CHAPTER 24: XII—NOS. 21 TO 24, COCKSPUR STREET (DEMOLISHED) AND THE TWO CHAIRMEN
The Two Chairmen is the freehold of Barclay, Perkins and Co., Ltd.
Nos. 21–24, Cockspur Street, have been demolished.
History of the Site.
The site of these premises was during the greater part of the
seventeenth century occupied by the White Hart inn. By some means
this, as well as the property adjoining to the west on the south side of
Warwick (now Warwick House) Street, had come into the hands of Thomas,
Viscount Falconbridge, (fn. 1) who on 30th December, 1684, granted the inn
to Samuel Aubery on a building lease (fn. 2) for 70 years from the preceding
Little is known of The White Hart, which seems nevertheless to
have been one of the most important inns in the neighbourhood. The
earliest occupier who can be identified with certainty was Thomas Sparkes,
or Parkes, (fn. 3) who was there from 1628 to 1641. In 1644–5 Richard "Sparks"
is shown in the ratebooks for what appears to be the inn, and his widow
from 1652 to 1657. From 1659 to 1668 John Howard (fn. 4) was the occupier,
and was succeeded by his widow until 1672. "Mrs Hill at the White
Hart" is shown in the ratebook for 1673. In the following year Bryan
Westland appears and continues until 1684. "Widow Buckler" is shown
in 1685, and thereafter the inn disappears. This was the result of the
operations of Samuel Aubery, who pulled the inn down, and on its site
erected eight houses, some of which had frontages on Cockspur Street,
while the others were disposed in a court called White Hart Court. The
court, which appears to have had its entrance on or close to the site of The
Two Chairmen, first appears in the ratebook for 1687. The ground leased
to Aubery constituted only a portion of the Falconbridge property, which
extended 116 feet further west. (fn. 5)
Falconbridge died in 1701, leaving (fn. 6) all his freehold messuages
"scituate … in Warwick Streete in the Parish of St. Martins in the Feilds
and St. James Westminster" to his wife for life and afterwards to his godson,
Thomas Frankland. On the death of the latter (then Sir Thomas) in 1747
all his landed property was bequeathed (fn. 7) to trustees with instructions to
dispose of it by sale. No record of such sale has been found, but the property
in Cockspur Street and Warwick Street is found in the following year in
the possession of Sir Jeremy Sambrooke. Aubery's lease expired at
Christmas, 1754, and on 2nd November, 1753, Sambrooke granted to
Joseph Pearce another building lease (fn. 8) of the premises. The plot is described
as containing "in front next Cock Spurr Street from East to West 62 feet
2 Inches, (fn. 9) and from thence Runneth in a Straight Line west or south westwards 16 feet, and from thence … Southward 3 feet and 6 Inches, and from
thence … westwards or south westwards 12 feet and 5 inches, and from
thence … Southwards 36 feet and 5 Inches quite up to a wall Called Old
Spring garden wall, and from thence … Eastwards 63 feet and 6 Inches,
and from thence … Northwards Inclining towards the East 16 feet, and
from thence… northwards Inclining a Little more towards the East Fifty
Three feet and 5 Inches, and … Eight messuages standing on the same
peice of ground in the Occupations of Timothy Sheldrick, Henry Hadley,
Christopher Moore, Sam1 Greenfield, Thos Cockran and Charles Simes."
The first four of these are shown by the ratebooks to have occupied the
street frontage. Pearce effected three sub-leases, (1) to William Crompton
(24th May, 1754) (fn. 10) of 56 feet frontage, containing the houses of Sheldrick,
Hadley and Moore and part of that of Greenfield; (2) to John Showrd
(14th May, 1755) (fn. 11) with a frontage of 17 feet 2 inches; and (3) to Thomas
Cockran (23rd May, 1754) (fn. 12) with a front of 12 feet 6 inches "with a messuage
and part of a messuage standing thereon in the Occupation of the said Thos
Cockran." The result was the erection of Nos. 22–24 (1), No. 21 (2)
and The Two Chairmen (3). The new premises appear in the ratebook
Description of Structure.
All these houses were erected in 1755–6, and Nos. 21 to 24 were
demolished in 1914.
Nos. 21 to 24, Cockspur Street. These each comprised three storeys
and an attic, over shops (Plate 91). Nos. 22–24 had a stucco front.
No. 23 had a slight break forward, with quoins to the external angles and
a bay window of three storeys with
a flat roof which finished below the
main cornice. No. 21 had a brick
front, with a bay window to the
first and second floors terminating
with a wood modillion cornice.
The interiors were uninteresting.
The Two Chairmen. This
house comprises three storeys
with an attic, over the public
quarters. It has a bay window
to the first and second floors which
is surmounted by an iron railing.
The interior contains no features
Second floor of The Two Chairmen
Condition of Repair.
Nos. 21–24, Cockspur Street—Demolished.
The Two Chairmen—Good.
According to the ratebooks the occupants of these houses until 1840 were as follows:
|1777–90||Crompton and Son|
|1799–1803||Fras. Pontet (fn. 13) |
|1834–||Maria H. Cawthorn|
|1756–70||Messrs. Crompton and Spinnage|
|1771–90||Crompton and Son|
|1799–1825||Paul Colnaghi (fn. 14) |
|1833–34||Martin H. Lewis|
|1835–38||Fras. Graves & Co.|
|1840–||Martin H. Lewis|
|1786–93||Richd Jeston Case|
|1810–32||John Main & Son|
|1806–12||John & Wm Frost|
|The Two Chairmen.|
|1778–83||Wm Lord (fn. 15) |
|1784–85||Wm Wilson (fn. 16) |
|1786||John Barber (fn. 16) |
In The Council's Collection are:
(fn. 17) General exterior of The Two Chairmen (photograph).
General exterior of Two Chairmen (photograph).
(fn. 17) Plan of second floor of The Two Chairmen (drawing).