelevant speech by


Mr. Waffman, two persons who busied
themselves very much on the subject of
places and pensions in these remote days,
was finally carried.
The wards accordingly elected their
respective elder-men; a title which, by those
changes that living languages are subject to,
has since been altered to that of aldermen.
These representatives of the wards, or
aldermen, as they are now called, having
met as a committee, framed a very suitable
address for the occasion ; which, being
approved of by the Common Council, they
were appointed to carry up the address ; and
Gog and Magog having, in the meantime,
been chosen sheriffs for the city and
Middlesex, were directed to enquire when
the address would be received. Hence arose
the practice of the sheriffs, on all


similar occasions, apprising the ruling
sovereign of the city addresses, furnishing,
at the same time, a copy, that the Court
might have time to prepare a suitable




THE Princess, on being informed of the
object of the address, the first from her new
city, determined to receive the deputation
seated upon her throne. Thus was a
precedent established, by which, in time, the
citizens of London became possessed of this
enviable privilege, which they have ever
since claimed, of addressing the sovereign
on the throne ; and here, it should be
remarked, that there was nothing, in the first
instance, to justify the modern


pretensions of the Common Council to
the enjoyment of the same privilege :
it being clear, from all the learned
authorities which we have consulted, in
drawing up this authentic history, that it was
the aldermen, and not the Common Council,
who obtained this distinguished honour.
On the day appointed, the deputation ,
with sheriffs Gog, and Magog, set out, in
grand procession, for the royal palace at
Tottenham Court. On their arrival, they
were received with great state, and
conducted, by the usher of the black rod,
into the presence-chamber, where the
Recorder of the city read the address with
appropriate solemnity. At this period the
office of recorder was a very important one ;
for, as neither the Bell nor Lancasterian
schools had then been established,


none of the corporation could write, or even
read. The title of the office expresses the
duty which then attached to it, that of
recording the transactions of the
The Princess was deeply affected with this
expression of the great interest which the
citizens of her good city of London took in
her happiness, and the stability of her throne
; and replied, with all that delicacy, grace,
and dignity, which ever adorns persons of
her high station.
We should have been happy to have been
able to favour our readers with a copy of the
speech ; but, unfortunately, the folio of the
record in which it was preserved, was
destroyed in the fire of London ; a
circumstance greatly to be regretted, as it
has thrown a cloud of obscurity over this
interesting part of


the history of the metropolis of the
British empire. We have, however, had the
good fortune to obtain a very curious
document, which was lately discovered on
removing that part of the ancient wall of the
city which formed the scite [sic] of Old
Bedlam ; and which, on being, examined by
a special committee of that learned body, the
Antiquarian Society, appears to have been a
manuscript newspaper of the time, entitled
The Trumpeter, containing a programme of
the whole ceremony. It is not legible
throughout ; but enough remains, to enable
us to ascertain, that it was on this occasion
that the title and dignity of "MY LORD
MAYOR," was given to the senior alderman
: at least it is stated, in the leading paragraph
of The Trumpeter, that the Princess
honoured him with the title of My


Lord Major, from the very circumstance of
his being the senior; and few will dispute
that mayor is not a corruption of that term.
Every classical reader knows that Julius
Caesar introduced into Rome the practice of
circulating bulletins or commentaries, the
newspapers of that day ; but, until the
discovery of the Antiquarian Society, it was
never even suspected, that he took the hint
from the customs of this country, when he,
as the Napoleon of his day, came hither, and
overturned the ancient institutions of the
country. Newspapers are evidently
indigenous to London ; for in no part of the
world have they grown to such perfection, or
contributed in any similar degree, to the
enlightening of mankind. This valuable
relict, now in our possession,


contains a notification that The Trumpeter
would in future be regularly read at the sign
of The Club, by a "learned clerk;" and we
are of opinion, that this little circumstance
explains how associations and meetings for
hearing and canvassing the news of the day
came to be called clubs ; the princpal [sic]
place of resort for this purpose, in the time
of the Princess Londona, having been the
Club Tavern. We conjecture, that this was
on the same scite [sic] where the Gun
now stands, at Billingsgate, which is
in the vicinity of the great military station of
Gog and Magog, as described in our fourth
chapter. The house having been rebuilt
about the time of the invention of fire-arms,
the sign was probably changed from the
to the Gun. We are the more inclined


this opinion, from finding from the
state papers that we have consulted,
that at this era Cannon Street obtained its
name, from the circumstance of the first
piece of ordnance sent to the Tower having
gone by that road.




