Scotland Yard: North of Whitehall Place

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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, 'Scotland Yard: North of Whitehall Place', in Survey of London: Volume 16, St Martin-in-The-Fields I: Charing Cross, (London, 1935) pp. 203-219. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Scotland Yard: North of Whitehall Place", in Survey of London: Volume 16, St Martin-in-The-Fields I: Charing Cross, (London, 1935) 203-219. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Scotland Yard: North of Whitehall Place", Survey of London: Volume 16, St Martin-in-The-Fields I: Charing Cross, (London, 1935). 203-219. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,


(U). (fn. n1) This case is interesting as showing the very small beginnings of certain leasehold interests in Scotland Yard. In 1679 Thomas Butterworth, "being a person who hath attended long in the Court to make clean, dress & pann hatts for his Majties Servts," had for some time exercised his trade in the porter's lodge near Scotland Yard Gate, but his presence there being found inconvenient he was permitted "at his own charge" to build a shed in Scotland Yard, "wch he may quietly inioy & possess to use and manage his sd Trade." (fn. n2) The site chosen was on the east side of the passage leading from Middle to Great Scotland Yard and to the south of the premises numbered 52 ("The Kings Lock Smith") on the plan of 1670. Twenty years later Elizabeth Duke, who had for many years been a "retainer to ye Court and … Served therein as a Necessary Woman untill ye Death of her late Matie of blessed memory … being desirous to see Herbs for a Livelyhood … humbly besought Leave to erect a Shed in Scotland Yard for that purpose." She was accordingly allowed at her own cost to "build a Shedd … adjoineing to the Shedd of Thomas Butterworth, Hattmaker, which she may quietly possesse … Provided she doth not build any Chimney therein or make any fires there wch may be dangerous to the adjacent Buildings." (fn. n3) The next we hear of Butterworth's building is in 1730, when John Butterworth mortgaged (fn. n4) it for 99 years, and two years later effected another mortgage in the form of a lease for 1,000 years. (fn. n5) In an assignment of the latter mortgage in 1736 (fn. n6) the "Messuage Tenement or Shedd" is mentioned to have formerly been in the occupation of Robert Montgomery, barber, and then of John May. The latter in 1743 applied for a lease of two "small old Sheds" in Scotland Yard. The one, in his own occupation, consisted of a shop, 13 feet long by 10½ feet broad, with one room over it and a cellar adjoining 9 feet long by 9½ feet wide, which premises he had "long held by tacit consent of the Crown." The other, which was undoubtedly that built by Mrs. Duke, was about 12 feet long by 9½ feet wide, and was "likewise a low old Building in possession of one Boness, a poor Widow, who the Petr does not intend to disturb during her life." (fn. n7) A lease for 50 years was granted to May on 27th January, 1743–4. In 1775, when "by his care and industry" May had "made a shift to pull down the sheds" and had "built a small brick house still used as a Barber's shop," (fn. n8) he applied for a reversionary lease, which was granted on 22nd July, 1775, for 31 years as from 7th February, 1794. The premises were demolished in connection with the erection of No. 9, Whitehall Place.

(V). The exact extent of the Granary in Scotland Yard has not been ascertained, but it seems to have occupied the upper floors of the buildings marked on the plan of 1670 as 50 ("To Mrs. Churchill" (fn. n9) ), 49 ("The Queens Landry"), The Spicery and The Cyder House. It may even have extended over the buildings (65) north of the latter, for it is occasionally referred to as "over the dock." (fn. n10) A guard-house was in existence in Scotland Yard in the time of the Commonwealth, (fn. n11) and from the mention of stairs leading to it (fn. n12) it is possible that it was already established in the Granary, where we find it shortly after the Restoration. (fn. n13) A foot passage from Middle Scotland Yard ran beneath the premises, (fn. n14) and when this was heightened by 6 feet in the early part of the eighteenth century (see p. 206) a great part of the Guard Room "where the soldiers lye" was rendered useless, there remaining "only 46 feet 7 inches of any use for exercising the officers and soldiers, and not room for so many men to lye there as before." (fn. n15) The northernmost portion of the ground floor (fn. n16) beneath the Guard Room became converted into The Mitre public-house. The building was in 1815 marked out for demolition, "as the intended improvements in Scotland Yard will, we are inclined to think, render a Guard there no longer necessary," (fn. n17) but in February, 1816, a great part of the roof fell in, and the opportunity was taken of removing the building entirely. (fn. n18) On Plate 103 are reproduced a view of the premises towards the end of their existence and a drawing giving details of the roof.

