Survey of London: Volume 3, St Giles-in-The-Fields, Pt I: Lincoln's Inn Fields. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1912.
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XX.—No. 65 LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.
Mr. William Francis Farrer.
Description and date of structure.
On 11th March, 1641, William Newton sold to William Hodges, of Gray's Inn, a plot of ground extending 127 feet southwards from "the corner of a streete leading from Queenes Street into Lincolnes Inn feild." (fn. 1) On this plot Hodges contemplated erecting two houses. Actually, however, three houses were built, occupying the sites of the present Nos. 64, 65 and 66–7 respectively. (fn. 2) Of these, No. 65 was erected by Hodges for his own residence.
It appears from a deed dated 2nd June, 1657, (fn. 3) that the only one of the three houses then standing was No. 66–7, but that Hodges was about to build another. On 25th November, 1659, No. 65 is referred to as in existence and in occupation of Hodges. It was therefore erected in 1658 or 1659.
It existed exactly a century. In 1758 it was purchased by the Duke of Newcastle and pulled down. In 1772 the present building was erected for Henry Kendall, (fn. 4) being designed by Thos. Leverton. (fn. 5)
The elevation (Plate 86), which is of stone, is an example of late 18th-century design. Comparing this with earlier work, such as Nos. 57 and 58, it will be noticed that while the accentuated jointing of the ground storey and its design as a base for the first and second stories is retained, the pilasters are omitted and the boldness of the earlier example has been replaced by architectural details, which are too small in scale. This is noticeable in the main entablature.
There is little in the interior to call for special comment. The entrance hall is ceiled with a series of small domes resting upon semicircular arches. The staircase is of stone with bar iron balusters bent to crinoline shape. The ceiling in the front room on the first floor (Plate 97) can be dated at about 1772.
The design is chiefly geometrical with modelled enrichments enclosing a decorated centrepiece. There are four oval medallions, containing in relief classical female figures and amorini.
In the front room of the basement is a well-carved pine chimneypiece (Plate 98), probably an original portion of the building erected in 1658–9. It is ornamented on the frieze with a female head and swags composed of oak leaves and acorns.
Condition of repair.
The premises are in good repair.
The names of those residents in the old and the existing houses as recorded in the ratebooks, supplemented by other documents, are as follows:—
|From 1658 or 1659 until after 1667 (fn. 6)||William Hodges. (fn. c1)|
|From 1671 until after 1683. (fn. 7)||Sir Stephen Langham.|
|Before 1695 (fn. 8) until after 1703.||Lady Howard.|
|In 1708.||Lady Russell.|
|Before 1715 until after 1723.||Richard Minshull.|
|Before 1730 until 1731.||Paul Hood.|
Of these, the only person who seems to call for special mention is Fletcher Norton, first Baron Grantley, successively solicitor-general, attorney-general, and speaker of the House of Commons. He was known in the satires and caricatures of the day as "Sir Bull-Face Double Fee." In his pleading, he was "remarkable alike for the clearness of his arguments and the inaccuracy of his statements." (fn. 9) In the position of speaker he rendered himself obnoxious to the Court, and on the meeting of the Parliament on 31st October, 1780, he was not re-elected. In 1757 he had removed from No. 65 to No. 63, and at the latter house he died on 1st January, 1789.
The Council's collection contains:—
* Front elevation (photograph).
Front room on first floor.
* Ceiling, front room on first floor.
* Chimneypiece, front room in basement.