THE readiness expressed by the Princess, in
her answer to the city address, to comply
with the request of the corporation, was
soon rumoured abroad, and many illustrious
suitors made proposals of marriage ; but
none were encouraged, except TOOLY, the
hereditary prince of Southwark, an ancient


maritime state, on the south side of the
Thames, which had already shewn much
jealousy at the rising commerce
and prosperity of the new city, and
with which an alliance was the more
desirable, as the Londoners were not yet in a
condition to dispute with that people the
sovereignty of the river.
When all the preliminaries for the
marriage were settled, as the union of the
two people was the main object of the
match, it was thought that the event could
not be more appropriately celebrated than by
the Formation of some public work, that
should remain as a monument of the same to
posterity. After many consultations held on
the subject, it was at last determined that the
best and most useful work to which the
abilities and resources


of the two states could be applied, was the
construction of a bridge that should unite the
new city with the territories of Southwark.
This important measure being resolved
on, Gog and Magog were
instructed to have the same executed with all
speed, that the bridge might be ready to be
opened for the marriage
It was not then customary to have public
works executed by contract ; and Gog and
Magog, having no view to personal
emolument, they proceeded with this
undertaking in the most economical manner.
A survey was taken of the standing timber
on the domains of the deceased giant ; and
the largest and best trees, for such an
erection, were found on the


ground now well known by the name of
Woodstreet. Gog, gave directions to have
them cut down ; while Magog, attended by
several respectable citizens, was making
provision for having them disposed in their
proper places in the river by means of pile-
One great difficulty, however, remained to
be conquered, namely, the impediments
which presented themselves to the removal
of such heavy and unwieldy masses of
timber. The sagacity of Gog, who was ever
fruitful in expedients, supplied the remedy.
He ordered the trunks of the trees to be
rolled to the side of a small stream, which,
in after ages, was known by the name of
Walbrook ; but which, since the great fire in
1666, has flowed in a subterranean channel ;
and, although


it passes in the immediate neighbourhood
of the Mansion-house, is but little known to
the public. Here, having dammed up the
waters in their descent below Lawrence
Pountney-hill, he launched the timber and
so floated it down till it arrived at a fall of
the current, where it was stopped by the
broken nature of the channel. And having,
by an ingenious contrivance, afterwards
contrived to move it to the river on rollers,
the place acquired the name of Budge Row,
from the timber being moved or budged at
that place ; every body being aware, that to
budge, and to move, are words of equal
import in the genuine language of this,
enlightened and highly civilized nation.
The timber for the bridge being


thus conveyed to the Thames, Magog, with
his party, placed it in its proper station : so
that, in a wonderful short time, the first
London-bridge was constructed. Several
centuries after, when it stood in need of
repair, this original structure was removed,
and the present stone fabric, substituted in
its place ; but some remains of the ancient
edifice may still be seen at low water.
As soon as the bridge was finished, a day
was fixed for the opening of it ; and his
serene highness, Prince Tooly, was
conducted, with a goodly train of gentlemen,
knights, and other persons of rank and
quality, across the same, from his hereditary
residence in Southwark to the mansion of
Londona, where the marriage was celebrated


with all the magnificence and splendour
befitting the dignity of her high station, and
her own renowned achievements.



IN due course of time and Nature, the
Princess Londona, to the inexpressible joy
of her beloved husband, the renowned
Tooly, hereditary prince of Southwark, and
of their united and loyal people, was safely
delivered of a son and heir. In order to give
the greater eclat to this happy event, it had
been previously determined that she should
lie-in at the Guild-hall of the city ; and it so
happened that, at the very hour when the
little prince first saw the light, a fine bell had


hung on the bough of a stately tree, which
then grew in Cheapside. This bell was
called the Bell-of-the-bough, or Bough-bell ;
but when, in afterages, a church was built
near the spot, and dedicated to the Virgin
Mary, the church was called St. Mary-le-
Bough, and the orthography was, at the
same time, altered ; such are the deplorable
effects of the corruptions of time, and of
Popish superstition. Indeed, but for our
fortunate researches, undertaken with so
much zeal, pursued with such ardour, and
crowned with so much success, this
interesting incident respecting the bell,
would have silently perished in oblivion.
Bough-bell, or as we must now spell it,
in compliance with vulgar prejudices, Bow-
bell, being rung for the first time when the
prince was born,


the royal infant was obliged to exert
its little lungs to an inordinate degree before
he could make himself heard by the
midwife. But the mother, whose courage
the pangs of birth could only struggle with,
not subdue, was so delighted at the birth of a
man-child, that she looked from behind the
curtains of the bed, and declared, with an
audible voice, to all the assembled gossips
that from and after that day, every male born
within the sound of the bell, should be pre-
eminently distinguished over all her other
subjects. The midwife, surprised at this
supernatural exertion of strength, requested
her royal highness to lie quiet, by which she
was cut short in the declaration of her will
and pleasure ; so that it was not known in
what manner she intended to determine that
such children should be so


distinguished. But naturalists may suppose
that it was owing to some metaphysical
influence of this decree, that the youth of the
city of London uniformly maintain extensive
pretensions to distinction, without ever
verifying the same, it being certain and
unquestionable, that, if the Princess had
been allowed to mention in what their
superiority was to consist they would have
proved themselves well able to assert it.
For, of all the British youth, those of London
are the most distinguished for their talkative
capacity ; and it cannot be doubted that, with
such powers to amuse, they are well
calculated to play a distinguished part in
every conversation.




