A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 12, Chelsea. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2004.
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ARNOLD - GREENE
William Arnold of Fulham, yeoman, held land in Chelsea in the early 17th century which included 10 acres in Westfield bordering Fulham Road, later the site of houses and gardens enclosed out of the field by 1618. (fn. 1) In 1607 he sold to William Blake of the City of London, scrivener, for £400 14½ a. in Westfield lying on the south side of the 10 acres, 6½ a. in Westfield on the north side of the Lots meadow, and 3 a. in Eastfield between Chelsea common and King's Road. (fn. 2) The 14½ a. had been sold on to the earl of Lincoln by 1618, when Lincoln sold it to William Blake of Kensington. (fn. 3) Arnold also sublet from Nicholas Holborne a close called the Nine Acres adjoining the Thames near the earl of Lincoln's house in 1611, possibly Parsonage Close. (fn. 4) He and William Blake, probably the scrivener, were trustees for Arnold's brother John (d. c. 1619), also of Fulham, and the latter's two daughters, Elizabeth, who inherited John's freehold, and Catherine, who inherited the copyhold land. (fn. 5) The Arnold family were long-established in the area, with branches in Fulham and Kensington: William Arnold (d. 1638) seems to have moved to Kensington by 1625, and his son William, who married John Arnold's daughter Elizabeth, lived in Kensington and was usually described as of Earl's Court. (fn. 6)
In 1634 William Arnold junior of Kensington, bought from Ralph Massie for £1,660 a farmhouse in Chelsea with 43 a. in Eastfield in the tenure of William Wrennall, 3 a. arable and 10 a. meadow in Eastfield, the latter lying between Chelsea College and the Thames in Kensington detached, 16 lots and 1 a. of meadow and 9½ a. arable, all in Westfield, and 1½ a. meadow in Fulham. (fn. 7) In 1652 William and his wife Elizabeth made a settlement with John Saunders, who married their daughter Dorothy, of a messuage, malthouse, and 3 a., which was sold by the latter's son John Saunders to William Mart in 1677. In 1668 Arnold sold to Anne Bennett 17 a. in Chelsea, which also passed to Mart, (fn. 8) possibly part of the 43 a. land belonging to Wrennall's farm, which was in separate ownership from the farmhouse c.1700. (fn. 9) The main farmhouse, occupied by William Wrennall in the early 17th century and then James Leake (d. c.1653), (fn. 10) lay with its barn, yards, and garden on the west side of Church Lane at the corner of King's Road, and stretching back to the land of the duke of Buckingham (Beaufort House). It was still known as 'Reynolds's farm' in 1663, with right of commoning 6 cows and 3 heifers, and in 1647 as 'James Luke's house in Church Lane'. Before his death (before 1685) William Arnold built four new brick houses with gardens by the farmhouse, and it was all described in 1676 as part of the great farm. (fn. 11) The farmhouse and new houses, right of commoning, and possibly the land belonging to the farm as well, belonged to Mr Bennet by 1674, (fn. 12) and the farmhouse and houses were leased by James Bennet of Westminster, tanner, to John Greene of St Margaret Westminster, brewer, in 1676 for 1,000 years, presumably as a mortgage. In 1685 James Bennet and Arnold's son, William Arnold of Kensington, sold the houses to Henry Newdick, poulterer of London, for £780, and John Greene's widow Elizabeth assigned the lease to Newdick. (fn. 13) A query arose c. 1700 over who had the rights of common attached to the farm lately held by Mr Bennet, as the farmhouse belonged to Newdick and the land to Mart. (fn. 14) This suggests that the 21 a. on the east side of Upper Church Lane was formerly part of Wrennall's farm as it seems to have belonged to William Mart c.1700, with a house marked as his in the south-west corner. (fn. 15)
William Arnold was said to have sold lands in Chelsea c. 1670 to John Greene, who had married Elizabeth daughter of John Arnold of Kensington: (fn. 16) Greene certainly held extensive property in Chelsea, which his wife controlled after his death and nearly all of which can be identified with Arnold's property, including c. 18 a. in Eastfield in about 6 parcels lying south of King's Road and on the opposite side near Chelsea common, and c. 15 a. arable and meadow in Westfield. (fn. 17) Greene also had extensive estates in Westminster and Kensington, as well as a major brewery near Tothill Fields, later known as the Stag brewery. He sold 1½ a. arable and just under half an acre of the meadow adjoining it, all near Chelsea College, to Mary Pinner before 1683. (fn. 18) Under his will his houses and land were divided between his three sons, John, William, and Thomas, with remainders to each other: all the property in Chelsea and the 10 a. in Kensington detached by the Thames went to William when 22 or married, and in default of heirs to his brother John. (fn. 19) In 1685 William Greene sold to the Crown the 10 a. of meadow near Chelsea College (less the plot sold to Pinner) for £550 to form part of the grounds of the Royal Hospital. (fn. 20) John and William brought a suit in 1688 against William Arnold junior and a creditor of his father to take possession of the property their father had bought, (fn. 21) apparently with success.
John's widow Elizabeth (d. c. 1716) left her lands in Chelsea to trustees who were pay the profits to her son William for life and then to his issue or in default to her other son Thomas and his heirs. (fn. 22) William Greene, brewer, of Westminster, apparently died without children and the Chelsea property passed to Thomas Greene (d. 1740) of St Margaret Westminster. Thomas died leaving one child, Elizabeth, wife of Edward Burnaby (d. 1759), a Clerk of the Treasury, and his personal estate was left to his sister Mary Greene, Charles Lord Cadogan, and Justinian Ekins as trustees for his daughter and his second wife Frances. The trustees also held his real estate for his daughter, which was to pass to her eldest son, Edward, for whom an Act was obtained permitting him, as a minor, to adopt the surname Greene in addition to Burnaby. (fn. 23) Mary Greene also apparently died in 1740, at which a fortune of £4,000 a year was said to have passed to Elizabeth Burnaby (d. 1754). Edward Burnaby Greene (d. 1788), poet and translator, also inherited the brewing business, but by 1779 was so deeply in debt that all his property had to be sold. (fn. 24) His only son, Pitt Burnaby Greene, joined with trustees and creditors in sales of the Chelsea estate in 1793. (fn. 25)
The Greene estate in Chelsea included 6 a. in Eastfield adjoining the south side of King's Road, leased by William and Thomas Greene to Robert Walpole in 1736, (fn. 26) and sold to Thomas Smith of Chelsea, vintner, in 1793; (fn. 27) further west near Robinson's Lane a close of 3¾ a. leased to Thomas Richardson of Chelsea, surveyor, in 1778, (fn. 28) and a strip of land next to it adjoining King's Road, both sold to Richardson in 1793 and 1795; (fn. 29) 2¼ a. with five houses built on the south side, forming Green's Row, sold individually in 1793-4; (fn. 30) 6½ a. in two separate parcels on the north side of King's Road, adjoining Chelsea common, with two houses, barn, and garden, and two other houses and gardens, all sold in 1793 to Matthew Markham of St Martin-in-the-Fields, coachmaker; (fn. 31) a house and 3 a. in Westfield with an acre of lammas meadow south of Lots Lane, occupied before 1748 by Robert Cook, and sold to Lady Mary Coke in 1793; (fn. 32) and a house and 8 a. in Westfield by Chelsea Creek, occupied for many years by the Burchett family, and sold to Lord Cadogan in 1794. (fn. 33)
ASHBURNHAM HOUSE AND COTTAGE
Dr Benjamin Hoadley, a fashionable physician, took 61-year leases from Chelsea manor in 1747 of two parcels of garden ground in Westfield lying on the west side of Chelsea Farm (Cremorne); (fn. 34) he let 4 acres of it to a gardener until 1754. (fn. 35) He also took a 21-year lease in 1748 from the trustees of the Greene estate of a house and 3 acres, lying on the west side of his leaseholds, and another acre of meadow south of Lots Lane. (fn. 36) Freehold osier ground of c.3 acres south of Lots Lane, formerly part of the Gorges House estate and sold in 1750, (fn. 37) was also acquired by him. Hoadley is said to have built a mansion, later called Ashburnham House, at the southern end of the land leased from the manor, fronting Lots Lane. (fn. 38) In 1758 Hoadley's widow Anna sold the residue of the three leaseholds and the freehold ground to Sir Richard Glyn, Bt, alderman of London, who in 1767 sold them all to John Ashburnham, 2nd earl of Ashburnham. (fn. 39) Ashburnham presumably renewed the lease from the Greene trustees, as the premises were still part of the estate when he sold it. In 1781 Ashburnham held leases of 11¾ a. of manorial demesne forming a rectangular estate next to Chelsea Farm and stretching from King's Road to Lots Lane, including his house and gardens, all in his own occupation; the Greene property consisted of a house and 3 a. on the south-west side of his property and an acre of meadow on the south side of Lots Lane opposite his mansion. (fn. 40) In 1786 he sold the whole leasehold and freehold estate to Lady Mary Coke, widow, (fn. 41) who in 1793 purchased the freehold of the Greene property, described as a house at Sandy End near Chelsea Creek, 3 a. land, and a piece of Lammas meadow ground opposite her dwelling. (fn. 42) In 1807 Lady Mary sold her interests in the two manorial leases to Joseph Brown, who had agreed with the owners of the manor to take a new lease of the Ashburnham House property for 41 years from 1808, and she also sold to him the freeholds of the former Greene property and the 3 a. by the Thames. (fn. 43) By 1825 the lease of the Ashburnham estate had been assigned to a Mr Stephens, but a house and 1¾ a. bordering King's Road had been surrendered and let by the owners of the manor in 1820 to another tenant. (fn. 44) By 1845 Ashburnham House was leased to Col. Leicester Stanhope, who succeeded as 5th earl of Harrington in 1851; (fn. 45) in 1847 the estate was described as 11¾ a., once more including the 1¾ a. of garden ground by King's Road. (fn. 46)
By 1847 the freehold of the former Greene property of 7 a. bought by Lady Mary Coke and now known as Ashburnham Cottage, the remaining Greene freehold between the manorial leaseholds and Chelsea Creek, and the meadow south of Lots Lane had all been purchased by the owners of the manor and belonged to Lord Cadogan, except for Lots meadow belonging to the Kensington Canal Company; some of the new acquisitions, if not all, belonged to Cadogan by 1825. Ashburnham Cottage was leased to General Sir S.S. Barnes by 1847. (fn. 47) In 1859 Lord Cadogan leased Ashburnham House and Cottage to Thomas Bartlett Simpson, lessee of Chelsea Farm, who wanted to expand the popular Cremorne Gardens westwards. (fn. 48)
In 1620 Sir Arthur and Lady Elizabeth Gorges sold to Lionel Cranfield, later lord treasurer and earl of Middlesex, for £4,300 the chief mansion on their estate, described in the deed as 'the greatest (i.e. largest) house in Chelsea', which formed a substantial part of the property formerly belonging to Sir Thomas More. (fn. 49) Its grounds consisted of two forecourts, a wharf with brick towers at east and west ends, a high water tower on the west corner of the wharf, a watercourse, garden, terrace with a banqueting house at the eastern end, the great garden, orchard, a house with courtyard in front and garden behind lying on the south side of the orchard and leased to Edward Smith for 99 years, Dovecote Close (5 a.) at the north-eastern end, a kitchen garden and, on the north side of the gardens, Brickbarn Close (10 a.), (fn. 50) originally part of Westfield, which had been enclosed by the earl of Lincoln. (fn. 51) In 1620 Cranfield bought 32 a. in five closes called Sandhills east of Brickbarn Close from William Blake, (fn. 52) and having commissioned Inigo Jones in 1621 to design a gate to lead northwards from his gardens, in 1625 he enclosed the whole 42 acres to create Chelsea Park. (fn. 53) By 1652 it was enclosed with a brick wall and had brick buildings at south-east and south-west corners, by which time it was divided from the gardens by King's Road. Cranfield spent lavishly on the house, which he valued in 1624 at £8,000, and lived there very grandly, entertaining both Court and City guests, as he evolved from a City merchant to a great minister and courtier. (fn. 54)
