No. 11, Downing Street

Survey of London: Volume 14, St Margaret, Westminster, Part III: Whitehall II. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1931.

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'No. 11, Downing Street', in Survey of London: Volume 14, St Margaret, Westminster, Part III: Whitehall II, ed. Montagu H Cox, G Topham Forrest( London, 1931), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

'No. 11, Downing Street', in Survey of London: Volume 14, St Margaret, Westminster, Part III: Whitehall II. Edited by Montagu H Cox, G Topham Forrest( London, 1931), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

"No. 11, Downing Street". Survey of London: Volume 14, St Margaret, Westminster, Part III: Whitehall II. Ed. Montagu H Cox, G Topham Forrest(London, 1931), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.

In this section


Ground landlord, etc.

The premises are the freehold of the Crown and are used as the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

History of the Building.

No. 11, Downing Street consists of two houses which were formerly separate. The history of the larger (and westernmost) of these is as follows.

On 17th April, 1723, Charles Downing demised (fn. n1) to James Steadman for a term of 37¼ years from the succeeding Lady Day "all that Messuage … Scituate … in … Hampden Garden near Kingstreet … at the West end … of … Downing Street … abutting upon a Terras adjoyneing to St. James's Park Wall there on the North part, and upon the Great Court Yard there on the South part, and upon one other Messuage of the said Charles Downings being a Corner house late in the Occupation of Thomas Fredrick Esquire deceased, on the West, and on one other Messuage of the said Charles Downings late in the Tenure of the said Thomas Fredrick on the East." From its position (next to the corner house) the house obviously was that numbered 3 on the plan of 1749 (Plate 106), and thus occupied the site of the western portion of the present No. 11.

On 24th November, 1772, the Downing trustees parted with their interest in this and other portions of the Downing estate, including the reversionary Crown lease due to expire in 1820, to William Maseres, and on 25th March, 1773, the latter sold the house to T. Sommers Cocks. Included in the premises was a "subterraneous passage or way (fn. n2) … leading into St. James's Park, and being under the … messe … late in the tenure of … Dame Etherelda Cust widow containing in length 63 feet 8 inches on the north side thereof,& in width at the east end thereof 8 feet 1 inch to the depth of 14 feet 6 inches,& then contracting narrow to the width of 3 feet 3 inches for the length of 30 feet 10 inches on the south side thereof, and containing in width at the west end thereof next St. James's Park afsd 6 feet 10 inches for the space of 16 feet, together with a door way thereout into the said park& a window to enlighten the sd passage." On 6th April, 1797, the executors of Cocks sold the house to the Hon. John Eliot (afterwards Lord Eliot) (fn. n3)

In 1805 the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought before the Commissioners of H.M. Treasury the question of purchasing the house, and suggested that, by joining it to the house occupied by the Judge-Advocate (the present No. 12), sufficient accommodation might be afforded for the removal thither of the Home Secretary's office. (fn. n4) Lord Eliot was willing to sell, and the remaining portion of his lease was therefore purchased on 30th September, 1805. (fn. n5) The indenture was endorsed "Assignment of a House in Downing Street for the Use of the Secretary of State for the Home Department," but it will be seen that the house was used from the beginning for Treasury purposes.

A plan of the premises (fn. n6) in July, 1805, is here reproduced.

The remainder of No. 11 consists of a house occupying the site of a portion of the Great House, also leased to Steadman in 1723 (see p. 119), and corresponds with that marked 4 on the plan of 1749. This house was included in the sale of 24th November, 1772, by the Downing trustees to William Maseres (see above). In an indenture of assignment (fn. n7) by the latter, dated the next day, the house is described as "late in the Tenure … of Sir Francis Blake Delaval, Knight of the Bath, deceased, "but "now Empty," and abutting east on a house "lately repaired … for the first Lord Commissioner of the Treasury and now in the Occupation of … Lord North" (No. 10), south on Downing Square and west on another messuage of Maseres "lately in the Tenure of the Bishop of Chester, but now Empty" (western portion of No. 11), and reference is made to "the Terras adjoining to, or such Part thereof as is enjoyed with, the said Messuage."

Figure 30:

Plan of western portion of No. 11, Downing Street, in 1805.

Copied from plan in the possession of H.M. Commissioners of Crown Lands.