IT is unnecessary to inform the young and
courteous reader, that the Princess Londona
was delivered of her son and heir long
before the Christian era ; and that this alone
was the cause why the royal infant was not
baptized. Had he been baptized, Gog and
Magog would no doubt have been the
sponsers, considering the great esteem in
which this sovereign lady ever held those
two illustrious statesmen. But, although the
son of Londona, by her


spouse Tooly, the hereditary prince of
Southwark, was not christened, yet he
received a name with much solemnity and
sumptuous banquetting ; which name,
however, has been lost in his more
characteristic surname.
The reader, whom we must suppose well
acquainted with history, cannot but, in the
course of his reading, have remarked how
many illustrious heroes derived their
surnames from some personal peculiarity.
There, was in England King, Edmund
Ironside, so called on account of his great
strength ; and Edward Long-shanks, who is
more frequently mentioned in the chronicles
by his surname than any other ; not to speak
of Richard Coeur de Lion, or that fell and
bloody other Richard, so well known by the
nickname of Crook-back. In like manner,
when the son


of Londona grew towards manhood, it was
observed that he was somewhat loosely
jointed at the knees ; from which
circumstance he came, in process of time, to
be called KNOCK-KNEE ; and with that
commendable loyalty which induces faithful
and loving subjects to name their children
after the reigning king or queen, the citizens
of London, called so many of their sons after
KNOCK-KNEE, that the term at last became
the peculiar title of all native youth of
On the honourable epithet of KNOCK-
KNEE, time has not been more sparing than
on that of BOUGH-BELL ; for, in the lapse
of years, the N has been gradually omitted in
the knock, and the K in the knee. Hence the
vulgar term of Kocknee ; or, as it is usually
written, Cockney, has been substituted. In


what manner this happened is not easy, at
this distance of time, to ascertain ; but we
presume that it took place in consequence of
the too-frequent negligence of transcribers.
Every antiquary, however, must feel
extremely delighted at the complete and
clear manner in which we have thus traced
the origin and history of a name so dear and
venerated by all the youths born within the
sound of Bow-bell.




WHILE his highness, Prince Cockney, the
son of Londona, was improving in
knowledge and stature, and becoming in
fact, an exceedingly spruce and chatty
young gentleman, those two excellent and
great men, Gog and Magog, were declining
into the vale of years. But their assiduous
labours for the good of the city, which owed
its foundation to the valour and
magnanimity of their youthful days, were
none relaxed : nor were they merely
restricted to public works. They deemed it
no less their duty to rectify


the abuses which had crept into the
government of the country during the mal-
administration of Humbug the giant, than to
co-operate in measures which had for their
object the formation of new institutions, for
the benefit of the city of London. Thus
affording an example to all future
magistrates of the metropolis, not only to go
hand-and-glove with the government, but to
take care that no corruptions entered into
their own department, nor that abuses should
be suffered to remain, however respected by
age or sanctioned by acquiescence.
But, alas! short is the term of human life ;
and the wise and good are no more
respected by impartial Death than giants, or
other bad and tyrannical characters : all must
die; and it was ordained that Gog and


though still in a green old age, should, on
the same day, pay the debt of Nature.
The circumstances attending the death of
these illustrious twin-brothers, who in virtue,
and all that dignifies human nature, so much
excelled the Castor and Pollux of antiquity,
have not been narrated. The corporation of
London having, with that exquisite taste for
which it is so justly celebrated, after a long
debate in Guild-hall, determined that it was
sufficient to record the date of the event. "It
is enough," said an eloquent draper and
citizen, on that mournful occasion, " to state,
that on this day Gog and Magog died.
Posterity, in deploring the calamity, will not
suspend her weeping to enquire into the
cause. It is enough for all the world, and
particularly for


the city of London, to know, that Gog and
Magog were mortal, and are now no more.
Gog and Magog are dead! The renowned,
the munificent, the courageous, Gog, and
Magog, are gone. But their spirit will never
die : it will enter into the hearts of all good
citizens. I feel it kindling already in my
own, and stimulating me, by its immortal
fires, to the imitation of their patriotic
After this pathetic funeral oration, for
such it may be justly called, although it
contained no flattery, it was unanimously
resolved, that the statues of these two
famous champions should be placed in the
Guild-hall, as a perpetual mark of the
estimation in which they had been held by
the city ; and the statues were placed there in
due course of time accordingly, Thus


did that excellent custom arise, of
occasionally reverencing the services of the
brave and wealthy, by erecting statues and
monuments to their memory in the same
Having now brought our learned and
eventful history to a close, it is my humble
duty to take leave of the reader with all
becoming respect, and to assure him, that if
he makes a proper use of the moral
inculcated, I may, at some future time, relate
the story of John Doe and Richard Roe ;
who, though long posterior to Gog and
Magog, are no less celebrated at
Westminster than the champions of the
Princess Londona are in London. And now,
heartily wishing all manner of prosperity
and renown to the citizens, common council,
and aldermen, of the city, in the hope that
they will


continue to cherish, like Gog and Magog, an
invincible animosity against giants, and
oppressors of every description, nor ever
permit any of the Humbug race to domineer
again in their Guild-hall, we conclude, as in
duty bound, with - GOD SAVE THE


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