No. 27 Great George Street

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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'No. 27 Great George Street', in Survey of London: Volume 10, St. Margaret, Westminster, Part I: Queen Anne's Gate Area, ([s.l.], 1926) pp. 42-43. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

In this section


General Description and Date of Structure.

As in the case of most of the other houses in the street, No. 27 emerges on 4th November, 1755, as the subject of a 99 years' lease to Horne and Wilkinson as from Lady Day, 1754. That document (fn. n1) describes "another parcell of ground with a messuage and buildings thereon, situate on the north side of a new street called Great George Street," and containing in front and rear 25 feet 1 inch and on each side 120 feet. Out of this a plot 20 feet deep was reserved for a public stableyard or passage (Boar's Head Yard). The house was not occupied until 1761.

The exterior had the general appearance of the other houses in the street. The entrance doorway was plain, and had a semicircular fanlight with radiating bars, while the first-floor windows had iron balconettes, which were probably added when the windows were brought down to the floor level.

The interior was plain and contained no features of interest.

Historical Notes.

The occupants of this house up to 1840, according to the ratebooks, were:—

1761–68 Joseph Watkins. (fn. n2)
1769–85 Dr. (Sir) Richard Jebb.
1786–88 Edward L'Epine.
1789–92 Matt. Bloxham.
1793–1805 Leonard Morse.
1806–10 — Letsam.
1810–32 (Sir) William Garrow.
1833– David Robertson.

Sir Richard Jebb, son of Samuel Jebb, physician and scholar, was born in 1729. He took the degree of M.D. at Aberdeen in 1751, and in 1755 was admitted licentiate of the College of Physicians. From 1754 to 1762 he was physician to the Westminster Hospital, and in the latter year was elected physician to St. George's Hospital, a position which he held until 1768, when he was compelled, by the great extent of his private practice, to resign the appointment. He now purchased (fn. n3) as from 25th March, 1768, for £1950, the remainder of the 99 years' lease of No. 27 Great George Street. In 1771 he became a Fellow of the College of Physicians, delivered the Harveian oration in 1774, and was censor in 1772, 1776 and 1781. He was created a baronet in 1778. In 1780 he was appointed physician to the Prince of Wales and there is extant a letter (fn. n4) from him, dated 10th September, 1781, from his house in Great George Street, to the Earl of Dartmouth, in which he refers to the future George IV. as " the most just, gentle and noble spirit that ever inhabited the form of man," and expresses the hope that "he will live to be one day of use to that country of which he is certainly at the moment one of the brightest ornaments." In 1786 he was appointed physician to the King, but was soon displaced in favour of Sir George Baker. Feeling the blow keenly he "left Great George Street, and pretended to retire to Lamb's Conduit Street." (fn. n5) The dates do not entirely agree with the evidence of the ratebooks, which show "Edw. L'Epine, Esq." in occupation of the house in 1786. Jebb died on 4th July, 1787, at his house in Lamb's Conduit Place. (fn. n6)

The issues of Boyle's Court Guide for 1809 and 1810 show that the "Letsam" of the ratebooks was Samuel Fothergill Lettsom, son of John Coakley Lettsom, the distinguished Quaker physician. In 1802 Samuel had married the only daughter of William Garrow, who succeeded him in the occupation of the house.

Sir William Garrow, third son of the Rev. David Garrow, who kept a school at Hadley, Middlesex, was born in 1760, and was educated at his father's school. At the age of fifteen he was articled to an attorney, in which position he showed such ability that he began to study for the Bar, and was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1778. He was called to the Bar in 1783, where he soon acquired a great reputation. In 1793 he was appointed K.C., and in 1805 was returned to Parliament. In 1812 he became Solicitor-General and was knighted, and in the following year he was made Attorney-General. In 1817 he was raised to the bench as one of the Barons of the Exchequer, a position which he held for fifteen years. From the evidence of the ratebooks it would appear that on his retirement in 1832 he removed from Great George Street. He died in 1840.

In the Council's Collection is:—

(fn. n7) General exterior of premises (photograph).


  • n1. Middlesex Memorials, 1756, I., 298.
  • n2. A lease of the premises, dated 30th May, 1765, states that they were then in the occupation of "—Watkins, Esq." (Middlesex Memorials, 1770, IV., 18.)
  • n3. Middlesex Memorials, 1770, IV., 18.
  • n4. Historical MSS. Commission, MSS. of the Earl of Dartmouth, III., p. 254.
  • n5. Pettigrew's Memoirs of J. C. Lettsom, Vol. I., Pt. II., p. 129.
  • n6. Gentleman's Magazine, 1787, p. 857.
  • n7. Reproduced here.