Survey of London: Volume 18, St Martin-in-The-Fields II: the Strand. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1937.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
CHAPTER 4: CRAVEN STREET AND HUNGERFORD LANE
Early History of the Site.
Craven Street roughly follows the line of Spur Alley, which, until its redevelopment circa 1730 was simply an offshoot of Brewer's Lane with an outlet to the Strand. The name, Spur Alley, was descriptive of its shape, as is clearly shown on Morden and Lea's map of 1682, part of which is reproduced above. Hungerford Lane, until recently known as Brewer's Lane, on the west side of Charing Cross Station, which is approached by an archway under No. 15, Strand, formerly extended to the river. It took its name from an ancient brewery or "Beirhouse," which at the close of the fifteenth century was held, together with several cottages, by John Evingar under lease (fn. 101) from the Prior of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. (fn. n1) Evingar, though he described himself as a "Citizen and Brewer of London, " must have been an emigrant from the Low Countries. In his will, (fn. 103) dated 1496, he bequeathed his Westminster property and his "Landes and tenementes … wt in the towne of Andewarpe in Braban' "to his wife, Jacomyn, and his son, Andrewe. The "Beirhouse" and eight cottages were in the tenure of Elena "Evynger" and Robert Lord in 1540, when the freehold together with that of three cottages in the tenure of Anthony Lowe, which had also belonged to the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem, had passed into the hands of the Crown. (fn. 104) In 1544–5 Henry VIII granted (fn. 105) a lease of all the premises to Robert Lord, and subsequently Henry Polsted, Lord's son-in-law, obtained (fn. 106) a further lease in which the property is described as "messuages, houses, cottages, wharves and stables … now or late in the several tenures of Alice Stockwood, Anthony Lowe, Anthony Mylton and Elizabeth his wife, Robert Penythorne, Thomas Condycotte, Richard Hamden, and William Stephenson." Alice (or Avice) Stockwood, who held the brewhouse, did some rebuilding, (fn. 107) but the leases granted by Elizabeth in 1569 and 1589 to James Gerrard and Thomas Wilson respectively, (fn. 108) give no indication of any further development of the property. In May, 1601, Hugh Nelson was granted a 61 years' lease on condition that he spent £700 in rebuilding the premises within seven years. (fn. 109) A month later he granted part of the property, of which Oswald Wowyn had formerly had a sub-lease from Thomas Wilson (see p. 22), to Jerome Bonham, who transferred his rights therein to Andrew Kerwyn, by whom a sub-lease was granted to Walter Faxon. (fn. 110) In a document dated 12th April, 1606, among the records of the King's Remembrancer (fn. 111) is part of an account of the expenditure of £1,422 6s., 11d. on "newe buylding" and "reperacions" there, "sythence the … lease made to … Hugh Nelson." Of this, Walter Faxon had spent £374 6s. 8d. in building "newe oute of the grounde Fyve tenements whereof two … wer in the severall tenures … of William Dawson joyner and George Gravenor yoman called … the sign of the Harrowe. … And three … wer of late cotages lieng … behinde the saied two tenementes nowe in the severall tenures … of Elizabeth Lorde, Avice Rolfe and Johan Caveline; William Marshall had spent £38 9s. 8d. on the repair of the tenement in which he lived; and Richard Arnold, brewer, had spent £50 upon the repair of "the Brewehouse and other houses belonging to the same." Andrew Kerwyn had spend £679 15s. 10d., of which £20 was for the repair of "the house nowe called the Salutacion." The account also mentions the names of tenants who had only done "Ordinarie reperacions" to their houses. Among these were: "In the highe strete leading from Charing Crosse—Anthony Harrys, Owen Poope, Hugh Hyll, Edmond Hewes," and in "Spurre Alleye—Roberte Richardson, Thomas Campyon, William Millwarde,— Boydon Widowe, William Balie, John Rygbie, … Hall Wydowe, John Skelham,—Knighte." This is the earliest reference yet found to Spur Alley which is not specifically mentioned in the ratebooks until 1640. In a document entitled A brief survey of some of the streets of London, (fn. 112) written about 1617, there is a reference to "Spurre Alley under the Salutation tav." and, next to it, to "Arnold lane" (the latter refers to Brewer's Lane; Richard Arnold was at this time the occupier of the Brewhouse). Like most of the turnings out of the south side of the Strand, Spur Alley was originally approached through an archway and this continued to be the case long after the street was rebuilt and renamed Craven Street.
