VIII.—No. 6 GREAT GEORGE STREET
General Description and Date of Structure.
Among the leases granted to Horne and Wilkinson on 4th November,
1755, was one of a plot of ground with a messuage "thereafter to be erected,"
which messuage was to be "the fourteenth house on the south side of the
"… street, reckoning from King Street." (fn. 1) The plot is described as
containing 27 feet 2 inches in front and rear, 116 feet 3 inches on the east
side and 79 feet on the west. Although the house was (according to the
ratebooks) not occupied until 1765, it must have been at least partly built
before 2nd March, 1757, for on that date the above-mentioned lease was
assigned (fn. 2) by Horne and Wilkinson to Samuel Cox as security for the repayment of a sum of £1000. The house was demolished in 1910 to make room
for the new building of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
The premises were treated externally in a similar way to those adjoining.
The main staircase to the first floor had a balustrade of wrought-iron, with
panels of scroll design, and continued above with turned wood balusters. The
staircase walls on the first-floor landing were panelled in plaster, and decorated
with clusters of emblematic musical instruments and foliage suspended on
looped ribands. The front room on the first floor had a plaster cornice
over a deep-coved frieze, which was enriched with masks and foliage. The
mantelpiece in this room was in statuary marble, and had fluted Ionic columns
and pilasters, with the frieze decorated with festoons of laurel leaves and a
central tablet containing a representation of Androcles and the Lion
The occupiers of No. 6, Great George Street before 1840, according to the ratebooks,
were (fn. 3) :—
|1789–93||Lady Jennings Clark.|
|1794–1800||Sir Richard Perryn.|
Sir Richard Perryn was born in 1723 and educated at Ruthin Grammar School and
Queen's College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar in 1747. In 1770 he became Vicechamberlain of Chester, a K.C., and a bencher of the Inner Temple. In 1776 he was
appointed Baron of the Exchequer and knighted. He retired from the bench in 1799 and
died at Twickenham in 1803. (fn. 4)
Sir william Cubitt was the son of a miller at Bacton Wood, Norfolk, and was born
in 1785. He received a small amount of education at the village school. After a short
apprenticeship to a cabinet maker, he entered into partnership with an agricultural-machine
maker, in the course of which he invented self-regulating windmill sails. In 1814 he became
chief engineer to the firm of Messrs. Ransome, of Ipswich, and afterwards a partner. At
this period of his career his attention was directed to the utilisation of the labour of convicts,
and in 1818 he brought out his invention of the treadmill, which he intended to be used
for the purpose of grinding corn, etc., and not as a method of punishment. In 1826 he
removed to London, where he was engaged in all the important undertakings of the day.
Among the many works on which he was employed may be mentioned the construction
of the Oxford and the Liverpool Junction Canals, the Bute Docks at Cardiff, docks at
Middlesborough, and the South Eastern Railway. He was also consulting engineer to the
Great Northern Railway and the Boulogne and Amiens Railway. In 1830 he became
F.R.S., and in 1850–51 was president of the Institution of Civil Engineers. In 1851 he
was knighted for his services in connection with the erection of the Great Exhibition building
in Hyde Park. He retired from business in 1858, and died at his residence at Clapham
Common in 1861.
From the issues of Boyle's Court Guide for 1855 and 1856 it would seem that in the
former year Sir William moved to No. 19 Great George Street, and was succeeded in his
occupation of No. 6 by his son Joseph.
Joseph Cubitt was born in 1811. He was trained as a civil engineer by his father, and
carried out many notable undertakings, including the construction of the Great Northern,
and London, Chatham and Dover Railways and a great part of the London and South-Western
Railway, and the building of Blackfriars Bridge. He died in 1872.
In the Council's Collection are:—
Main staircase at first-floor landing (photograph).
Coved frieze and cornice, front room on first floor (photograph).
(fn. 5) General view of mantelpiece to front room on first floor (photograph).