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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VI.—No. 35 LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.
General description and date of structure.
The original buildings on the site of No. 35 were apparently erected in 1659. A document entitled "Articles indented between Sir W. Cowper, Robert Henly, Jas. Cowper, and Richard Kirby," (fn. 1) contains a specification for the building of "two sufficient strong and proporcionable double buildings and dwellinghouses" in Portugal Row, and it is provided that Kirby or his assigns should finish the houses by the Feast of St. John the Baptist, 1659. The exact position of the proposed houses is not specified, but from a reference to certain houses erected by Horatio Moore they would seem to have been intended to follow on after the latter. Moore's houses can be identified as on the site of Nos. 38 to 40. (fn. 2) It is stated that "the two houses shall conteyne in front one hundred foote of assize." A hundred feet eastwards from No. 38 represents exactly the frontage of Nos. 35 to 37. The ratebooks show that the site of the present Nos. 35 and 36 was originally occupied by three houses. If, therefore, the identification of the site be correct, (fn. 3) the buildings actually erected comprised four single instead of two double houses. The three easternmost of these four houses seem to have fallen into disrepair during the early part of the 18th century, for in 1757 two of them had been empty for 15 years, and the other for 29 years. In 1757 they disappear from the ratebooks, and in their places are two houses, Nos. 35 and 36. According to the Dictionary of Architecture, the rebuilding was effected in 1754, but it would seem to have extended at least from May in that year until the following May. (fn. 4) The architect was Sir Robert Taylor. (fn. 5)
It will be noticed that the frontage is of less width than the remainder of the site, and upon a casual observation it might be thought that the architect had very cleverly adapted an awkward site to the necessities of a town mansion, but he appears to have had another motive. It would seem that the sites of both No. 35 and No. 36 were in the same ownership, and the architect was apparently commissioned to build two houses thereon without any express definition as to what should be the boundary between them. His intention seems to have been to provide a building on each site of approximately the same superficial area, but at the same time to obtain a central feature between the two, so that the whole should appear as one composition. It will be seen from the plates that there is one flight of steps to give access to both buildings, and from an illustration in the Council's possession, published in 1813 (fn. 6), it may be gathered that No. 36 as then erected (fn. 7) was a repetition of No. 35, and that immediately above the main flight of steps appeared a tier of windows belonging to No. 36, similar in design to those preserved in the centre of No. 35. The original facade of brick with stone bands and cornice depended for effect upon its proportion and fenestration. The rebuilding of more than half in another style has consequently destroyed the composition of the remainder.
Plate 28 is a rear view of the premises. The recessing of the angles is interesting, as also are the large semi-circular window on the second floor and the triple light window below, which are adapted from Italian examples. It will be noticed that the majority of the windows retain their pattern glazing in wood bars, showing that at that period the bars were still considered by the architect a part of the design.
Plates 29 and 30 illustrate the ironwork. The staircase occupies a comparatively large area in the building, and is lighted from a lantern in the roof, though very little light penetrates to the ground floor. The form of the staircase, with its continuous flight of 36 treads without a landing, makes the ascent difficult and the descent somewhat dangerous. (fn. 8) The feature of this staircase is its ornamental wrought ironwork. Each baluster is wrought for its particular position. They are of lyre pattern, ornamented with foliage riveted and welded on to the bars. At the first floor level is a very handsome panel ornamented with a monogram (slightly damaged), mask, birds' heads, finely wrought scrolls and leaves. This panel especially is reminiscent of Jean Tijou's work of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
Plate 31 shows that the inner face of the wrought iron panel is as beautiful as the outer face. It also illustrates two of the three doors and one of the two niches on the first floor landing. The architectural carved woodwork to the doors is poor, and the octagonal form given to the panels throughout the house appears to be a mannerism of the architect.
Plate 32 illustrates the ground floor front room. The walls have recessed panels, the cornice is kept low, and rising from it is a deep cove curving up to a plain square ceiling bounded by a plaster moulding. The pediment and consoles to the doorway connecting with the middle room have the appearance of being disconnected with the doorcase and out of scale. The chimneypiece is marble, of French rococo design; the cartouche in the centre contains a dolphin.
