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Mitre, Fenchurch street : London coffee houses and taverns
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THE MITRE, in Fenchurch street,
Was one of the political taverns of the Civil War, and was kept by Daniel
Rawlinson, who appears to have been a staunch royalist : his Token is preserved
in the Beaufoy collection. Dr. Richard Rawlinson, whose Jacobite principles are
sufficiently on record, in a letter to Hearne, the nonjuring antiquary at
Oxford, says of " Daniel Rawlinson, who kept the Mitre Tavern in Fenchurch
street, and of whose being suspected in the Rump time, I have heard much. The
Whigs tell this, that upon the King's murder, January 30th, 1649, he hung his
sign in mourning: he certainly judged right; the honour of the mitre was much
eclipsed by the loss of so good a parent to the Church of England ; these rogues
[the Whigs] say, this endeared him so much to the Churchmen, that he strove
amain, and got a good estate."
Pepys, who expressed great personal fear of the Plague, in his Diary, August 6,
1666, notices that not-withstanding Dan Rowlandson's being all last year in the
country, the sickness in a great measure past, one of his men was then dead at
the Mitre of the pestilence ; his wife and one of his maids both sick, and
himself shut up, which, says Pepys, " troubles me mightily. God preserve us "
Rawlinson's tavern, the Mitre, appears to have been destroyed in the Great Fire,
and immediately after, rebuilt ; as Horace Walpole, from Vertue's notes, states
that "Isaac Fuller w r as much employed to paint the great taverns in London ;
particularly the Mitre, in Fenchurch-street, where he adorned all the sides of a
great room, in panels, as was then the fashion ;" " the figures being as large
as life ; over the chimney, a Venus, Satyr, and sleeping Cupid ; a boy riding a
goat, and another fallen down :" this was, he adds, " the best part of the
performance. Saturn devouring a child, the colouring raw, and the figure of
Saturn too muscular; Mercury, Minerva, Diana, and Apollo ; Bacchus, Venus, and
Ceres, embracing; a young Silenus fallen down, and holding a goblet into which a
boy was pouring wine. The Seasons between the windows, and on the ceiling, in a
large circle, two angels supporting a mitre. "
Yet, Fuller was a wretched painter, as borne out by Elsum's Epigram on a Drunken
Sot : —
" His head does on his shoulder lean,
His eyes are sunk, and hardly seen :
Who sees this sot in his own colour
Is apt to say, 'twas done by Fuller."
Lots of references are made to two sources on the
Edward Callows, Old London Taverns &
John Timbs, Club life of London Volume 2
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