CHAPTER 8: No. 5 WHITEHALL YARD (Demolished)
The smaller (and northern) of the two portions into which the
Holderness property was divided was in 1749 assigned (fn. 1) to Sir Thomas
Robinson, Bt., of Rokeby Park. In an indenture of mortgage (fn. 2) effected by
Sir Thomas on the day following his purchase the house is said to be "now
or late in the possession of Wardell George Westby," and, as the ratebooks
from 1739 to 1750 show Westby in occupation, it would appear that the division of the original premises into two dates from about 1738.
Robinson (fn. 3) was notorious for his love of building, and he immediately
set to work to pull down his house at Whitehall and build a new one. In
1753 he applied for a new lease of the premises, together with "a piece of
vacant ground adjoining thereto of 9 feet by 18 feet 6 inches … to enable
him to square his house with that of his neighbour, Sir Thos. Robinson, Knt.
of the Bath." (fn. 4) Two years before he had obtained from the latter (fn. 5) a lease
of a portion of ground 38 feet 9 inches by 33 feet, commencing at a distance
of 10 feet from the south-east corner of the latter's house. This must have
comprised the greater part of his neighbour's garden.
Robinson obtained his lease, (fn. 6) to expire on 8th August, 1803. His
residence is confirmed by the ratebooks for 1751–4 and 1761–2. During
a part of 1754–5 Lady Catherine Pelham was at the house, (fn. 7) and the ratebook shows that from Michaelmas, 1755, to 1759 it was let furnished to
"Miss Shepard." The ratebooks after 1762, contain no entries for Whitehall Yard, so that it is possible that Robinson remained there during 1763,
but in 1764 he agreed to a reversionary lease of the premises for a further
11 years being granted to Richard Binion (fn. 8) of Gidea Hall, Essex, who a few
weeks later acquired the existing lease by mortgage. In the report (fn. 9) on
Binion's application it is stated that "the house is in good repair and now in
the occupation of Jas. Harris Esqr."
In 1775 Richard Binion, son of the above-mentioned, sold (fn. 10) the house
to the Rt. Hon. Thos. Conolly (fn. 11) , whose widow, Lady Louisa Augusta
Conolly, (fn. 12) in 1810 obtained a fresh lease to expire on 10th October, 1870.
The premises are said (fn. 13) to have been "heretofore in the tenure … of
Sir Thomas Robinson, Baronet, and late of … Cornwall, widow."
This was evidently "Elizabeth Cornwall, (fn. 14) of Whitehall Court,
widow," whose will (fn. 15) was proved on 23rd March, 1809. She was the widow
of Charles Wolfran Cornwall, Speaker of the House of Commons, who died
in 1789, and the surmise that he also had occupied the house is made
probable by the affidavit (fn. 16) sworn by the Rev. P. Williams and John Beardwell
"that they knew and were well acquainted with the Right Honorable Charles
Wolfran Cornwall, late of Whitehall."
From 1809 the occupiers, so far as they can be ascertained from
Boyle's Court Guide and other directories, were:
|1812–16 (fn. 17) ||Hon. Geo. Lamb (fn. 18) |
|1817–18 (fn. 17) ||George Jackson|
|1818–24 (fn. 17) ||Hon. Geo. Lamb|
|1825||Hon. Fred. Eden|
|1826–32||Hon. Edward Geoffrey Stanley (fn. 19) |
|1833||H. H. Joy, K.C.|
|1834||Hon. Geo. Lamb|
|1835||Rt. Hon. Sir A. J. Foster (fn. 20) |
|1836–7||Sir J. Copley|
|1839||Sir Joseph Copley|
|1852–7||Sir Frederick Foster (fn. 21) |
|1873–84||Oscar Leslie Stephen|
In 1887 the premises were taken over for the use of the Board of
Trade. They were demolished in connection with the formation of Horse
Guards Avenue about 1896.