Queen Anne's Lodge

Pages 142-143

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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In this section


Ground Landlords.

The freehold is the property of the Queen Anne's Mansion Co., Ltd.

History and Description of Structure.

Queen Square Place, the site of which is now to a large extent covered by the courtyard of Queen Anne's Mansions, seems to have originally been part of an old lane leading across the site of St. James's Park before the latter was formed. This lane is mentioned in a lease (fn. n1) by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, dated 1538, to William Jennings, of a piece of ground "between a certain old way, 10 feet wide, formerly leading from the said Tothilstrete towards St. James's, on the south and west sides, and the brickwall of the King's park and the lands late belonging to Sir Hugh Vaughan on the north and east sides." Queen Square Place is shown in Morden and Lea's Map of 1682 as "White Hart Lane," and is probably the lane referred to in a document of 1653 (fn. n2) as "Turne Againe Lane," which is said to be on the west side of the White Hart, and appears from the order in which it is mentioned, to have been situated between the White Hart and Kitter's Yard.

In 1770 Jeremiah Bentham (father of the famous Jeremy) obtained (fn. n3) from the Dean and Chapter the lease of certain property adjoining his own house then in course of building. It is described as: "All that square parcel or piece of ground and several tenements, erections and buildings thereon erected … with their appurtenances, situate, lying or being at the east end or east part of a messuage or tenement now belonging to, and in the tenure or occupation of, the said Jeremiah Bentham … which said piece of ground and buildings front south on Queen's Square Place, heretofore called White Hart Yard, (fn. n4) abutting each upon the back part of certain buildings, part whereof is a chapel called Queen's Square Chapel and other part of the said last mentioned buildings belonging to the stable yard adjoining to the said chapel, and abutting north on St. James's Park Wall."

The tenements on this parcel of land were reconstructed by Bentham into a rather rambling but attractive residence, now known as Queen Anne's Lodge. The interior of the premises has been completely rebuilt, but the old front facing the Park, with the two pediments, remains and is cemented over. In the basement the position and alignment of some of the old walls can still be traced in the cellars, and portions of the old Park boundary wall can be seen, but architecturally the premises have no historic interest.

Condition of Repair.

Very good.

Historical Notes.

According to the ratebooks the occupiers of this house up to 1840 were as follows:—

1798–1802 Samuel Bentham.
1806–08 Wm. Phillips.
1809 Executors of Wm. Phillips.
1812–34 Lady Mary Crawford.
1835 Lord Balcarras.
1836–39 Chas. Buller.

Sir Samuel Bentham, born in 1757, was the youngest son of Jeremiah Bentham, and brother of Jeremy Bentham. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to the master-shipwright of Woolwich Dockyard, and even during his apprenticeship busied himself in inventions relating to the fittings of ships. In 1780 he went to Russia, and in 1784 was engaged, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, in forming a shipyard at Kritchev. In 1787 he was sent to Cherson to direct the equipment of a flotilla for use against the Turks. In this he showed great originality, the flotilla was strikingly successful, and Bentham gained the military cross of St. George, the rank of Brigadier-General, and a sword of honour. After some experience in Siberia, he returned to England in 1791. Among other activities, he assisted his brother Jeremy in fitting up the latter's Panopticon, and in 1795 entered on his official connection with the British Admiralty. During the next 18 years he carried out a very large number of improvements in the dockyards, ships and machinery. In his endeavour to institute reforms he inevitably made enemies, and in 1807, on his return from a mission to Russia, he learned that his office had been abolished and that he had been appointed on the Navy Board. In this position he still carried out his agitation for reforms, and in 1812 was retired. From 1814 to 1827 he resided in France. He died in 1831. His assumption of the title "Sir" was apparently authorised in view of his Russian knighthood.

Charles Buller was born at Calcutta in 1806. He was educated first at Harrow, and afterwards (1821–25) studied under Thomas Carlyle at Edinburgh, to whom he came as "quite a bit of sunshine in my dreary Edinburgh element." In 1825 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1831 was called to the Bar. In the previous year he had entered Parliament, of which he continued a member until his death. He was an ardent reformer, and a good and witty speaker. In 1838 he went to Canada as Chief Secretary to the GovernorGeneral (Lord Durham) and was mainly responsible for the celebrated report on Canada issued in Lord Durham's name. In 1846 he was made Judge-Advocate-General, and in 1847 Chief Poor Law Commissioner. He died in 1848.

In the Council's Collection is:—

(fn. n5) Plan of property in Queen Square (1809), from drawing in Crace Collection (photograph).


  • n1. Augmentation Office, Conventual Leases, Westminster, 129.
  • n2. Indenture, dated 7th April, 1653, between Lord Maynard and Gervase Andrewes. (Close Roll, 3708.)
  • n3. This and other information concerning Queen Anne's Lodge has been kindly furnished to the Council by Sir Alexander Gibb and Co.
  • n4. "White Hart Lane" in Morden and Lea's Map, which shows "White Hart Yard" farther to the east.
  • n5. Reproduced here.