James I adopted the practice so extensively followed by his successor of selling off Crown properties in the mass to speculators in return for ready money. In February, 1613–4, a grant of this nature was made to George Low and Edmund Sawyer which included the Brewhouse and its appurtenances. (fn. 113) This property was promptly disposed of to two lawyers, William Towse and Barnaby Gowdge, (fn. 114) and was then resold to the brothers William and George Whitmore, (fn. 115) who were rising City merchants and were speculating heavily in land. (George Whitmore became Lord Mayor in 1631, and both brothers were knighted by Charles I.)
In 1620 Dame Elizabeth Craven, daughter of Sir William Whitmore, bought (fn. 116) all the Brewhouse property, with the exception of two messuages in the tenure of Peter Palmer and one messuage and garden in the tenure of Anthony Harris, as an investment for the legacy left in 1618 (fn. 117) to her younger son, Thomas, then a minor, by his father, Sir William Craven, who had also accumulated a large fortune in the City. Thomas died "intestate, aged eighteen years, " circa 1637, (fn. 62) and his property passed into the possession of his elder brother, William. At this time William, Baron Craven, was actively engaged in the service of Elizabeth of Bohemia, on whose behalf he helped to equip an expedition to Germany. In a letter (fn. 118) addressed to Nathaniel Hobart in February, 1637, Ralph Verney observed, "Wee heare much of a great navie, but more of my little Lord Craven, whose bounty makes him the subject of every man's discource. By many hee is condemned of prodigality, but by most of folly." During the next few years Craven repeatedly helped the exiled Queen of Bohemia with money. He also gave large sums to Charles I during the early years of the Civil War, and it has been estimated that before his restoration Charles II received from the same loyal subject at least £50,000. (fn. 119) Craven's benefactions to the royalist cause aroused considerable animosity among the parliamentarians. On 16th March, 1650–1, (fn. 93) Parliament resolved that Craven was an offender against the Commonwealth of England, and that his estates should be confiscated. In spite of Craven's appeals from abroad, an Act for the sale of his estates was passed in 1652. In this decision the determining factors, political and economic, were nicely balanced. On 26th June Carew Raleigh wrote to Lord Conway (fn. 93): "Our Council is much divided about Holland affairs and nothing determined, but we are providing for war by manning our ships and caring for money in order to which Lord Craven's estate and Mr. Cookes are voted to be sold." Several of those who had voted in favour of the sale were among the purchasers of the estates.
The Brewhouse property was sold in eight lots. (fn. 120) Most of the houses were of wood and contained only three or four rooms, and many of them were described in the deeds of sale as "ruinous" or "auncient." John Breedon (fn. n2) acquired the houses on the west side of Spur Alley north of the passage to Hartshorn Lane and three houses in the Strand adjoining westward on the Apsley property. Of these last, two were known as the Swan and the Crown respectively. Most of the remainder of the west side of Spur Alley was bought by Isaac Morgan and Edward Weedon, who also purchased the Greyhound Tavern (fn. n3) in the Strand, which was the next house eastward of the Crown. Walter Johnson, "Cittizen and Barber Chirurgeon of London," bought the two tenements at the north-west corner of Spur Alley, one of which was "knowne by the signe of the Red Cowe." (fn. n4) These tenements were said to abut on the west on Harrow Alley (probably a cul-de-sac formed from the yard of the Harrow Inn, which formerly stood there). The Salutation Tavern, which was built over the entrance to Spur Alley, and "fower other little tenemts thereunto belonging … in ye Strond" were granted to John Caroll, gentleman, and the house and shop to the east of these were bought by George Vaux. (fn. n5) The rest of the houses in Spur Alley and Brewer's Lane which had been in Craven's possession were granted to William Ireland and to Richard and Peter Griffith and Ralph Darnell. (fn. n6)
