Site of No. 66, Charing Cross

Survey of London: Volume 16, St Martin-in-The-Fields I: Charing Cross. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1935.

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'Site of No. 66, Charing Cross', in Survey of London: Volume 16, St Martin-in-The-Fields I: Charing Cross, ed. G H Gater, E P Wheeler( London, 1935), British History Online [accessed 16 July 2024].

'Site of No. 66, Charing Cross', in Survey of London: Volume 16, St Martin-in-The-Fields I: Charing Cross. Edited by G H Gater, E P Wheeler( London, 1935), British History Online, accessed July 16, 2024,

"Site of No. 66, Charing Cross". Survey of London: Volume 16, St Martin-in-The-Fields I: Charing Cross. Ed. G H Gater, E P Wheeler(London, 1935), , British History Online. Web. 16 July 2024.


The information that has been obtained during the preparation of this volume has not enabled a satisfactory connection to be made between the site of No. 66, Charing Cross, and the plots sold by George and Thomas Cole in 1618. Two of these plots remain to be dealt with: (a) comprising two messuages in the tenure of William Davison and John Drew, situated between the tenement of William "Goodacre" (No. 65) on the east and that of Richard Williams on the west, and sold to Richard Stile (fn. n1); (b) comprising two messuages in the tenure of Richard Williams and Richard Page, adjoining the tenement of Davison on the east and that of Tristram Heycroft on the west, and sold to Thomas Walton. (fn. n2) The natural interpretation of this is that the two plots lay side by side, (a) to the east of (b). In 1634 Walton sold (fn. n3) to Francis Saunders and Jane his wife a moiety of two messuages, obviously (b). What happened to the other moiety of (b) is not known. In 1660 Jane Saunders and her sons, Francis and George, sold (fn. n4) to William Bell their interests in a "messuage… and a Shedd or Painthouse in the streete before the said messuage… commonly called… the Princes Armes or feathers… scituate… neere Charing Crosse streete… late the inheritance of Francis Saunders (fn. n5) … as the same are now in the tenure… of Richard Lowe victualer (fn. n6) and abut East upon a Tenemt now or late in the tenure… of William Birch, West upon the Tenemt now or late in the tenure… of one Richard Paulin, North upon the high streete called Charing Crosse streete, and south uppon the Stables and buildings of Roger Higgs Inholder." The obvious inference is that this property, formerly of Francis Saunders, is (b). In the sale of the fee-farm rents by Gamble to Price in 1679 (a) is said to be in the tenure of Walter "Furnside" (Furness) and (b) in that of Widow Crawley. As will be seen from what follows, Furness was certainly the occupier of the front portion of what was afterwards No. 66, Charing Cross, which is thereby identified as (a), and according to all logical reasoning (b) should be the premises to the west of No. 66. But in fact the evidence of the ratebooks points to the house in the occupation of Lowe (b) as that afterwards occupied by Furness. The name "Crawley" (connected with (b)) does not appear in the ratebooks, but it will be seen below that Thomas Crawley was in 1668 the owner of the rear portion of what was afterwards No. 66. It therefore appears that both (a) and (b) are to be identified with the site of No. 66, and yet it seems difficult for even two houses of the four (supposing the other two to have been in the rear) to have occupied a frontage of only 17 feet 8 inches. (fn. n7) It must be left to some future historian to solve the problem.

Walter Furness is shown by the ratebooks for the first time in connection with the house on the site of No. 66 in the year 1663. (fn. n8) Like the house on the site of No. 65, it was owned by Michepher Alphery, who left it (fn. n9) to his nephew of the same name, and on the latter's death (if without heirs) to Robert Alphery, of Warbours. Robert sold it (fn. n10) in 1685 to James Alphery, from whom the property passed successively to his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Jane. A description of the premises is contained in a mortgage (fn. n11) dated 1st March, 1720–1, between Jane Ball, "only Daughter and Heir of James Alphery," and James Ingram. It runs: "All that Now Dwelling House… containing One Sellar, One Shopp with a Shedd Over and before the same, One Entry and Yard behind the said Entry, Three Chambers and One Garrett one over another… Commonly called… the Feathers and Late the Cock and Bottle near Charing Cross… and Abutting East upon a Tenement Now or Late… of Arthur Morris [see p. 136], West upon a Tenement… of Bryan Mortimer, North upon the High Street called Charing Cross Street, and South upon the Buildings of Roger Niggs [Higgs], Gentleman. (fn. n12)