(W). At the Restoration, Stephen (afterwards Sir Stephen) Fox was accommodated, as an officer of the Greencloth, with rooms over the Great Bakehouse, shown in the plan of 1670 as lying to the south of Scotland Dock. The rooms were "but 3 in number, and very inconvenient low roomes." Fox therefore obtained leave to add to them at his own expense. Some years later he acquired other rooms "that did belong to the servants of the old Bottlehouse … insomuch that it [became] a large habitation," (fn. n19) including not only the rooms over the Great Bakehouse, but those marked 48 in the plan of 1670. Shortly before the Revolution Fox obtained James II's warrant to hold and enjoy all the lodgings, except certain specified rooms to be reserved for his successors in the Greencloth office, until he should have been reimbursed £1,000 which, it was alleged, he had expended in connection with the lodgings. (fn. n20) He afterwards applied to William III for a lease of the whole, including those rooms which had previously been excepted. The Board of Greencloth opposed the application, (fn. n21) but in vain, and Fox obtained a lease for 42 years from 22nd July, 1692. The premises are described (fn. n22) as abutting north on Scotland Yard, 97 feet; east on the Thames, 100 feet; west partly on a passage and partly on "ye foot Guard," 124 feet; and south "on ye Woodyard & on a Passage from thence to ye Thames," 94 feet. The Great Bakehouse itself was included, on the undertaking of Fox that he would build another, (fn. n23) and this he did, apparently in 1695, (fn. n24) on the site of one of the unnumbered buildings shown in the plan of 1670 between 50 and "The Charcoal House." Fox's interest passed to William Aislabie, who on 7th July, 1719, obtained a fresh lease for 50 years.

The premises were stated to be "in a very Ruinous Condition, and must be Rebuilt before they can be made Habitable." (fn. n25)

On 3rd August in the same year a lease was granted to John Child of premises to the north, comprising "the Wharfe and Dock and old Carpenter's Yard," abutting north-east on the Duke of Somerset's garden, 175 feet; north-west on H.M. Storeyards, 148½ feet; south-west in part on the end of the old guard-house 42½ feet, and in other part on Aislabie's premises 100 feet; and south-east on the Thames. The ground as shown on the plan of 1670 included "The Wharfe," (fn. n26) about half of "The Deale Yard" (fn. n27) and a corresponding portion of the unnamed open space (The Timber Yard (fn. n28) ) on the south of the latter.

Both leases came into the hands of William Benson, who assigned his interest to the Duke of Chandos. The latter in 1729 applied (fn. n29) for fresh leases, which were granted on 22nd November, 1733, of Aislabie's property for 50 years from 7th July, 1732, and of Child's premises for 13 years from 3rd August, 1750. In 1741 the duke petitioned for a new lease of both for 50 years, and this he obtained on 27th March, 1742. Chandos died in 1744, and in 1753 the Earl of Northumberland, who had purchased the lease from the duke's executors, applied for an additional piece of ground, comprising the remainder of the Deal Yard and Timber Yard, "on wch there are some sheds & other small Buildings, which appear very unsightly and also intercept the View of the River Thames from Northumberland House." (fn. n30) The application was resisted by the Board of Works, who pointed out that the ground was "part of the Antient Storeyard" belonging to them, which had been already "very much Incommoded and Straightened" by the "Improvident Grant" to Child, and was "now the only Remaining Place the Office of Works are in Possession of to deposit the Stores & Materialls dayly wanting for his Majesty's Buildings att Whitehall and Elsewhere." (fn. n31) A portion of the property was also already on lease to Henry Flitcroft. (fn. n32) In spite of the objections raised, the Treasury persisted "in the opinion that a Lease shod be granted to the Earl of the premises except what is in Lease to Mr. Flitcroft," (fn. n33) and a 31 years' lease was accordingly made on 29th January, 1757. The Earl (then Duke) of Northumberland on 27th June, 1787, obtained a new lease for 50 years of all three properties.

(X). On the north side of Great Scotland Yard stood the Clockhouse, the earliest reference to which that has been discovered in the investigations for this volume is in 1626–7 (fn. n34). In 1706 Samuel Lynn petitioned (fn. n35) for a lease of "a peice of Waste Ground adjoyning to his Dwelling house in Scotland Yard on Wch stands an Old Clockhouse that is of no use to her Maty." The application was opposed by Wren on the ground that the Clockhouse was "of manifold & necessary use for the Officers of the Workes, in the discharge of their Dutys." (fn. n36) By 1784 the underpart of the building had been converted into stables, (fn. n37) which in 1812 were used by persons holding official positions in the Admiralty. In that year new premises were required for the Marshalsea Court House, and it was decided to allot the site, together with a house adjoining on the west, for that purpose. (fn. n38) On representations afterwards being made that "the Inhabitants and Neighbourhood of Scotland Yard have long enjoyed the advantage of the Clock & Vane now standing on the Building called the Clock House," arrangements were made for the clock and vane to be replaced on the new building. (fn. n39) The Marshalsea Court remained in occupation until it was abolished at the end of 1849. A plan of the building (consisting "only of the Court and one small Room adjoining … each 20 feet high, and with not any Room above, but only a Clock Turret") made in 1850, is reproduced on p. 208. In the latter year the premises were taken by the Metropolitan Police, who on 16th December, 1850, were granted a 21 years' lease, conditionally on the clock being kept at all times going and in good order, and being refixed in as conspicuous a position if its removal should at any time be found necessary in altering the premises. (fn. n40) The lease was surrendered in 1855, (fn. n41) when a new lease, containing the same provisions regarding the clock, was granted for 50 years in consideration of the expense incurred in "enlarging, altering and repairing" the premises.