Craven recovered his estates at the Restoration and was loaded with honours and offices. He became Lord-Lieutenant of Middlesex and Southwark, colonel of several regiments, Master of Trinity House, etc., and in March, 1664, he was created Earl of Craven. In 1678 he bought (fn. 121) from Thomas Wynell and Anne his wife (fn. n7) most of the property which had been excepted out of the purchase made in 1620 by his mother from William and George Whitmore (see p. 29). It was described as "All those six severall messuages … as the same now are or late were in the severall tenures … of John Slowman, Robert Pritchard, him the said Thomas Wynell, Ralph Scoles, —Phillips Widdow, and Robert Burgh deceased … which said messuages … are situate in … Brewers yard comeing out of or neere adioyning to the greate Streete called the Strand … and … standing … on … a certaine peice … of ground and garden plott sometimes heretofore enioyed together with … a Brewhouse in the occupacion of one Michaell Arnold Brewer … Except … onely such … ground … in Brewers yard … as is appurtenant to … one other messuage … of theirs the said Thomas Wynell and Anne his Wife fronting … the Strand in the tenure … of Thomas Burdall … and knowne by the name … of the Blackmores head." (fn. n8)
In 1720 Strype described Spur Alley as having "a very narrow and ill Passage out of the Strand; but after a little way groweth wider and better inhabited." The ratebooks show that during the last thirty years or so of their existence the houses in Spur Alley were in a very bad condition. Few of them were rated at more than a few shillings and many of them were unoccupied. It is probable that except along the Strand frontage no rebuilding had been done since the time of Walter Faxon (see above). After the death of the Earl of Craven in 1697 his property descended in a collateral line through William, 2nd Baron Craven, and his brother, John Craven, who died in January, 1726–7, to the latter's son, William, afterwards 5th Baron Craven. William Craven the younger decided that his Strand property was, in the modern phrase, ripe for development, and after raising some capital by mortgaging (fn. 124) the ground (fn. n9) he proceeded to pull down the houses in Spur Alley and Brewer's Lane. The greater part of the ground on either side of Spur Alley (thenceforward known as Craven Street) was let out in plots on building leases, which, though dated at various times between 1730 and 1735, were all for the same period, i.e., 61 years from Michaelmas, 1728. The ground on the east side of Brewer's Lane was also divided into plots and let for stabling to the Craven Street houses, the stable buildings in some cases extending across the lane leaving only a passageway 12 feet in height and 17 feet in width.
Twenty houses were erected on the west side of Craven Street and 15 on the east side, the ground at the southern end being let to William Speidell (one of the mortgagees of the estate) and used as a wharf. (fn. 125) The original leases expired in 1789, but were for the most part renewed by the then ground landlord, William, 6th Baron Craven. The street was, however, extended farther towards the river, and four houses, Nos. 21–24, were built on the west side, and six houses, Nos. 25–30, on the east side of the way. (fn. n10)The leases of these houses were dated 1792 and were granted by William, 7th Baron Craven (afterwards 1st Earl of Craven of the second creation), his father having died in 1791. In 1793 Lord Craven granted (fn. 126) to Thomas and James Richard Wood of Northumberland Street a piece of ground described as a "small Wharf and Premises situate … between the south end of the New Buildings lately erected at the bottom of Craven Street … and the River Thames, fronting south on an Embankment lately made or now making in the said River by the said Thomas … and James Richard Wood and abutting … north on the said new Buildings and the south end of Craven Street … East on the Dock or Cartway hereinafter mentioned and West on certain buildings … now in the occupation of the said Thomas … and James Richard Wood. And also all that Dock or Cartway lately made or now making by the said Thomas … and James Richard Wood leading from the South end of … Brewer's Lane into the said river … abutting East on the back Buildings … in Hungerford Market near Hungerford Stairs belonging to Henry Wise Esq. and West on the back of the new buildings on the East side of Craven Street." This embankment remained in being until 1862–70, when the Victoria Embankment was formed and a considerable strip of ground was reclaimed from the river.
The general appearance of the houses in this street gives an impression of uniformity. The houses have brick fronts with gauged dressings to the window openings, but the face to the two lower storeys has been cemented with false joints to represent masonry. The houses comprise three storeys above the ground and basement, though some have had their roofs altered, including Nos. 13, 37, 38 and 39, which have had an extra storey added. No. 32 retains its dormers and tiled roof, while No. 41 is the only house which has segmental gauged arches to the windows (Plate 21a). The iron railings to the areas are in general contemporary with the buildings, as are the iron balconies to the first-floor windows.