Maseres died in 1781, and on 24th March, 1788, the administrators of his estate sold the premises to Richard Shawe, of New Bridge Street, (fn. n8) who in the following year (8th June, 1789) assigned his interest (fn. n9) to Daniel Dulany, of Bolton Street, Piccadilly. In 1812 Dulany obtained (fn. n10) an extension of the existing Crown lease from 1820 for 20 years "if the said Dan1 Dulany shall so long live." The description of the house contained in the order for the lease (fn. n11) is the only one found which gives dimensions. It runs: "all that Messuage … situate … in … Downing Square on the North side thereof and numbered 11, heretofore in the tenure … of Sir Francis Blake Delaval Knight and now or late of Daniel Dulany Esquire, abutting Southwards on Downing Square, Eastwards& Northwards on Ground or Buildings in the tenure … of The First Lord Commissioner of His Majestys Treasury, and Westwards on Ground or Buildings heretofore in the tenure … of The Lord Bishop of Ely, and now or late of … Charles Arbuthnot, containing in front towards Downing Square 19 feet … and in breadth at the North end 24 feet 10 Inches … and extending in depth … from South to North (exclusive of the Front Area) on the East side thereof 24 feet 4 inches …, where there is a Break Eastwards of 5 feet 4 inches … then extending further Northwards … 24 feet 3 inches … where there is a Break Westwards of 1 foot 9 inches … and then extending further Northwards 17 feet 5 inches …, and extending in like manner on the West side thereof 48 feet 6 inches … where there is a break Westwards of 2 feet 4 inches … and then extending further Northwards … 16 feet 9 inches." The measurements show that the house corresponds with the eastern portion of the present No. 11, Downing Street. Dulany did not live out the 20 years of the lease, but died in 1824, (fn. n12) and the premises came into the hands of the Crown.

On 12th October, 1825, Soane forwarded (fn. n13) "the Plan of the Secretary of the Treasury's House [western part of No. 11] and the House adjoining in Downing Street, shewing the Alterations and additions which are proposed to be made." The estimated cost of the works was £2,670. Their completion was considerably delayed owing to "the very delapidated state of the Walls, parts of which" had to be taken down and rebuilt. (fn. n14)

In 1846–7 the two houses were combined.

As regards the date of the present structure, the evidence of the rate books points to two years (1723 and 1772) when the houses may have been rebuilt. The fact that the leases of the two buildings obtained by James Steadman ("carpenter," i.e. builder) in April, 1723, in both cases were from Lady Day, 1724, nearly a twelvemonth after the date of the indentures, seems to suggest a rebuilding. On the other hand there is evidence (see pp. 120 and 160) that neither the western portion of No. 10 nor No. 14, which were under exactly the same condition as regards leases, were rebuilt at this time, and we have the fact that up to 1766 (see p. 121) there was no party wall between the eastern portion of No. 11 and the western portion of No. 10.

In 1772 both portions of No. 11 were empty, and thereafter the assessable value of the western portion was increased. (fn. n15) The suggestion that the houses were then rebuilt is, however, considerably discounted by the fact that the premises after that date were regarded as continuous with those existing before 1772. (fn. n16)

There is, therefore, no conclusive historical evidence for the rebuilding of these premises since their original erection in 1682. The architectural evidence, however, completely fails to substantiate such an early date, and it may be that the extensive alterations, which no doubt took place in 1723 and 1772, have entirely destroyed the original characteristics of the building. The present front can well be assigned to 1772, but the main staircase is decidedly earlier, and probably dates from 1723.

Description of the Building.

As in the case of No. 10, the front, overlooking Downing Street (Plate 108), has a plain exterior relieved by stone bands carried across the front at the floor levels. Part of the lower portion is faced with stucco. There are two entrance doorways, each having stone dressings with shaped consoles supporting a moulded head. One entrance is disused, and admission is obtained by the doorway belonging to the western portion.

The internal alterations carried out in 1846, when the two houses were converted into one, affected principally the staircases.

The interior contains some decorative features typical of the workmanship of the 18th century and later. The chief rooms on the ground floor have a deep enriched wood cornice and panelled dado, while some of the mantelpieces are carved (Plates 135 and 136).

The Dining Room on the ground floor was designed by Soane, and is panelled in oak with his characteristic flush reeded-mouldings. The northern portion of the room has a flat elliptical domed ceiling with radiating ribs, umbrella fashion (a penchant of Soane's), the corners of the ceiling being occupied by panels treated as pendentives and containing representations of caducei (Plate 134). The north and south sides are ingeniously lighted by the dome being detached from the side walls and having concealed lunette ceiling lights above. Soane made an important study of these internal lighting effects.

The main staircase (Plate 137) has carved brackets to the cut strings and turned balusters, three to a tread, and columned newels. The dado is panelled and has shallow pilasters corresponding to the newel columns (Plates 137 and 138). The top flights are of later workmanship, and not carried out with the same feeling.

The Drawing Room on the first floor is a spacious room having a carved chimneypiece at each end, with an overmantel containing a picture (Plate 139). The main cornice around the room is decorated with modillions and an enriched frieze. The whole is of recent date and formerly comprised two rooms.

The official Dining Room adjoining has an Adam-period mantelpiece in statuary and brocatella marbles to the back portion, and a carved wood mantelpiece with composition ornament to the front (Plate 140). (fn. n17)

There are no special features in the rooms on the floor above.

Condition of Repair.


Historical Notes.

