No. 8 Great George Street

Pages 26-27

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

XI.—No. 8 GREAT GEORGE STREET (Demolished).

General Description and Date of Structure.

This house had been (at least partly) built (fn. n1) by 5th June, 1756, for on that date the lease which had been made of the 12th plot on the south side of Great George Street reckoning from King Street, was assigned (fn. n2) to Samuel Cox as security for the repayment of £570. The house remained unoccupied until 1761, when the name of Samuel (fn. n3) Spencer is given in the ratebook against it. It was not, however, until 22nd June, 1762, that the lease was purchased (fn. n4) by Spencer under the name of "Richard Spencer, late of "Hampstead, and now of St. Margaret's, Westminster." The plot was therein described as containing the twelfth house from King Street " in the "tenure of the said Richard Spencer," bounded on the east by a messuage (No. 9) in the occupation of John Mackrell, Esq., and containing in front and rear 27 feet, on the east side 110 feet and on the west 106 feet.

The house was rebuilt in 1887 from the design of Mr. Halsey Ricardo. The new premises, however, contain some of the mantelpieces from the former house, while the main staircase has the old wrought-iron balustrading, similar in design to that in No. 9.

On the ground floor the front room has a white marble mantelpiece, which is flanked on each side of the carved frieze with heads in profile (Plates 32 and 33).

The rear room has a white marble mantelpiece with fluted Ionic pilasters, and a fluted frieze with the central panel containing a representation of Cleopatra and the Asp (Plate 31).

The front room on the first floor has a carved marble mantelpiece, a composition of the Doric order, with fluted pilasters supporting an entablature which has the metopes in the frieze enriched with carved trophies.

Historical Notes.

According to the ratebooks the occupiers of No. 8 before 1840 were (fn. n5) :—

1761–83 Richard Spencer.
1785–94 General Murray.
1796–1828 Peter Moore.
1829– Miss Moore.

Peter Moore, youngest son of the Rev. Edward Moore, Vicar of Over, Cheshire, was born in 1753. By his brother's influence he obtained an appointment in the East India Company's service, where he amassed a large fortune. On returning to England he entered into close connection with Sheridan and the radical section of the Whig party. He was returned as M.P. for Coventry for the first time in 1803, and thereafter continuously until after 1820. His services were in great demand among company promoters who had private bills before Parliament, and he lent his name as chairman or director with such freedom that in 1825 he was compelled to fly to Dieppe to escape arrest. He died at Abbeville three years later. His tenancy of No. 8 Great George Street had, according to the ratebooks, begun in 1796 and lasted until his death. Obviously, however, he did not occupy the house for the last three years of his life, and it should be noted that Boyle's Court Guide gives the name of W. E. Tomline in connection with the house from 1818 to 1830, followed in 1833 by Miss Moore. In 1816 the body of Sheridan was deposited in Moore's house on its way to Westminster Abbey. Sir Samuel Romilly, when referring to this event, says (fn. n6) : "When I arrived at Peter Moore's house in George Street … I was astonished at the number and description of persons who were assembled there: the Duke of York, Lord Sidmouth, Lord Mulgrave, Lord Anglesea, Lord Lynedoch, Wellesley Pole and many others, whose politics have been generally opposed to Sheridan's."

In the Council's Collection are:—

Marble mantelpiece to front room on first floor (photograph).
(fn. n7) Marble mantelpiece to front room on ground floor (photograph).
(fn. n7) Details of marble mantelpiece to front room on ground floor (photograph).
(fn. n7) Marble mantelpiece to front room on ground floor (photograph).
(fn. n7) Detail of central panel (photograph).


  • n1. The house was probably in the same case as No. 10 (see p. 30).
  • n2. Middlesex Memorials, 1757, I., 399.
  • n3. Corrected to Richard in the following year.
  • n4. Middlesex Memorials, 1763, II., 772.
  • n5. In the issues of Boyle's Court Guide the house is referred to as No. 7 up to 1825.
  • n6. Romilly's Memoirs, p. 262.
  • n7. Reproduced here.