Figure 37:

Plan of the Marshalsea Court House, 1850

(Y). On 3rd March, 1660–1, Charles II granted (fn. n42) to Sir John Denham (fn. n43) for 51 years "all that Dead Wall Leading from the Office of our Workes to the house yt was latelie Charles Lord Wilmotts Deceased & as much ground within the said Wall, being parcell of Scotland Yard adioyneing to our Royall Pallace of Westminster … as the whole length of the Wall and Thirtie foote in Breadth, and a Space of xiiijeen foote square for makeing a Payre of Staires, except and out of the premises hereby graunted alwaies reserved a convenient way & passage to and for coaches and Cartes where … the sd Sr John Denham … shall thinke fitt." On this ground, which had a length of about 140 feet, Denham erected a number of houses shown in the plan of 1670 as "Sr Iohn Denhams New Building." When the Great Fire was raging in 1666 steps were taken to dismantle the buildings to prevent the conflagration, if it came so far, from reaching the Palace, and the necessary repairs were afterwards carried out at the King's cost. (fn. n44) Denham died in 1669, leaving to his (fn. n45) daughter Elizabeth "the Lease which I hold by grant from his Majesty of the Ground in Scotland-Yard adjoyning to White Hall, whereon I have att my owne sole Costs … built a new Rainge of Brick buildings." In 1675 Elizabeth married (fn. n46) Sir Thomas Arden Price, Bt., in whose possession the buildings are found in 1679, when he complained (fn. n47) that some of his tenants refused to pay their rent and "yet continue Tennants in his house," relying no doubt on the fact that, being within the limits of the Palace, they were secure from arrest. (fn. n48) A portion of these buildings (probably the southern portion) was about this time used for State purposes. (fn. n49) In 1678 the premises were included in the lease of the Manor of Westminster to Sheldon and Charlton, afterwards transferred to Sir Humphrey Edwin (see p. 77). (fn. n50) In 1737 the property (fn. n51) is found divided between (a) John Edwin and his sisters, who held the southern portion, including the rooms over the gateway into Great Scotland Yard, and (b) Humphrey Edwin and his sister, who held the northern portion. The two portions were separated by a party wall a short distance north of the gateway, and the middle staircase was common to both parties.

It would seem that at some time before 1676 Sir Philip Howard (fn. n52) went to reside in the southern portion of Denham Buildings. (fn. n53) In that year, when Captain of the King's Guards, he obtained a licence to make a door into Scotland Yard "out of a House hee then lived in adjoyning to the said Yard, upon account of his attendance upon his then Maty, and alsoe to inclose a small yard adjoyning to the said House, containing 32 foot in length and 16 in breadth out of the said Scotland Yard, wherein the said Sr Phillip built two Shedds." On Howard's death the door was "made up by Sr Christopher Wren, "but was afterwards opened again for Capt. Richard Fowler, (fn. n54) "who hath been eminently in our Service ever since wee [William III] came to the Crowne, and still is, who lives in part of the said House." On Fowler's departue in 1692 the door was again bricked up, "Wee not allowing a private passage from the street into Our Pallace should be made a Right to belong to any private House." (fn. n55)

In 1745 the southern portion of Denham's Buildings was taken by the Government on a 21 years' lease for the use of the comptrollers of the army accounts. (fn. n56) Its later history is dealt with in chapter 32.