In 1625 Cranfield, convicted of malfeasance as lord treasurer, offered the Chelsea estate to George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, as part of his efforts to clear his fine, which stood at £20,000. The transaction was negotiated by his intermediary with Buckingham's wife and mother, on whose rapacity he later blamed the loss of Chelsea even more than on the animosity of Buckingham. (fn. 55) In 1627 Charles I granted the estate to Buckingham for a fee farm of £1 a year. (fn. 56) Known as Buckingham House, the mansion was used by the duke until his assassination in 1628 and then by his widow Catherine. The estates of the duchess, who had married Randall, earl of Antrim, were sequestered in 1644; on her death in 1649 the property would have passed to her son George, 2nd duke of Buckingham, (fn. 57) but he had fought for Prince Charles in 1648 and escaped abroad, forfeiting his estates. (fn. 58) In 1649 the 54-acre estate, consisting of the house, grounds and park, was leased to Bulstrode Whitelocke and John Lisle, commissioners for the Great Seal: the rent on the 21 -year lease was set at £40, as soldiers quartered in the house had pulled down the walls and wainscot, broken the glass in the windows, destroyed the gardens, and 'much defaced the whole house'. (fn. 59) In 1652 the trustees for sale of confiscated estates sold the estate to Whitelock and Lisle for £920. Buckingham House was described as built of brick and roofed partly with tiles and partly with lead; it had five cellars on the lowest floor, 20 rooms including two halls and nine kitchens, butteries, and larders, and a large staircase on the ground floor, and 21 rooms on the next floor including two dining rooms, a gallery, and 11 chambers, with garrets above most of those. Outside there was a little yard at the west end of the house with a brick building used as a dairy and wash house, and part as a coachhouse; another yard on the north side of the house with seven stables; three gardens containing another brick building, an orchard, and two courts on the south side. A brick building at the west corner next to the Thames was used as a lodge, and one on the east corner with a rod of land adjoining was let. The mansion and its grounds and outhouses enclosed with a brick wall contained 10 a. 1 r.; Dovecote close, also enclosed with brick, contained 4 a.; and the park, again enclosed with brick, 39½ a. (fn. 60)
The 2nd duke regained his estates at the Restoration in 1660, (fn. 61) but possibly to pay off debts he conveyed the Chelsea property in 1664 to John Godden (d. by 1668), Richard Blake, and several other London tradesmen for £12,000; (fn. 62) between 1668 and 1672 the land and house were sold off separately. (fn. 63) The house, by far the largest in Chelsea, was empty when it was assessed for 58 hearths in 1666 and 61 in 1674. (fn. 64) With 15 a. of grounds it passed to James Plumer, one of Buckingham's main creditors, who in turn sold it in 1674 to trustees for George Digby, earl of Bristol; Bristol is said to have paid £7,000. (fn. 65) The earl, by will proved 1677, left the house to his widow Anne, (fn. 66) who in 1681 sold it for £5,000 or £5,500 to Henry Somerset (d. 1699), marquess of Worcester. (fn. 67)
John Evelyn described the house in 1679 as 'large, but ill contrived', despite the money which Lord Bristol had spent on it, though he thought its grounds and situation were spacious and excellent, and Lady Bristol gave him some of her rare collection of orange trees. (fn. 68) Another contemporary, Lord Ossery, noted that the estate consisted of 16 a. including walled gardens planted 'with the choicest fruit' and that the house had been 'altered according to the mode'. (fn. 69) Lord Worcester, created duke of Beaufort in 1682, (fn. 70) spent £5,180 on improvements to the house, eventually reconciling his wife Mary to the purchase: she, like others, had thought that the house was too old to be fitted out with modern comforts, while Henry had emphasized the excellent air of Chelsea, and the good offices and plentiful water piped from Kensington. The architect Robert Warren was employed to modernize the house, and he extended the garden parterres down to the Thames. Grinling Gibbons was commissioned to make ornamental carvings. The house, known as Beaufort House, became a show place where the duke and duchess entertained their friends, neighbours, and the king, (fn. 71) although when Evelyn visited it in 1683 he was still critical, thinking that the duke might have built a better house with the materials and money employed. (fn. 72)
In 1705 Bowack exaggerated the size of the house as 200-300 feet long - it cannot have been more than 150 feet on that site - but described its 'stately ancient front to the river', two spacious courtyards and fine gardens behind. He also noted that for some years the 2nd duke (a minor) had spent most of his time at Badminton (Glos.). (fn. 73) The dowager duchess was forced to leave Badminton after a disagreement with her grandson over the 1st duke's personal estate, and she moved to Chelsea in 1709 where she lived until her death in 1715. Mary was an ardent botanist with one of the most important collections of exotic plants in Europe and her greenhouses at Badminton and Chelsea surpassed even those built by William and Mary at Hampton Court. She was assisted in her collecting by her friend Sir Hans Sloane, and her catalogue of plants filled 12 volumes. (fn. 74) The 2nd duke, who had died shortly before his grandmother, left the house by will to trustees to sell to raise money towards his third marriage settlement, (fn. 75) but it remained empty until c. 1724 when it was acquired by Samuel Travers with the idea, which failed, of opening it as a school. (fn. 76) In 1737 Travers's executors sold it to Sir Hans Sloane, owner of Chelsea manor, (fn. 77) and the freehold descended thereafter with the manor. Sloane placed the house, which had been empty for nearly 20 years, in the care of his gardener and factotum, Edmund Howard, with instructions to pull it down, which was done in 1740. (fn. 78) In 1750 Sloane leased out the whole estate, known as Beaufort Ground and stretching from King's Road to open ground called Beaufort green by the Thames, for 91 years to trustees for the Unitas Fratrum or Moravian congregation, who had bought the adjoining Lindsey House. (fn. 79) They laid out a burial ground on the stable yard with a chapel on the north side, reached by a passage from the rear of Lindsey House. It was intended to build a settlement called Sharon on the rest of the site, but after the leader of the Unitas Fratrum, Count Zinzendorf, returned permanently to the Continent in 1755, financial difficulties prevented the settlement being built. Apart from the Moravian burial ground, which continued in use by the congregation, (fn. 80) Beaufort Ground was leased as building plots by 1770, and eventually Beaufort Street was laid through the site. (fn. 81) In 1781 the Beaufort estate consisted of over 7 a. land, 19 houses, and wharves. (fn. 82)
William Blake (d. 1630), citizen and vintner of London, was resident in Kensington by 1606 and built up a large estate in Kensington, Knightsbridge, Westminster, and Chelsea: despite sales before his death, he still left c. 370 a. to his heirs. (fn. 83) He was knighted in 1627. William Blake, scrivener of London, was also involved in land sales in Chelsea in the same period, (fn. 84) but has no known relationship to Sir William.
In 1607 Blake purchased from Francis Shuckburgh for £1,100 a farmhouse with 32 a. in five closes called Sandhills, 42 a. arable in Eastfield, and 1 a. and 11 lots of meadow in West meadow, all occupied by William Wrennall and formerly part of Hungerford's estate. (fn. 85) Blake also made two purchases in 1618 from Thomas Fiennes, 3rd earl of Lincoln. One, for £200, was of 14 a. inclosed in Westfield and in the tenure of Wrennall, which lay on the north side of King's Road, and another close of 5 a. between the 14 a. and Fulham Road with a house built on it and once part of the lands of William Arnold of Fulham; Richard Stocke held a lease of c. 31 years granted by Lincoln of the 5 a. and the house, which he had probably built. (fn. 86) The other purchase was of 9 a. meadow in Thamesmead in the tenure of the countess of Nottingham, 30 a. close called Coleherne in Kensington, and the rights Lincoln held in the Chelsea ferry: (fn. 87) the meadow seems to be the so-called 10 a. in Eastfield between Chelsea College and the river which became part of the Royal Hospital's grounds. (fn. 88)
William Blake sold the 32 acres called Sandhills in 1620 to Sir Lionel Cranfield, owner of the house later called Beaufort House, who used the land to create Chelsea Park. (fn. 89) In 1623 Blake sold the ferry to Oliver St John, 1st Viscount Grandison, (fn. 90) and in 1630 sold probably all his remaining property in Chelsea to Ralph Massie (or Massey) of London, vintner, consisting of the farmhouse held by Wrennall, the house formerly held by Stocke, 75 a. arable, 11 a. and 16 lots of meadow, all in Chelsea, and 1½ a. in Fulham. (fn. 91)
In 1634 Ralph Massie sold to William Arnold junior, of Kensington, for £1,660 all the land he had bought from Blake except for the 5-acre close and house at Little Chelsea and the adjoining 14 acres in Westfield. (fn. 92) Massie died soon afterwards and the property he had retained passed to his son William, who in 1650 conveyed it to trustees for Ralph's widow, Isabella Lusher. (fn. 93) In 1682 Massie conveyed the property, which now consisted of two houses and 18 acres of land, to William Mart, citizen and vintner of London, and Isabella surrendered her right in that property in 1683. (fn. 94)
Prior to this purchase Mart bought a house, malthouse, and 3 a. in Eastfield in 1677 from John Saunders, who had acquired it as part of the settlement on his marriage with William Arnold's daughter, Dorothy, and in 1678 Mart bought 17 a. from Anne Bennett, who had bought it from Arnold in 1668. (fn. 95) The main house bought from Massie, and probably the newer house as well, fronted Fulham Road at Little Chelsea. According to Bowack, Mart built there a 'regular, handsome house with a noble courtyard and good gardens', where Sir John Cope, Bt (d. 1721), lived when he retired from active public life. (fn. 96) In 1704 Sir John was occupying the house with its garden, stable and coachhouse, while the other house, described in 1715 as lately built, was occupied by Christopher Grimstead with the 18 a., (fn. 97) which stretched to King's Road. (fn. 98) Cope's house was later occupied as Duffield's private madhouse, and then demolished to form the site of Odell's Place; (fn. 99) it therefore lay east of Shaftesbury House. (fn. 100)
At his death in 1704 Mart also owned a principal messuage with garden, malthouse, barns, stable, and coachhouses, occupied in 1705 by John Lefevre, schoolmaster, a house and 43 a. held by Nathaniel Terrett, and a house and 3 a. occupied by Mr Stubbington, all freehold in Chelsea and Kensington, as well as copyhold in Fulham and property in the cities of London and Westminster. Mart's widow Jane unsuccessfully claimed the estate, which passed to Mart's nephew, William Mart of Addiscombe (Surrey). (fn. 101) In 1719 Mart sold to Sir John Cope's son, Sir John Cope, Kt, the house still occupied by Cope senior and the other house and 18 a. (fn. 102) In 1721 after his father's death, Sir John conveyed the two houses and 18 a. to Sir Hans Sloane, who in 1733 conveyed them to his nephew, William Sloane; thereafter they passed as part of the Sloane Stanley estate. (fn. 103) The remaining parts of Mart's estate have not been traced.