Most of the interiors of the earlier houses (i.e., those erected in 1730–5, (see pp. 36–9) are panelled. The chief rooms, including hall and stairs, have "fielded" panels in two heights divided by a chair rail and completed with a fine moulded cornice. The upper rooms are generally finished with plain panelling. The chimney-pieces have mainly been replaced with nineteenthcentury examples. The staircases have turned balusters mostly three to a tread and cut strings with carved brackets to the lower flights; the upper flights have close strings. In many of the houses the stair balustrading to the lower flights has been altered and the walls have been stripped of their panelling and covered with canvas. The interiors of the houses erected at the end of the eighteenth century (Nos. 25–30), with the exception of No. 25, which is described later, are plain and uninteresting.
Nos. 11 and 12. —The plans of Nos. 11 and 12 shown here give a general indication of the accommodation provided in the earlier houses. The ground floor includes a front and a back room with an off room or "powder closet" and the same arrangement continues to the upper floors. An arched opening screens the stairs from the hall. These two houses are now empty and will eventually be demolished for extensions to the commercial premises adjoining on the north. The rooms are panelled (Plate 21b) and the stair balustrading is shown in Plate 17. The main rooms on the ground floor of No. 11 were formerly joined by a screen with Doric columns, but this has now been filled in as will be seen by referring to the plan.
No. 13.—The panelling in this house is similar to that in Nos. 11 and 12. The upper flights to the stairs are also similar, but the balustrading to the lower flights has been altered and is of no interest.
No. 25.—This house, which is at the south end on the eastern side of the street, has two segmental bay windows to the southern wall continuing to the top floor while the whole surface of the two fronts is cemented. The front room on the first floor contains a white marble mantelpiece with a decorative central tablet and fluted pilasters to the jambs (Plate 22b). There are also some large framed mirrors to the walls with carved ornament picked out in colour. Below the mirrors are mahogany wall tables with brass furnishings and brocatella marble tops. Similar tables are in the entrance hall and appear to be contemporary with the house (Plate 21a).
Nos. 26–31.—The premises are of no interest internally. No. 31 was one of the original houses, but alterations amounting almost to a rebuilding appear to have been carried out there after the fire in 1762 (see p. 37).
No. 32.—As previously stated this is the only house in the street which has dormer windows and a tiled roof (Plate 20b), such features agreeing with the date of its building lease (1730–5). On the other hand the texture of the face of the brickwork appears to be similar to that of the houses erected at the end of the eighteenth century, and further the principal staircase in its design and construction bears evidence of the work of this later date. (fn. n11) This staircase was probably an addition. The junction with the sweep of the balustrading at the foot is very poor (Plate 18a) and the landing on the first floor sadly lacks width. The stair bears little resemblance to any other in the street. The back staircase has turned balusters and a close string and continues from basement to the top floor around a top-lighted square well (Plate 18b.
The hall has a plain dado and a modillion cornice, the upper portion finishing with a small cove to the ceiling. The principal rooms have fielded panelling above a plain dado and a dentilled moulded cornice.
No. 35.—This house has a return frontage to Craven Court. The hall is panelled with the stairs screened by Doric pilasters. The stairs are complete and similar in character to those in other houses in the street. The handrail, however, is in mahogany. The front room on the first floor is more elaborate than usual. The walls are divided into large panels with egg-andtongue architrave and ears containing shell ornament. There is a good cornice with modillions. The ceiling has a circular panel between two oblongs and the chimney breast is flanked by fluted Ionic pilasters supporting a moulded entablature which contains a carved pulvinated frieze. The doors are six-panelled and fielded with an over-door in keeping with the chimney breast. The back room contains a large three-lighted window, while the walls are canvased.
Nos. 36 and 37 are similar in plan. Most of the rooms are panelled. The stairs are typical. No. 36 has carved wood mantelpieces with decorative pilasters to the jambs. In No. 37 the wood cornice to the main rooms is enriched with the egg and tongue to the bed mould and a small leaf enrichment to the cyma member.
No. 38.—The hall has a screen of Doric fluted pilasters and the walls are panelled. The stairs are true to type. The front and back rooms on the ground floor are connected by a wide opening flanked with fluted Doric pilasters supporting an entablature of the order. These rooms are panelled. The powder closet still retains its original stout moulded sash bars and small panes of glass.
