Brewer's: Rose Sunday
The fourth Sunday in Lent, when the Pope blesses the “Golden Rose.” He dips it in balsam, sprinkles it with holy water, and incenses it. Strange as it may seem, Pope Julius II., in 1510, and Leo X. both sent the sacred rose to Henry VIII. In 1856 Isabella II. of Spain received the “Rose;” and both Charlotte, Empress of Mexico, and Eugénie, Empress of France, were honoured by it likewise.
Attacks of this kind were not uncommon in “the age of chivalry;” witness the case of Sir John Coventry, who was waylaid and had his nose slit by some young men of rank for a reflection on the king's theatrical amours. This attack gave rise to the “Coventry Act” against maiming and wounding. Of a similar nature was the cowardly assassination of Mr. Mountford, in Norfolk Street, Strand, by Lord Mohun and Captain Hill, for the hypothetical offence of his admiration for Mrs. Bracegirdle.
This coffee-house is referred to as “Russell Street Coffee House,” and “The Wits' Coffee-house.”
“Will's continued to be the resort of the wits at least till 1710. Probably Addison established his servant [Button] in a new house about 1712.” —
This Button had been a servant of the Countess of Warwick, whom Addison married; and Button's became the head-quarters of the Whig literati, as Will's had been of the Tory.