The occupants of the two houses which now form No. 11, Downing Street, from 1723 to 1846 are as follows:—

Eastern portion.(formerly No. 11). Western portion. (formerly No. 12).
1728–32 John Scroop 1724–32 Earl of Orrery
1737–44 Lady Drake 1738–58 Delaval (see below)
1745–52 Bishop of St. David's 1758–71 Bishop of Chester (Ely)
1753–61 Edw. Astley (Sir E. Astley) 1773–97 Thos. Sommers Cocks
1762–71 Sir Francis Blake Delaval 1797–1805 John Eliot (Lord Eliot)
1778–89 Leonard Morse 1806–07 Sir Henry Petty
1789–1824 Daniel Dulany 1807 Spencer Perceval
From 1824 to 1846, the eastern portion was used as an office. 1807–09 W. Huskission
1811–23 Charles Arbuthnot
1824–27 Stephen R. Lushington
1827–28 J. C. Herries.
1828–30 Henry Goulburn
1830–34 Viscount Althorp
1835 Sir George Clerk
1837 E. J. Stanley
1838–39 Thos. Spring-Rice
1839–41 F.T. Baring
1841–46 Henry Goulburn

Eastern portion.

John Scroop, shown in the ratebooks as living from 1728 to 1732 at the house which now forms the eastern portion of No. 11, Downing Street, was apparently John Scrope, the judge, who was born about 1662 and became the firm friend of Sir Robert Walpole. In early life he was in the service of the Duke of Monmouth, and at the Revolution entered the Middle Temple, being called to the Bar in 1692. In 1708 he was appointed Baron of the Exchequer in Scotland, a post which he held until 1724. Earlier in the latter year he had been made Secretary to the Treasury, and he continued in that office until his death. In 1727 he entered Parliament as member for Bristol. On Walpole's fall he was summoned to give evidence as to the disposal of secret service money, but resolutely declined to take part in anything which might be to the prejudice of Walpole. He died in 1752.

Lady Drake, whom the ratebooks from 1737 to 1744 give as occupier of the house, was daughter of William Peere Williams, barrister, and widow of Sir William Drake. She afterwards married George Speke, and by him was the mother of Anne, wife of Lord North. She died in 1782.

The ratebooks for the years 1745 to 1753 show the Bishop of St. David's in occupation of No. 11 (eastern portion). This was Richard Trevor, second son of Baron Trevor of Bromham. He was born in 1707, and was educated at Bishop's Stortford, Westminster, and Oxford. In 1727 he was elected fellow of All Souls' College, and in 1732 obtained the living of Houghton-withWilton. He was appointed a canon of Christ Church in 1735, and in 1744 was consecrated Bishop of St. David's, whence in 1752 he was translated to Durham. He died in 1771.

The bishop's occupation of the house in Downing Street probably ceased in 1752 on his translation to the northern see. The next occupier was Edward Astley, of Melton Constable. In 1760 he succeeded his father as baronet. In 1751 he had married Rhoda, daughter of Francis Blake Delaval, then resident in the adjoining house (western part of No. 11). She died in 1757. Sir Edward was M.P. for Norfolk from 1768 to 1790. He died in 1802.

According to the ratebooks Astley was in 1762 succeeded at the house in Downing Street by his brother-in-law, Sir Francis Blake Delaval. The latter was well known for his gaiety, practical joking and lavish expenditure. This last trait is referred to in his will, (fn. n18) wherein, after apologising to his relatives for the small amount left to them, he asks them "to believe that if I had had the experience twenty years ago which I have now they would all of them have received much more benefit from my death." In 1761 he had been created K.B. He died on 6th August, 1771, of an apoplectic fit at the residence of his sister, the Countess of Mexborough, in Dover Street, (fn. n19) and for some years afterwards the house in Downing Street stood empty. In an indenture of 22nd September, 1777, (fn. n20) it is referred to as "late in the Tenure … of Sr Francis Blake Delaval, deceased, and now unoccupied," and the next ratebook showing an occupant of the house is that for 1778 which gives the name of Leonard Morse. (fn. n21) In the indenture accompanying the sale of the premises to Daniel Dulany on 8th June, 1789, however, the house is described as "heretofore in the tenure … of Sir Francis Blake Delaval, afterwards of Sir John Morse, late of Leonard Morse Esq., and now untenanted." The ratebooks leave no room for Sir John Morse, and it may be doubted whether he ever occupied the house.

Delaval of Seaton Delaval.

After 1824 the house is shown for two years in the ratebooks as "empty," and thenceforward disappears. In Boyle's Court Guide it disappears after 1824, and emerges again in 1835 as "Chancellor of the Exchequer's Office."

Western Portion.

The first occupant of the house forming the western portion of the present No. 11, Downing Street, was the Earl of Orrery.

Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery, was born in Chelsea in 1676, and succeeded his brother in the earldom in 1703. While at Christ Church he took part in the unequal contest with Bentley over the epistles of Phalaris. He entered the army, was present at the Battle of Malplaquet, and became major-general. In 1721 he was imprisoned in the Tower for complicity in Layer's conspiracy. The name "orrery" as applied to a clockwork model of the solar system was given in recognition of the earl's patronage of the inventor.