BOEVEY ESTATE AND SHAFTESBURY HOUSE
William Arnold of Fulham held a 10-acre close on the south side of Fulham Road in 1607, of which 5 a. had a house and land held by Richard Stocke when it was sold in 1618 to William Blake. The remaining 5 a. on the west side were described as Stocke's orchard in 1618, but the property's location indicates that it became the site of the houses fronting Fulham Road in Little Chelsea with gardens of 2 a. and 3 a. respectively which Thomas Wood, citizen and merchant taylor of London, sold in 1634 to Johanna, widow of Andries Boeve (Andrew Boevey), a Huguenot merchant of London, for £1,090. (fn. 104) Johanna may have carried out some improvements to the property, which once had a datestone of 1635 on one of the houses. (fn. 105) She married as her second husband John Abell, but under their marriage settlement Abell was to have no claim to the property, which Johanna (d. 1644) conveyed to trustees in 1642 for the uses of her will. The Chelsea property was left in her will to her four daughters, Johanna, widow of Abraham Clarke, Mary Boevey, Elizabeth Lemott, widow, later wife of John Beex, and Ann, wife of David Bonnell. (fn. 106) Mary died unmarried. Elizabeth Beex mortgaged her share to Johanna Clarke c. 1656, and Johanna was said to have spent £4,000 in building work there by 1658, when she and the Bonnells sold the whole property, described in the fine as 4 messuages, 2 barns, 3 gardens, and 7 a., for £1,231 to William Boevey (d. 1661), the son of Andrew Boevey by his first wife and one of the trustees. William left it to his wife Anne for life and then to their son John, and in 1663 Anne married Sir James Smith (d. 1681).
The sale to William Boevey led to a series of law suits and appeals until the end of the 17th century by James son of Andrew and Johanna Boevey, excluded from the Chelsea property and notorious for his law-suits, (fn. 107) and by Elizabeth Beex (d. c. 1683) and her daughter Elizabeth and the latter's husband Thomas Lowndes, on the grounds that they still held the equity of redemption of two thirds of the property. (fn. 108) By 1687 the estate consisted of the principal house and garden of 3 acres occupied by Lady Smith, which had been assessed to Sir James Smith in 1666 and 1674 for 18 hearths, (fn. 109) flanked on one side by a house and garden of 2 acres occupied by Sir Robert Wiseman, and on the other by a house with a little garden plot of a quarter of an acre, which had been occupied by Elizabeth Beex, (fn. 110) neither of which can be identified with certainty in the hearth tax. Elizabeth Beex was awarded the redemption of the two thirds after the balance of the mortgage had been repaid, and her interest passed to her daughter. Anne Smith (d. 1698) and her son John Boevey were allotted the house and grounds she occupied, although it was noted that they were worth more than a third of the estate. The rest was allotted to Thomas and Elizabeth Lowndes on payment of £750. In 1687 the Lowndes brought another case against Anne and her son, alleging that they had entered the disputed premises, while the defendants countered that they had not been paid the £750. The estate was eventually divided by commissioners in 1698: Margaret the widow of James Boevey (d. 1696) and his heirs received a fifth of the estate consisting of the house and a garden 521 ft deep on the east side of Sir James Smith's former house; John Boevey was awarded the latter in the centre; and the house on the west side went to Thomas Lowndes. (fn. 111)
The central house, Sir James Smith's, was sold to Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd earl of Shaftesbury, who was in Chelsea by 1700. (fn. 112) According to Bowack, Shaftesbury built 'a very neat seat' there and c. 1705 was 'planting gardens'. He wanted the Chelsea house as a residence during parliamentary sittings, (fn. 113) but moved away in 1706 because smoke gave him asthma attacks, (fn. 114) and in 1710 he sold the house with garden plot, courtyard, great and little gardens, totalling 3 acres, newly-erected building and barns, stables, and outhouses, to Narcissus Luttrell (d. 1732). (fn. 115) It passed to Luttrell's second son Francis (d. 1740), (fn. 116) and then to his nephew, William Wynne, serjeant-at-law (d. 1765). Wynne was succeeded by his sons, Edward (d. 1784), a barrister, and the Revd Luttrell Wynne, who sold it in 1786 to William Virtue. Virtue sold it the same year to the parish of St George, Hanover Square, for use as a workhouse. (fn. 117)
The fine classical-looking building of four storeys and basement, with its pediment and flight of steps added by Shaftesbury, was demolished in 1856 and replaced by new workhouse buildings. (fn. 118)
The Lowndes's portion of the Boevey estate, on the west side of Shaftesbury House, consisted of at least two houses and a cottage by 1700. (fn. 119) The large house was occupied by Sir Robert Wiseman (d. 1684), dean of the Arches and Vicar General, (fn. 120) then Lady Wiseman, (fn. 121) followed by Thomas Lowndes himself, though the rector commented c. 1700 that the house was 'seldom inhabited'. (fn. 122) After Lowndes's death his only daughter and heir, Mary, conveyed the estate in 1710 to William Burchett of Fulham, whose widowed mother Elizabeth lived at Little Chelsea, (fn. 123) and whose family owned and leased several holdings in Chelsea and farmed there. (fn. 124) In 1721 Burchett leased the large house to Ralph Verney, 2nd Viscount Fermanagh (d. 1752), who was there until at least 1735, (fn. 125) and both he and his wife Catherine (d. 1748) died at Little Chelsea, (fn. 126) though they did not necessarily still occupy that house. It seems to have been occupied by the Revd Dr Doyley in 1750. Burchett himself occupied the second of the houses. (fn. 127)
CHELSEA FARM (CREMORNE HOUSE)
In 1745 Theophilus Hastings, 9th earl of Huntingdon, leased from Sir Hans Sloane a house and garden of 2 a. in Westfield, 1 a. meadow south of Lots Lane, and 60 rods on the east side of a newly-erected building belonging to Huntingdon, for 61 years at £33 a year. (fn. 128) He built a villa called Chelsea Farm at the southern end by Lots Lane, and after his death in 1746 his widow Selina, the Methodist enthusiast, lived there until 1750, when she sold the lease to Richard Wingfield, Viscount Powerscourt. (fn. 129) In 1751 Powerscourt obtained a new lease for 71 years from Sloane of the original property, together with another house, farm buildings, and 8 a. of farm and garden ground. Powerscourt died that year and in 1760 his widow Dorothy assigned the 71-year lease to Brownlow Cecil, earl of Exeter, who in 1761 obtained a 61-year lease from the heirs of the Warton estate of a rood of meadow in the angle by the Thames south of Hobgate. (fn. 130) This created a compact, rectangular estate stretching from the King's Road to the river, bounded on the east by Hob Lane and on the west by Ashburnham House estate. The revised and doubtless more accurate description in 1781 was of 9¼ acres of manorial demesne and a rood of Warton land. (fn. 131)
Exeter assigned both leases in 1765 to Sir Richard Lyttelton (d. 1770), and after the death of Lyttelton's widow Rachel in 1777 the leases passed to Rachel's son, Francis Egerton, duke of Bridgewater, who sold them in 1778 to Thomas Dawson, Lord Dartrey, later Viscount Cremorne. (fn. 132) In 1781 the owners of the manor granted a reversionary lease to Dartrey, to run for 29 years from 1822. (fn. 133) In 1785 he purchased the freehold of the rood from Warton's heirs, and also leased 13½ a. of the Sloane Stanley estate north of King's Road for 66 years. (fn. 134) Soon afterwards he employed James Wyatt to enlarge the house into a rambling rather than picturesquely planned building, subsequently called Cremorne House. (fn. 135) Lord Cremorne (d. 1813) left the estate to his American widow Philadelphia Hannah, friend of Queen Charlotte and local benefactor. On her death in 1826 the estate passed under her will to her cousin, Granville Penn, who after several unsuccessful attempts eventually sold it in 1830 to Henry Philip Hope for £2,990. It then consisted of the freehold rood and the residuary terms of leases of 29 years (from 1822), 40 years (from 1851), and 66 years (from 1785). (fn. 136)
In 1834 Henry Philip Hope sold the estate to John Raphael as trustee for Charles Random, self-styled Baron de Berenger, who ran the estate as a sports club: de Berenger was to have the rents and profits for life but subject to Beatrix Crowder receiving rents during her lifetime. (fn. 137) By 1840 de Berenger (d. 1845) was in debt, and he directed that the property was to be held in trust for Beatrix. (fn. 138) In 1845 Beatrix Crowder, of Cremorne House, and Robert Russell, one of de Berenger's creditors, granted an under-lease of the estate to John Wolsey, (fn. 139) who shortly afterwards assigned it to Thomas Bartlett Simpson, hotelkeeper, (fn. 140) and under the latter the Cremorne pleasure gardens were opened in the grounds. (fn. 141) In 1859 Simpson obtained leases of the neighbouring Ashburnham House and Ashburnham Cottage, (fn. 142) for expansion of the Gardens.
Simpson purchased the freehold of the Cremorne and Ashburnham estates from Lord Cadogan in 1866, together with the remaining Cadogan freehold as far as Chelsea Creek, consisting of land south of Lots Road, 24½ a. of garden ground, another acre of garden ground between Poole's Lane and the canal, and the site of the mills and other buildings in Poole's Lane, giving him an estate of c. 45 a. covering the whole of south-west Chelsea except for Lots meadow; it was clearly with a view to build, as part of the Ashburnham estate south of Lots Road was already divided into plots. (fn. 143) After Simpson's death in 1872 his widow Jane, who inherited under his will, increased the rate of building, selling some land, but mostly granting building leases to cover the whole area. (fn. 144) Cremorne Gardens, already in financial difficulties, had to close anyway in 1877 when Jane Simpson refused to renew the manager's tenancy, having decided to lay out the site for building. (fn. 145) Jane (d. 1893) bequeathed all her property by will to her sons as trustees to sell for the benefit of her seven daughters, but they retained the freehold, distributing the rental income instead. In 1915 the freehold was divided between the six surviving daughters, who had all died by 1956. The inheritance apparently passed out of the hands of the Simpson family in 1975 on the death of Thomas Bartlett Simpson's granddaughter. (fn. 146)
EARL OF LINCOLN'S OTHER LAND
Henry Fiennes, 2nd earl of Lincoln, or his son Thomas, 3rd earl, acquired several pieces of property in Chelsea in addition to the former estate of Thomas More, which was settled on the 2nd earl and Sir Arthur and Lady Elizabeth Gorges, (fn. 147) and those other properties passed instead to the 3rd and 4th earls. The 2nd earl bought Morehouse from the Roper family, which was the former Butts close with houses, barns, and garden which had been given to William Roper by Sir Thomas More. The Ropers assigned leases to Lincoln, and the freehold was probably obtained from the Crown. (fn. 148)
Thomas, 3rd earl of Lincoln, made two sales of property in Chelsea acquired either by himself or his father to Sir William Blake in 1618. (fn. 149) The first was of a close of 14 acres in Westfield, and another close of 5 acres with a house built on it in the tenure of Richard Stocke, which had once belonged to William Arnold of Fulham; the release from any claims under the late earl or Thomas's brothers suggest that the property had been bought by Henry, 2nd earl. (fn. 150) The other sale followed the grant of a licence to the 3rd earl, John Eldred, and Robert Henley allowing them to sell Chelsea ferry and landing place, 47 a. in Kensington, and Thamesmead in Chelsea containing 9 a., all held of the king in chief, which they then sold to Blake. (fn. 151) The ferry and Thamesmead had both been part of the manor of Chelsea and were probably granted by James I to the 3rd earl or his father, but the actual grants by the Crown, or by the Ropers to the Fiennes, have not been traced, and may been conducted through agents.