In an indenture of 1712 (fn. n57) containing the names of the tenants of both portions of Denham Buildings Widow Wells is given as occupying a tenement in the north portion. She was presumably the proprietress of Mrs. Wells' Coffee House, (fn. n58) and this in turn was probably the establishment known afterwards as Wills' Coffee House, (fn. n59) which was certainly situated in the north part of Denham Buildings. (fn. n60)

On 26th May, 1759, Humphrey Edwin obtained a fresh lease of the northern part of Denham Buildings to hold for 22 years from 5th January, 1787, and on 4th March, 1760, assigned the premises to Sir Hew Dalrymple and his wife Martha, Humphrey's sister. In 1800 Sir Hew Dalrymple Hamilton applied for a fresh lease. (fn. n61) As a result of a survey of the premises it was stated (fn. n62) (24th April, 1801) that "on the … Plot of Ground which abuts towards the South on the Gateway leading to Great Scotland Yard, are three Houses (fn. n63) consisting of Kitchen Offices on the Basement Story, three Square Stories above the Ground & Garrets on the Roof. The three … Houses were new fronted some years since, but the interior parts are very old & the back fronts bulged and decayed, and they are incommodious from being very shallow in depth and having the Basement Stories particularly low, and for Want of Sewers not capable of being drained." The plan then made is here reproduced. A reversionary lease of the premises (then Nos. 33–35, Charing Cross, representing the present Nos. 49, 51 and 53, Whitehall) was on 10th May, 1803, granted for 53½ years from 5th April, 1808.

Figure 38:

Nos. 33–35, Charing Cross, in 1801

(Z). (a) In 1605 particulars were drawn up (fn. n64) for a lease to Simon Basil, surveyor-general of works, of a tenement newly built on the northwest corner of the base court, commonly known by the name of "Scotteland," lying between the common way leading from Charing Cross to Westminster on the west, and the base court on the east, containing 50 feet on both sides, and abutting on the tenement then in the tenure of Alice Blathe, widow, towards the north, containing in width 13 feet, and on the base court towards the south, also 13 feet. (fn. n65) It was noted that there was formerly a parcel of an old tenement on the site "where the said newe Tenemente is nowe buylded. The Charges whereof were done by one Symon Basell Esquier … beinge well buylded wch I esteeme did coste him fiftie poundes. The growndeworke of the saied Tenemente at the Entire consistenth one lytell Yearde, one lytell Hall, one lytell Kytchin, and one other voyde Roome, wth three Chambers buylded over the saied buyldinge." The tenement had apparently been built about two years before, for Basil first appears in the ratebooks in 1603. The ground actually included in the lease for 60 years, which was not granted until 28th January, 1610–11, (fn. n66) was of much larger dimensions than was originally proposed, comprising two plots, each 70 feet from north to south, and 13 and 80 feet respectively from west to east. The width of 70 feet is inconsistent with the plan of 1816 (Plate 93) which shows the distance from the north part of Denham Buildings to the "Boundary of the Crown Land" as only about 54 feet. It is, however, indubitably correct, and it will be seen that the small plot, afterwards No. 29, Charing Cross "(the northernmost Z on the plan), lying outside the "boundary," was always treated as part of the Basil premises. (fn. n67)

To complete the story of the leases of the Basil property as a whole it may be said that (i) on 5th February, 1629–30, a reversionary lease for 41 years was granted to Thomas Cary (fn. n68); (ii) in 1678 the premises were included in the lease of the Manor of Westminster and were afterwards transferred to Sir Humphrey Edwin; (iii) in the division of the property between (a) John Edwin and his sisters, and (b) Humphrey Edwin and his sister, the former obtained No. 29, Charing Cross, and the latter all the remainder.

On the land granted in 1611 Basil erected two houses in addition to the one which he himself occupied. The southernmost and largest of the three was that known as Wilmot House, the history of which is given in chapter 33.

The identification of the early occupiers of the middle house presents considerable difficulty, but it seems fairly certain that Dr. Young, dean of Winchester, was there from 1620 to 1625. "Doctr Castle" is shown at the house for 1648 and 1649, and Sir Thomas Alcock from 1650 to 1654.

Simon Basil died in 1615, (fn. n69) and Inigo Jones, who became the new surveyor-general, succeeded him in the occupation of the northernmost house. (fn. n70) During the Civil War Jones was absent from his house for nearly four years, during most of which time he was, with the Marquess of Winchester, besieged in Basing House, where he was taken prisoner in October, 1645. His estate was sequestrated, and on 9th January, 1645–6, information was given to the Committee for Compounding of "goods, plate, money, etc., belonging to him concealed in his house near Whitehall, or in some rooms in Scotland Yard belonging to him." (fn. n71) The ratebook for 1651 shows Jones still at the house, but from a survey of the two northern houses made in August, 1650, (fn. n72) it would appear that John Webb, (fn. n73) his pupil and friend, was already in occupation. The survey runs as follows:

"All that Tenemt built [wth Brick and Covered wth Tyle] … adioyning East (fn. n74) on th'aforesaid house [Wilmot House], consistinge of one Hall Wainscoted next to ye streete, one Kitchen paved wth stone, and one Lodginge Roome and a Larder behind the same, and under the same two small Sellers, and above stayres in the first story one dyneinge Roome and two Chambers lyeinge backwards adioyninge to the same, And in the second story 3 Chambers, and over the same 3 garretts, contayninge by admeasuremt 75 feet of assize in Length and 15 feete in breadth, now in ye occupacion of Sr Thomas Alcock and the Lady Brian, and is worth per annum … xxxiijli.