Boyle, Earl of Orrery.

The ratebooks from 1724 to 1732 inclusive show the Earl of Orrery at the house, after which it was empty for six years. The 4th Earl died on 28th August, 1731, so that it is possible that his son (fn. n22) lived there for a short time.

The ratebooks for 1738 to 1758 give the following names in respect of the western portion of No. 11:—

1738 Dularate
1739 Delavall, Esqr
1740 Francis Black
1741–42 Delavall
1743–45 Delaval, Esq
1746–47 Cha8. Delaval, Esq
1749–56 Fra8 Blake Delavall, Esq
1757 Wid. Delaval

It seems probable that the majority of these references are to Francis Blake Delaval, of Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, and father of Sir Francis Blake Delaval, mentioned above. The ratebooks are in error in giving his name up to 1756, for he died in December, 1752. (fn. n23) In his will, (fn. n24) dated 16th February, 1748–9, he leaves "the Furniture of my Dwelling House in Downing Street" to his "Dear Wife Rhoda Delaval," (fn. n25) who, according to the ratebooks, continued to live there until 1758.

She was succeeded in the occupation of the house by the Bishop of Chester. This was Edmund Keene, who was born at King's Lynn in 1714. By the influence of Sir Robert Walpole he received his education at Charterhouse and Cambridge, and obtained in 1740 the rich living of Stanhope in Durham. In 1752 he was consecrated Bishop of Chester, being translated in 1771 to Ely. From 1748 to 1754 he was master of Peterhouse.

According to the ratebooks his occupation of the house in Downing Street lasted until 1771, and on the purchase of the house by Thomas Sommers Cocks on 25th March, 1773, it is referred to as "late in the tenure … of the Bishop of Ely."

Cocks died at the beginning of 1797 or end of 1796, (fn. n26) and on 6th April, 1797, his executors sold the premises to the Hon. John Eliot, 3rd son of Edward Eliot, 1st Baron Eliot. Eliot succeeded to the title in 1804, and in 1815 was created Earl of St. Germans. He died in 1823, but his residence in Downing Street had ceased in 1805, when the lease was purchased by the Crown.

The first official resident at the premises was Lord Henry Petty, Chancellor of the Exchequer. Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice (Marquess of Lansdowne), son of William, the 1st Marquess, was born in 1780. After making the Grand Tour he entered Parliament in 1803 as member for Calne, and attached himself to Fox. In 1806 he became Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Ministry of All the Talents, and in 1809 succeeded his half-brother as Marquess of Lansdowne. During the next 18 years, while his party was out of power, he exerted his influence in the House of Lords to secure the abolition of the slave trade and in the support of other liberal measures. In 1827 he brought about a coalition with Canning's followers, in which he became Home Secretary, and he also supported the ministry of Goderich. He became President of the Council in Earl Grey's ministry in 1830, and continued in that office in both of Melbourne's administrations and in Lord John Russell's ministry (1846–52), and thenceforward remained in the Cabinet without office. He died in 1863.

Fitzmaurice, Marquess of Lansdowne.

Petty's residence at the western portion of No. 11 began in June, 1806, (fn. n27) and continued until May, 1807. (fn. n28) In March the ministry had fallen, and Petty had been succeeded as Chancellor of the Exchequer by Spencer Perceval. It was at first thought that the latter would reside at No. 10, (fn. n29) but eventually the Duke of Portland took possession of that house for a time (see p. 135). Perceval was still at Lincoln's Inn Fields on 25th June, (fn. n30) but seems to have moved to the western portion of No. 11, Downing Street a little later. (fn. n31) On 19th October he removed to No. 10, being succeeded at the western part of No. 11 by Huskisson, (fn. n32) and we now enter a period of nearly 20 years when the house was in the occupation of Secretaries of the Treasury, the Chancellors of the Exchequer living at No. 10.

Details of the life of William Huskisson are given in Vol. XIII of the Survey of London, pp. 253–4. The issues of Boyle's Court Guide for the years 1808 to 1810 show him at what was then No. 12 (now the western portion of No. 11). In April, 1807, he had been made Secretary of the Treasury, a position which he retained until 1809.

The issues of Boyle's Court Guide for the years 1811 to 1823 show Charles Arbuthnot at the house, and his residence there in the former year is confirmed by the fact that the lease in 1811 to Daniel Dulany of the eastern portion of No. 11 mentions that the building which adjoined on the west side was "heretofore in the tenure … of the Lord Bishop of Ely, and now or late of Charles Arbuthnot." As a matter of fact Arbuthnot was appointed joint Secretary of the Treasury in 1809, and if he entered into residence at once should be shown at the house in Downing Street in the issue of the Court Guide for 1810, but somewhat surprisingly he is shown at No. 10 in that year (see p. 136).