Plate 33 illustrates the middle room, which is so much cut up by modern partitions that it was impossible to obtain a better photograph. The eastern wall is shown on the section (Plate 27). This wall was designed to be complementary to the one opposite; the doors open into shallow cupboards. The northern wall was also designed to correspond with the window wall, and semi-circular niches (see ground floor plan, Plate 25) take the place of the lesser windows. The finest room on this floor is at the back (Plate 34). The walls are decorated with Roman Ionic fluted pilasters and carved entablature, from which spring large semicircular arches, the spandrils being ornamented with circular panels. The north end of the room has an annex or "ante" formed by fluted columns and pilasters supporting a vaulted ceiling. The design is ornate, but it is now marred by modern partitions. On the chimneypiece is an overmantel (Plate 35) in the style of Chippendale (about 1760), but the principal ornament in the tympanum is missing.
In the collection of drawings by Sir John Soane preserved in the Soane Museum is a measured sketch, made during the occupancy of Lord Kenyon, showing two doorways to this room connecting with a passageway at the rear. This corridor formed the southern side of the court, and also afforded access from Portugal Street.
The front room on the first floor contains several interesting features. Plate 36 shows the plaster cornice and the delicately designed plaster modelling on the ceiling. Plate 37 shows the marble chimneypiece, which is enriched by female hermæ supporting the shelf. Plate 38 shows the wooden doorcase, which is designed in the Roman Ionic Order. The columns have beads introduced into the flutings for a third of their height, an early example of this detail. The doorcase has, however, the appearance of being attached to the wall and of not being part of the general scheme of decoration, an effect produced by its having no connection with the chair rail and skirting. The enrichments to the architraves and the shutters to the windows are well worthy of notice.
The room at the rear contains an annex or "ante" resembling in character that on the floor below. Plate 40 shows a portion of it, a modern partition preventing a better photograph being taken. It will be seen that Sir Robert Taylor has introduced the correct Roman and Palladian form of volute with cushion at the side (for the earlier form see the alcove designed in 1752 by Isaac Ware in Nos. 59–60, Plate 82). This form of capital does not lend itself to portions of columns or pilasters, and suffers especially in internal angles. This is very noticeable both here and in the room below. The doorcase illustrated is one of several on this floor, the design of which is more pleasing than that of those facing the hall.
A large stone chimneypiece (Plate 41) in the basement kitchen is worthy of notice. It is carved in the French rococo manner. In the centre is a head of Bacchus, and on each side naturalistic vine branches bear leaves and grapes.
Condition of repair.
The state of repair of the house is good, but the adaptation of the premises for use as offices has necessitated modern partitions being erected in many of the rooms. The top storey and roof were considerably damaged by a fire in the 19th century. (fn. 9)
|House to the east.||House to the west.|
|1660–2.||Earl of Westmorland.||1660–2.||Sir Richard Fanshawe.|
|1663–6.||Lord Wentworth.||1663–6.||Lady Carey.|
|1667–85.||Lady Wentworth.||1667–74.||Lady Carr.|
|1686.||Lord Howard.||1675.||Sir Carr Scrope.|
|1687–93.||Lady Dashwood.||1676.||Lady Carr.|
|1694–1710.||Sir James Montagu.||1677.||— Crew.|
|1711–5.||Sir Robert Raymond.||1679.||Lady Jardyn.|
|1716–23. (fn. 10)||Sir James Montagu.||1680–99.||Sir Thomas Skipwith.|
|1728–34.||Nicholas Fazakerley.||1702–9.||George Wright.|
|1736–42.||William Noel.||1710.||— Lutwyche.|
|1757–65.||Sir Thomas Sewell.|
|1780–3.||John Dunning (Lord Ashburton).|
|1784.||Lloyd Kenyon (Lord Kenyon).|
|1785–7.||Richard Pepper Arden (Lord Alvanley).|
|1808–||Col. Thomas Thornton.|
Mildmay Fane, 2nd Earl of Westmorland, a royalist, was at the outbreak of the Civil War arrested and lodged in the Tower. Eventually he made his peace with the Parliament, and was set at liberty, his submission being overlooked at the Restoration. In 1648 he printed for private circulation a volume of verse entitled Otia Sacra. He died in February, 1666.