"All that Messuage or Tenemt built as aforesaid … Consistinge of one Hall next to the streete Wainscoted, and at the farthest end of an Entry or narrowe Passage one Kitchen, one small Larder paved wth Brick Tayle wth a small parlor and Larder and Buttery behind the same, and a small stable behind them, alsoe one yard and garden well planted wth Choyce and Rare flowers of various sorts and Kyndes, very pleasant to the Eye and profitable for use, and behinde the same one Woodhouse one Colehouse and one house of office, And above stayers in the first story 3 Chambers and one Gallery, and in the second story 3 small Chambers and one Closett and two Garretts over the same, And abovestaires in the buildings next to the streete over th'aforesaid Halle one Parlor and 2 Clossetts Wainscoted, and over the same one Lodginge Roome, and a garrett over the same, wch said house contayneth by Admeasuremt 193 (fn. n75) feet of Assize in Length, and 19 feete broad on the front and 30tie feete broad backwards, now in the occupacion of Mr John Webbe, and is worth per annum ......................lvjli." From a comparison with the description of Basil's tenement in 1605 (see p. 213) it is evident that the house had been considerably enlarged.

The interest in the leases of Basil and Cary had in 1661 come into the hands of Edward Vaughan, (fn. n76) who is shown by the ratebooks as occupying Webb's house from that year until 1669. The Hearth Tax Roll for 1666 gives the house as assessed for 12 hearths.

Alcock's house had meanwhile come into the occupation of Robert Blackburne, (fn. n77) who held a lease for 14 years. In 1657 the house was taken for the accommodation of Cromwell's life-guard. (fn. n78) The Hearth Tax Roll for 1674 shows the house as assessed for 11 hearths and in the occupation of— Man. (fn. n79) This was the proprietor of the well-known Old Man's Coffee House. (fn. n80) In 1712 Alexander Man obtained an assignment of the Edwin lease in respect of that particular house. (fn. n81) He died at the close of 1714 or beginning of 1715, leaving (fn. n82) to his widow Elizabeth "my Lease and all my Right and Term in the Mansion house I now live in near Charing Cross, and all the Stock of Coffee and Tea that I shall dye possessed of," and she in turn bequeathed the lease to her daughters, Charlotte Man and Mary Cooper. (fn. n83) In the ratebook for 1718 Alexander Man's place is taken by Edmund Man, his son, who continues until 1729, (fn. n84) when he was succeeded by John Wintle, who in 1735 gives place to Edward Hurst. (fn. n85) It would appear that the premises had been divided before the assignment of the lease to Alexander Man, for when Humphrey Edwin obtained his new reversionary lease in 1738 the only portion of this property which it contained was a messuage "now or late in the possession of John Cooper, (fn. n86) bounded west partly on the street and in other part on Old Man's Coffee House."

On 15th May, 1740, Hurst obtained a reversionary lease (fn. n87) from the Crown for 33 years as from Christmas, 1756, of "all that Messuage … called Old Man's Coffee House … abutting East on a House or Ground belonging to Humphry Edwin" (the house of Cooper), and later in the same year the Edwins sold (fn. n88) to Hurst their new lease of the adjoining site "whereon a Messuage … lately stood heretofore in the occupation of Joseph Cooper," so that Hurst had now the whole of what was afterwards No. 30, Charing Cross. (fn. n89) Hurst rebuilt a portion of the premises and on 19th June, 1741, sold to John Heath the two plots "together with all that new Brick Messuage … then lately Erected … on the said Ground by the said Edward Hurst." (fn. n90)

Meanwhile John Edwin, who was in possession of the Crown lease of what was afterwards No. 29, Charing Cross, had on 15th September, 1738, been granted a reversionary lease for 30 years from Christmas, 1756, and on 17th January, 1741–2, had demised the house for 46¼ years from 24th September, 1740, to Edward Hurst. In 1769 George Heath applied for a reversionary Crown lease of all three messuages, which was granted on 11th April, 1770. The northernmost house (No. 29) was said to be in good repair, "now in the occupation of Jonathan Legge," and Old Man's Coffee House, also in good repair, was stated to be "now called the Admiralty Coffee house … at present in the occupation of Alexer Slainger." The third house, formerly Cooper's, was "used as a Back House with the Admiralty Coffee House." (fn. n91) The lease became vested in John Stephens, who on 22nd June, 1807, obtained a new lease for 44¼ years from 5th January, 1820. The premises are described as consisting of two houses, "No. 29, in the occupation of Mr Richard Wild, (fn. n92) containing Kitchen Offices in the Basement Story, four square Stories above And Garrets in the roof—No. 30 in the occupation of Mr James Window, containing Cellars in the Basement Story, four square Stories above and Garretts in the Roof, with a Yard and a Building behind in which is a Kitchen and a Room over it." (fn. n93) The plan accompanying the report on Stephens' application is here reproduced.