Charles Arbuthnot was born in 1767. In 1793 he entered the public service as précis writer in the Foreign Office. After serving in various diplomatic capacities, he was in 1804 appointed Ambassador-Extraordinary at Constantinople, and superintended the forcing of the Dardanelles by the British fleet. From 1809 to 1823 he was one of the joint Secretaries of the Treasury. He was a confidential friend of the Duke of Wellington, with whom he lived towards the close of his life. He died at Apsley House in 1850. "He had no shining parts, and never could have been conspicuous in public life; but in a subordinate and unostentatious character he was more largely mixed up with the principal people and events of his time than any other man." (fn. n33)

From 1824 to 1827 Lushington was joint Secretary of the Treasury, and the issues of Boyle's Court Guide for those years show him residing at the house.

Stephen Rumbold Lushington, who was born in 1776, joined the East Indian service in 1790 and remained in it for 17 years. From 1807 to 1837, save for eight years (1827–35) when he was Governor of Madras, he was in Parliament, where he served for some time as Chairman of Committees. He died in 1868.

On Goderich coming into power in 1827 he took No. 10 for himself (see p. 136). The Chancellor of the Exchequer consequently had to be accommodated in the western portion of No. 11, and Boyle's Court Guide for January, 1828, shows Herries there ("No. 12").

Charles John Herries was born in 1778, and entered the civil service in 1798 as a junior clerk in the Treasury. He showed great ability, and became private secretary to Vansittart when Secretary to the Treasury and to Perceval when Chancellor of the Exchequer. From 1811 to 1816 he was Commissary-in-Chief, and in the latter year was made auditor of the Civil List. In 1821 he was appointed on the commission for enquiry into the revenue in Ireland, and himself drew up the commission's report. In 1823 he became Financial Secretary to the Treasury and entered Parliament. On Canning's death in 1827 he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in Goderich's ministry, but on Wellington becoming Prime Minister in the following year Herries was superseded by Goulburn, and became Master of the Mint. In 1830 he was also appointed President of the Board of Trade, but resigned both offices later in the year. He was one of the Select Committee on Metropolitan Improvements appointed in 1842, and wrote the greater part of the second report. From 1841 to 1847 he was out of Parliament. In 1852 he was for a short while President of the Board of Control, and in the following year retired from public life. He died in 1855.

The issues of Boyle's Court Guide for April, 1828 to 1830 show Henry Goulburn at "No. 12." He was born in 1784, and entered Parliament in 1808 as member for Horsham. In 1810 he was appointed Under-Secretary for the Home Department, and in 1812 Under-Secretary for War and the Colonies. On resigning in 1821 he was appointed Chief Secretary to the LordLieutenant of Ireland, a post which he held until 1827. In the following year he became Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Duke of Wellington's administration, which lasted until 1830. In 1834–5 he was Home Secretary, and from 1841 to 1846 was Chancellor of the Exchequer for a second time, when he again resided at the western portion of No. 11. (fn. n34) He died in 1856.

Boyle's Court Guide for the years 1831–4 shows Viscount Althorp at "No. 12."

John Charles Spencer, Viscount Althorp (3rd Earl Spencer), was born in 1782. After quitting Cambridge, where he had done well in mathematics, he travelled for a short time on the Continent, and in 1804 entered Parliament as member for Okehampton. From the first he showed little inclination for a parliamentary career, being devoted to country life and sport. In 1809 his disgust at the revelations concerning the selling of military commissions brought him out of his obscurity to join in the condemnation of the Duke of York, and he was selected to move the resolution put forward by the advanced Whigs. On the conclusion of the war in 1815 the grievances of the working classes, and the necessity for reform, caused him to take a more active part in debates, but the death of his wife in 1818 brought about his practical retirement, and it was only gradually and by effort that he resumed his public life. By degrees he established a reputation for high character and capacity, and in 1830 was chosen leader of the newly-reorganised Whig party. Towards the end of the year Wellington resigned, and Althorp became Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the House in Grey's ministry. On him to a very large extent fell the labour involved in the double passage of the Reform Bill through the House, and the result was a personal triumph. In 1834 grave difficulties arose in connection with the Irish Coercion Bill and Althorp resigned. Grey followed his example, and was succeeded by Melbourne, who induced Althorp to resume office. Later in the year he succeeded his father in the earldom, and the King took advantage of the event to dismiss the ministry. Althorp gladly withdrew to the country, and could never again be prevailed on to take office. Agriculture and cattle-breeding henceforth occupied him, and he was one of the promoters and first President of the Royal Agricultural Society. He died in 1845.

Spencer, Earl Spencer.

For a short period the western portion of No. 11 now reverted to the use of secretaries of the Treasury. Boyle's Court Guide for April, 1835, shows Sir George Clerk at "No. 12," and the issue for 1837 gives the name of E. J. Stanley.

