Survey of London: Volume 4, Chelsea, Pt II. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1913.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
LI.—No. 72, CHEYNE WALK (demolished).
This house was destroyed in October, 1892. It was a low building of two storeys, with another floor in the roof. The front was plastered and had a gable looking south, and in it was a terra-cotta medallion with a well-modelled head of an old man. The medallion came into the possession of Mr. J. Wallace Peggs, who framed it and presented it to the Chelsea Public Library, where it is now preserved.
Mr. Philip Norman refers to the house in his book London Signs and Inscriptions (fn. 1) and says that it was formerly a freehold with the right of pasturage on Chelsea Common. Mr. Alfred Beaver (fn. 2) hazards the suggestion that it was part of a larger house, perhaps the manor house. It was for long a fishmonger's shop, and was the subject of a lithograph by Whistler (published in the Whirlwind) and of an etching by Percy Thomas. Mr. Philip Norman's water-colour drawing of the house is shown on Plate 8. Whistler died in the present house built on its site in July, 1903.
It may be of interest to note here the different houses in Chelsea which were occupied by Whistler. He lived at No. 101, Cheyne Walk in 1863. From 1866 to 1878 he was in No. 96, Cheyne Walk (q.v.) and in the latter year he moved to the White House in Tite Street, built for him by Godwin. He was not here long, but took a new studio at No. 13, Tite Street in 1881. In 1885, while still in Italy, he rented a studio at No. 454, Fulham Road, and in the following year he was at No. 2, The Vale (q.v.). In 1890 he moved to No. 21, Cheyne Walk, but in 1892 went to live in Paris. His last dwelling in Chelsea was on the site of the fishmonger's shop, as noted above.
No. 72 adjoined, on the west, the house occupied for seven years by Thomas Faulkner, the historian of Chelsea, who lodged with the widow of W. Lewis, the bookbinder and friend of Smollett. Faulkner (fn. 3) tells us that Lewis was portrayed in "Roderick Random" in the character of Strap, the barber.
Old prints, views, etc.
Photograph of Lombard Street, in possession of Mr. Philip Norman.
(fn. 4)Water colour drawing by Philip Norman.
Lithograph by Whistler.
Etching by Percy Thomas, in the Chelsea Public Library.
Etching by Walter W. Burgess in Bits of Old Chelsea (1893).