Sir Thomas Wentworth, Baron Wentworth, was the eldest son of the 1st Earl of Cleveland, one of the most prominent of the royalist generals in the Civil War. Sir Thomas was not so successful as his father in his soldiering, and was mainly responsible for the defeat and surrender at Torrington in 1646. He was with Prince Charles in Scotland and at Worcester, and formed one of the royal council until the Restoration. He died in February, 1665, in the lifetime of his father. His widow, who continued to reside in Lincoln's Inn Fields until 1684 or 1685, was the daughter of Sir Ferdinando Carey. Their only child, who succeeded her father in the barony, and evidently spent her childhood in the house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, was Henrietta, the mistress of the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth, whom she survived but nine months.
Sir James Montagu, 6th son of George Montagu of Horton, was the grandson of the 1st Earl of Manchester. He was, like his more famous brother Charles afterwards Earl of Halifax, compelled to take up some profession for his own livelihood, and adopted that of the law. His occupation of the house in Lincoln's Inn Fields seems to have begun in 1693 or 1694. In 1705 he was committed into custody for infringing the privileges of the House of Commons by demanding a habeas corpus on behalf of the Aylesbury men who had been sent to Newgate by the House. A few weeks later he was knighted, (fn. 11) in 1707 he became solicitor-general, and from 1708 to 1710 he was attorney-general. He then appears to have left Lincoln's Inn Fields for a time, returning in 1715 or 1716, and continuing there until his death. In 1714 he had been made baron of the exchequer, becoming chief baron in 1722. In the following year he died. (fn. 12)
Robert Raymond, Baron Raymond, was the only son of Sir Thomas Raymond, a well-known judge of the reign of Charles II., and claimed descent from Raymond the crusader celebrated by Tasso. He was called to the Bar in 1694. (fn. 13) His success was rapid, and in 1710 he was made solicitor-general, which position he retained until the accession of George I. in 1714. The period of his residence at Lincoln's Inn Fields seems to have corresponded almost exactly with the tenure of this office. In 1710 he had been knighted. In 1720 he became attorney-general. In 1724 he received a puisne judgeship and in the following year succeeded Sir John Pratt as lord chief justice, and was sworn of the Privy Council. In 1731 he was raised to the peerage, and two years afterwards died at his house in Red Lion Square.
Nicholas Fazakerley was one of the most noted lawyers of the early part of the 18th century, and was only prevented by his political opinions from attaining the highest honours in his profession. He entered Parliament in 1732 as member for Preston, and continued to represent that borough until his death. He greatly distinguished himself in politics, and was regarded as a leader by a section of his party. A story was current that Walpole was only able to prevail on Sir Philip Yorke to quit the chief justiceship for the more precarious position of the chancellorship by declaring: "If by one o'clock you do not accept my offer, Fazakerley by two becomes Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and one of the staunchest Whigs in all England." (fn. 14) In October, 1723, he married Ann Lutwyche, (fn. 15) and his removal in 1727 or 1728 to the house, the site of which now forms the greater portion of the site of No. 35, was no doubt influenced by the fact that his wife's family were at the time resident next door. (fn. 16) He lived here until 1733, when he followed the Lutwyche family to No. 46, remaining there until 1752. He was often consulted by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, and it is recorded how he was visited by the Duchess at "Lincoln's Inn," and attended on her in the street, standing "close to her Grace's chair." (fn. 17) He died in 1767 at his house in Grosvenor Street.
William Noel, younger son of Sir John Noel, of Kirby-Mallory, Leicestershire, was born in March, 1695. He was called to the Bar in 1721, and the following year was returned to Parliament as member for Stamford, which borough he continued to represent until 1747. From that time until the end of his parliamentary career in 1757 he was member for West Looe. In the latter year he was made justice of the common pleas. Walpole describes him as "a pompous man of little solidity," (fn. 18) and he received gratuitous advertisement in The Causidicade. (fn. 19) He died in December, 1762.