This was, however, only a portion of the premises. The other part had, on 14th July, 1668, been demised to Thomas Crawley under the description of "all that Messuage… containing one Cellar, or Citchen, three Chambers, a Garrett and one long entry or passage leading out of the street into the said Messuage… one little yard paved and one House of Office in the said yard, the said Entry… then being in length from the said street fourteen foot… and eight inches and in Breadth between wall and wall three foot… and then divided by a wall sett up between the said Entry… and the shop belonging to the said House wherein the said Walter Furnis then dwelt, and the Room within the said entry… containing Twelve foot and four inches." Walter Furness had rebuilt the premises, which had previously been called The Whalebone, as part of his house "then called… the Windsor Castle …now [1737] called… the Cock and Bottle." On 13th September, 1737, John Crawley (son of John, cousin of Thomas Crawley) sold (fn. n13) this portion of the premises to Samuel Cranmer. From 1736 to 1745 the house is shown by the ratebooks as empty, and in 1746 Robert Taylor appears. On 4th November, 1743, Taylor had obtained leases (fn. n14) for 21 and 63 years respectively of both portions (specified as the front and back portions) of the house, and on the site he built a new house, the freehold of which he subsequently purchased. (fn. n15)

On 14th March, 1808, his son, Michael Angelo Taylor, leased the house to Louis Monnet under the description of a messuage, then in Monnet's occupation, abutting north on the public highway opposite the King's Mews, south on the messuage lately in the occupation of Lady Taylor but then of Dr. Maton (see p. 134), west on a messuage in the occupation of Mr. Farrance, pastrycook, and east on a messuage then or late in the occupation of Mr. Blount (No. 65). The ratebooks show that Monnet was succeeded in 1810 by Robert Barnett, and in 1820 when numbers are first given in the ratebooks, Barnett's house is numbered 66.

The site is now covered by the premises of the National Provincial Bank.


  • n1. P.R.O., C. 54/2385, No. 41.
  • n2. Ibid., No. 42.
  • n3. Final concord, Easter, 10 Chas. I (P.R.O., C.P. 25(2), 457). Warranty is given against the heirs of Thomas Walton and George and Thomas Cole.
  • n4. Indenture, dated 9th June, 1660 (P.R.O., C. 54/4051, No. 28.)
  • n5. The detailed description proceeds: "wch said messuage… doth conteyne theis severall roomes hereafter mencioned… one Cellar in breadth from East to West Sixteene foote and three inches… and in length from North to South sixteene foote… one shopp next the Streete and adioyning to the said Shedd or Painthouse conteyning in breadth from East to West thirteene foote …and in length… sixteene foote… One Entry and a yard behinde the said Entrie, the Entry conteyning in breadth from East to West three foote and a halfe… and in length from north to south two and twenty foote… and the said yard conteyneth in length from East to West nyne foote… and in breadth from north to south foure foote… one chamber over the said shopp conteyning in breadth from East to West sixteene foote… and in length from north to south sixteene foote… one chamber over the said former mencioned Chamber and one garret over the said last mencioned chamber."
  • n6. There is a record of a token, issued by Richard Lowe. "At ye Fethers over ["The Prince of Wales' Crest"] against ye Mues, R.L." (Boyne's Traders' Tokens of the Seventeenth Century, revised edition by George C. Williamson, 1889.)
  • n7. As shown by the plan of No. 66 accompanying a deed of 1808. (Indenture, dated 14th March, 1808, between Michael Angelo Taylor and Louis Monnet—Middx. Register, 1811, II, 54.)
  • n8. He is shown in respect of this house until 1679, and the ratebook evidence suggests that he then moved to a house to the east of the entrance to Mermaid Court.
  • n9. "Whereas I am possessed of one other messuage adjoyning West to the last before mencioned messuage [No. 65], and in the occupation of Walter Furnis." (P.C.C., 48 Reeve.)
  • n10. Final concord, Mich., 1 Jas. II, between James Alphery quer: and Robert Alphery and Merial his wife (deforc:). (P.R.O., C.P. 25(2), 786.)
  • n11. Middx. Register, 1720, III, 370.
  • n12. The similarity between this description and that of Saunders' house in 1660 will not escape attention. It may be noticed too that both houses were called The Feathers.
  • n13. Middx. Register, 1738, I, 30.
  • n14. Indentures between (1) William King and William Watkinson, (2) Thomas and Charles Murray, and (3) Robert Taylor (Middx. Register, 1743, III, 259), and (1) William Watkinson and Thomas Ford, (2) Thomas Murray, and (3) Robert Taylor. (Ibid., 1743, III, 260.)
  • n15. (i) Indenture, dated 18th November, 1757, between Thomas Murray and Robert Taylor, concerning "All that Moiety… or Front part of the Messuage… heretofore known by the Sign of the Cock and Bottle… formerly… in the Tenure… of Walter Furnis" (ibid., 1757, IV, 253), and (ii) indenture, dated 15th January, 1762, between (1) James Cranmer, (2) Thomas Ford, (3) William Watson, and (4) Robert Taylor, concerning "All that Toft… and so much of that Messuage… formerly called… the Windsor Castle… formerly Erected by Walter Furnis." (Ibid., 1762, I, 123.)