LXII. QUEEN ANNE'S LODGE
The freehold is the property of the Queen Anne's Mansion Co., Ltd.
History and Description of Structure.
Queen Square Place, the site of which is now to a large extent covered
by the courtyard of Queen Anne's Mansions, seems to have originally been
part of an old lane leading across the site of St. James's Park before the latter
was formed. This lane is mentioned in a lease (fn. 1) by the Dean and Chapter
of Westminster, dated 1538, to William Jennings, of a piece of ground "between a certain old way, 10 feet wide, formerly leading from the said Tothilstrete
towards St. James's, on the south and west sides, and the brickwall of the
King's park and the lands late belonging to Sir Hugh Vaughan on the
north and east sides." Queen Square Place is shown in Morden and Lea's
Map of 1682 as "White Hart Lane," and is probably the lane referred to in
a document of 1653 (fn. 2) as "Turne Againe Lane," which is said to be on the
west side of the White Hart, and appears from the order in which it is
mentioned, to have been situated between the White Hart and Kitter's Yard.
In 1770 Jeremiah Bentham (father of the famous Jeremy) obtained (fn. 3)
from the Dean and Chapter the lease of certain property adjoining his own
house then in course of building. It is described as: "All that square
parcel or piece of ground and several tenements, erections and buildings
thereon erected … with their appurtenances, situate, lying or being
at the east end or east part of a messuage or tenement now belonging to,
and in the tenure or occupation of, the said Jeremiah Bentham …
which said piece of ground and buildings front south on Queen's Square
Place, heretofore called White Hart Yard, (fn. 4) abutting each upon the back
part of certain buildings, part whereof is a chapel called Queen's Square
Chapel and other part of the said last mentioned buildings belonging to
the stable yard adjoining to the said chapel, and abutting north on St.
James's Park Wall."
The tenements on this parcel of land were reconstructed by Bentham
into a rather rambling but attractive residence, now known as Queen Anne's
Lodge. The interior of the premises has been completely rebuilt, but the
old front facing the Park, with the two pediments, remains and is cemented
over. In the basement the position and alignment of some of the old walls
can still be traced in the cellars, and portions of the old Park boundary wall
can be seen, but architecturally the premises have no historic interest.
Condition of Repair.
According to the ratebooks the occupiers of this house up to 1840 were as follows:—
|1809||Executors of Wm. Phillips.|
|1812–34||Lady Mary Crawford.|
Sir Samuel Bentham, born in 1757, was the youngest son of Jeremiah Bentham, and
brother of Jeremy Bentham. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to the master-shipwright
of Woolwich Dockyard, and even during his apprenticeship busied himself in inventions
relating to the fittings of ships. In 1780 he went to Russia, and in 1784 was engaged, with
the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, in forming a shipyard at Kritchev. In 1787 he was sent
to Cherson to direct the equipment of a flotilla for use against the Turks. In this he showed
great originality, the flotilla was strikingly successful, and Bentham gained the military cross
of St. George, the rank of Brigadier-General, and a sword of honour. After some experience
in Siberia, he returned to England in 1791. Among other activities, he assisted his brother
Jeremy in fitting up the latter's Panopticon, and in 1795 entered on his official connection
with the British Admiralty. During the next 18 years he carried out a very large number of
improvements in the dockyards, ships and machinery. In his endeavour to institute reforms
he inevitably made enemies, and in 1807, on his return from a mission to Russia, he learned
that his office had been abolished and that he had been appointed on the Navy Board. In this
position he still carried out his agitation for reforms, and in 1812 was retired. From 1814
to 1827 he resided in France. He died in 1831. His assumption of the title "Sir" was
apparently authorised in view of his Russian knighthood.
Charles Buller was born at Calcutta in 1806. He was educated first at Harrow, and
afterwards (1821–25) studied under Thomas Carlyle at Edinburgh, to whom he came as
"quite a bit of sunshine in my dreary Edinburgh element." In 1825 he entered Trinity
College, Cambridge, and in 1831 was called to the Bar. In the previous year he had entered
Parliament, of which he continued a member until his death. He was an ardent reformer,
and a good and witty speaker. In 1838 he went to Canada as Chief Secretary to the GovernorGeneral (Lord Durham) and was mainly responsible for the celebrated report on Canada issued
in Lord Durham's name. In 1846 he was made Judge-Advocate-General, and in 1847 Chief
Poor Law Commissioner. He died in 1848.
In the Council's Collection is:—
(fn. 5) Plan of property in Queen Square (1809), from drawing in Crace Collection (photograph).