No. 74 Dean Street
This house, built in 1734–5, was the southernmost and smallest of four similar houses of
which Thomas Richmond was the building
lessee (see table on page 250). In c. 1796 lodgings were taken in the house by the engraver,
Gaetano Bartolozzi, and his daughter, Lucia,
later known as Madame Vestris, the actress, (ref. 1) is
said to have been born here in 1797. (ref. 49) From the
1830's the back part of the site was occupied by
part of Miss Kelly's (later the Royalty) Theatre,
and its subsequent history is included in the
account of that theatre given below. Its site is
now part of that of No. 72–74 Dean Street,
The plan of the house appears on a lease of
1840. (ref. 47) This shows a frontage of some twentythree feet, like that of No. 73, but a depth of
only some forty feet (fig. 52). The plan was
arranged on conventional lines, with the staircase
on the south side of the back room, which had a
slightly canted rear wall containing one window
and a door, this giving access to a closet-wing.
A photograph of 1901 (ref. 48) shows that the
three-windows-wide front of No. 74 was originally uniform with the three larger houses to the
north. In the ground storey, however, there was
a shop front, probably inserted c. 1796 for an
upholsterer, John Weatherall. (ref. 50) This was an
elegant composition of three equal arches, a window between two doorways, all with radial fanlights. The arches were finished with narrow
archivolts rising from moulded imposts above
panelled piers. The outside edge of each end
spandrel curved in with an ogee profile to meet
the frieze-fascia and cornice, the former being
broken over the middle arch by a lugged tablet.
In the south arch was a two-leaf door of six panels,
serving the house and shop, and in the north arch
were exit doors of about 1883, from the Royalty
Theatre at the rear. The upper part of the front
was in 1901 quite free from alteration except
that the second-floor windows had probably
been lengthened by lowering the sills. In 1905
the front was stuccoed and ornamented to match
with No. 73 (see page 219) and is so shown in
1912 (Plate 102a).
Memoirs of the Life of Madame Vestris, 1830,
p. 8 (B.M. pressmark 1203. c. 20).
||B.M., Dept. of Prints and Drawings, National
Photographic Record, box 32.
||R.B.; Kent's Directory, 1796.