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Mitre, Fenchurch street : London coffee houses and taverns

A historical site about early London coffee houses and taverns and will also link to my current pub history site and also the London street directory

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."

References :  Lots of references are made to two sources on the internet archive :
Edward Callows, Old London Taverns &
John Timbs, Club life of London Volume 2

And Last updated on: Tuesday, 26-Apr-2022 01:16:34 BST
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