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a building which is heated by hot-air flues, in
a manner similar to that which originated
the burning of the Houses of Parliament.

Perhaps, however, our most valuable
muniments repose in the Chapter-House of
Westminster Abbey, a building still surrounded
by the same facilities for fire as those which
the late Charles Buller detailed to the House
of Commons fourteen years ago. "Ever
since 1732," he said, "it had been reported
to the House of Commons that there was
a brewhouse and a washhouse at the back
of the Chapter-House, where the Records
were kept, and by which the Chapter-House
was endangered by fire. In 1800, this
brewhouse and this washhouse were again
reported as dangerous. In 1819, this
brewhouse and washhouse again attracted the
serious notice of the Commissioners. In
1831, it was thought expedient to send a
deputation to the Dean and Chapter of
Westminster, and to request His Majesty's
Surveyor General to report upon the perils of
this brewhouse and washhouse, and endeavour
to get the Dean and Chapter to pull them
down. But the Dean and Chapter asserted
the vested rights of the Church, and no
redress was obtained against the brewhouse
and washhouse. In 1833, another expedition,
headed by the Right Honourable Sir R.
Inglis, was made to the Chapter-House; but
the right honourable baronet, desiring not to
come into collision with the Church, omitted
all mention of the brewhouse and washhouse.
And thus the attention of the Commissioners
had been constantly directed to this eternal
brewhouse and this eternal washhouse, without
any avail. There they still remain, as a
monument of the inefficiency of the
Commissioners, and of the great power and
pertinacity of the Church of this country."
The newspaper reports of this speech end
with "Loud laughter from all parts of the

In the Chapter-House of Westminster Abbey,
the Conqueror's Domesday Book, an unequalled
collection of treaties and state documents from
the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries;
others bearing upon the important events
during the York and Lancastrian wars, and
excambial returns belonging to the English
Crown, of the most minute and precise
character, are still at the mercy of the brewhouse
and washhouse. There is a little adventure
connected with the proceedings of the Courts
of Star Chamber which we must here
introduce:—Their registries and records were
kept in an apartment of the Royal Palace of
Westminster from the time of the dissolution
of the Courts. They were shifted from room
to room at the mercy of the Officers of the
Palace. Committees of the House of Commons
from time to time examined them, and
reported equally as to their value, and the dirt,
confusion, and neglect in which they were set
apart for the public use. But it was not till
the fire in the Cottonian Library, in 1731,
frightened the custodian, that an order from
the Privy Council was obtained for the
removal of these documents to the Chapter-
House. This house also possesses a unique
collection of the disused dies for coining;
and when the Nepaulese Minister and his
suite visited the Office, they were particularly
attracted by these primitive dies, which were
at once recognised as being now used in
the north-west of India. There are the
washhouse and the brewhouse still.

But the most monstrous instance furnished
to us of the disregard and contempt in which
our civil, political, legal, or ecclesiastical
authorities hold the very pedigrees of their
professional avocations, is to be found in
the ludicrously huge and unsuitable
storehouse called Carlton Ridea low, brick-
slated roof, workhouse-looking building, at
the east end of Carlton Terrace. Mr. Braidwood,
the superintendent of the London Fire-
Brigade, has pithily said, that "The Public
Records in the Tower of London and Carlton
Ride are exposed to risks of fire to which no
merchant of ordinary prudence would subject
his books of accounts." The protective staff
of this establishment, besides the clerks and
workmen during the day, consists of two
soldiers, two policemen, and two firemen, four
thousand gallons of watera sort of open
air bath at the top of the buildingthree
rows of buckets, ready-charged fire-mains,
two tell-tale clocks, five dark lanthorns, and
a cat.

Carlton Ride was, originally, the Riding-
House of the Prince of Wales's residence,
Carlton House. Under it are arched store-
houses for carriages and horse furniture;
and these were used for the carriages and
horses of the late good Queen Dowager.
When a question was raised as to the
capability of the structure to support the
thousands of tons of records which were to be
treasured therein, the district Clerk of the
Works satisfied all enquiries by noticing the
fact, that the strength of the building had
been tested to the utmost during the Spa
Fields riots, when it was occupied by the
horses and ammunition-waggons of the Royal
Artillery, packed together as close as they
could stand.

To adapt the interior of this place for the
public archives, the first process of building,
and that only, was resorted to;—
scaffolding was put up, so that, on entering this
receptacle of the national records of Great
Britain, the visitor finds himself in one of a
series of gloomy, dimly-lighted, mouldy-smelling
alleys, or stacks, of wooden scaffolding,
the sides of which are faced with records,
reaching to some thirty feet high. At first
sight, it reminds him of an immense mediæval
timber-yard, in which no business has been
done since the time of the Tudors. Here
two-thirds of our country's public and private
history are huddled together; not with the
systematic red tapery of a public office, but,