Survey of London: Volume 16, St Martin-in-The-Fields I: Charing Cross. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1935.
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CHAPTER 16: SITE OF NO. 56, CHARING CROSS AND NO. 17, SPRING GARDENS
The site of No. 56, Charing Cross, also formed part of the three tenements leased to Shypton, De La Haye and Hornecliff (see p. 114). The first specific mention of it which has been found is in the will of John Bond (fn. n1), dated 2nd July, 1675, by which he left to his wife Patience "all that my house wherein Master Windsor Pingleberry doth now inhabitt … scituate … in Charing Crosse." (fn. n2) Windsor Pendlebury (fn. n3) is shown by the ratebooks to have occupied from 1653 to 1678 the house next to Pratt's, having succeeded Richard Thompson (1648–52) in the former year. This identifies the house as that in which Milton lodged for a short time in 1650. (fn. n4) The property descended to Catherine, grand-daughter of John Bond, who in 1716 sold it (fn. n5) to Alexander Denton under the description of a messuage "at or neare Charing Crosse … now or late in the Tenure … of Mary Miller, widdow … adjoyning to a Messuage … called … the Buffalo's Head Taverne towards the north." The house of Mary Miller (1711–23) can be traced through the ratebooks until it comes into the occupation of Thomas Baber (or Barber (fn. n6) ) in 1765. His son continued there until 1797, when he was succeeded by Samuel Brunn, whose house is shown in Holden's Triennial Directory for 1803–5 as No. 56, Charing Cross. The premises have been demolished and the site now forms part of the Mall Approach.
It seems reasonable to suppose that the house in the rear of No. 56, Charing Cross, on the Spring Gardens side, was also originally part of the Bond property, though when it first emerges into the light in 1718 (fn. n7) it was in the possession of George Pratt Webb, and was leased by him to Isaac Bobyn. (fn. n8) The house is not mentioned in Sir George Pratt's will, and it seems likely that it was purchased by Lady Margaret Pratt from Bond in 1678. (fn. n9) This suggestion receives some confirmation from the fact that it is described in a sale by the Commissioners for the Affairs of Barracks to John Madox in 1809 (fn. n10) as "some time since in the occupatn of Jno Bond, afterwards of Mrs. Bobyn, since that of Jno Hare, Peruke Maker." The house occupied by "Boben," Hare (1760–86), the commissioners (1808) and Madox (1809–22) can be traced through the ratebooks without difficulty until the number 28 is assigned to it in 1820. This number was in 1866 altered to 17. The house was demolished for the Mall Approach.