Survey of London: Volume 10, St. Margaret, Westminster, Part I: Queen Anne's Gate Area. Originally published by [s.n.], [s.l.], 1926.
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L.—No. 21 QUEEN ANNE'S GATE: (Formerly No. 5 Queen Square).
The freehold is the property of the Queen Anne's Gate Syndicate, No. 2, Ltd.
On 25th November, 1726, the South Sea Company Trustees sold (fn. n1) to John Haselwood several houses in Queen Square, including (for £810) that "now or late in the occupation of Samuel Mason, Esq., being the third house on the south side." It is described as containing in front 35 feet 11 inches, in depth 31 feet 1 inch, three storeys high, with two rooms and two large closets on each floor, kitchen, washhouse and other conveniences below stairs, and garrets in the roof, including two vaults under the square, a small yard behind and an iron railing in front.
These premises have undergone external alterations which have materially affected the original character of the front. Among them are the removal of the main cornice, the carrying up of the front wall to finish with a parapet, and the addition of another storey in a slated roof. The old squares to the windows have been taken out, and the window openings to the first floor lengthened, the canopied door-hood has been removed, and a new doorway inserted with cement details.
Internally the rooms have been stripped of their panelling, while the back wall of the premises has been entirely rebuilt and new windows added. Portions of the old stair remain, consisting of moulded close strings, turned balusters and square newel posts with moulded cappings, but repairs have been carried out with cast-iron balusters fixed on the old close string.
Condition of Repair.
The occupants of this house up to 1840, according to the ratebooks, were:
Sir Robert Atkyns, only son of the chief Baron of the Exchequer of the same name, was born in 1647. He was knighted in 1663. He is chiefly known as the author of the Ancient and Present State of Gloucestershire, published posthumously in 1712. He died in 1711 of dysentery "at his house in Westminster." (fn. n2)
Hopton Haynes was born about 1673. He entered the Mint, possibly by the influence of Sir Isaac Newton, about 1696, as weigher and teller, was promoted to be assay-master in 1723, and retired in 1749. He was a zealous Unitarian. His chief theological work, The Scripture Account of … God and … Christ, was published posthumously. He died at the house in Queen Square in 1749. (fn. n3)
John Seally was born about 1747. He was at first intended for the ministry, but the loss of an uncle obliged him to enter a solicitor's office. He afterwards took a situation with Malachy Postlethwayt, but left it to take up a literary career. About 1767 he set up a school in Bridgewater Square, Westminster. He afterwards took orders and in 1790 obtained the living of East Meon. He died "in Queen Square, Westminster, in March, 1795." (fn. n4) His widow, who is shown by the ratebooks to have continued in occupation of the house for a short time, was Mary, daughter of Joseph Humphreys, rector of Ellisfield, Hants.
On 20th March, 1789, Seally had obtained a 21 years' lease of the premises, and on 24th June, 1796, his widow assigned the residue of the term to the Rev. John Davis, M.A., "minister "of St. Margaret's Chapel, Westminster." (fn. n5)