Lady Mary Carr was the beautiful daughter of Sir Richard Gargrave, a once wealthy landowner of Yorkshire, who lost the whole of his estate at the gaming table, and was at last found dead in the stable of a small inn. (fn. 20) She married Sir Robert Carr, Bt., of Aswarby, a man of weak understanding. Her life was one continuous round of trouble. The guardianship of Rochester Carr, her husband's elder brother, a lunatic, was the source of a 30 years' legal conflict which she had to sustain, while the estates were squandered by trustees who acted in defiance of each other and of the law. Her husband died in 1667, and in the same year she seems to have removed to Lincoln's Inn Fields. Her widowhood brought fresh troubles. All her savings were appropriated by the son of Sir Richard Cocks, who produced forged receipts. He was ordered to refund the money, and absconded. On further endeavours being made to recover the money, a cousin contended that the estates were entailed upon him. Miles Fleetwood then asserted that Lady Mary had made a gift of the money to himself, and produced a forged deed and false witnesses, one of whom deposed that he "well remembered the deed being signed at Lady Mary's house in Lincoln's Inn Fields." (fn. 21) The second of her three daughters, Mary, who was noted "for making sharp speeches and doing startling things," (fn. 22) married Sir Adrian Scrope, a royalist, created Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Charles II. Their eldest son was named Carr, after his mother's family. He was created a baronet in 1667. Sir Carr Scrope was a constant attendant at Court, where he acquired a reputation as a wit and versifier. He is frequently mentioned in the satires of the period, his small stature being the object of much ridicule. He produced translations of various portions of Ovid, and his song of Myrtillo's Sad Despair in Lee's Mithridates, and another song written for Etherege's Man of Mode are included in Ritson's English Songs. His residence at the house in Lincoln's Inn Fields was apparently limited to the year 1675, when he was 26 years of age. He died in 1680.
Sir Thomas Skipwith, serjeant-at-law, was of Metheringham, Lincolnshire. He was knighted in 1673, made serjeant in 1675, and received a barontecy in 1678. He was already resident in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1675, in which year he is shown by the Hearth Tax Roll to have been living at No. 12. The ratebooks first show him at No. 35 in 1680, but that he was there on 4th January, 1679, is evident from the fact that a notice is extant referring to his house "in Portugal Row, Lincoln's Inn Fields," at that date. (fn. 23) His death took place in May, 1694, "at his house in Lincoln's Inn Fields." (fn. 24) He was succeeded in the baronetcy and in the occupation of the house by his son, Sir Thomas.
Thomas Lutwyche, son of Sir Edward Lutwyche, judge, was an able lawyer of the early portion of the 18th century. He seems to have resided in two houses in Lincoln's Inn Fields, being at No. 35 in 1718, and at No. 46 from 1730 to 1732. Edward Lutwyche, who was also resident at both houses, may have been his brother. (fn. 25)
Sir Thomas Sewell, the first occupier of the present No. 35, was called to the Bar in 1734. In November, 1764, he was knighted, and in the following month was, to the amazement of everyone, including himself, appointed master of the Rolls. He was then in receipt of between £3,000 and £4,000 a year from his practice. (fn. 26) He died in harness in March, 1784.
John Dunning, Lord Ashburton, was the younger son of an attorney of Ashburton, Devonshire. He was articled to his father, and, showing signs of that ability which afterwards placed him easily at the head of the Bar, was sent to London to study. His means being very small, he had to practice rigid economy (see below the story of his dining with Horne Tooke and Kenyon). He was called to the Bar in 1756, but met with little success until his opportunity came in 1762. After this his practice rapidly increased. In 1766 he was made recorder of Bristol, and in 1768 became solicitor-general. At the General Election in March of that year, he was returned as one of the members for Calne, and continued to represent that borough for the remainder of his parliamentary career. The solicitorship he held only for two years, being opposed to the policy of the ministry. Thenceforward for the next twelve years he was prominent in opposition. In April, 1780, he moved and carried his famous resolutions: "That the influence of the Crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished," and "That it is competent to this House to examine into and correct abuses in the expenditure of the civil list revenues, as well as in every other branch of the public revenue, whenever it shall appear expedient to the wisdom of the House so to do." In 1782 Dunning was created Baron Ashburton, was sworn in as chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and accepted a pension of £4,000 a year, the latter step being grievously inconsistent with his former professions. In August of the following year he died. From the ratebooks it would appear that his occupation of No. 35, Lincoln's Inn Fields, began in 1780 and continued until his death.