GORGES HOUSE AND PARSONAGE CLOSE
Gorges House, standing just west of Beaufort House, and close to its stables, is unlikely to have been built before 1617, as the site was part of the farm leased to Nicholas Holborne until that date. Sir Arthur is recorded as presenting the queen with a jewel in 1599 as she passed by 'the fair new building' on her way to the manor house, (fn. 152) but there is no indication which new building that might be, and the later Gorges House would not in any case have been on the queen's likely route. The house is depicted on the drawing by Kip c. 1700 as a half H-plan building facing west and with each range, apparently built of brick, crowned by rows of shaped gables. (fn. 153) By that date it fronted a lane leading from the Thames to the king's road, probably the way first mentioned in 1622 giving access to the coachhouse there. (fn. 154) Gorges House has also been suggested as the site of the medieval parsonage, but again it seems an unlikely and inconvenient place for the parsonage since there was no highway past it. (fn. 155)
When Sir Arthur sold the principal mansion on More's estate in 1620, he retained the right to burial in More's chapel, which thereafter passed with Gorges House. (fn. 156) Sir Arthur (d. 1625) was succeeded by his son Arthur (d. 1661), and grandson Arthur (d. 1668), who in 1664 sold Gorges House and its gardens, orchard, and small adjoining close, and the 9-acre field called Parsonage Close which stretched from King's Road to the Thames, and all the remaining Gorges property there including the land and four houses and gardens at the southern end of the later Milman's Street held by Thomas Rosse, and 3 acres of meadow in Westfield, to Thomas Pritchard and Richard Spoure who conveyed it all, initially in a mortgage in 1666 and then in a sale in 1670, to William Morgan, chancery clerk. (fn. 157) The house was occupied as a boarding school by 1676, run by Josias Priest from 1680 to c.1711. (fn. 158) William Morgan's son or grandson Richard sold the house and gardens before 1714 to Sir William Milman, and the grandson Richard sold Parsonage Close, the small close and other property in 1718 to Samuel Strode of London, barber surgeon. (fn. 159)
Milman left his property by will proved 1714 to his nieces, Elizabeth Palmer, and Diana, Robella, and Mary Milman. In 1726 the nieces and their husbands made an agreement for the building of houses called Millman Row, and granted building leases the following year for the individual houses, which stood on the site of Gorges House, presumably demolished by that date. (fn. 160)
Strode died c.1720, and in 1747 his sons William and Samuel surrendered their interest to their mother Anne, who conveyed the estate to Charles Simes and Samuel Meredith; (fn. 161) the latter divided up and sold off all the property in 1750. They sold 4½ a. with 23 houses, including the World's End and King's Arms public houses, to Richard Davis (or Davies) of Chelsea, shoemaker, which represented about half of Parsonage Close. (fn. 162) Richard Davis (d. c.1769) left his estate to his wife Sarah for life and then to trustees for his grand-niece, Mary Ann Jones, who in 1785 married Stephen Riley. Riley, by will proved 1816, left the estate to trustees including his widow; it was sold by auction in lots in 1823. (fn. 163) The other half of Parsonage Close, 5½ a. with four houses south of World's End Passage, was conveyed to George Norris (d. 1805), gardener, at the same time. Norris's estate was still in the hands of his son, George, also a gardener, in 1827. (fn. 164) They also sold to Norris a brick house with a courtyard and garden standing at the south-east corner of Milman's Street, and a wharf on the Thames opposite the Hole in the Wall public house. (fn. 165) The Hole in the Wall, by Milman's Street and facing the river, was conveyed to Charles Munden, (fn. 166) as well as two houses and gardens on the opposite side of Milman's Street. (fn. 167) The 3 acres in Westfield lying south of Lots Lane, used as osier ground in 1747, (fn. 168) was also sold in 1750 and passed to Benjamin Hoadley. (fn. 169)
John Vaughan, 3rd earl of Carbery, had bought 3½ acres of manorial demesne from Viscount Newhaven called Little Sweed Court by 1707, the year a conveyance to Carbery of just under half an acre of manorial demesne was confirmed by Act, part of a rationalization of boundaries connected with larger sales to the Royal Hospital. (fn. 170) The rector referred c.1704 to the land as 'lately-purchased', and to Carbery's newly-built house, which lay west of the later Walpole House estate. (fn. 171) Lord Newhaven also granted to Carbery in 1707 a passage and new gate into the garden ground which was part of the premises. The half H-plan red brick house, of two storeys above a tall basement, had a grand river front with giant pilasters, a central pediment and hipped roof with grouped chimneystacks; it resembled the main front of Ranelagh House. (fn. 172) A pedimented door led through the garden, laid out in broad terraces, to a gate in the riverside wall, to which was attached a summerhouse as at the neighbouring Walpole House. The north façade was much plainer.
Carbery died in 1713 and his only child Ann married Charles Powlett, marquis of Bolton, (fn. 173) who in 1714 sold the estate with its recently-built mansion house to Richard Gough, a London merchant knighted by 1716. (fn. 174) Gough also leased the adjoining Walpole House estate in 1714, where he built stables by the highway, (fn. 175) and enlarged his estate in 1716 by purchasing from the sister and heir of Mary Pinner 1½ a. on the west side, (fn. 176) which Mary had bought from John Greene. (fn. 177)
Sir Richard Gough (d. 1728) was succeeded by his son, Sir Henry, Bt (d. 1774), whose son Henry (d. 1798) took the name Gough-Calthorpe in 1788 when he inherited the estates of his maternal uncle; he was created Baron Calthorpe in 1796. (fn. 178) Gough House was occupied by 1780, and possibly 1777, by the Pemberton family, (fn. 179) and in 1790 the widow of Thomas Pemberton opened a girls' school there. (fn. 180) Lord Calthorpe was leasing land on the west side of the house and garden for building by 1792, (fn. 181) and by 1846 his property included Druces' wharf by the Thames. (fn. 182) Gough House remained largely unaltered until it was acquired by the MBW as part of the Embankment scheme and converted into the Victoria Hospital for Children in 1866; the house continued to exist among additional hospital buildings. (fn. 183) The MBW used some of the riverside land for the Embankment, and the southern part of Tite Street was constructed over much of the rest. (fn. 184)
HENRY SMITH CHARITY ESTATE
Henry Smith (d. 1628) of Wandsworth, salter, left £2,000 to trustees for the benefit of captives and his relatives. His trustees, who included Sir William Blake, purchased a small farm in the parishes of Kensington, Chelsea, and St Margaret Westminster, which in 1664 included a close called Quailfield of c. 14 a. lying partly in Kensington and partly in north-east Chelsea. (fn. 185) In 1772 the trustees for the charity obtained an Act enabling them to grant building leases of the estate. (fn. 186) Building on the Chelsea portion began in the late 1830s with St Saviour's church and Walton Place. Walton Street was built across the northern part of Quailfield c. 1847, but most of the close remained open land until the 1880s. The land was let to Mr Cattleugh in 1836 as nursery ground, and in 1874 was assigned to Mr Prince who used it as a playing field for his adjoining cricket club, but shortly afterwards Pont Street was extended across the field, and during the 1880s Lennox Gardens and adjoining mews were built. (fn. 187) In 1995 the Charity sold the whole estate to the Wellcome Trust. (fn. 188)
The medieval manor house, (fn. 189) which lay on the east side of Church Lane next to the parish church, with its gardens, orchards, and pasture enclosed by a pale, was leased in 1519 by William Lord Sandys and his feoffees to Thomas Keyle, citizen and mercer of London, for 40 years at £1 6s. 8d. a year, but excluding the barns and granary, commons, and the great court and all buildings of the manor outside the wall; Keyle later assigned the lease to another mercer, Richard Jervis (Gervoise, Jervoise) (d. 1556). (fn. 190) In 1557 the Crown granted the freehold of the house with its gardens, a dovecote, and adjoining 4-acre close to John Caryll to hold in free socage of the manor of East Greenwich. (fn. 191) Caryll sold the property in the same year to James Basset, whose widow Maria sold it for £120 in 1559 to Thomas Parrys, another London mercer. (fn. 192) It passed to Robert Chamberleyn and William Mounsey, both London ironmongers, who sold it in 1583-4 to Thomas Lawrence (d. 1593), citizen and goldsmith of London. (fn. 193) He devised his house at Chelsea with its grounds and gardens and an estate at Iver (Bucks.) to his wife Martha for life, and then to his son Thomas in tail with remainders to his other son John and to his daughters. (fn. 194) By 1621 the Chelsea property with 2 gardens, orchard, dovecote, and close of 4 acres, was in the possession of his son John (d. 1638), baronet from 1628. (fn. 195) He left it to his widow Grissell (d. 1675) until it had provided enough to pay portions to his younger children, (fn. 196) after which it passed with the baronetcy to Sir John's eldest son John (d. between 1680 and 1682), and grandson Thomas (d. 1714). (fn. 197)
The main house was occupied by Grissell until her death, and was also for a while occupied by the Dutch ambassador, who paid £60 a year for the house, gardens, and 2 acres. He built a stable, coachhouse, hayloft, and 'a very fair lodging chamber and a little closet', which afterwards burnt down. By 1665 the property consisted of the old manor house, described as a timber house 'of great antiquity and much wanting repair', (fn. 198) and in 1666 and 1674 the house, assessed at 13 hearths, was occupied by Lady Grissell Lawrence. The next property in the assessment for hearth tax had 19 hearths and was occupied by George Wilcocks in 1666 and Mr Blameber or Bomflur in 1674: (fn. 199) it suggests that the old manor house may have been divided, as there is no evidence that a new, larger house had been built on or near the estate, and it was probably that part which had been occupied by the Dutch ambassador. The estate also included three adjoining cottages on the north side of Lordship Yard, built on the close, and probably eight on the east side of Church Lane. (fn. 200) It is likely that Dame Grissell's daughter and executrix, Frances Lawrence, continued to live in the house until her death in 1685. (fn. 201) In 1687 Sir Thomas made a building agreement for the whole four-acre site, and the house was probably demolished about that time. (fn. 202)
Sir Thomas and his wife Anne petitioned the king in 1687 for letters under the privy seal, authorizing the justices of common pleas to allow the Lawrences' under-age son and heir John to suffer a common recovery, in order for them to make a long lease of their old and decayed messuage and a close adjoining in Chelsea; it was granted on condition that all consented and the uses were limited. (fn. 203) The estate was conveyed to trustees that year for the purpose of making building leases and giving Sir Thomas a life estate, (fn. 204) though a later settlement seems to have been made to give John a life estate with remainder in default of male heirs to his father. In 1705 Sir Thomas relinquished this right in the property by a sale to his son John for £200, (fn. 205) and the following year John sold three cottages and gardens on the north side of Lordship Yard to William Cheyne, Lord Newhaven. (fn. 206) John's wife had died in 1701, and he had apparently died without issue by 1710 when Margaret Lawrence, spinster, sold or mortgaged three houses in Lawrence Street, two facing the Thames, and seven in Church Lane, with ground used as a garden by Sir John Munden, who occupied one of the latter houses, before her marriage that year to Crew Offley, MP, of Wychnor (Staffs.); she is assumed to be the only surviving child of Sir Thomas and Anne Lawrence and was presumably her brother's heir. (fn. 207) In 1712 Crew and Margaret settled the estate consisting of 33 newly-erected houses, land not yet built on, and the lord's chapel in the parish church. (fn. 208) In 1717 Crew sold three new houses at the upper end of Church Lane to Adrian Westerband, bricklayer, who occupied one of them. (fn. 209) Crew (d. 1739) left the estate to his son John for three years, after which it was to pass to another son, Lawrence, and his heirs, with remainder to John. John inherited after Lawrence's death in 1749, (fn. 210) and in 1750-1 sold many of the houses, usually to the occupants, including all nine in Church Lane between Justice Walk and the church, others north of Justice Walk, the Cross Keys tavern in Lawrence Street with its garden which had become a yard with stable and coachhouses in Lawrence Street and Church Lane, and the five houses of Church Row. (fn. 211)
John Offley, MP, who still owned seven houses and the lord's chapel in 1780, (fn. 212) was a well-known gamester who died unmarried in 1784, devising all his remaining property to a cousin, Lieut.-Col. Francis Needham, to pay legacies to other relatives and annuities to his servants. (fn. 213) Needham sold the chapel and some houses to Henry Lewer, (fn. 214) whose descendant, Henry Furnival Lewer, conveyed the chapel in 1894 to the rector and other church trustees. (fn. 215) The land which formed Justice Walk and other property in Lawrence Street was sold c. 1788 to John Gregory of Westminster, builder. (fn. 216)
