ABOUT ninety years ago St. Andrew’s
Square was in its heyday both for gentility and business.
The Royal Bank had then its office
and manager’s dwelling-house in the two tenements on the south-east corner
of the square; and the two large freestones on which were placed the
sentry-boxes for the soldiers who, with loaded musket and bayonet, guarded
the treasures within, still remain inserted in the pavement. In these days
the late well-known Mr. John More was manager of the bank, and being a man
of dignified presence, he represented the moneyed interest in a style
which has not been equalled since.
On Saturdays and holidays a splendid
equipage, with a black servant in the rumble, drove up to the bank to
convey the manager to his rural home at Wellshot, which he had erected,
and surrounded with vinery, flower garden, romantic walks, and
bowling-green, at an expense of £17,000, sic transit, etc. Mr. More
became unfortunate, and this splendid house, the grounds of which were
feued at £4 per acre, long stood in the market at £2,000, and was latterly
sold for much less.
A respectable citizen, recently in
the magistracy (Mr. R. Smith), occupied Welishot House not long since, at
a rent of, we believe, £80 per annum; but it would require a man of
princely fortune to occupy it as Mr. More did, the style. of whose
housekeeping may be learned from the fact, that he possessed upwards of
1,200 ounces of silver plate.