Sir George Clerk was born in 1787, and in 1798 succeeded his uncle as baronet. He entered Parliament in 1811 as member for Midlothian. From 1819 to 1827, and again from 1828 to 1830, he was a lord of the Admiralty, and in the latter year was for a few months Under-Secretary for the Home Department. In 1834–5 and again from 1841 to 1845 he was Secretary to the Treasury. In 1845 he became Vice-President of the Board of Trade and Master of the Mint, holding both offices for a little over a year. In 1862 he was elected President of the Zoological Society, a position which he held until his death. He was also an F.R.S. and Chairman of the Royal Academy of Music. He died in 1867.

Edward John Stanley (Baron Stanley of Alderley) was born in 1802 and entered Parliament in 1831 for Hindon, Wilts. He was Under-Secretary for the Home Department in 1834, and from 1835 to 1841 Patronage Secretary to the Treasury, and Chief Whip of the Whig party. In 1841 he became Paymaster-General. Other offices held by him were those of Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs (1846–52), President of the Board of Trade (1855–58), and Postmaster-General (1860–66). In 1848 he was created Baron Eddisbury of Winnington, and in 1850 succeeded his father as Baron Stanley of Alderley. He died in 1869.

Lord Stanley of Asderley.

The issues of the Court Guide for 1838 and 1839 show Thomas Spring-Rice in occupation of "No. 12."

Thomas Spring-Rice (Baron Monteagle of Brandon) was born in 1790. After leaving Cambridge he studied law, but was never called to the Bar, and in 1820 began his parliamentary career as member for Limerick. He had an intimate knowledge of Irish affairs, and to his initiation were due many reforms in the administration of that country. He was Under-Secretary for the Home Department in 1827–8, and Secretary to the Treasury from 1830 to 1834. For a short while in the latter year he served as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, and from 1835 to 1839 was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He strove twice for nomination for the Speakership, and his disappointment on the second occasion led to his retirement. In 1839 he was created Baron Monteagle, and thenceforth took little part in public life. He died in 1866. Although SpringRice became Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1835, he does not appear to have occupied any official residence at Downing Street until 1838, (fn. n35) when the western portion of No. 11 reverted to its use as official residence of the chancellor. Spring-Rice was succeeded in office by F. T. Baring, and Boyle's Court Guide for 1840 and 1841 shows the latter in occupation of "No. 12."

Francis Thornhill Baring (Baron Northbrook), eldest son of Sir Thomas Baring, was born at Calcutta in 1796. In 1826 he entered Parliament as member for Portsmouth, which place he continued to represent until 1865. Appointed a lord of the Treasury in 1830, he became jointSecretary in 1834 and 1835–9, and from 1839 to 1841 was Chancellor of the Exchequer. From 1849 to 1852 he was First Lord of the Admiralty. In 1866 he was created Baron Northbrook, and died the same year.

The combined Premises.

After Goulburn's second term of office (1846) the two portions of No. 11 were combined, though still (up to 1883) mentioned separately (as Nos. 11 and 12) in the directories. In the following account, biographical details have been omitted.

In July, 1846, Sir Charles Wood (afterwards Viscount Halifax of Monk Bretton) became Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Boyle's Court Guide for the years 1847–52 shows him with Lady Mary Wood at "No. 12," Downing Street.

In February, 1852, Benjamin Disraeli (afterwards Earl of Beaconsfield) succeeded to the position. Disraeli did not move to Downing Street, but continued to live in Grosvenor Gate, feeling the insecurity of the position of the ministry. (fn. n36)

William Ewart Gladstone in December, 1852, followed Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Boyle's Court Guide for 1854, but not for subsequent years, shows him at "No. 12," Downing Street. It is certain that he resided at this house, at any rate, during the early part of his chancellorship. (fn. n37) If, however, Boyle is to be relied upon, he did not stay there for the whole of his term of office, for the issues of the Court Guide for 1855 and for several years later refer to "No. 12" as the Chancellor of the Exchequer's office.

Gladstone's tenure of office lasted until February, 1855, and for the next twenty years the successive Chancellors of the Exchequer seem to have lived elsewhere. They were as follows:—

Chancellor of the Exchequer. Commencement of Office. Remarks.
Sir George Cornwall Lewis February, 1855 Boyle's Court Guide for 1856–8 shows him at South Place, Knightsbridge.
Benjamin Disraeli February, 1858 Boyle's Court Guide for 1859 shows him at Grosvenor Gate.
W. E. Gladstone July, 1859 Gladstone continued to reside at No. 11, Carlton House Terrace.
Benjamin Disraeli July, 1866 Disraeli is still shown at Grosvenor Gate.
George Ward Hunt March, 1868 Boyle's Court Guide for 1869 shows him at No. 5, Rutland Gate.
Robert Lowe (afterwards Viscount Sherbrooke) December, 1868 Lowe seems to have remained at his house, No. 34, Lowndes Square.

In February, 1874, Sir Stafford Northcote became Chancellor of the Exchequer. At first he seems to have remained at his house, No. 86, Harley Street, but the Court Guide for the years 1877 to 1880 shows him and Lady Northcote residing at "No. 12," Downing Street.

