Survey of London: Volume 13, St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1930.
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CHAPTER 8: No. 5 WHITEHALL YARD (Demolished)
The smaller (and northern) of the two portions into which the Holderness property was divided was in 1749 assigned (fn. n1) to Sir Thomas Robinson, Bt., of Rokeby Park. In an indenture of mortgage (fn. n2) effected by Sir Thomas on the day following his purchase the house is said to be "now or late in the possession of Wardell George Westby," and, as the ratebooks from 1739 to 1750 show Westby in occupation, it would appear that the division of the original premises into two dates from about 1738.
Robinson (fn. n3) was notorious for his love of building, and he immediately set to work to pull down his house at Whitehall and build a new one. In 1753 he applied for a new lease of the premises, together with "a piece of vacant ground adjoining thereto of 9 feet by 18 feet 6 inches … to enable him to square his house with that of his neighbour, Sir Thos. Robinson, Knt. of the Bath." (fn. n4) Two years before he had obtained from the latter (fn. n5) a lease of a portion of ground 38 feet 9 inches by 33 feet, commencing at a distance of 10 feet from the south-east corner of the latter's house. This must have comprised the greater part of his neighbour's garden.
Robinson obtained his lease, (fn. n6) to expire on 8th August, 1803. His residence is confirmed by the ratebooks for 1751–4 and 1761–2. During a part of 1754–5 Lady Catherine Pelham was at the house, (fn. n7) and the ratebook shows that from Michaelmas, 1755, to 1759 it was let furnished to "Miss Shepard." The ratebooks after 1762, contain no entries for Whitehall Yard, so that it is possible that Robinson remained there during 1763, but in 1764 he agreed to a reversionary lease of the premises for a further 11 years being granted to Richard Binion (fn. n8) of Gidea Hall, Essex, who a few weeks later acquired the existing lease by mortgage. In the report (fn. n9) on Binion's application it is stated that "the house is in good repair and now in the occupation of Jas. Harris Esqr."
In 1775 Richard Binion, son of the above-mentioned, sold (fn. n10) the house to the Rt. Hon. Thos. Conolly (fn. n11), whose widow, Lady Louisa Augusta Conolly, (fn. n12) in 1810 obtained a fresh lease to expire on 10th October, 1870. The premises are said (fn. n13) to have been "heretofore in the tenure … of Sir Thomas Robinson, Baronet, and late of … Cornwall, widow."
This was evidently "Elizabeth Cornwall, (fn. n14) of Whitehall Court, widow," whose will (fn. n15) was proved on 23rd March, 1809. She was the widow of Charles Wolfran Cornwall, Speaker of the House of Commons, who died in 1789, and the surmise that he also had occupied the house is made probable by the affidavit (fn. n16) sworn by the Rev. P. Williams and John Beardwell "that they knew and were well acquainted with the Right Honorable Charles Wolfran Cornwall, late of Whitehall."
From 1809 the occupiers, so far as they can be ascertained from Boyle's Court Guide and other directories, were:
|1812–16 (fn. n17)||Hon. Geo. Lamb (fn. n18)|
|1817–18 (fn. n17)||George Jackson|
|1818–24 (fn. n17)||Hon. Geo. Lamb|
|1825||Hon. Fred. Eden|
|1826–32||Hon. Edward Geoffrey Stanley (fn. n19)|
|1833||H. H. Joy, K.C.|
|1834||Hon. Geo. Lamb|
|1835||Rt. Hon. Sir A. J. Foster (fn. n20)|
|1836–7||Sir J. Copley|
|1839||Sir Joseph Copley|
|1852–7||Sir Frederick Foster (fn. n21)|
|1873–84||Oscar Leslie Stephen|
In 1887 the premises were taken over for the use of the Board of Trade. They were demolished in connection with the formation of Horse Guards Avenue about 1896.