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 11: SITE OF NAUNTON HOUSE
The Ministers' Accounts for 1534–5 (fn. n1) show the tenement beyond Roger Weston's as in the tenure of Edward Myllet, (fn. n2) and on 14th April 1544, Myllet received a new grant of the property, described as then in his tenure and "existens prope Charyng Crosse," for 21 years. (fn. n3) On 17th July, 1554, Queen Mary sold (fn. n4) to John Greene and William Jenyns a large amount of property in Westminster, including the messuage formerly in the tenure of Myllet and afterwards in that of Sir Humphrey Foster (Forster) "iuxta le Charinge crose," in perpetuity, to be held as of the Manor of Éast Greenwich in free and common socage. No record has been found of the sale of the house by Greene and Jenyns to Forster, but it would seem that some such transaction must have taken place, as the property continued in the hands of the Forsters until 1606, when it was again sold (see below). Sir Humphrey died in 1556, (fn. n5) leaving (fn. n6) all his property to his son, William. The latter died in 1573–4 (fn. n7) and his will contains references to his "howse nere Chairing Crosse," which he left to his wife, Jane, for life. No allusion to the house is made in the will of William's son, Sir Humphrey, (fn. n8) but his name occurs in the ratebooks next to that of Stanhope for the years 1594 to 1599. (fn. n9) His son, Sir William, in 1606 sold the house for £120 to Lady Abigail Digby, (fn. n10) who appears in the ratebooks from 1605 to 1612. In 1616 her son, Sir John Digby, (fn. n11) appears and his name continues until 1618 ("Lord Digbie"). In the following year Lord Digby sold (fn. n12) the house for £160 to Sir Robert Naunton, (fn. n13) "principal secretary of the King." Naunton's name first appears in the ratebooks in 1622 (though he was certainly at the house in 1620) and with one intermission (1633) continues until 1634, after which Lady Naunton takes his place. Several letters from Sir Robert are extant written from "Charing Cross," (fn. n14) as is also the record of a burglary at his house in 1633. (fn. n15) Sir Robert died in 1635, leaving (fn. n16) to his "beloved wife, Dame Penelope Naunton (fn. n17) … the use of my House at Pickadilla, with the Barnes, stable and garden there During her life, to be used by her with my House at Charinge Crosse which I have formerly assured to her." In his will he refers specially to his "Deske inlaid with Mother of Pearle Covered with a Case of greene velvett, which stands upon my Presse in my Gallery att my house by Charing Crosse," and his "best Cabinett of white Satten imbrothered" and his "best Clocke Covered with Crimson velvett, both which are in my Gallery at Charing Cross," and in a codicil leaves to his son-in-law, Viscount Bayning, his "whole Library of Bookes, with my two Globes, and all my mapps and all other my writings, Notes and Papers which are in my house by Charing Crosse." To his daughter, Lady Bayning, and her heirs, he gives, after his wife's decease, "my house at Charing crosse wherein she was borne," (fn. n18) together with the lease of his houses, barns, stables and garden at "Pickadilla." Lady Naunton continued to reside at the house until her death, the ratebooks giving her name, with one intermission (1645), from 1635 to 1654, the last entry being marked "dead." Her daughter, Lady Bayning, who, on the death of her first husband, had married Philip Herbert, afterwards 5th Earl of Pembroke, and to whom and to whose heirs the reversion of the house had been left, had died in 1647–8. The next information that has been found concerning the ownership of the house is in 1657, when it was in the possession of her sister, Dame Dorothy Dromond, (fn. n19) daughter of Lady Naunton by her first husband, Sir William Lower. In that year Dame Dorothy and her three daughters sold to Richard Scutt one messuage with appurtenances in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. (fn. n20) Scutt died in 1660, leaving (fn. n21) to his daughter, Lucy, "All that my Messuage … scituate neare Charing Crosse, lately purchased of Dame Dorothy Drummond and others." On 16th February, 1666–7, Lucy married John Tisser, (fn. n22) and in 1696 the latter, with his son, John, figures in a deed (fn. n23) relating to "all those three messuages … scituate … in the parish of St. Martin's in the Feilds … bounded on the South side … with a Messuage … late in the possession of his grace the late Duke of Albemarle [i.e. Stanhope House, see p. 96] … and on the West with the Spring garden, and on the East with the Streete, now in the tenure … of Elizabeth Godfrey, John Dawsett, Jonathan Chase and Mathew Bancks." After Lady Naunton's death the house seems to have been successively occupied by "Mr Sandford" (1656–7), "Mr. Brighter" (1661–3), and John Williams (1664–9). The Hearth Tax Roll for 1666 confirms the last-mentioned name, and adds the information that the house was assessed for 13 hearths, showing that Naunton House was not much more than half the size of Stanhope House. The Roll for 1674 shows "Godfrey" at the house (12 hearths) and the ratebooks give "Roger Godfrey" as entering in 1670. The house soon after was divided into three, two facing the street and the other having a frontage to Spring Gardens. In 1705 one of the front portions is shown in the occupation of "Hester Mann," and three years later the amount paid by her in rates rose suddenly from 40s. to £5, apparently by reason of the addition to her premises of the house in Spring Gardens, occupied until 1699 by Elizabeth Godfrey, Roger's widow. (fn. n24) Mrs. Man's establishment was the well-known Young Man's Coffee House, (fn. n25) so called to distinguish it from Old Man's Coffee House, on the other side of the street (see p. 215). Hester Man continued at the house until 1714, when she was succeeded by Bridget Parker, who stayed until 1728. The title of the house seems to have remained unchanged until later than this, for in the ratebook for 1736 is a note against William Beddell, the occupier of the Spring Gardens portion: "Young Man Coffee House belongs to this House." (fn. n26) The front part of the coffee house became an ale-house known as the Green Man and Heathcock and afterwards, but before 1751, as The King and Queen. (fn. n27)
The Rev. John Tisser, Rector of Ketton, Suffolk, to whom the Naunton property had descended, died in 1749, It then consisted of three houses (fn. n28): the alehouse above-mentioned, a house adjoining it on the north, and a house on the Spring Gardens front called The Turk's Head Bagnio. (fn. n29) Tisser left the alehouse (under the name of The Green Man) to his niece Elizabeth Barcroft, and the house on the Spring Gardens front to his nieces Phoebe and Ann Barcroft, while the remaining house was devised to his niece Elizabeth Tisser (afterwards Johnson) and his nephews Gerard Vanhorn and James Barcroft. (fn. n30) James Barcroft died, and Vanhorn disposed of his interest to Edmund Smith and Benjamin Home. In 1758 the Westminster Bridge Commissioners purchased (fn. n31) for £1, 212 and £640 respectively the two front houses for the purpose of widening the street.
The ground not utilised for the street improvement was sold to Messrs. Drummond, (fn. n32) Bankers, for £1, 100, who also purchased The Turk's Head Bagnio. (fn. n33) The whole site of the Naunton property is now covered by Drummond's Bank.
A rough plan, based chiefly on plans accompanying the indentures of sale of the plots and of the surplus land, showing the front portions of the properties from Kirke House to Naunton House, is here reproduced.