Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 The Constitution Tavern Covent Garden


In Bedford-street, near St. Paul's church-gate, was an old tavern, the Constitution (now rebuilt), noted as the resort of working men of letters, and for its late hours; indeed, the sittings here were perennial. Among other eccentric persons we remember to have seen here, was an accomplished scholar named Churchill, who had travelled much in the East, smoked and ate opium to excess, and was full of information. Of another grade were two friends who lived in the same house, and had for many years "turned night into day;" rising at eight o'clock in the evening, and going to bed at eight next morning. They had in common some astrological, alchemical, and spiritual notions, and often passed the whole night at the Constitution. This was the favourite haunt of Wilson, the landscape-painter, who then lived in the Garden; he could, at the Constitution, freely indulge in a pot of porter, and enjoy the fun of his brother-painter, Mortimer, who preferred this house, as it was near his own in Church-passage.

John Timbs
Club Life of London Vol. II
London, 1866