Figure 39:

Nos. 29 and 30, Charing Cross in 1807.

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

In 1829 Nos. 29 and 30, with others on the east side of the road, were transferred (fn. n94) by way of exchange to the Vicar of St. Martinin-the-Fields. The site is now covered by Nos. 41 and 43, Whitehall.

(b) The history of the premises at the rear of those above described is of importance only in respect of their connection with Craig's Court.

Reference has already (see p. 215) been made to the acquisition by Edward Vaughan in 1661 of the Basil and Cary grants. Vaughan assigned his interest to George Jackson, and on 8th July, 1673, the latter's widow, Elizabeth, transferred it to John Leeson. The premises then consisted of two tenements in the occupation of "Anthony" Man and Edmund Pusey, with a garden or gardens behind, a tenement built by Vaughan formerly in the occupation of Sir Joseph Williamson, (fn. n95) and another which afterwards became a small alehouse known as The Hole in the Wall. Leeson's widow assigned her interest on 28th September, 1693, to Joseph Craig, who proceeded to pull down Williamson's house and erect new buildings in connection with the formation of his new court (Craig's Court) then in course of construction. Craig then, "upon perusall of his Title & compareing the Assignments with the originall Leases," found that Williamson's house and the alehouse, "with a small Court or Garden between them," was no part of the original grant, but an encroachment made by Basil, "who being Surveyor Generall of ye works and his Son Clark of the works … 'twas not difficult for them to keep the possession of this Slip of ground which lyes behind the Clock house & other buildings & stables on the North side of Scotland yard." Craig at once voluntarily communicated his discovery to the officers of the Crown, and petitioned for a new lease to include the encroachment. Unfortunately the premises originally granted to Basil had already been included in the lease of the Manor of Westminster (see p. 213), and all that could be done to satisfy Craig was to grant him a lease of the encroachment. (fn. n96) This was done, and on 26th December, 1694, Craig obtained a lease for 99 years.

Figure 40:

South side of Craig's Court in 1783

On the ground thus obtained Craig built the two houses on the south side of Craig's Court. In 1783 James Craig applied for a fresh lease to include a piece of ground at the east end of the premises. The plan attached to the report (fn. n97) on his application is here reproduced. The additional piece of ground is marked A, the plots B and C having been included in the previous lease. It will be noticed that a small portion of the open ground of Craig's Court (C) is thus really a part of Scotland Yard. Craig obtained his lease on 20th February, 1784.

On its termination on 6th July, 1833 (when it was held by Craig's successor, the Earl of Harrington), the one house, then No. 5, Craig's Court, was occupied by Messrs. Pearce, Kent and Thynne, and the other, No. 6, had recently been in the occupation of the Hon. Leycester Stanhope. The houses were combined and used for several years as the Museum of Practical Geology. In 1850 they reverted to the Crown, and were handed over to the registrar–general for use as the Census Office.