The principal farmhouse on More's estate, which lay south-west of the chief mansion in 1567, (fn. 217) has been identified with both the later Gorges House (fn. 218) and Lindsey House, (fn. 219) but the latter is more likely as it was called the 'Farmhouse' in 1618 when Sir Arthur and Lady Elizabeth Gorges settled it with its outbuildings, garden, orchard, wharf, and a lane on Sir Edward Cecil (d. 1638), Viscount Wimbledon from 1626, and his wife Diana for their lives and that of their daughter Anne, and then on the Gorges and their male heirs. (fn. 220) In 1622 the Gorges received a licence to make another settlement of the house, with its gardens, stables, yards, and coachhouses, all enclosed with a wall, with access for coaches to the house on the west side of the coachhouse, the wharf lying between the south side of the house and the Thames, and common of pasture, by conveying it to Griffin Robinson and Thomas Brooke in trust for their daughter Frances after the deaths of Edward and Diana Cecil. (fn. 221)
In 1638, however, Sir Francis Swift, perhaps another trustee, conveyed the property, described as a messuage, two barns, two stables, a wharf, two gardens, and two orchards, with common of pasture, to Sir Theodore Turquet de Mayerne, Baron of Albin, an eminent physician who attended the royal family from 1611, and his wife Isabella, apparently in fee. (fn. 222) Mayerne died in 1655, and his widow shortly afterwards; by will proved in 1655 she left the estate to trustees for their daughter Adriana. (fn. 223) In 1659, when Adriana married Armand de Coumonde, marquis de Montpolion, (fn. 224) she granted the capital mansion where she lived, still called the 'Farmhouse in Chelsea', to Peter Rousseau, a Frenchman, and Josiah Cuper to hold as trustees. Cuper died in 1660 and Adriana in 1661, and her husband's attempts to seize the property were challenged by Mayerne's relatives. In 1671 Rousseau's conveyance to John Snell and Richard Newman was opposed on the grounds that Rousseau was an alien; the grant, however, was confirmed by letters patent. (fn. 225)
Snell and Newman may have been acting as trustees for Robert Bertie, 3rd earl of Lindsey and Lord Great Chamberlain (d. 1701), who was in possession of the Farmhouse, wharf, and common of pasture in 1671 when he mortgaged it with a 200-year term. He settled the house at Chelsea and his personal estate c. 1687, probably on his 3rd wife Elizabeth and his youngest son Charles, who were also executors of his will: (fn. 226) they reassigned the mortgage in 1716. (fn. 227) By 1727 the estate was described as a messuage, courtyard, 3 gardens, wharf, one acre, and common of pasture. (fn. 228) Under his will proved 1730 Charles Bertie left the Chelsea house and contents to his trustees and executors to sell to pay debts with the residue going to his trust, (fn. 229) but instead they included the house with his other lands which they were holding for the minority of his nephew, Lord Albemarle Bertie, second son of the duke of Ancaster, to whom he had devised his real estate. In 1750-1 the trustees and Lord Albemarle conveyed the house, by then called Lindsey House, to trustees for Nikolaus Ludwig, count of Zinzendorf, patron of the Society of Unitas Fratrum or the Moravian Church. (fn. 230) Zinzendorf, who also took a 91-year lease of the Beaufort House estate from Sir Hans Sloane, (fn. 231) bought the property to make it the headquarters of the Moravian Church, and lived there, making considerable alterations especially to the roof, (fn. 232) but after he returned to the Continent in 1755 the projected plans for a Moravian settlement failed. Lindsey House was sold in 1774 to Charles Cole, carpenter, Thomas Bannister, bricklayer, and Thomas Skinner, auctioneer, (fn. 233) who divided the house into five, subsequently seven, dwellings and made other alterations; the house was then known as Lindsey Row. (fn. 234) Some houses were sold, (fn. 235) but Skinner and Bannister were still owners of four, one occupied by Lady Hamilton, in 1780, (fn. 236) and Bannister still had a house, coachhouse, stables and 'field behind' in 1795. (fn. 237)
The old house itself, to which pasturage rights for two cows and a heifer were attached, may have been pulled down by 1664: a transcription from court books of 1663-4 gives a rather ambiguous reference to a house losing its right of common when demolished until a new one is built, which may refer to Sir Theodore Mayerne's but in any case does not definitely say the old house had been demolished before that date. (fn. 238) It also leaves open the question of whether Lindsey's house was an entirely new structure or incorporated any part of the earlier building, occupied by Sir Theodore Mayerne 1639-55: some sources also suggest that Sir Theodore rebuilt the house. It is thought, perhaps based on a datestone of 1674, re-cut or copied and inserted over no. 100 Cheyne Walk, that the later Lindsey House was rebuilt in its present external form by the 3rd earl of Lindsey in 1674. (fn. 239) However, Lord Lindsey's mortgage deed of 1671 suggests that a house was standing on the site by that date, and probably a new one, so that Lindsey House would be the house of 26 hearths for which Lord Lindsey was assessed in 1674, and Lord Robartes in 1666. (fn. 240) The thickness of some walls and general plan arrangement suggest that the existing house might incorporate the form of an early-17th century house, but there is no fabric of that date. (fn. 241) By c. 1700 Lindsey House had the character of a magnificent town mansion on a relatively restricted site. In 1705 the house, then occupied by the countess dowager of Plymouth and her son Lord Windsor, was described as a 'fair handsome house . . . built in the modern manner' with a good frontage to the river. (fn. 242) By 1718 it was occupied by Francis, Lord Conway (d. 1732), c. 1727 by the duchess of Rutland, a niece of the countess of Lindsey, (fn. 243) and in 1735 by 'Lady Fitzwater'. (fn. 244) Although altered in the 1750s and 1770s and divided into separate dwellings, and altered again in the 19th century, it still survived in 2003, as nos 95-100 Cheyne Walk. (fn. 245)
Two parcels of meadow lying either side of the Westbourne, formerly attached to the lazar house in Knightsbridge and probably belonging to Westminster Abbey before the Dissolution, were leased by the Crown in the late 16th century to Thomas Poultney (or Pulteney), lessee of other lands in Westminster. (fn. 246) The parcels were included in a further Crown lease granted to Michael Poultney by 1619, and described in 1650 as Great Spittle Meadow in the parish of Chelsea, containing 11 a. 2 r., and Little Spittle Meadow containing 8 a. 2 r., in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields adjoining the former on the south-east. (fn. 247) They were confirmed in the possession of Sir William Poultney (d. 1691) in 1660, (fn. 248) and in 1668 Sir William was granted a reversionary lease for 34 years of his land in St James, Westminster, and the Spittlefields in return for surrendering land in Westminster for Green Park. (fn. 249)
In 1692 Sir William's executors sold the lease to William Lowndes, financier and politician, who became Secretary to the Treasury in 1695. By that date the Spittlefields also included a house built by Henry Swindell, to whom the property was leased for £30 a year. In 1693 Lowndes petitioned for a further lease of the property including the Spittlefields, and was granted a 99-year lease from 1723 at 13s. 4d. a year. (fn. 250) He petitioned in 1723 to purchase from the Crown the reversionary freehold of the property, and the Act was passed permitting this sale by the Crown. (fn. 251)
William died in 1724 and the Knightsbridge property passed to his 3rd surviving son Charles (d. 1783), and to the latter's son William (d. 1808), but from 1805 was tied up in a trust after the threatened bankruptcy of William's son William (d. 1831). (fn. 252) Building on the estate was planned in 1826 but the land in Chelsea was only finally built over, with Lowndes Square, in the 1830s and 1840s. (fn. 253)
The Society or Company of Apothecaries, which became an independent society in 1607, leased for 61 years 3½ acres in Eastfield belonging to the manorial demesne and lying between the highway to Westminster and the Thames, initially to build a barge-house for the company's state barge. (fn. 254) The Society built three barge-houses in the south-east corner of the site by 1675, the easternmost housing the Society's state barge; the other two, which formed a double house separate from the first, were leased to various City companies. (fn. 255) The remaining land was used by the members who were the proprietors of the Laboratory stock, to grow medicinal herbs, and plants were transferred there from the Society's garden at Westminster. A wall was built around the Chelsea Garden in 1674 at the expense of 14 of the Society's members plus £50 from the proprietors of the Laboratory stock in return for the privilege of growing herbs for their own use in the garden. (fn. 256) The garden soon became well known, visited by Paul Hermann, professor of Botany at Leiden University in 1683, John Evelyn, who described its heated conservatory in 1685, and Linnaeus in 1733. (fn. 257)
In 1722 Sir Hans Sloane conveyed the freehold to the Society in return for an annual rent charge of £5 and on certain conditions, chiefly the presentation of 50 different plants annually to the Royal Society until it had 2,000; in case of default Sloane's heirs were to hold the garden in trust for the Royal Society or Royal College of Physicians on similar terms. The rent charge does not appear to have been collected by Sloane or his successors, but by 1794 at least 2,550 specimen plants had been delivered. (fn. 258)
Under the Thames Embankment (Chelsea) Act of 1868, the Society of Apothecaries lost its river frontage to the new embankment but gained an additional 3,400 sq. ft of reclaimed land. (fn. 259) The physic garden remained the private research garden of the Apothecaries until the end of the 19th century, but because of financial difficulties the society contemplated giving it up. A local pressure group ensured the garden's survival and in 1899 its administration was transferred under a Charity Commission Scheme to the City Parochial Foundation, which ran it as a botanical research resource for various London colleges. In 1981 control passed to a newly-constituted independent charity which ran it as a research and educational resource, financing it by opening the gardens to the public, by letting part of the premises, and by using the gardens to house various public and private events. (fn. 260)
The Ranelagh estate, created out of land purchased for the Royal Hospital, in the early 18th century contained one of the most significant mansions in Chelsea. Richard Jones, 3rd Viscount Ranelagh, 1st earl of Ranelagh from 1677, was Paymaster-General of the Army and Treasurer of the Hospital from 1685 to 1702, responsible for the building and running of the Royal Hospital. (fn. 261) He designed a house for the Treasurer, which was built 1688-91 to the south-east of the Hospital buildings, (fn. 262) and was already planting orchards and walling gardens in 1690 when he obtained a lease of 7½ acres of the Hospital's lands for 61 years at £15 7s. 6d. a year to the Hospital. (fn. 263) In 1693 he leased another 15 acres for 5 8 years at £30 4s. 6d., (fn. 264) and in 1696 he obtained a 99-year lease of the total 22½ acres for £5 a year. (fn. 265) Pleading the loss of his Irish property in the late Irish war, he successfully petitioned for the freehold of his Chelsea estate so that he could make a family settlement, (fn. 266) and in 1698 the Crown granted to Ranelagh's trustees the freehold of the leased 22½ acres and an additional 5 acres of Crown land, called St James's Acres, adjoining it on the east side of the Westbourne in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, all held of the manor of East Greenwich in free socage on payment of £5 a year to the Royal Hospital. (fn. 267) The grounds, converted to orchards and formal tree-lined and walled gardens, formed the setting for the house, a substantial brick building of two storeys and attics with a pedimented centre, entered from the garden by stone steps. Inside it had a painted staircase and wainscotting of Norway oak. (fn. 268) In 1710 a visitor considered the estate, with its views over the Thames and towards London, to be 'one of the most costly and elegant in all England'. (fn. 269)
