Survey of London: Volume 10, St. Margaret, Westminster, Part I: Queen Anne's Gate Area. Originally published by [s.n.], [s.l.], 1926.
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XII.—NO. 11 GREAT GEORGE STREET.
General Description and Date of Structure.
Similar evidence to that in the case of No. 8 shows that No. 11 had been at least partly built by the early part of 1756. The house is marked empty ("E") in the ratebooks every year from 1757 to 1765, and is referred to as unlet in the lease of the adjoining house in 1762. On 1st May, 1766, Sir George Amyand purchased (fn. n1) the lease of "all that parcell of ground with the messuage and other erections thereon, situate on the south side of Great George Street … being the ninth house from King Street." The plot is described as measuring 33 feet 1 inch in front and rear and 110 feet 9 inches on each side.
These premises are in plain brickwork, with a moulded modillion cornice at the third-floor level, forming a pediment across the width of the whole front and containing an oval window in the tympanum. This, with the front of the building slightly advanced, was designed to form a central feature to this side of the street, and had its complement in a similar treatment of the middle house on the opposite side. The first-floor windows have wrought-iron balconettes. The entrance door is furnished with detached wood Ionic columns supporting an entablature forming the porch.
The main staircase to the first and second floors is in stone, and has a wrought-iron balustrading of scroll design with laurel-leaf enrichments, while the landings, including that on the third floor, have balustrading of similar design (Plate 40). The back staircase has turned deal balusters and extends from the basement to the top.
The ground-floor front room has a white marble mantelpiece with a carved centre tablet, while the back room has a carved wood mantelpiece. The first-floor front room has a white marble mantelpiece, with a centre tablet containing a representation of Hebe, while the jambs have a pair of reeded half columns supporting tablets depicting Music and Painting (Plate 39). The back room has a white marble mantelpiece with reeded jambs and frieze. These mantelpieces are all of much later date than the original premises.
Condition of Repair.
According to the ratebooks the occupiers of No. 11 up to 1840 were as follows (fn. n2) :—
|1798–1823||George Holme Sumner.|
|1824–30||John Charles Herries.|
|1831–34||Rt. Hon. Chas. Grant.|
Sir George Amyand, who purchased the lease of this house in May, 1766, was one of the leading London merchants of his time. He was one of the assistants of the Russia Company and a director of the East India Company. He was created a baronet in 1764 and died in August, 1766. His widow, who is shown as residing at the house in the following year, was Anna Maria, daughter of John Abraham Korten, a merchant of Hamburg. (fn. n3) On 12th May, 1770, Sir George's executors assigned (fn. n4) the remainder of the lease to William Brightwell Sumner "of Great George Street, Westminster, Esq." The ratebooks show that he had already been in residence two years.
John Charles Herries, the eldest son of Charles Herries, a London merchant, was born in 1778. At the age of twenty he entered the Civil Service as a junior clerk in the Treasury, and soon obtained a great reputation in financial matters. He became private secretary successively to Vansittart and Perceval, and from 1809 to 1822 was Secretary and Registrar to the Order of the Bath. In 1811 he became Commissary-in-Chief, a position in which he showed great ability. On its abolition in 1816 he was made Auditor of the Civil List, and in 1821 he was put on the Commission for enquiring into the collection and management of the revenue in Ireland. The second report of the Commission was drawn up entirely by him. His principal later appointments were: Chancellor of the Exchequer for a few months in 1827–28, President of the Board of Trade, 1830; Secretary at War, 1834–35; and President of the Board of Control, 1852.
Charles Grant, Baron Glenelg, eldest son of Charles Grant, statesman and philanthropist, was born in India in 1778. After a distinguished career at Cambridge University he entered Parliament in 1811. He was successively Chief Secretary for Ireland, VicePresident and President of the Board of Trade and President of the Board of Control. In the last-mentioned capacity in 1833 he carried the new charter to the East India Company vesting its property in the Crown. In 1835 he became Colonial Secretary and was created Baron Glenelg. He introduced the bill abolishing slavery in the West Indies. His policy in Cape Colony, where he came into conflict with the governor, Sir Benjamin D'Urban, met with considerable criticism, and his Canadian administration excited profound discontent. Pressure was brought upon him to resign, and in 1839 he retired from office, at the same time apparently giving up his house in Great George Street. He died in 1866.
In the Council's Collection are:—
General exterior (photograph).
Main staircase balustrading (photograph).
(fn. n5) Main staircase balustrading to landing (photograph).
Marble mantelpiece, ground-floor front room (photograph).
Wood mantelpiece, ground-floor back room (photograph).
Marble mantelpiece, first-floor back room (photograph).
(fn. n5) Marble mantelpiece, first-floor back room (photograph).
(fn. n5) Marble mantelpiece, central tablet front room (photograph).