No. 15 Great George Street

Pages 40-41

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.

General Description and Date of Structure.

In 1755 a lease was granted to Horne and Wilkinson of a "parcell of ground with a messuage thereon situate on the south side of Great George Street … being the fifth house" reckoning from King Street, and on 11th March, 1756, the lease was assigned (fn. n1) to Susannah Lequesne as security for a sum of £650. The house was, therefore, at least partially built at that time.

These premises, with No. 14, have a plain brick front following the general lines of the other houses in the street. With the exception of a white marble mantelpiece in the east front room on the first floor, they are devoid of interest. This mantelpiece is decorated with a pair of tapering reeded columns, and a reeded frieze with carved lion's head over each column.

A back addition to the premises is of much later date.

Condition of Repair.


Historical Notes.

According to the ratebooks, the occupiers of No. 15 Great George Street, up to 1840, were:—

1758–64 Bishop of Hereford.
1765–70 John Frederick. (fn. n2)
1780–84 Henry Rawlinson.
1785–86 Rev. Dr. Prettyman.
1787–90 Jos. Smith.
1791–1805 Richard Frewin.
1809–12 Wm. Lynn.
1814 Francis Addis.
1815–16 John Campbell.
1817–33 Jas. Mitchell.
1834– Mrs. Mitchell.

The Bishop of Hereford during the period 1758–64 was James Beauclerk, seventh son of the 1st Duke of St. Albans, born 1702 and died 1787.

George Pretyman (Sir George Pretyman Tomline) was born in 1750. In 1773 he was made a tutor of his college (Pembroke Hall), and as such received the younger Pitt under his care. A close friendship developed between the two. Pretyman became moderator of Cambridge University in 1781. On Pitt becoming First Lord of the Treasury at the end of 1783, Pretyman became his private secretary, a position which he retained until 1787, when he became Bishop of Lincoln and Dean of St. Paul's. In 1805 the archbishopric of Canterbury became vacant, and Pitt used every endeavour, though without success, to induce the King to appoint him. In the following year he attended Pitt on his death-bed and was left as his literary executor. He had previously arranged the payment of Pitt's debts. In 1813 he was offered, but declined, the See of London, and in 1820 accepted that of Winchester. His theological works consisted of (1) Elements of Christian Theology, which was intended for the use of ordination candidates and became very popular, and (2) A Refutation of Calvinism, which reached an 8th edition. In 1803 he had taken the name of Tomline under the conditions of a bequest, and in 1823 he established his claim to a Nova Scotia baronetcy, thus becoming Sir George Pretyman Tomline. His occupation of No. 15 Great George Street seems to have been limited to the years 1785–6. In 1810 he again took a house in Great George Street, No. 28, on the opposite side, where he stayed until his death, which took place in 1827 at Wimborne.

In the Council's Collection is:—

Marble mantelpiece to front room on first floor (photograph).


  • n1. Middlesex Memorials, 1756, I., 457.
  • n2. A document of 1765 relating to No. 14 describes its eastern boundary as "a messuage late in the occupation of the Bishop of Hereford and now of John Frederick." (Middlesex Memorials, 1765, VI., 327.)