Survey of London: Volume 4, Chelsea, Pt II. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1913.
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CXXIII.—CXXV.—Nos. 213, 215 and 217, KING'S ROAD.
Ground landlord, leaseholder, etc.
The freehold is part of the glebe and is vested in the Rector of the parish. The present tenants are:—
No. 213, Princess de Polignac; No. 215, Mrs. Carew; No. 217, A. E. Derry, Esq.
General description and date of structure.
It will be seen from the photographs that Nos. 213 and 215 are a pair of three-storey houses of identical design, built (according to the rate-books) in 1720. They are externally very perfect examples of their date, with fronts of warm-coloured stock-brick, relieved by red brick dressings and cornice, long sash windows of charming proportion, and doorways with hoods supported by brackets. The houses are panelled within and retain their Georgian staircases, but have been considerably remodelled, chiefly on the ground floor. No. 217, which stands at the corner of Glebe Place, was built about 1750 and consists of two storeys with additional rooms within a mansard roof. The front has a brick cornice, similar to the others, but the windows are recessed and surrounded with an architrave and the doorway is of late character.
The appearance of Nos. 213 and 215 has been somewhat spoiled by the addition of an attic storey in recent years.
Condition of repair.
All the houses are in good repair.
The following names occur in the rate-books as tenants:—
No. 213. The Rev. Benjamin Fielder succeeded the Rev.—Trail as minister of the chapel, which was formerly in Glebe Place. He died suddenly in 1803 after a collapse in the pulpit. (Faulkner).
No. 215. Dr. Thomas Augustine Arne was a well-known musical composer and writer of light operas (1710–1778), and worthy of commemoration, if only as the composer of Rule Britannia. He composed choral and instrumental music for the concerts at Ranelagh (v. Gentleman's Magazine, 12 May, 1767), and he trained Dr. Burney, the organist of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Beaver mentions the laboratory of his son Michael Arne, built at Chelsea in 1767 "to carry on his experiments for the discovery of the philosopher's stone."
David Rice gave £10 by will to the Chelsea Sunday School, 1788. (Faulkner).
No. 215 is now occupied by Miss Ellen Terry (Mrs. James Carew).
No. 217. The Hon. Mrs. Skeffington is mentioned by Faulkner among the "gentry formerly resident in Chelsea" under date April 21st, 1760.
Thomas Northmore lived at 25, Cheyne Walk from 1766 to 1771.
James Hutton (1715–1795) may be called the founder of the Moravian Church in England. He first hired the chapel in Fetter Lane in 1738. Faulkner says that he was Secretary to the Brethren and that there is a portrait of him in mezzotint, with a trumpet to his ear. He continues: "This worthy and well-known character was accustomed to pay morning visits to some of the first families in Chelsea; he used likewise to seek out objects that were in distress, and relieved them, as their necessities required." He was buried in the Moravian Burial Ground (q.v.).
This house, Mr. Beaver tells us, has been associated with two well-known sculptors, G. B. Fontana and J. Dalou.