No. 5 Whitehall Yard

Survey of London: Volume 13, St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1930.

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'No. 5 Whitehall Yard', in Survey of London: Volume 13, St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I, ed. Montagu H Cox, Philip Norman( London, 1930), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

'No. 5 Whitehall Yard', in Survey of London: Volume 13, St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I. Edited by Montagu H Cox, Philip Norman( London, 1930), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

"No. 5 Whitehall Yard". Survey of London: Volume 13, St Margaret, Westminster, Part II: Whitehall I. Ed. Montagu H Cox, Philip Norman(London, 1930), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.

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
1838 Henry Broadwood
1839 Sir Joseph Copley
Henry Broadwood
1840–8 Henry Broadwood
1851 Henry Windsor
1852–7 Sir Frederick Foster (fn. n21)
1859–68 William Tomline
1873–84 Oscar Leslie Stephen
1886 Robert Carr

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.


  • n1. Indenture, dated 12th June, 1749, between (i) Sir Conyers Darcy, (ii) Wardell George Westby and the Hon. Charlotte Westby, and (iii) Sir Thomas Robinson (Middx. Memls., 1749, II, 7). How Darcy and the Westbys (Sir Conyers Darcy and Charlotte Westby were brother and sister of the 3rd Earl of Holderness) had obtained the property has not been ascertained.
  • n2. Middx. Memls., 1749, I, 514.
  • n3. "Long Sir Thomas," governor of Barbadoes, 1742–7. After his return he acquired a considerable interest in Ranelagh Gardens, where he became director of the entertainments. The Rokeby of Scott's poem was practically his creation, but he was forced to dispose of it in 1769. He died at Chelsea in 1777.
  • n4. P.R.O., T. 55/8, p. 419.
  • n5. Particulars given in indenture of mortgage, dated 16th June, 1753, between Francis Blake Delaval and Richard Prince. (Middx. Memls., 1753, II, 595.)
  • n6. Letters Patent, 9th August, 27 Geo. II.
  • n7. "The Hon. Lady Catherine Pelham has taken the House of Sir Thomas Robinson, Bart., in Privy Garden" (The Public Advertiser, 18th November, 1754); "The Hon. the Lady Catherine Pelham lies dangerously ill at her House at Whitehall." (Ibid., 1st March, 1755.)
  • n8. Formerly Governor of Fort St. George.
  • n9. P.R.O., T. 55/13, p. 226.
  • n10. Indenture, dated 31st March, 1775. (Middx. Memls., 1775, III, 77.)
  • n11. Thomas Conolly, Irish politician, d. 1803. In a mortgage of the premises, dated 2nd May, 1775 (Ibid., III, 347) the house is said to be in his occupation. His residence there lasted at least until 1783, for a letter from Lady Sarah Napier (formerly Bunbury) is dated "Mr. Conolly's, Whitehall, 22nd Sept., 1783" (Life and Letters of Lady Sarah Lennox, 1745–1826, II, p. 38.)
  • n12. Daughter of the 2nd Duke of Richmond.
  • n13. P.R.O., T. 55/29, p. 125.
  • n14. Daughter of Charles Jenkinson and sister of Charles, who afterwards became Lord Hawkesbury and Earl of Liverpool.
  • n15. P.C.C., 178, Loveday.
  • n16. Ibid., 15, Macham.
  • n17. There is some doubt whether these entries refer to this house.
  • n18. 4th son of the 1st Viscount Melbourne, b. 1784, writer and politician. Died 2nd January, 1834, "in Whitehall Yard." (Annual Register.)
  • n19. Afterwards 14th Earl of Derby.
  • n20. Diplomatist, created Bt. 1831, d. 1848.
  • n21. Son of Sir A. J. Foster, d. 25th December, 1857.