In 1695 Ranelagh made a settlement for the benefit of his two daughters, with the residue left as a charity for the Royal Hospital. (fn. 270) However, in 1702 the commissioners of accounts found his accounts as Paymaster-General were about 10 years in arrears; this together with large sums of money issued throughout the war led to rumours of embezzlement running into millions of pounds. He was expelled from the House of Commons and forced to resign his post on the grounds of misapplying public money, mainly as part of an attack by the Tories against the previous administration: no real evidence of misappropriation or embezzlement was put forward then or in a second report in 1704. He spent the rest of his life trying to settle his accounts, and died in 1712 leaving the large debt to the Exchequer hanging over his estate; (fn. 271) his attempts to sell Chelsea and his other property to pay off his debts were unsuccessful because of the fear that the Crown would seize them for the debt. (fn. 272) His daughter Catherine (d. 1740) continued to live in the house, but his debts were such that there was an unsuccessful attempt in 1717 to pass a bill to sell the estates. (fn. 273) Eventually in 1730 trustees for the Chelsea estate were appointed by Parliament, and the estate was sold in ten lots in 1733. (fn. 274) The largest section, 12¾ acres including Ranelagh House and the Avenue from the house to the highway at Ebury, was bought by Benjamin Timbrell, master builder, and lames Swift, (fn. 275) partly as building land, but most of it, including the house, was leased out to create Ranelagh pleasure gardens, which opened in 1742. (fn. 276) In 1742 the Royal Hospital used Ranelagh's legacy to purchase 4 acres of his former estate, which became the Governor's Meadow. (fn. 277)
Subscriptions were raised to finance the pleasure gardens, and after the bankruptcy of the remaining lessee of the grounds, 36 shares in the property were issued to the proprietors. (fn. 278) Sir Thomas Robinson (d. 1777), a wealthy London merchant who was instrumental in promoting the gardens, held several of the shares, and by 1767 had built a large house called Prospect Place to his own design to the east of the rotunda. (fn. 279) After his death his house and shares were bought by the proprietors, and by 1793 the freehold of almost all the pleasure gardens was vested in Tompkins Dew and Albany Wallis as trustees for the proprietors. (fn. 280) Ranelagh Gardens closed in 1803 and Ranelagh House and rotunda were demolished in 1805. (fn. 281) The Royal Hospital purchased another 6¾ acres of the Ranelagh estate, including the site of the 'place of amusement', from G.W. Bulkley in 1826. (fn. 282)
The Wilford/Brett Estate
One of the 36 proprietors of the Ranelagh estate in 1777 was Edward Wilford, who held a parcel of the former Ranelagh estate next to that of Robinson, as well as land adjoining Ranelagh on the east side of the parish boundary. (fn. 283) In 1788 Wilford conveyed his share of the Ranelagh estate to his son Richard, (fn. 284) who as General Richard Wilford purchased most of the remainder of the Ranelagh estate, demolished Prospect Place, and built another house for himself, three-storeyed with a 100-ft frontage, parapet roof, and cupola, on an adjacent site. The estate was broken up after his death in 1822, but part including his house passed to the Brett family, who may have been related. (fn. 285) The Revd Joseph George Brett (d. 1852) owned 10 acres on the eastern border of the Ranelagh estate in 1847. (fn. 286) Wilford's house was demolished to make way for Chelsea Bridge Road in 1854, (fn. 287) and in 1857 Brett's son, Wilford George Brett, and other trustees sold to the Royal Hospital 3 acres forming a strip along the south-west side of Chelsea Bridge Road, which was inclosed into the Hospital's grounds. (fn. 288)
Chelsea Barracks The War Office, which originally planned Chelsea Barracks to face the river at what is now the lower end of Ranelagh Gardens, built them instead in 1860-2 on the eastern section of the Brett estate, east of Chelsea Bridge Road. (fn. 289) In 1959-60 the barracks were demolished and replaced in 1962 with new accommodation, including a 700-ft long building for other ranks, and two 14-storeyed blocks of flats for married quarters, designed by Tripe and Wakeham under the direction of Sir Donald Gibson. (fn. 290)
THE ROYAL HOSPITAL ESTATE
King James's Theological College
A college of divinity to defend the protestant religion was promoted by Dr Matthew Sutcliffe, Dean of Exeter, and supported by James I, who laid the foundation stone of the college building in Chelsea in 1609, and granted a charter of incorporation in 1610. The king also endowed the college with the reversion of 27 acres of Chelsea manorial demesne in the south-east of the parish, consisting of Stonybridge Close (4 a. meadow), Thamesshot (20 a. arable), and 3 a. arable in Eastfield on the west side of Thamesshot, stretching westward from the Westbourne and lying on the south side of the road from Westminster to Chelsea. (fn. 291) The earl and countess of Nottingham, who then held the manor for the life of the countess and for a 40-year term after her death, surrendered their interest in the 27 acres in return for £7 10s. a year to the Crown as holder of Chelsea manor. (fn. 292) By the 1630s the college was being treated as one manorial lease among many, the provost paying £7 10s. a year for the college buildings and 6 acres around them, while the rest of the land was leased out to other farmers, (fn. 293) and the college and its lands were included in the conveyance of the lease for life and 40-year term of the manor by Monson and his wife to James, marquess of Hamilton, to whom the freehold of the manor was granted by the Crown in 1638. (fn. 294) In 1647, by which time it was claimed that no such college at Chelsea had been created, (fn. 295) there was a case in Chancery over title between Monson and his second wife and the provost, Samuel Wilkinson. (fn. 296) In 1651, when the Commonwealth authorities were considering using the college buildings to house prisoners, they conceded Wilkinson's claim, (fn. 297) but when the estate was surveyed the next year, the buildings and the 27 acres were deemed to be in the possession of the Commonwealth because the college was discontinued. (fn. 298) Only one wing of the proposed college buildings had ever been built, measuring 130 ft by 33 ft in 1652. (fn. 299)
At the Restoration the college's farmland was listed by the Hamilton estate as part of the property from which payment of Monson's mortgage was taken. The college itself, described as a large house, and its 6-acre grounds were in hand, valued at £1,000. (fn. 300) Among various claimants to the buildings was John Sutcliffe, nephew of the first provost, who was granted the property, with power to sell, in 1664, (fn. 301) but the grant was stopped when the Royal Society petitioned for the college. (fn. 302) The grant to the Royal Society of the lands granted by James I to the College was authorized in 1666, and passed in 1668, to be held in socage of the manor of East Greenwich. (fn. 303) Hamilton's heirs in 1667 assigned their rights in the lease of Chelsea College and 5 acres for the residue of the 40-year lease and all other claims to their agent, Andrew Cole, who in 1668 assigned all interests to the Royal Society. (fn. 304) The royal grant was formally confirmed in March 1669, with the proviso that the Society should not sell or alienate the lands. (fn. 305)
The Royal Hospital
In 1682 the Royal Society sold the estate back to the king for his new Royal Hospital. (fn. 306) The Hospital was planned on a much more lavish scale than the college, however, with a building 240 feet long being built by early 1683, (fn. 307) and more land was needed, especially to give a frontage to the river. Several purchases of manorial demesne were made from Charles Cheyne: 21 a., probably Thamesmead, between the original 27 a. and the river in 1682; (fn. 308) 6 a. known as Sweed or Swede Court on the west side of the college site in 1686; (fn. 309) 13 a. of Eastfield on the north side of the Hospital, which formed Burton's Court, in 1687. (fn. 310) The Crown also bought 10 a. which formed the detached triangle of Kensington parish by the Thames from William Greene of Westminster in 1685: (fn. 311) 1 r. 26 p. of that was conveyed to Cheyne to tidy up the boundaries. (fn. 312) In 1687 a two- or three-acre parcel of meadow belonging to the manor of Ebury (Westm.) was purchased from Sir Thomas Grosvenor, Bt, (fn. 313) and a small piece of glebe was leased to the Hospital, probably by 1692, for the Royal Avenue. (fn. 314) Charles Cheyne died before a proper conveyance was made, but an Act of 1707 confirmed the purchases and authorized final payment to William Cheyne, making some boundary adjustments in which just under half an acre was transferred to the earl of Carbery. (fn. 315)
The Crown granted leases in 1690 of parts of the Hospital's estate not required for the building and grounds. On the west side 4½ a. were leased for the house and grounds which became Walpole House, while on the south-east side 7½ a. were leased for Ranelagh House, to which another 15 a. was added in 1693. The Walpole House land was returned to the uses of the Hospital in 1808 and 1889, but the freehold of the Ranelagh land was granted away in 1698. (fn. 316) In 1742 the Commissioners of the Hospital repurchased 4 a. of the Ranelagh land, lying between the Hospital and the river and known as Governor's Meadow, (fn. 317) another 6¾ a., including the site of the rotunda, in 1826, and 3 a. adjoining Chelsea Bridge Road in 1857. (fn. 318) Some 4¾ a. east of the parish boundary in the parish of St George's Hanover Square, were purchased for the Hospital from the Grand Waterworks Company in 1843, and another 3 a. from the Royal Commissioners of Works and Buildings in 1858, including land reclaimed from the river during the building of the Embankment. (fn. 319)
Initially the Royal Hospital was managed by commissioners who included the Paymaster-General, and from 1702 an independent Board of Commissioners was appointed by letters patent, who managed not only the Hospital but all army pensions. (fn. 320) Management of the Hospital property passed on the abolition of the office of Clerk of Works in 1837 to the Office of Works, (fn. 321) and then by 1847 to the Commissioners of the Queen's Woods, Forests and Land Revenues, whence it was transferred by Act in 1875 to the Commissioners of Chelsea Hospital. (fn. 322) By 1872 the Royal Hospital estate totalled 61¼ a., including 3½ a. leased for Gordon House, 1½ a. outside the parish boundary also leased out, and 6¾ a. outside the parish boundary which formed the south-east corner of the estate in the angle formed by Chelsea Bridge Road and Chelsea Embankment. (fn. 323) In 1947 the Hospital bought the freehold of the small piece of glebe at Royal Avenue. (fn. 324)
In 1690 the Crown granted to William Jephson, Secretary to the Treasury, a 61-year lease of 4½ a. of Great Sweed Court, on the west side of the Hospital's outbuildings, containing an old brick tenement which Jephson intended demolishing and replacing with a house and garden. (fn. 325) He died the following year before he could build, and left the estate to his widow Mary, who in 1696 with her second husband Sir John Awbrey, Bt, assigned the residue of the lease to Charles Hopson, Deputy Clerk of Works. Hopson may have been acting on behalf of Edward Russell, earl of Orford, as he assigned the lease to him, and Orford's ownership was later confirmed by an Act of 1708. (fn. 326) When Orford acquired the estate there was no house on it, and he requested permission c. 1696 to occupy Hopson's rooms in the south-west corner of the stables, which bordered the Jephson lease. He enlarged the accommodation at the Hospital's expense, with additional rooms, garrets, coachhouses, and basement, and laid out a garden on the 4½ a. with a gazebo on the riverbank. (fn. 327) In 1703 the lodgings which Orford had adapted were given to the new Treasurer of the Hospital, the previous Treasurer's house having been retained by Lord Ranelagh. Orford tried to regain them with a lease in 1708, claiming that the land he had acquired from Jephson's executors was too small for a house, but the Board refused, and the house, now known as the Treasurer's Lodgings, passed to Robert Walpole in 1714 on his appointment as Paymaster-General. Walpole began making improvements, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, building new coachhouses and stables and enlarging the small walled garden. (fn. 328)
Having failed to get his lodgings back, in 1714 Orford granted the remaining years he held in the Jephson lease to Richard Gough, (fn. 329) who had just acquired the mansion and grounds adjoining to the west, (fn. 330) and who paid the rent to the Hospital until 1719. (fn. 331) Walpole, having obtained a lease of the Treasurer's Lodgings, is said to have persuaded Gough to join with him in getting Orford to assign the Crown lease to them both, with Walpole taking possession of most of the 4½ a., leaving to Gough some stables he had built near the highway and Lord Orford's gazebo near the river. (fn. 332) Walpole obtained a further Crown lease of the estate and of the Treasurer's lodgings for 29 years after the expiry, in 1751, of the original term, as well as leases of some of the Hospital's outbuildings in the stable yard. (fn. 333) The latter were necessary to allow major extensions to be made to the Treasurer's Lodgings 1720-3, with a new wing making the whole building Z-shaped, and it was subsequently known as Walpole House. Walpole again employed Vanbrugh for the alterations and to design garden buildings, including an octagon where Walpole entertained royalty in 1729. (fn. 334) Walpole also leased 16 a. on the south side of King's Road 1724-5, (fn. 335) abutting west on Robinson's Lane (Flood Street).
