M. I. Batten, 'Architecture of Dr.
Robert Hooke F.R.S., Walpole Society (London) 25, pp 89-90
|The entries in the Diary relating to the
College of Physicians occur on almost every page from the opening in
August 1672 till March 1678, when they become rarer as the work
draws to a close. It is only possible to give a few of them.
December 2nd. Gave Dr. Whistler
estimate of physitians theatre.
||April 13th. Drew front of two lower storys of
theatre. April 14th. Coffin began theatre. December 5th. with
Mr. Story measuring at the Physitians College the Stonework.
||May 1st. Drew Designe for the Theater, May
26th. To Physitians College. They resolved Theater backwards. June
16th. At Sir J. Cutlers. Spoke to him. He resolved
Theater before. July 20th, Set out Theatre at Colledge. August
7th. Propounded open theater. Agreed to. Sir Ch.
Scarborough pleasd. September 5th. Past Smiths bill at the
colledge, September 19th. At Colledge. Lem doing things
contrary to order. Orderd glasing stopping, Whiting, hanging doors,
putting on locks etc. December 4th. To Colledge past glasiers
bill. December 21st. Gave draught to Hammond of
Colledge Gate. December 23rd. Mrs. Hondius Demands money for
Pictures. £20 account for Chimny Dining and £50 for the other
chimny - unreasonable.
||January 12th. Agreeing with Story and Hammond
for £210 for Colledge gate. February 19th. I had order from
Sir G. Ent, Sir Ch. Scarborough, Dr. Whistler, and Allein to bespeak
Dr. Harvey’s head of Pierce, as also about the King's statue and
Sir J. Cutler spoke about Painter. Past J. Lems bill about labourers
which Mr. Jenkins affirmed to be just and true to his knowledge.
||April 14th. agreed with John Hayward for £140
for Roof of the Theater and sent him to Sir J. Cutler. May 5th. Deliverd
Lems and Glasiers hill to Dr. Cox. September 22nd. At
Theatre, Directed seates. November 6th At Physitians colledg
auditing Groves and Talbots bills.
January 13th. Bird told me Sir J. Cutler had paid him for Ball.1
February 27th. Saw Colledg ball up. April 13th Colledge
order made for finishing the building on each side of the Theater. June
9th. Grove signed contract for plaistering the theater. August
8th. Directed Talbot about pipes and gutters.
||December 9th. directed Hayward about
Theater Spire windows.
||March 8th. Heard
Dr. Charltons Lecture at Physicians Colledge.
The Cash Books and Annals of the Royal
College of Physicians prove the truth of the Diary. Hooke's name occurs
frequently. Wren's is mentioned only once, in 1674, when he in company
with several distinguished physicians were invited to inspect the
buildings. Dr. Gunther gives relevant extracts from these documents in Early
Science in Oxford, vol. vii, pp. vii and viii. The first entry occurs
as early as December 1670 and shows that the houses round the courtyard
were built first. The foundations for these were laid on March 12th, 1671.
The College removed to Sir Robert Smirke's
building in Pall Mall in 1825, but Hooke's buildings lingered on for some
years, the theatre being demolished in about 1866 and most of the
remainder being burnt out in 1879.
Illustrations and references.
Illustrations are fairly numerous, e.g. Public
Buildings of London, by Britten and Pugin; Microcosm of
London, Ackerman; Early Science in Oxford, vol. viii. An
article by A. Stratton in the Architectural Review, 1916 (vol xxxix,
p. 69), gives an interesting account of the college buildings, although
erroneously attributing them to Wren, and also a plan and section of the
In British Museum Add. MSS. 5238 is an
interesting drawing, reproduced in the Wren Society's publications (vol.
v, plate 33), which would appear to be a preliminary drawing for the
principal front of the courtyard to which it bears a strong resemblance.
Masons: Hammond, Story, Smith. Bricklayers:
Fitch, Samuels, Lem. Carpenters:
Hayward, Avis, Whiting. Joiner: Davies. Smith: Bird.
Plaisterer: Grove. Plumber: Talbot. Painter:
Hondius. Carver: Pierce. Unidentified: Gate, Hewk,
Griffith, Coffin, Parsons.
The Theatre and entrance
gate at the Royal College of Physicians, Warwick Lane, London. Pencil
drawing by J. Buckler, 1828.
(Brit. Mus. Add.MSS 36370, f
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