Nos. 39 and 40.—These houses are similar in plan with the exception of the additional front stair in No. 39, which continues around an oblong well from the ground to the first floor. The balusters are turned and finish in a cluster on the curtail tread, while the newels representing dwarf Doric columns are also interspaced with the balusters on the landing. The handrail continues over the tops of the newels. The hall is panelled and finished with a heavily moulded cornice, while the stairs have a raised panel dado to the walls and a coved ceiling. The doors to the principal rooms on the first are six-panelled and slightly bowed, and the architraves are carved with a fret. In No. 40 the balustrading is as shown in Plate23a . The back room on the first floor is panelled and has a wood mantelpiece with carved pilasters to the jambs consisting of a string of acorns and oak leaves. The upper rooms have plain panelling.
Nos. 41 and 42 are similar in plan and have the usual two types of panelling. The balustrading to the lower flights of stairs in No. 42 was inserted during the nineteenth century. The remainder of the stairs in these two houses are of the type shown in Plates 23b, c and d.
State of Repair.
A list of the occupiers of those of the original houses which are still standing, from the time of their erection until 1800, is given in Appendix B. During the nineteenth century many of the houses became boarding- or lodging-houses or were let as offices and a large proportion of the occupants were either architects or solicitors.
No. 7 (demolished). — The Society for the Relief of Persons Imprisoned for Small Debts met at No. 7 for many years. This society was founded by the Rev. Dr. William Dodd, who was hanged for forgery at Charing Cross in 1777. By the irony of fate James Hackman, (fn. n12) who went to the gallows two years later for the murder of Lord Sandwich's mistress, Martha Ray, was present at the execution and described the scene in a letter to Miss Ray, in which he remarked, "it was the first of the kind I have ever seen and shall certainly be the last." (fn. 127) (fn. n13)
Nos. 11–15.–These houses were erected in 1730–1, the lease of the site of the bottom house, No. 15, bearing the earliest date (31st January, 1729–30). (fn. 128)
The Rev. Mr. Agar who was at No. 13 in 1766–7 was the Rev. Charles Agar, afterwards Earl of Normanton, who was made Bishop of Cloyne in 1768 and Archbishop of Cashel in 1771. He died in 1809. (fn. 129)
Dennis O'Bryen, who was living at No. 14 from 1779 to 1805, though trained as a surgeon, became a dramatist and political pamphleteer. He was a zealous partisan of Charles James Fox. (fn. 119) He moved to No. 22 in 1805–6 and to No. 20 in 1808–9. He died in 1832.
Henry Bowen, who occupied No. 14 in 1807, was captain of one of the "Companies of Invalids" in Jersey in 1794. In 1802 he was in charge of the troops in the Scilly Isles, and in December of that year he was given the rank of major. (fn. 130) The Army List of 1807 describes him as "Late Royal Invalids."
Philip Hemery Le Breton, who lived at No. 14 from 1836 until 1838, had, in 1833, married Anna Letitia Aikin, the daughter of Dr. Charles Rochemont Aikin. Mrs. Le Breton assisted her husband in compiling the memoirs of her aunt, Lucy Aikin, and she herself edited Lucy Aikin's correspondence with Dr. Channing and published a Memoir of Mrs. Barbauld and Memories of seventy Years. She died in 1885. (fn. 119)
Nos. 25–30.—All these houses were built in 1791–2 on ground which William, 6th Baron Craven, had, in February, 1791, agreed to lease to Charles Owen. John Lucie Blackman, the occupier of No. 25 from 1793 to 1797, obtained a lease of that house in August 1792 and he may have been responsible for its erection. The other five houses were built by Samuel Smith, timber merchant. (fn. 131)
Sir Edmund Nagle, who was living at No. 25 in 1798–1808, was knighted in 1790 in recognition of his services as captain of the Artois, which cut off the French warship Revolutionnaire in an action off Ushant in that year. He was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral of the Blue in 1805 and was made an Admiral in 1818. He died in 1830. (fn. 132) Henry, Lord Somerset, afterwards 13th Earl of Somerset, occupied rooms here in 1880.