In 1742 Walpole (d. 1745) was created earl of Orford and retired to Houghton (Norf.); (fn. 336) the Chelsea house was occupied by the duke of Newcastle. In 1749 Walpole House estate was leased by the Crown for 50 years to John Murray, earl of Dunmore (d. 1752), at the nomination of Robert Walpole, 3rd earl of Orford; (fn. 337) there was an adjustment of boundaries with the Royal Hospital at the same time. After Dunmore's death his executors let the house to Viscount Palmerston from 1754 to 1757, and to the duke of Norfolk in 1758. In 1759 they sold the leasehold estate for £2,700 to George Aufrere, a London merchant and art connoisseur, who in 1760 obtained from the Crown an additional 10-year lease to run from 1799, and another in 1776 for 15 years from 1810; (fn. 338) he also leased 16½ a. of manorial demesne. (fn. 339) In 1796 he assigned the leases of Walpole House to his son-in-law, Charles Anderson-Pelham, Lord Yarborough, who granted Aufrere and his wife a life interest. (fn. 340) In 1808 Yarborough sold the outstanding leases back to the Crown so that the Hospital could be given full possession. (fn. 341)
The Royal Hospital retained the northern part of the estate, which was used for additional buildings including a new infirmary, built 1808-12 by Sir John Soane, Clerk of Works, and incorporating part of Walpole House. The building was extended in 1868-9, and only that later part survived bombing in 1941; by 1980 it was the site of the National Army Museum. (fn. 342)
Soane's original plans for the infirmary incorporated the whole of the 4½ a. of Walpole House, but had to be altered when in 1810 a Crown lease was granted of 3½ a. at the southern end of the estate to Lieut.-Col. James Willoughby Gordon, who had already commissioned Thomas Leverton to build Gordon House there: the yellow-brick house was used for the entertainment of grandees, including the Tsar of Russia, in 1814, and additions were made in 1825 and in 1931-2. (fn. 343) The lease lapsed in 1889, and c. 1893 the house became a home for the Hospital's infirmary nurses. (fn. 344)
SHREWSBURY OR ALSTON HOUSE
Shrewsbury House, a courtyard building with 1½ acres of grounds, may have been built well before the 16th century: illustrations of the house made shortly before its demolition suggest an earlier building, perhaps timber framed, which was faced with brick in the 16th century and had subsequent alterations. (fn. 345) The owners were freeholders of Chelsea manor in the 16th century and had commoning rights, suggesting a medieval origin for the holding. (fn. 346) In the early 16th century the house belonged to George Talbot, 4th earl of Shrewsbury (d. 1538), steward of the household of Henry VIII, and he occasionally resided there; his son Richard was born in Chelsea in 1519. (fn. 347) George was succeeded by his son, Francis (d. 1560), 5th earl, who was listed among the freeholders of Chelsea in 1543, (fn. 348) and his entry into Chelsea accompanied by 140 horse was described in 1551. (fn. 349) His son George (d. 1590), 6th earl, dated letters from Chelsea in the 1580s which refer to his longing to be in the country, and make it clear he was only in Chelsea because of his duties at court. (fn. 350) Under a settlement the house passed at his death to his formidable widow Elizabeth (Bess of Hardwick), (fn. 351) and when she died in 1608 it passed under her will to her son William Cavendish (d. 1626), created earl of Devonshire in 1618. (fn. 352) His wife Elizabeth wrote to Lionel Cranfield in 1624 of her affection for the friends she had in Chelsea, (fn. 353) and she lived there after her husband's death until her own in 1643. (fn. 354)
The house was acquired by a London merchant, Joseph Alston, presumably by 1659 when the family is mentioned in the parish registers; (fn. 355) it is not known whether there was a connection with the Alstons who were trustees of the manor in the 1640s. (fn. 356) When Joseph's son Joseph married in 1662 the Chelsea property was described in the settlement as the mansion house where the elder Joseph lived and three other houses near it, (fn. 357) and Alston was assessed in 1666 for 21 hearths and as the owner of an empty house of 6 hearths. (fn. 358) He had pasturage rights in 1664 and 1674. (fn. 359) By 1674 the house was apparently divided, with Alston and 'Esquire Maynard' next to him assessed at 16 hearths each in addition to the smaller house, now 8 hearths. (fn. 360) In 1684 Alston House, as it was now usually called, was still occupied as two dwellings, with part still the residence of the Alstons and the other part, in which Lady Bateman had once lived, occupied by Banaster Maynard for a rent of £100 a year. Sir Joseph, granted a baronetcy in 1681, by will proved 1688 left his 'great house at Chelsea' to his son Joseph on condition he allow Sir Joseph's second wife Anne to continue living there, with the use of a stable, hayloft, and coachhouse: his wife received 2 coaches and 2 horses as well as use of Alston's plate. (fn. 361) Anne (d. 1696) was very highly assessed on her personal estate in Chelsea in 1694, (fn. 362) where she was resident when she wrote her will. (fn. 363)
The property was in the possession of William Wollaston, clerk, c.1700 who with Anthony Roch conveyed it to Robert Butler. (fn. 364) Butler by will proved 1712 left it to his wife Martha (d. 1739) for life, and then to his son Edward. (fn. 365) Edward Butler, president of Magdalen College Oxford, in 1739 leased the whole building to two men, one of whom was occupying part, for 7 years with covenants to make substantial repairs to brickwork, tiled floors, and window frames. A plan of the 1½-acre estate shows the buildings on three sides of the courtyard, with the gateway, a butcher's shop, and slaughter house on the south side facing the river; on the north side of the house were gardens stretching north to the glebe, and a long narrow garden stretched eastwards from the northern end of the garden, behind the house and garden of the bishop of Winchester. (fn. 366) On Butler's death in 1745 the property passed to his daughter and heir Mary, who in 1747 married Philip Herbert (d. 1749), MP. In 1765 she married her first cousin Benjamin Tate, (fn. 367) who was taxed in 1780 for four properties in Chelsea, one of them large. (fn. 368) Mary died in 1798 without children, and the Chelsea estate together with the Tate estates she had inherited through her mother, Mary Tate (d. 1730), passed to George Tate, Benjamin's son by his first marriage. George died in 1822 devising his property in Chelsea and Brompton, including 9 acres near Blacklands, to his only child Mary for life, and then to his stepson Richard Moore and his children, the Revd John FitzMoore Halsey, Mary Bridget Moore, Charlotte Selina Hobart, Mary Jane Moore, and Edward FitzMoore. Mary Tate assigned her life interest to the Moore family in 1829. (fn. 369)
From the late 17th century the house had a variety of occupants, and was apparently divided into two dwellings by 1674. After Lady Alston's death it was apparently no longer occupied by its owners. From 1695 to 1713 it was occupied as a school run by Robert Woodcock (d. 1710) and his wife Deborah, (fn. 370) who were probably in residence in part of the house before Lady Alston died, as Robert was a witness to her will in April 1694. (fn. 371) In 1771 it was converted into a distillery, (fn. 372) and later housed a paper factory. (fn. 373) The house was pulled down and the materials sold in 1813 by the 'speculating builder' to whom George Tate presumably sold it. (fn. 374) The house was described c.1810 as an irregular brick building surrounding three sides of a quadrangle, with one room 120 ft long, carved oak wainscotting, panels painted with portraits, and a room which had been an oratory. (fn. 375) Remnants of Jacobean panelling supposedly belonging to the west wing of the house survived until 1934, embedded in nos 43-45 Cheyne Walk including Terrey's shop, which were either built on the site of a wing of the mansion, or possibly incorporated the original walls of the wing. (fn. 376) Later building revealed old brickwork, including splayed window surrounds and Tudor boundary walls. (fn. 377)
SLOANE STANLEY ESTATE
William Roper, listed as a free tenant of the manor in 1543, (fn. 378) in 15 47 was said to hold for life a house and close called Butts close, with houses built there, a barn, and garden, rent-free by gift of his father-in-law Sir Thomas More. The property, called the Morehouse in 1617, was supposed to revert to More's main estate after Roper's death, (fn. 379) in 1578, but it was not specified in the grant by Cecil to Henry Fiennes, 2nd earl of Lincoln, in 1599. The Roper family seem to have continued to have at least a leasehold interest in it: Lord Lincoln was said to have bought it from 'Mr Roper', (fn. 380) and Anthony and Henry Roper, presumably descendants of William and Margaret, assigned leases to the earl. It passed with Lincoln's principal estates to his heir Thomas, 3rd earl (d. 1619), who in 1617 sold the Morehouse to Sir John Danvers, to whom the Roper leases were also assigned. The estate comprised the house and a two-acre close of pasture with barns, stables, and other buildings. (fn. 381) Some difficulty ensued between Danvers, Sir Arthur Gorges, and Lincoln's heirs over a garden plot occupied with Danvers House, which Danvers subsequently found belonged to Gorges as part of More's estate; (fn. 382) in 1623 Theophilus, 4th earl of Lincoln, confirmed the sale to Danvers but minus the garden plot. (fn. 383)
According to Aubrey, Danvers 'had a very fine fancy, which lay (chiefly) for gardens and architecture': he had travelled in Italy and was credited with introducing Italian-style gardens to England. (fn. 384) John Thorpe produced drawings of a house on the property, which he probably designed. (fn. 385) Danvers House was a compact villa in Italian mannerist style, planned on an axis of hall and staircase; its deep cellars were uncovered when Crosby Hall was transferred to the site in 1909. The English sculptor, Nicholas Stone, was working on statues for the garden in 1622. (fn. 386) Pepys, who visited in 1661, described Danvers House as 'the prettiest contrived house that ever I saw in my life'. (fn. 387)
In 1652 Danvers, who had been deeply in debt for many years, settled some lands on trustees to pay his debts and the rest on his son Henry, and died in 1655 leaving his personal estate to his wife and infant son John. Henry, who was heir to his uncle, the earl of Danby, died before his father, in November 1654, (fn. 388) and left both the lands settled on him and those to which he was heir to his sister Anne and her heirs, and also appointed her as executrix. (fn. 389) After Sir John's death, however, there may have been a further settlement of lands, though Anne still received the Chelsea estate. (fn. 390) Anne died in 1659 a few months after her husband, Sir Henry Lee, Bt, leaving her lands and leases to trustees, and her two infant children, Eleanor and Anne, and her goods to the care of her mother-in-law Anne, countess of Rochester. (fn. 391) In 1661 the estate, described as the house where Danvers had lived, then occupied by John Robartes, Lord Robartes and later earl of Radnor (d. 1685), and another house held by Richard Gilford and then Francis Gilford, (fn. 392) was forfeited to the Crown because Danvers had been a regicide. (fn. 393) The estates were still held by the Crown in 1670, (fn. 394) but seem to have been restored to the Lee heiresses by 1675. (fn. 395) In 1666 Lord Robartes occupied a house of 26 hearths in Chelsea, but its location in the tax assessment between Buckingham (Beaufort) House and Gorges House makes that more likely to have been Lindsey House. (fn. 396) However, the location in the list of the 48-hearth house occupied in 1666 by Charles Rich, 4th earl of Warwick, former brother-in-law and cousin by marriage of Robartes, and in 1674 by the Lord Chancellor (Sir Heneage Finch), makes that more likely to be Danvers House; it was the second largest house in Chelsea. (fn. 397) Lord Robartes continued to be named as in possession of the house, (fn. 398) and held a lease of the property, which was referred to as Lord Robartes' house in the 1670s, but he was not necessarily the occupant during that period. In 1673 the king and court were entertained there by the duke of Monmouth, and by the French ambassador. (fn. 399)
