XVI.—No. 15 GREAT GEORGE STREET.
The freehold is the property of the Crown.
General Description and Date of Structure.
In 1755 a lease was granted to Horne and Wilkinson of a "parcell of
ground with a messuage thereon situate on the south side of Great George
Street … being the fifth house" reckoning from King Street,
and on 11th March, 1756, the lease was assigned (fn. 1) to Susannah Lequesne
as security for a sum of £650. The house was, therefore, at least partially
built at that time.
These premises, with No. 14, have a plain brick front following the
general lines of the other houses in the street. With the exception of a white
marble mantelpiece in the east front room on the first floor, they are devoid
of interest. This mantelpiece is decorated with a pair of tapering reeded
columns, and a reeded frieze with carved lion's head over each column.
A back addition to the premises is of much later date.
Condition of Repair.
According to the ratebooks, the occupiers of No. 15 Great George Street, up to 1840,
|1758–64||Bishop of Hereford.|
|1765–70||John Frederick. (fn. 2) |
|1785–86||Rev. Dr. Prettyman.|
The Bishop of Hereford during the period 1758–64 was James Beauclerk, seventh
son of the 1st Duke of St. Albans, born 1702 and died 1787.
George Pretyman (Sir George Pretyman Tomline) was born in 1750. In 1773 he
was made a tutor of his college (Pembroke Hall), and as such received the younger Pitt under
his care. A close friendship developed between the two. Pretyman became moderator
of Cambridge University in 1781. On Pitt becoming First Lord of the Treasury at the
end of 1783, Pretyman became his private secretary, a position which he retained until 1787,
when he became Bishop of Lincoln and Dean of St. Paul's. In 1805 the archbishopric
of Canterbury became vacant, and Pitt used every endeavour, though without success, to
induce the King to appoint him. In the following year he attended Pitt on his death-bed
and was left as his literary executor. He had previously arranged the payment of Pitt's
debts. In 1813 he was offered, but declined, the See of London, and in 1820 accepted
that of Winchester. His theological works consisted of (1) Elements of Christian Theology,
which was intended for the use of ordination candidates and became very popular, and
(2) A Refutation of Calvinism, which reached an 8th edition. In 1803 he had taken the
name of Tomline under the conditions of a bequest, and in 1823 he established his claim
to a Nova Scotia baronetcy, thus becoming Sir George Pretyman Tomline. His occupation
of No. 15 Great George Street seems to have been limited to the years 1785–6. In 1810 he
again took a house in Great George Street, No. 28, on the opposite side, where he stayed
until his death, which took place in 1827 at Wimborne.
In the Council's Collection is:—
Marble mantelpiece to front room on first floor (photograph).