William Hawes, singer and composer, lived at No. 27, Craven Street, from 1814, when
he was appointed Almoner and Master of the Children at St. Paul's Cathedral, until 1817, when he
moved to No. 7, Adelphi Terrace (see p. 107). (fn. 133) James Smith, who lived at No. 27 from 1833 until
his death there on 24th December, 1839, was the elder brother of Horatio Smith and joint author
with him of Rejected Addresses. James Smith was Solicitor to the Ordnance. He was one of a number
of solicitors living in the street, a circumstance to which he made reference in the rhyme:
"In Craven Street, Strand, ten attorneys find place,
And ten dark coal-barges are moored at its base;
Fly, Honesty, fly! seek some safer retreat,
For there's craft in the river, and craft in the street." (fn. 134)
No. 31.—This house seems to have been built by William Speidell on part of the ground at the southern end of Craven Street leased to him in 1730 for use as a wharf, etc. (fn. 125) A fire occurred here in 1762 which practically destroyed both this and the adjoining house (No. 32). On 30th May, 1792, William, 7th Baron Craven, granted to Charles Owen a lease (fn. 135) of "All that messuage in Craven Street late in the occupation of Francis Deschamps undertaker (fn. n14) … being the Southernmost house in the Old Buildings on the East Side of the said Street numbered with the No. 22. (fn. n15) According to the ratebook Owen himself resided there from 1794 until 1797.
"Edward, Lord Weymouth," given in the ratebooks for 1739–41 is an error for Thomas, 2nd Viscount Weymouth, who moved there from No. 7, Grosvenor Square in 1739, after the death of his wife. On 13th February, 1738–9, Mrs. Pendarves wrote to Mrs. Ann Grenville, "Lord W's house and furniture in the square are to be sold out of hand; it has been reported he is to have one of Mr. How's daughters and 20,000 l., but I fear 'tis not true, as the only hope there is of a reformation is his marrying some discreet woman." (fn. 136) In 1741 he moved to No. 33 (see below).
No. 32.—The original lease of this house was dated 12th July, 1731. (fn. 137) Sir William Gage, who is given in the ratebooks as the occupier in 1743–45, was the 7th Baronet of that name and M.P. for Seaford, Sussex. He died on 23rd April, 1744.
Mrs. Lyall, whose name appears intermittently in the directories from 1811 until 1851, kept a boarding-house at No. 32. Here Heinrich Heine lodged on his only visit to England in the spring of 1827. (fn. n16) He appears to have found his stay in London an interesting but not altogether pleasant experience, for on 23rd April he wrote to Friedrich Merckel: "It is snowing outside, and there is no fire in my chimney … I am very peevish and ill to boot. I have seen and heard much, but have not had a clear view of anything. London has surpassed all my expectations as to its magnificence, but I have lost myself. … Living is terribly dear.… So far I have spent more than a guinea a day. … It is so fearfully damp and uncomfortable here, and no one understands me, and no one understands German." (fn. 138)
No. 33.—On 12th July, 1731, a lease of the site of No. 33, Craven Street, was granted to Henry Flitcroft, (fn. 139) who was described as "of Whitehall, Gentleman." This was the Henry Flitcroft who was nicknamed "Burlington Harry" from the fact that he enjoyed the patronage of the 3rd Earl of Burlington. From 1726 onwards he was employed by the Board of Works, of which he ultimately became Comptroller. (fn. 119)
Thomas Thynne, 2nd Viscount Weymouth, moved to this house from No. 31 in 1741 (see above). He died in 1751 and was succeeded in his occupation of the house by his son, Thomas, 3rd Viscount Weymouth, afterwards 1st Marquess of Bath. The latter, though as dissipated in his habits as his father, was a good speaker in the House and gained some reputation as a statesman. He was Secretary of State for the Northern Department in 1768 and for the Southern Department in 1768–70 and 1775–79. (fn. 140)
In 1759, the year in which he was first rated for No. 33, Craven Street, Mark Akenside was appointed principal physician to Christ's and St. Thomas's Hospitals. He gained a considerable reputation in his profession, but on more than one occasion he nearly suffered dismissal from the hospitals for his brutality to the poor. Though he was in his day a fashionable poet, his main claim to fame is his poem The Pleasures of the Imagination, which was written in 1738 when he was only 17 years old. He died in June, 1770. (fn. 129)
This house was occupied by Admiral Shuldham from 1775 until 1781. Molyneux Shuldham, afterwards Baron Shuldham, took part in the reduction of Guadaloupe in 1759. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Newfoundland station in 1772 and was promoted to be RearAdmiral of the White in 1775, in which year he was elected M.P. for Fowey. He was commanderin-chief on the coast of North America during the early part of the War of American Independence, but was superseded in 1776 by Lord Howe. He died at Lisbon in 1798. (fn. 119)
Nos. 34 and 35.—The house at the southern corner of Craven Passage (No. 34) was leased in 1731 to John Hodson. (fn. 141) In the same year, Thomas Phillips, carpenter, obtained a lease (fn. 142) of a piece of ground "with all those two brick messuages … now built or in building … one whereof being a Corner Messuage fronts Craven Street West … and the other … fronts to the … passage to Hungerford Markett South and … all that other Messuage … built over Brewers Lane … fronting South on the said Passage into Hungerford Markett." This was No. 35, Craven Street.
