No. 10 Great George Street

Pages 30-31

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, etc.

The freehold belongs to the Crown. The premises are in the occupation of Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworth and Co., Ltd.

General Description and Date of Structure.

Similar evidence to that in the case of Nos. 8, 9 and 11, is available to show that No. 10 was in existence in the early part of 1756. It was, however, not occupied until 1761. On 22nd June, 1762, a lease of the premises was granted (fn. n1) to Henry Drummond "of St. James, Westminster, Esq." under the description of a "parcel of ground with the messuage or tenement "… scituate on the south side of … Great George Street … the tenth house on the south side of the said street reckoning from King Street … in the tenure of the said Henry Drummond," abutting east on ground and a messuage thereon unlet and west on ground, etc., in occupation of John Mackrell, and containing 27 feet in front and rear and 110 feet on each side. On 21st June, 1771, Drummond sold the lease (fn. n2) to Joseph Chaplin Hankey, "of East Bergholt, Esq.," and the additional details given on this occasion throw light on the condition of the house (and of Nos. 8, 9 and 11) between 1756 and 1761. It appears that Drummond had given £2130 for the property, of which £680 had been paid to James Mallors "in order to enable him to finish the said messuage," while the remainder had gone towards the satisfaction of a sum of £6000, vested in trustees and "charged upon the said parcell of ground and messuage, inter "alia [probably including Nos. 8, 9, and 11] by a mortgage thereof which had been surrendered to the said Edmonstone and Duckett for enabling them to perfect an exchange of several pieces of ground, messuages or tenements therein comprized with the said Dean and Chapter and to the payment of which said £6000 the said … premisses were according to equity subject and liable." It will be seen, therefore, that the houses in question had only been partially built in 1756. It may be observed that, as Drummond sold the house to Hankey for £3850, he did not lose by the transaction.

The general exterior of the premises is of plain brickwork, relieved at the level of the third floor by a modillion cornice, while plain flat bands indicate the levels of the first and second floors. The entrance doorway has side lights, with a semi-elliptical fanlight over.

The main staircase walls at the first-floor landing are decorated with plaster panels enriched with foliated scrolls and swags of fruit and flowers, while the line of the modillion cornice is continued around the well with a moulded stringcourse enriched with foliated scrolls. The tracery treatment at the head of the panels is interesting, and records the Gothic motifs in use at this period (Plate 38). The main cornice to the stair-well below the elliptical lantern-light is heavily moulded, and has a coved frieze with a scroll ornament. The back staircase has turned balusters and moulded close strings.

The front room on the first floor contains a moulded and carved white mantelpiece with fluted Corinthian columns. The wood skirtings, chairrails and linings are moulded and carved with a fret.

The back room to this floor contains a decorative plaster ceiling in low relief, which is now intercepted by a partition.

Condition of Repair.


Historical Notes.

The occupiers of No. 10 before 1840, according to the ratebooks, were as follows (fn. n3) :—

1761 — Jones.
1762–71 Henry Drummond.
1774–77 Catherine Hankey. (fn. n4)
1778–82 Joseph Chaplin Hankey.
1783–90 William Colhoun.
1791–2 Capell Cure.
1793–97 William Colhoun.
1798–1800 Bryan Edwards.
1801–34 John Darby.
1835–36 George Darby.
1837–39 Charles Lushington.
1840– J. C. Talbot.

Bryan Edwards was born at Westbury, Wilts, in 1743. On his father's death in 1756 the family were left in very poor circumstances, and a few years later Bryan was sent to Jamaica to join his uncle, a prosperous West India merchant. After a few years he was admitted to a share in his uncle's business, and subsequently he succeeded to the whole. He was elected to the colonial assembly, where he secured a leading position. From 1782 to 1787 he was in England, and fought an unsuccessful contest for the borough of Chichester. In 1792 he returned to this country for good as a West India merchant, and established a bank at Southampton. In 1796 he was elected M.P. for Grampound. He was a strong anti-abolitionist, supporting a modified form of slavery. He was the author of several works, the two chief being a History of the British Colonies in the West Indies, and a Historical Survey of the French Colony in the Island of St. Domingo. He died at Southampton in 1800.

Charles Lushington was the brother of Stephen Lushington (see p. 18). He entered the service of the East India Company in 1800 and served in Bengal until 1827. He was M.P. for Ashburton, 1833–41, and for Westminster, 1847–52. He died at Brighton in 1866.

John Chetwynd-Talbot, son of Charles, 2nd Earl Talbot, was Attorney-General to the Prince of Wales (afterwards King Edward VII) and Recorder of Windsor. He died in 1852. His widow, who is shown to have continued at the house in Great George Street, was the daughter of Lord Wharncliffe. She died in 1876.

In the Council's Collection are:—

General exterior of premises (photograph).
(fn. n5) Staircase showing plaster panelling on first-floor landing (photograph).
Plaster ceiling to back room on first floor (photograph).
Marble mantelpiece to front room on first floor (photograph).
Doorcase to front room on first floor (photograph).


  • n1. Middlesex Memorials, 1762, IV., 408.
  • n2. Ibid., 1771, IV., 16.
  • n3. In the issue of Boyle's Court Guide until 1825 the house is shown as No. 9.
  • n4. Catherine was the widow of Joseph Chaplin Hankey, senr., whose will (P.C.C., Stevens, 427) devising inter alia his leasehold property "on the south side of Great George Street … purchased of Henry Drummond" was dated 8th July, 1773, and proved on 4th November, 1773.
  • n5. Reproduced here.