XXXI.—No. 34 OLD QUEEN STREET.
The freehold belongs to Mrs. M. F. C. Litchfield-Speer.
General Description and Date of Structure.
Included in the property sold by Sutton in 1704 (see p. 71) was
"all that other parcell of ground whereupon hath lately been erected one
"other new brick messuage," 24 feet in width and 61 feet in depth,
"abutting east upon a messuage there of Sir Wm. Honywood and west
"upon the messuage of … Benson … late or heretofore in
"the holding of one Edward Higgins and now of Walter Whitfeild, Esq."
In this case also the house has been rebuilt. The ratebooks do not
contain any decisive evidence as to the date when this took place, but the
entries certainly suggest the year 1774. (fn. 1)
The wood staircase has a wrought-iron balustrading of "S" panels
interspaced between plain square bars from the ground to the second floor.
The walls of the upper portion of the staircase are circular and contain
windows and recesses interspaced with plaster plaques containing female
figures. Above the frieze and cornice is a circular lantern-light. The
mantelpiece (Plate 74) to the back room on the first floor is decorated with
flutings inlaid with Verde Antico marble, while the centre panel contains
a carved urn in statuary marble.
Condition of Premises.
According to the ratebooks, the names of the occupiers of the houses on this site up to
1840 were as follows:—
|1700–01||"Earl of Argile."|
|1703–12||— Whitfield, Esq. (fn. 2) |
|1726–35||Widow (Madm.) Putland.|
|1756–64||Col. (Genl.) Parsons.|
|1791||Genl. J. McKenzie.|
|1792–98||J. H. Beaufoy.|
|1806||E. (fn. 3) |
Campbell, Duke of Argyll.
Archibald, 10th Earl and 1st Duke of Argyll, was a zealous supporter of William III,
whom he accompanied from the Hague to England in 1689. He was afterwards one of the
commissioners deputed to offer to William and Mary the crown of Scotland, and he administered the coronation oath. To him belongs a part of the responsibility for the massacre at
Glencoe in 1692. In June, 1701, he was made Duke of Argyll and Marquis of Lorne. He
died in 1703.
Thomas Desaguliers, youngest son of Dr. John Theophilus Desaguliers, natural philosopher, was born about 1725, and entered the Royal Artillery as cadet in 1740. He was present
at the battle of Fontenoy, and on his return to England in 1748 with the rank of captain
was made chief firemaster at Woolwich, an appointment which he held until his death. In
this position (which involved the superintendence of Woolwich Arsenal) he carried out
numerous experiments and made great improvements in English gunnery. In 1761 he was
sent to the siege of Belle Isle with the temporary rank of brigadier-general. He was completely successful, and on his return to England was promoted colonel. The rest of his life
was devoted to his work at Woolwich, in which he gained the highest distinction. In 1763
he was elected F.R.S. In 1772 he was promoted major-general, and in 1777 lieutenant-general. He died at Woolwich in 1780.
In the Council's Collection are:—
(fn. 4) Mantelpiece, back room on first floor (photograph).
Staircase balustrading (photograph).