No. 1 Great George Street

Pages 15-16

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 Landlord.

The freehold is the property of the Crown.

Description and Date of Structure.

This was certainly the last house on the south side of the street to be occupied (in 1773), probably the last to be built. It seems likely, indeed, that it is to the comparatively late erection of this house that is due the fact that the numbering of the south side of the street was for many years incorrect, the houses being referred to as Nos. 1, 2, 3, etc., instead of Nos. 2, 3, 4, etc.

The premises have a return frontage to Princes Street. They comprise a brick front of four storeys above a basement, with an attic storey in the roof. The two lower storeys are stuccoed, a feature which is probably not original. The interior is uninteresting, the fittings being modern.

Condition of Repair.

Good. The premises will probably be demolished in the near future.

Historical Notes.

According to the ratebooks the occupiers of No. 1 Great George Street up to 1840 were as follows:—

1773–4 John Temple.
1776–80 Matt. Wyldborn [Wydboar].
1782–96 John Meyrick.
1799–1810 Col. (General) Hughes.
1810–11 Mrs. Hughes.
1811–12 Exrs. of Mrs. Hughes.
1813–21 Dr. Alex. Sutherland.
1822–28 Geo. Paulet Morris, M.D.
1829– Jas. Blundell, M.D.

The first occupant of this house was John Temple, an American gentleman, a letter from whom to Lord Dartmouth, dated 8th November, 1773, and written from Great George Street, is extant. (fn. n1) His short residence was not unmarked with incident. Some correspondence of a rather sensational character between Governor Hutchinson and others with Thomas Whately had (to the great annoyance of the Government) been disclosed to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Temple was charged in the Press with having been the person who transmitted the correspondence, and in spite of his denials, Whately's brother challenged him to a duel, which took place on 11th December, 1773. The combatants were parted when Mr. Whately had been wounded. As he threatened to resume the affair on his recovery, Benjamin Franklin publicly revealed the fact that he himself was the person concerned in the transmission of the letters. (fn. n2)

James Blundell, physician, was born in 1790. He graduated as M.D. at Edinburgh in 1813. In the following year he came to London, and assisted his uncle, Dr. John Haighton, in his lectures at Guy's Hospital. From 1818 to 1836 he took the entire course, and for years had the largest class on midwifery in London. He acquired a great reputation and amassed a very large fortune. He died in 1877.

In the Council's Collection are:—

General exterior of premises facing Great George Street (photograph).
General exterior of premises facing Princes Street (photograph).


  • n1. Historical MSS. Commission, MSS. of the Earl of Dartmouth, II., p. 180.
  • n2. Spark's Works of Franklin, IV., pp. 434 ff.