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 18: XI—NO. 58–59, CHARING CROSS AND NOS. 11 AND 13, SPRING GARDENS
History of the Site.
Among the sales of George and Thomas Cole on 20th December, 1618, (fn. n1) was that to Thomas Marshall of "all that messuage … on the Southside of the Kings highway leading from Charing crosse … towards St. James Feilds, now in the tenure … of … Thomas Marshall, … and all that other messuage thereunto adioyning on the Westside late in the tenure of Rowland Hartley and now in the tenure of Anne Vaughan alias Anne Evans, midwyfe … abutting uppon the Kings highway on the Northparte and uppon the Wall of St James Parke on the South parte." No further trace of the property has been found for over a century. (fn. n2) In 1721 is a reference (fn. n3) to four houses near Charing Cross "held by John Green, late citizen and Carpenter of London by Lease under Captain Dorrell Deceased." Captain John Dorrill died in the disastrous expedition against Quebec in 1711, (fn. n4) and no particulars of his estate have been found, but in 1769 John Chambers Dorrill mortgaged (fn. n5) "all those two Messuages … situate … on the South side of Charing Cross … and also all those two other Messuages … situate in Spring Gardens on the back side of the first mencioned Messuages … Which … four Messuages … were formerly Two Houses in the Several Tenures of Thomas Marshall and Anne Vaughan otherwise Anne Evans … and were afterwards used as three Messuages … and in the Occupation of Nicholas Highmore, (fn. n6) Anne Jones, Widow, and Anne Stone, Widow … which said four Messuages … now are or late were in the Several Tenures … of John Humphrey, Stephen Wright, Margaret MacLeod and Elizabeth Hatsell." (fn. n7) These houses are readily identifiable by means of the ratebooks with Nos. 58 and 59, Charing Cross, and Nos. 11 and 13, Spring Gardens. No. 59, Charing Cross, is in many deeds specified as The Black Horse.
Date and Description of Structure.
Nos. 11 and 13, Spring Gardens, had a brick front of three storeys (see Plate 90), and the architectural evidence suggests that they probably dated from the middle of the eighteenth century. A lead cistern on the premises with a panelled front bore the date 1764 (Plate 84). It is, however, doubtful whether the latter can be regarded as dating the house, and the evidence of the ratebooks is almost decisive that both houses were rebuilt in the period 1744–6. (fn. n8) They were demolished to permit of the formation of the Mall Approach.
No. 58–9, Charing Cross, is a house of four storeys, including shop. The first floor has two bay windows with shaped lead roofs, dating from the early part of the nineteenth century, and probably inserted when the front was given a coat of stucco. The staircase of the upper part of the premises has turned balusters and a close string, and dates from the early part of the eighteenth century. Normally this might be taken as indicating the date of erection of the premises, but the evidence of the ratebooks rather suggests a date about 1683, which might accord with the appearance of the back wall. The two houses seem to have been combined about 1838 (see Historical Notes).
Condition of Repair.
James Johnson, born in 1777 at Ballinderry, Ireland, was at the age of 15 apprenticed to a surgeon-apothecary at Port Glenone, co. Antrim. After further medical education at Belfast and London he was appointed surgeon's mate and afterwards full surgeon in the navy. At the end of the war, in 1814, he settled in private practice at Portsmouth, removing in 1818 to London. In 1816 he founded the Medico-Chirurgical Review, which from 1818 to 1844 he conducted at his own expense. In 1822 he suffered a long and painful illness, "and shortly afterwards removed from Spring Gardens, where he had lived for the last few years, to 8, Suffolk Place." (fn. n9) He died in 1845.
In the Council's Collection are:
Nos. 11 and 13, Spring Gardens
(fn. n10) Plan of premises (drawing).
(fn. n10) Exterior of premises (photograph).
(fn. n10) Detail of lead cistern (drawing).
No. 58–9, Charing Cross
(fn. n10) View of buildings in Charing Cross, from Trafalgar Square (photograph).