On Gladstone becoming First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer in April, 1880, he took up his residence at No. 10, Downing Street, leaving No. 11 to be occupied by his secretarial staff. (fn. n38)

In December, 1882, H. C. E. Childers was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, but no evidence has been found to suggest that he occupied No. 11 as a residence. He was succeeded in July, 1885, by Sir Michael Hicks-Beach (afterwards Earl St. Aldwyn), who is shown at No. 11 in the issue of Boyle's Court Guide for 1886.

In February, 1886, Sir William Harcourt became Chancellor of the Exchequer, but did not take up his residence at No. 11, Downing Street. (fn. n39) His term of office only lasted a few months, and there is no evidence to suggest that Lord Randolph Churchill, who succeeded him in August, 1886, lived at No. 11. (fn. n40)

Churchill resigned towards the end of December, 1886, and was followed by G.J. Goschen (afterwards Viscount Goschen), who did not live at No. 11, the house being occupied throughout Goschen's term of office by Sir Michael Hicks-Beach.

Goschen was succeeded as Chancellor of the Exchequer by Sir William Harcourt in August, 1892, and the occupants of No. 11 since that date have been as follows:—

Chancellor of the Exchequer. Commencement of Office. Remarks.
Sir William Harcourt August, 1892 Occupied No. 11, Downing Street.
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach July, 1895 Occupied No. 11, Downing Street.
Charles Thomson Ritchie (afterwards Baron Ritchie of Dundee) July, 1902 Occupied No. 11, Downing Street.
Austen Chamberlain October, 1903 Occupied No. 11, Downing Street.
Herbert Henry Asquith (afterwards Earl of Oxford and Asquith) December, 1905 No. 11, Downing Street was occupied by Mr. Herbert Gladstone (afterwards Viscount Gladstone), Home Secretary.
David Lloyd George April, 1908 Occupied No. 11, Downing Street.
Reginald McKenna May, 1915 Mr. Lloyd George continued to live at No. 11.
Andrew Bonar Law December, 1916 Occupied No. 11, Downing Street, from about February, 1917. (fn. n41)
Austen Chamberlain January, 1919 Mr. Bonar Law continued, to live at No. 11. (fn. n41)
Robert S. Home April, 1921 Mr. Austen Chamberlain lived at No. 11. (fn. n41)
Stanley Baldwin October, 1922 Occupied No. 11, Downing Street, until end of July, 1923. (fn. n41)
Neville Chamberlain August, 1923 Occupied No. 11, Downing Street.
Philip Snowden January, 1924 No. 11 was occupied by Mr. J. R. Clynes, Lord Privy Seal. (fn. n41)
Winston Churchill November, 1924 Occupied No. 11, Downing Street.
Philip Snowden June, 1929 Occupies No. 11, Downing Street.

In The Council's Collection Are:—

Nos. 11 and 12, Downing Street.

(fn. n42) Nos. 11 and 12, Downing Street, section (copy of drawing in the possession of H.M. Office of Works).

No. 11, Downing Street.

(fn. n42) Plans as in 1846 (copies of plans in the possession of H.M. Office of Works).
General view of entrance Hall (photograph).
(fn. n42) General view of staircase (photograph).
(fn. n42) Detail of balusters to staircase (photograph).
(fn. n42) Detail of balusters to staircase (measured drawing).
(fn. n42) General view of Dining Room, ground floor, 1927 (photograph).
(fn. n42) General view of Green Room, 1927 (photograph).
Detail of mantelpiece in Green Room, 1927 (photograph).
(fn. n42) General view of Library, 1927 (photograph)
(fn. n42) General view of Drawing Room, 1927 (photograph).
Detail of chimneypiece in Drawing Room, 1927 (photograph).
(fn. n42) Mantelpiece in Dining Room, first floor, 1927 (front portion) (photograph).
(fn. n42) Mantelpiece in Dining Room, first floor, 1927 (rear portion) (photograph).
Detail of doorway to Dining Room, 1927 (photograph).


