The Quest of the Golden Lion, by John J. Murray

The Quest of the Golden Lion, by John J. Murray
The Quest of the Golden Lion, by John J. Murray

Book published by the Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society in 1981, 80 pages. A5 size booklet (N6561X1)

In Fulham High Street stands a Golden Lion public house built in 1893, and in this booklet the author has traced the history of earlier buildings on the site over the past five hundred years....

From the opening page: The Golden Lion which is the subject of our historical 'Quest' is the public bouse of that name situated at No. 57 Fulham High Street, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, just north of the River Thames, about six miles up-river from London Bridge. The premises are on the east side of Fulham High Street, nine properties north of where, it is joined by New King's Road and the approach to Putney Bridge.

Since the 1950s. the patrons of the tavern have been able to obtain from the management a pamphlet purporting to outline its early history; this said that a subterranean passage had existed leading from a vaulted cellar under the premises to the west side of Fulham High Street 'where Fulham Gospel Hall now stands'. There, it was stated; on the authority of an article in the Gentleman's Magazine dated June, 1838, had been in the time of Queen Mary Tudor the palace of Bishop Bonner where he had imprisoned Protestants charged with heresy, and the passage was his dungeon in which recalcitrants were starved to death or otherwise murdered to his order; in the passage, it was alleged, recesses in the walls had been discovered containing human skeletons which crumbled away when touched.

For the tavern itself, the pamphlet had a more happy story: some forty years after the activities of Bishop Bonner it was said to have been a hostelry frequented by many well-known personalities of the late-Elizabethan 'Period, such as John Florio, the translator of Montaigne's Essays; John Norden, the topographer; John Fletcher, the playwright; Robert Burbage, the actor; and last but by no means least, the immortal Shakespeare himself!

On 18th February, 1975, the present writer read a paper to the Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society on the antecedents of the Golden Lion, suggesting a history for the property very much at variance with the legends reproduced in the pamphlet, and this work represents an expanded version of that paper; it is confidently expected that the new story put forward for the old Golden Lion will be found no less interesting and colourful than the version it is intended to replace....

The condition of the booklet is generally very good. The cover has one or two very minor scuffs, but the staple spine is intact and all pages are intact, unblemished and tightly bound.
Condition New