No. 6 UPPER CHEYNE ROW (NOW No. 18) - correction
Present owner and occupier—Gerald M. Cooper, Esquire
Since the publication of the Survey of London, Vol. IV (Parish of
Chelsea, Part II), our attention has been called to an inaccuracy in the reference on page 73 to No. 18 Upper Cheyne Row. (fn. 1)
It seems clear from the deeds in the possession of Mr. Cooper that
the building (formerly No. 6) was erected soon after the purchase by one
William Holloway in 1714 of two plots of land, side by side, each measuring
40 feet in length and 14 feet in width, and the details of the internal fittings
correspond with this date. The staircase, too, is similar to the one in No. 12
Upper Cheyne Row, and the present owner having removed the wall paper
in two of the rooms has revealed the original panelling, and has also opened
out some of the old fire-places which had been filled in. Through the
courtesy of Mr. Cooper we are able to make the following extracts from his
deeds which relate to the house and a garden further north, part of which
is now covered by houses and studios on the south side of Glebe Place.
The earliest deeds are dated April, 1709, and are leases or releases from
William Lord Cheyne to Elborow Glentworth and Thomas Hill of land in
Cheyne Row, Chelsea, once part of the bowling-green, and we have already
referred to the next deed dated 5th June, 1714, when these two original
plots of land were purchased by Holloway from Thomas Hill and Elborow
Glentworth. Later, in 1725, William Holloway's executor, Robert Gale,
leases a further piece of land measuring 80X75 feet, described as lying
"behind the gardens of Mr. Price, Mr. Nicholson, and Mrs.—." In
another deed, dated 1735, there is a definite reference to the house erected
on the piece of land purchased by William Holloway, and it is further stated
that it was formerly occupied by Mr. Nicholson.
At this date (1735) the house and the garden (80X75 feet) are purchased from Holloway's executors by Capt. Alexander Descluseaux, in
whose family they remained till 1757, when they were purchased by John
Sheldon. Sheldon sold the house only (40x28 feet) in 1795 to John
Hamilton who, in the year 1800, purchased also another piece of land
measuring 66 feet north to south and 27 feet 6 inches east to west. This is
the present garden of No. 18, and it does not appear in the earlier deeds we
have quoted because it was Glebe land.
If the reader will now refer to the list of owners or occupiers of
Cheyne House published on page 72 of Part II of the Survey of Chelsea he
will see that, in the absence of the evidence now before us, we had placed
De Clouseaux at Cheyne House from 1736–1757 with one break of four
years. This, it will be noted, is the exact period of his possession of No. 18,
and no doubt it is here that he should be correctly located. John Sheldon,
the owner from 1757 to 1795, apparently resided in No. 18 from 1762–
We shall probably not be very far wrong if we attribute the building
of Cheyne House to the period of John Hamilton, who purchased No. 18
in 1795. If this surmise be correct the "original house" stated on page 71
of the Survey of Chelsea, Part II, as having been built for the Duchess of
Hamilton would really be No. 18 and Cheyne House itself must then be
relegated to the end of the 18th century.
No lease to the Duchess, presumably only a tenant, is included in
Mr. Cooper's deeds, but two of them dated 1709 and 1714 respectively
have notes added in handwriting differing from that of the documents
themselves "Ds. Hamilton late Nicholson." The latter we have seen is
definitely alluded to on several occasions, while the rate-books give Mr.
James Nicholson as residing in Upper Cheyne Road from 1726–1735,
when he is superseded by de Clouseaux.
It has not been possible for us to investigate the matter more closely
before going to press.