Lloyd Kenyon, 1st Baron Kenyon, the second son of Lloyd Kenyon, a farmer of Flintshire, was born at Gredington in that county in 1732. At the age of 17 he was articled to a solicitor of Nantwich. Becoming dissatisfied with his prospects, he came to London, and was called to the Bar in 1756. His progress was at first slow, and he had nothing to live on save the allowance of £80 a year made by his father. At this period of his life he used to dine with Dunning and Horne Tooke "during the vacation at a little eating house in the neighbourhood of Chancery Lane, for the sum of sevenpence halfpenny each. 'As to Dunning and myself,' says Tooke, 'we were generous, for we gave the girl who waited on us a penny apiece; but Kenyon, who always knew the value of money, sometimes rewarded her with a halfpenny, and sometimes with a promise!' " (fn. 27) His parsimony throughout life was, indeed, the subject of countless jests. Dunning's friendship first brought him regular employment, and from 1764 he gradually built up a practice. During the first half of 1773 his profits amounted to about £2,060, and part of this he spent in buying the lease of a house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and furnishing it. (fn. 28) This is shown by the ratebooks to have been No. 18, Lincoln's Inn Fields. In the same year (fn. 29) he married his cousin, Mary Kenyon, and a letter is extant, written by Mrs. Kenyon, evidently immediately after their homecoming, (fn. 30) in which she gives her mother a detailed and interesting description of the house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and of the furniture and decorations.
In 1780 Kenyon entered Parliament as member (by Thurlow's influence) for Hindon, Wilts. In 1782 he accepted the attorney-generalship, an office which he much disliked, but which on pressure he again assumed (after a period of retirement of some months) in December, 1783. In the latter year apparently he moved to the opposite side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, to No. 35, "a large gloomy house" the ménage in which in his time was described as: "All through the year it is Lent in the kitchen, and Passion Week in the parlour." (fn. 31) He had not been settled there long, however, before he left on accepting the position of master of the Rolls. At the same time he was knighted, and a few months afterwards (July, 1784) received a baronetcy. In 1788 he was made chief justice, and was raised to the peerage as Baron Kenyon of Gredington. He then returned to No. 35, which continued to be his residence until his death, which occurred at Bath in April, 1802.
Richard Pepper Arden, Lord Alvanley, third son of John Arden of Stockport, was called to the Bar in 1769. While at Lincoln's Inn he occupied chambers on the same staircase as William Pitt, and the friendship that resulted greatly contributed to the success of his career. In 1776 he was made judge of the South Wales circuit, and took silk in 1780. (fn. 32) Three years afterwards he entered Parliament, being returned as member for Newtown (Isle of Wight). In 1782 he became solicitor-general, in 1784 attorney-general, and in 1788 master of the Rolls, when he received the honour of knighthood. In 1801 he was made lord chief justice of the common pleas, and was created Baron Alvanley. He died in 1804, at the age of 59. He is shown as resident at No. 35, Lincoln's Inn Fields in the issues of the ratebooks for 1785 to 1787. His occupation of the house, therefore, would seem to comprise the interval between Kenyon's appointment to the mastership of the Rolls in 1784 and his own in 1788.
In the Council's collection are—
* View of front (photograph).
* Plan of ground floor (measured drawing).
* Plan of first floor (measured drawing).
* Longitudinal section (measured drawing).
* View of rear elevation (photograph).
* Entrance vestibule (sketch).
* Wrought-iron balustrade to staircase (photograph).
* Wrought-iron panel in balustrade to staircase, first floor (photograph).
* Landing, first floor (photograph).
* Front room, ground floor (photograph).
* Middle room, ground floor (photograph).
Middle room, ground floor, looking north-east (photograph).
* Rear room, ground floor (photograph).
* Overmantel, rear room, ground floor (photograph).
* Ornamental plaster cornice and ceiling, front room, first floor (photograph).
* Marble chimneypiece, front room, first floor (photograph).
* Doorcase, front room, first floor (photograph).
* Marble chimneypiece, middle room, first floor (photograph).
* "Ante" rear room, first floor (photograph).
* Stone chimneypiece, kitchen in basement (photograph).