  • n1. For these letters see the plan on Plate .
  • n2. P.R.O., L.S. 13/172, p. 27.
  • n3. P.R.O., L.S. 13/174, p. 141.
  • n4. Indenture, dated 7th August, 1730, between John, Ann and Mary Butterworth and Richard Ashby. (Middx. Register, 1731, II, 174.)
  • n5. Indenture, dated 7th August, 1732, between John, Ann and Mary Butterworth and Edward Vernon. (Ibid., 1732, III, 149.)
  • n6. Indenture, dated 6th January, 1735–6, between Edw. Vernon and Reynold Newstead. (Ibid., 1735, V, 569.)
  • n7. P.R.O., T. 55/6, p. 374.
  • n8. P.R.O., T. 55/18/301.
  • n9. No reference to Mrs. Churchill's lodgings has been found, but it is probable that these were really the rooms of William Chiffinch, who held them in right of his office as keeper of the granary (P.R.O., L.C. 5/150, p. 62). The northern portion of them, "which are adjoyneing to the Ditch," was afterwards allocated to other officers, but Chiffinch was "to have reserved for his owne use the remaineing part of the Lodgeings belonging to the Granary now adjoyninge to Theire Mats Woodyard" (ibid., p. 85–20th May, 1690). Chiffinch's lodgings were afterwards given to the Sub-Dean of the Chapel Royal, who in 1815 held "a Tenement with other Apartments in a very dilapidated state" (Records of H.M. Commissioners of Crown Lands, M. 6, p. 187) adjoining the Guard Room on the south.
  • n10. "Spliceing a peece to one of ye posts of ye Grainery over ye dock" (P.R.O., Works, 5/9, March, 1666–7). There is also a reference to "ye end of the grainery next ye Thamis." (Ibid., 5/4, May, 1663.)
  • n11. "Mr. Embree to have the guard house in Scotland Yard enlarged so as to accommodate all the guard, and a chimney built that they may have firing" (Cal. of S. P. Dom., 1656–7, p. 119–1st October, 1656); "Surveyor Embree to see to the repair of the place of the guards in Scotland Yard and the Tilt Yard" (ibid., 1659–60, p. 204–17th September, 1659).
  • n12. "To alter the stayres goeing up to the Irish Guard, and to make a halfe passe at the landing, etc." (P.R.O., S.P. 25/78–18th February, 1657–8.)
  • n13. "Making severall beds in ye maine gaurde at ye grainery … lathing and Plastering ye Guard house at ye Grainery … for a stock lock for ye officers roome in ye grainery" (P.R.O., Works, 5/1, December, 1660); "making a harth in the Guard roome at the Grainery" (ibid., 5/3, November, 1662).
  • n14. "For one Lanthorne in the passage under the Guard." (P.R.O., W.O., 26/1, p. 368–1670–2.)
  • n15. P.R.O., T. 1/274/9.
  • n16. Formerly the Spicery (see plan of 1670). "For new boarding ye large Guard Rome over the spicery and mending the staires" (P.R.O., W.O., 26/1, p. 448–1672). The great room over the Spicery is mentioned in 1614. "Skrewing up the floore over the Spicery and putting in new posts there, thold being rotten and decayed, new ioisting and bourding a great roome there." (B.M. Harl. MS. 1653—July, 1614.)
  • n17. Report by Lt.-Col. Stephenson and others. (Records of H.M. Commissioners of Crown Lands, M. 6, p. 180.)
  • n18. Warrant for removal dated 22nd April, 1817. (Ibid., O. 6, p. 38.)
  • n19. This no doubt is the house referred to in the following: "The Prince of Orange came post from Margate … to Whitehall. He was entertained at Sir Stephen Fox's lodgings." (Letter dated 23rd July, 1681, from Richard Mulys in Hist. MSS. Commn., Ormonde MSS., VI, p. 106.)
  • n20. P.R.O., L.C. 5/150, p. 23.
  • n21. P.R.O., L.S. 13/174, p. 44.
  • n22. Ibid., p. 54.
  • n23. The Board of Greencloth represented that a bakehouse at Whitehall was necessary, the existing one being "now in dayly use, their Mats haveing none at Kensington."
  • n24. "August, 1695. Worke done in putting down the Ovens of the great Bakehouse." (P.R.O., Works, 5/47.)
  • n25. P.R.O., T. 54/25, p. 166.
  • n26. In the lease to Aislabie full power and authority had been reserved to the Crown to make use of the wharf and the crane there. The crane is several times referred to in the records ("making a greate newe Crane for the taking up of Tymber on Scotland wharfe tholde being rotten and much decaied"—P.R.O., E. 351/3243–1607–8; "the Navy Commissioners to repair the crane at Whitehall for boating timber, which is to go from Marylebone Park to the yards, to build the frigates"—Cal. of S. P. Dom., 1649–50, p. 349–19th October, 1649).
  • n27. Quite distinct from the timber yard ("mazerscowrers Employed in Carr' stones out of the deale yard & timber yard"—P.R.O., Works, 5/9, March, 1666–7).
  • n28. The timber yard contained the Sawhouse ("working, frameing and raiseing the Saw house in the timbr yard, the Roof cont' about 8 square, standing upon 4 great posts"—P.R.O., Works, 5/7, April, 1665) shown on the plan of 1670. The "Shead" shown also on the plan was built in 1665 ("working, framing and raising a shudd in the timbr yard cont' 20 squrs"—ibid., 5/7, May, 1665). The timber yard was separated from Great Scotland Yard by a fence with gates: "That the Yeoman & Groome of the Almnery doe carefully collect every day the fragments & broken meate from each Table kept in the Court, & that they carry the same to the lodg at ye Gate of the Timber-yard & there to deliver it to the officers of the said Parish [St. Martin's] who are agreed to fetch the same every day for the poore of the said workhouse to wch the vagrants taken in Whitehall are to be sent." (P.R.O., L.S. 13/171, p. 316–8th February, 1674–5.)