Dr. John Leake, who occupied No. 35 from 1765 to 1787, was a man-midwife. He was born in 1729, was educated as a surgeon, and, after spending several years abroad, became a licentiate of the College of Physicians of London in 1766. He had a theatre attached to his house in Craven Street where he delivered an annual course of lectures on midwifery. He founded the Westminster Lying-in Hospital at Lambeth, but his published works were of little scientific value. He died on 8th August, 1792, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. (fn. 119)
No. 36, Craven Street.—A building lease of the site of this house together with a building of the same width over Brewer's Lane was granted on 12th June, 1730, to William Nind, ironmonger, who mortgaged the property to John Hodson, gentleman, a few months later. (fn. 143)
From 1748 until 1772 Margaret "Stephenson" occupied this house, and it was there that Benjamin Franklin settled after his arrival in London (fn. n17) in 1757 as Agent to the General Assembly of Pennsylvania. "He and Mrs. Stevenson became firm friends, and for her daughter, Mary, he formed a strong attachment which continued all his life." (fn. 144) He recorded that in March, 1762, a fire occurred at "the bottom of the street that has almost destroyed two houses (Nos. 31 and 32). Our house and yard were covered with falling coals of fire, but as it rain'd hard nothing catch'd." (fn. 145) In spite of his increasing reputation Franklin was short of money during the latter part of his stay in England. A letter to his wife contains the passage:" I live here as frugally as possible not to be destitute of the comforts of life, making no dinners for anybody, and contenting myself with a single dish when I dine at home; and yet such is the dearness of living here in every article, that my expenses amaze me." (fn. 145) In October, 1772, Mrs. Stevenson and Franklin removed to No. 1, Craven Street (now demolished), and No. 36 was for the next two years occupied by William Hewson, surgeon, who had married Mary Stevenson. Prior to his marriage he had been in partnership with William Hunter as a lecturer, but in 1772 Hewson built a theatre adjoining his residence and began to lecture on his own account. He gained considerable reputation as a surgeon and anatomist, but he wounded himself while making a dissection and died after a few days' illness on 1st May, 1774. (fn. 119)
Nos. 37–42.—All these houses were built circa 1731. Dr. Samuel Fothergill, a Yorkshireman, who was at No. 37 in 1813–16, gained his doctorate at Glasgow in 1802. He was the author of An Account of a Painful Affection of the Nerves of the Face, commonly called the Tic Douleureux, published in 1804. (fn. 146) No. 38 was mortgaged in February, 1731, (fn. 147) to Daniel Pravereau, a clerk in the Secretary of State's office, (fn. 129) who was the first occupier. Caleb Whitefoord, the wit and diplomatist, was a partner in the firm of Brown and Whitefoord which occupied No. 38 during the second half of the 18th century.
No. 39 was used as a private lottery office in 1827–8. Dr. Charles West occupied part of No. 40 in 1840–42 during which time he was physician to the Children's Hospital near Waterloo Bridge. He afterwards became well known as a lecturer and writer on women's and children's diseases, and it was largely due to his exertions that the Hospital for Sick Children was opened in Great Ormond Street. He died in 1898. (fn. 146)
Nos. 41 and 42.—Both these houses were built by Charles Griffith "of the parish of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields … Joyner," and were leased to him on 31st January, 1729–30. (fn. 148)
Nos. 43–46.—On the site of No. 46, formerly stood the Globe Tavern, (fn. n18) which, in 1789, had an outlet to the Strand through a passage 39 feet long and 10 feet high. (fn. 149) The tavern was renamed the Craven Hotel by the end of the century, and Nos. 43 to 45 were afterwards added to it.
Richard Wroughton was acting with the Drury Lane company, mostly in Shakespearian parts, in 1791–2, when he was living at No. 45, Craven Street. He was described by Michael Kelly as "a sterling, sound and sensible performer," but he never achieved greatness. He died in 1822. (fn. 119)