In 1668 the trustees for Anne Lee's daughters acquired 5 acres of the Buckingham House estate called Dovehouse or Dovecote Close, which lay north of Danvers House and gardens, and in 1670 they also bought the 4O-acre Chelsea Park. (fn. 400) In 1672 Eleanor (d. 1691) married James Bertie, Lord Norreys or Norris, younger son of the earl of Lindsey and created earl of Abingdon in 1682, and in 1673 Anne (d. 1685) married Thomas Wharton (d. 1715), Lord Wharton, created earl of Wharton in 1706 and marquess of Wharton in 1715, (fn. 401) In 1681 the sisters and their husbands agreed to the equal partition of all their inherited estates and in 1685 the Chelsea property, consisting of Danvers House, Dovehouse Close, and Chelsea Park, was allotted to Anne Wharton for life with remainder to her husband. (fn. 402) Danvers House was later demolished and Wharton granted building leases for the site on which the southern end of Danvers Street was begun in 1696. (fn. 403) In 1717 the devisees of Thomas, marquess of Wharton, and Montagu Bertie, earl of Abingdon, the heirs of the Lee sisters, conveyed their interests in the Danvers estate to Sir Hans Sloane; the estate was described as the site of the mansion, its gardens, the site of former stables and coachway from Church Lane, houses held by Francis Gilford and Thomas Gilbanck or others, waste 60 ft by 40 ft enclosed by a brick wall and adjoining the Thames between the horseferry and the above houses, 11 brick houses in the tenure of Benjamin Stallwood in Danvers Street and facing the river, the 5-acre Dovehouse Close and the 40-acre Park both enclosed with brick walls. (fn. 404) The estate included pews in the parish church in 1719. (fn. 405)
A series of conveyances of the estate were made from 1719 between Sir Hans and his nephew, William Sloane junior (d. 1767) (fn. 406) who had bought up the building leases on the property. (fn. 407) Sir Hans settled it in 1726 to give his brother, William Sloane senior, the right to charge the lands with portions for his younger children, but in 1733 it was resettled on William Sloane junior, reserving the us. quitrent owing to Sir Hans as owner of Chelsea manor. In 1721 William Sloane or Sir Hans Sloane bought 2 houses at Little Chelsea and 18 a. stretching southwards to King's Road from Sir John Cope, (fn. 408) and they were also settled in 1733 on William Sloane. (fn. 409) William Sloane's estate passed to his son Hans (d. 1827), who added the name Stanley in 1821 after the death of Sarah D'Oyley, when he inherited Paultons (Hants.) and other property under the will of Hans Stanley (d. 1780). (fn. 410) The Sloane Stanley estates descended in direct male line to William (d. 1870), William Hans (d. 1879), Hans (d. 1888), and Roger Cyril Hans (d. 1944), who was succeeded by his daughters, Lavender Elizabeth, wife of John Everett, and Diana, wife of Elwyn Villiers Rhys. (fn. 411)
STANLEY HOUSE OR GROVE
Dudley, widow of Sir Robert Lane, by 1630 had bought from her mother, Lady Elizabeth Gorges, a little house called the Brickills with 6 acres, of which 4 acres had been inclosed from Westfield and were subject to lammas grazing rights; in 1630 Lady Lane agreed to give a rent of 20s. a year forever to the poor if she was permitted by the freeholders of Chelsea to enclose 3 acres of the lammas lands. She and her mother were presented to the Privy Council for inclosing the ground, which had been converted to gardens, but were supported by the inhabitants of Chelsea. Lady Lane also held another 11 a. inclosed from Westfield. (fn. 412) The property was the site of the later Stanley House, standing just north of King's Road at the western end of the parish. Later in 1630 Lady Lane sold to her mother a small house and half an acre adjoining it where pits had been dug, and one acre of pasture on the south side of Fulham Road, with access through Lady Lane's land from King's Road to the premises; and in 1631 she sold to her 220 rods of land recently converted into an orchard, also lying on the south side of Fulham Road and next to Lady Elizabeth's land; (fn. 413) both transactions are probably of parts of the Brickills property.
Lady Lane may have sold all of the Brickills back to her mother, as in 1637 Lady Elizabeth Gorges leased the Brickills and 5 acres to another daughter, Elizabeth widow of Sir Robert Stanley, for 31 years for payment of £20 a year to James Stanley, Elizabeth's second son. (fn. 414) Lady Stanley may have bought the freehold from her mother before 1643, when she was assessed in Chelsea for £60. (fn. 415) Lady Elizabeth Gorges, by will dated 1643, left her other property in Chelsea for the benefit of the children of her eldest son Arthur, on condition he did not try to claim the Brickills. (fn. 416) By 1646 Lady Stanley (d. 1675) had married her cousin Theophilus Fiennes, 4th earl of Lincoln (d. 1667), (fn. 417) and as Lady Lincoln she was assessed for 11 hearths in 1666, (fn. 418) being listed just before houses at Little Chelsea; she presumably lived in the house on the Brickills. The estate was inherited by her son, Sir Charles Stanley (d. 1676), and then successively by his sons Clinton (d. 1682) and William (d. 1691). (fn. 419)
The estate was described in the 1690s as a capital messuage and 7 acres with barns, stables, gardens and orchards. At the request of William Stanley, Thomas Panton had spent £2,000 by 1683 in rebuilding the house, later known as Stanley House, which was unfinished at William Stanley's death. Stanley married Panton's sister Dorothy, but she was presumably dead by 1691 when he made his will leaving the estate to his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Panton (d. 1700), who married Henry Arundell (d. 1726), 5th Lord Arundell of Wardour. (fn. 420) From 1703 to 1726 the house was occupied by Joseph Collins, (fn. 421) and from 1727 to 1751 by Thomas Arundell, a younger son of Lord Arundell, who seems to have been the owner. (fn. 422) The subsequent rate-payers for the house, John Jackson 1754-72, Mrs Frances Southwell 1773-5, and Miss Mary Southwell 1777, were probably also the owners. (fn. 423) Miss Southwell sold Stanley House in 1777 to the countess of Strathmore (d. 1800), an enthusiastic botanist who added conservatories to the house and raised exotics which were destroyed by her barbaric husband Andrew Robinson Bowes. After the marriage broke up the countess sold Stanley Grove in 1780 to Lewis Lochie or Lochée, founder of a military academy at Little Chelsea and a military adventurer who was executed by the Austrians in 1791. (fn. 424)
The estate was acquired c. 1815 by William Hamilton, the English envoy at Naples, who had accompanied Lord Elgin to Greece and who built a large hall on the east side of the house to accommodate his antique casts, mentioned by Fanny Burney, who visited in 1821. In 1841 Hamilton sold the estate to the National Society, which built St Mark's College in the grounds and used Stanley House as the principal's residence. (fn. 425) When the college moved to Plymouth in 1973 the GLC purchased the estate, which was subsequently sold to Chelsea College. (fn. 426) After that college left, the buildings were threatened with demolition, but from c. 1999 the college buildings were converted into residential accommodation, called Kings Chelsea, with the grove on the east side being kept for public access. (fn. 427)
Stanley House, 'in excellent condition and but little altered' c. 1892, (fn. 428) had been considerably altered and was in a poor state of repair by 1991 when it was under threat of conversion to commercial offices. The square house, with characteristics of the 1680s when it was rebuilt, had two principal floors of equal grandeur linked by a spacious staircase, a hipped roof and dormer windows, surmounted by a leaded flat roof with a balustrade and cupola, and early 18th-century internal panelling. (fn. 429) It was exhaustively renovated by the developers of the estate c.2000, but no plans for its use were available in 2002.
In 1650 and 1651 Sir Michael Warton of Beverley (Yorks.) bought a considerable part of the Gorges estate in Chelsea and Kensington, (fn. 430) including in Chelsea 53½ a. arable and 3½ a. and 28 lots (c.7 a.) of meadow, mostly in Little Chelsea, Westfield, and Eastfield near Chelsea common; it was occupied by five lessees, two of whom had farmhouses in Little Chelsea. (fn. 431) After Sir Michael's death in 1655 his estates passed to his son Michael (d. 1688), and then to the latter's son Sir Michael (d. 1725). Sir Michael left his estates to his heirs, his three sisters Elizabeth (d. 1726), wife of Charles Pelham, Mary (d. c. 1727), wife of Sir James Pennyman, Bt, and Susannah (d. 1737), wife of Sir John Newton, Bt; he appointed his nephew Michael Newton as his executor. (fn. 432) In 1775 an Act was passed for the partition of the Warton estates in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex and the City of London among the grandsons of the sisters, Charles Anderson-Pelham (d. 1823), later Lord Yarborough, Sir James Pennyman, Bt (d. 1808), and Michael Newton. (fn. 433)
Newton's portion included the 3½-acre close called Queen's Elm Field, at the junction of Upper Church Lane and Fulham Road, occupied by John Rubergall, gardener, and sold for building in 1792; the western portion became the Jews' burial ground. (fn. 434) Pennyman's portion, including property in Fulham, Kensington, and Holborn, with 1½ a. meadow by the Thames in Chelsea, was sold by auction in 1780. (fn. 435) The Kensington property was acquired in 1812 by James Gunter (d. 1819), confectioner of Berkeley Square, (fn. 436) who had made a fortune as a fashionable pastrycook in Mayfair. He built up a substantial estate at Earl's Court (Kens.), where he lived and which was the centre of his family's successful market gardening business. (fn. 437) In 1817 he also acquired the Warton land which lay between Stanley House and Little Chelsea and stretched from Fulham Road to King's Road. (fn. 438) The estate, entailed under his will, passed to his son Robert (d. 1852), who in 1847 had 19 acres of unbuilt land at Little Chelsea. (fn. 439) He was succeeded by his son Robert, later Sir Robert Gunter, Bt (d. 1905), the latter's son Sir Robert Benyon Nevill Gunter, Bt (d. 1917), and his son Sir Ronald Vernon Gunter, Bt. (fn. 440) The estate was sold off gradually: land forming the eastern part of St Mark's College chapel was sold to the National Society in 1854, (fn. 441) many houses and parcels of land were sold by auction in 1857, including nos 429-35 Fulham Road (formerly nos 1-4 Hollywood Place), and Week's Nursery in King's Road, (fn. 442) and part of Fernshaw Road (formerly Maude Grove) in 1918. (fn. 443)