  • n1. Middx. Memls., 1723, IV, 27.
  • n2. This passage is still in existence.
  • n3. The above particulars are taken from the abstract of Lord Eliot's title. (P.R.O., T. 64/135.)
  • n4. P.R.O., T. 55/25, p. 110.
  • n5. P.R.O., T. 64/134.
  • n6. Crown Lands Entry Book, Z. 4, p. 273.
  • n7. Middx. Memls., 1772, VII, 315.
  • n8. Middx. Memorials, 1789, IV, 303.
  • n9. Ibid., 1789, IV, 476.
  • n10. P.R.O., T. 55/30, p. 459.
  • n11. P.R.O., T. 55/29, pp. 428–9.
  • n12. "Aug. 12. In Downing-street, aged 73, D. Dulany, esq." (Gentleman's Magazine, 1824, p. 189.)
  • n13. P.R.O., Works, 1/13, p. 471.
  • n14. P.R.O., Works, 1/14, p. 35.
  • n15. From £98 to £113. That of the eastern portion was also increased from £75 to £90, but was also immediately reduced to £75 again.
  • n16. Thus, with regard to the western portion of the premises the description of the house in the sale by the Downing trustees to Cocks in 1773 (quoted in P.R.O., T. 64/135) is "the piece … of ground& the mess[uag]e …& prem[ise]es thereon erected … formerly in the tenure of the sd Lord Bishop of Ely," who had left in1771. As regards the eastern portion, an indenture of 1777 between Maseres, James and Exley (Middx. Memls., 1777, V, 518) refers to the house as "late in the Tenure … of Sr Francis Blake Delaval deceased [who died in 1771] and now unoccupied."
  • n17. The chimney breast to the front portion of the room was altered in 1846.
  • n18. P.C.C., 378, Trevor.
  • n19. The Middlesex Journal, 8th–10th August, 1771.
  • n20. Middx. Memls., 1777, V, 518.
  • n21. From 1793 to 1805 Morse was resident at No. 27, Great George Street. (Survey of London, Vol. X, p. 42.)
  • n22. This was John Boyle, 5th Earl of Orrery, born in 1707, who in 1753 became Earl of Cork and Burlington. He lived from 1758 to 1762 at No. 12, Great George Street (see Survey of London, Vol. X, pp. 34–5).
  • n23. "He had the misfortune to break his leg a few days before, which occasioned his death." (Gentleman's Magazine, 1752, p. 584.)
  • n24. P.C.C., 202, Searle.
  • n25. Daughter of Robert Apreece of Washingley, Hunts.
  • n26. His will (P.C.C., 9, Exeter) was proved on 27th January, 1797.
  • n27. "Lord Henry Petty removed on Wednesday to his new residence in Downing-street." (Morning Herald, 27th June, 1806.)
  • n28. "Lord H. Petty has removed from Downing-street to Dover-street, Piccadilly." (Morning Chronicle, 27th May, 1807.)
  • n29. "Lord Grenville is preparing to quit the official house in Downing-street; and it is expected that, in the course of a fortnight, Mr. Spencer Perceval will take possession of it, Deo volente." (Morning Chronicle, 1st April, 1807.)
  • n30. "Dined at Perceval's in Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he read the King's speech after dinner to his company." (Diary of Lord Colchester, 1861 edn., II, p. 123, under date of 25th June, 1807.) His house was No. 59–60, Lincoln's Inn Fields. The London County Council has affixed a bronze tablet commemorative of Perceval's residence. (Indication of Houses of Historical Interest, IV., pp. 31–4.)
  • n31. "In a conversation with Mr. Perceval, in Downing Street, he asked me about the objection raised by Lord Henry Petty, etc." (Diary of Lord Colchester, 8th July, 1807.) "Yesterday the Lord Chancellor and Lord Castlereagh had long conferences with the Chancellor of the Exchequer at his house in Downing-street." (Morning Chronicle, 25th September, 1807.)
  • n32. "Mr. Huskisson will shortly go to reside in the official house of the Chancellor of the Exchequer." (Morning Chronicle, 20th October, 1807.)
  • n33. Greville Memoirs, VI, p. 371.
  • n34. See e.g., notice of the death of his son, Henry, on 8th June, 1843, "at the official residence of his father in Downing Street." (Gentleman's Magazine.) The Return of Housesin the Occupation of any Department of the Civil Service, made in 1845, mentions (i) No. 11, Downing Street, utilised "as the office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer," and (ii) No. 12, "the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer," occupied by "the Right Hon. Henry Goulburn," and "consisting of kitchen and offices, 6 sitting and 16 bedrooms; estimated [annual] value, £385."
  • n35. The issues of Boyle's Court Guide for 1835 to 1837 show him at No. 8, Mansfield Street.
  • n36. G. M. Trevelyan's Life of John Bright, 1925 ed., p. 207. "Though Disraeli had not gone to live in Downing Street, he had decorated the reception-rooms. He wrote to his wife … "The rooms look admirable. I think the saloon the most effective in London: the dining-room all right and very good.'" (Monypenny's Life of Disraeli, III, p. 439.)
  • n37. In the course of correspondence between Disraeli and Gladstone with reference to the furniture which the former had taken over from Wood and passed on to Gladstone, he alludes to the latter as having now "been for some time residing in Downing Street." (26th February, 1853, Ibid., III, p. 477.) Gladstone's son Herbert (afterwards Viscount Gladstone) was born at No. 11, Downing Street, on 7th January, 1854.
  • n38. Gardiner's Life of Sir William Harcourt, p. 568.
  • n39. "Harcourt, possibly with a prescience of the early defeat of the Government, had determined not to occupy the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, No. 11, Downing Street. He continued to reside at his own house in Grafton Street, leaving No. 11 to be occupied by Mr. Gladstone's secretarial staff." (Gardiner's Life of Sir William Harcourt, p. 568.)
  • n40. Boyle's Court Guide for 1887 shows him at No. 2, Connaught Place.
  • n41. Information kindly given by H.M. Office of Works.
  • n42. Reproduced here.