  • n29. The duke's petition encountered strong opposition. It was alleged that by some mistake or sharp practice certain provisos concerning passages had been omitted from Aislabie's lease, with the result that part of the premises had been converted into a wharf (Benson's wharf, not Scotland Wharf) to the great damage of the Crown property, and that by heightening the passage under the Guard Room to admit of the transit of laden carts the space available for the exercise and sleeping accommodation of the soldiers had been considerably curtailed. It was even suggested that a writ of Scire Facias should be brought in the King's name to repeal the letters patent granted to Aislabie. (P.R.O., T. 1/274, 9.)
  • n30. P.R.O., Works, 6/17, p. 101.
  • n31. P.R.O., T. 1/354, fo. 278.
  • n32. This adjoined the western and southern walls of the garden of Northumberland House for a distance of 55 and 52 feet respectively. A lease had been granted on 5th August, 1721, to Elizabeth Watkins, and in 1742 Henry Flitcroft, then in occupation as undertenant, obtained a reversionary lease to expire on 7th March, 1791 (P.R.O., T. 55/6, pp. 158 ff.). The property included the site of "The Old Call House," "now [1717] uninhabited & in decay" (P.R.O., Works, 6/7, p. 22), shown on the plan of 1670 at the south-western corner of Northumberland Garden. "At the Entrance into the Store-yard there was ever a little Building of one Story and Garret high, used for the Call-Room, where the Days-men were morning, noon & night call'd over by name." Wren increased the height by another storey to provide a lodging for him "who hath the custody of the yard and Stores … to overlook the yard for the Safety of the materials" (P.R.O., T. 1/95/78), with the result that he incurred the displeasure of the Duke of Somerset (then owner of Northumberland House), who alleged that the workmen had much damaged the trees in his garden, and were building "severall New Chimneys … the Funnells of which do run up among the Trees, which will be much injured by the Smoak, if not intirely destroyed, and the Smoak will not only be beating down continually into [his] Garden to Ruine that, But also annoye [his] house too." (P.R.O., T. 1/95/38–4th August, 1705.)
  • n33. P.R.O., T. 29/32–5th February, 1756.
  • n34. "Severall tymes pryning, stopping and painting faire white in oyle the outside of the Clockhouse, making twoe faire Dyalls on the twoe outer sides curiously guilded and shadowed with diverse and sondry works, working and painting a peece of Saturne devouring his children within a round on the side towards the Lodgings, and alsoe the Clockehouse, painted guilded and shadowed all answerable one to another … cutting and carving vj Ionique heads to stand on the heads of the pillausters at the Clockehouse." (P.R.O., E. 351/3260.)
  • n35. P.R.O., Ind. 4622, p. 225.
  • n36. P.R.O., T. 1/98/48–8th May, 1706.
  • n37. "Ripping & reslating the roof of Stables under the Clock in Scotland Yard." (P.R.O., A.O. 3/1247.)
  • n38. Records of H.M. Commissioners of Crown Lands, Y. 5, pp. 149, 165–8, 170. A portion only of the adjoining house was used and the remainder was afterwards leased to Mr. Morris, the judge of the court. (Ibid., B. 6, p. 45.)
  • n39. Records of H.M. Commissioners of Crown Lands, Y. 5, pp. 340–1. The clock turret was separate from the rest of the building, and access for regulating the clock was through a neighbouring house.
  • n40. Ibid., London Lease Book, 61, p. 44.
  • n41. Ibid., London Lease Book, 63, pp. 439, 441.
  • n42. P.R.O.,L.R. 1/62.
  • n43. Sir John Denham, poet, son of Sir John Denham, judge, was born in 1615. He took the King's side in the Civil War, was made governor of Farnham Castle and taken prisoner, but was soon after released and allowed to reside at Oxford, where he remained until 1646. In 1647 he acted as agent for the King's private correspondence, and in 1648 left the country and was for some time with Prince Charles. In 1652 he returned to England and lived under the protection of the Earl of Pembroke, his own property having been confiscated. At the Restoration he was made surveyor-general of works, and in 1661 was created C.B. The relations of his wife with the Duke of York caused much scandal, and on her death in 1666–7 he was falsely credited with having poisoned her. His two chief poems were Cooper's Hill and an elegy on Cowley.
  • n44. In Survey of London, XIII, p. 38, it was stated that the buildings were "pulled down," a statement which was based on the use of the same expression in an official order on the subject. It now appears that this was an exaggeration. The buildings had been "uncovered and defaced," and in July, 1668, a warrant for £527 6s. 1d. was passed to the paymaster of works for repairing the roof and buildings (Cal., of Treas. Bks., 1667–8, p. 598). The timber and tiles taken from the old hall of Greenwich House were used for the purpose. (Cal. of S. P. Dom., 1666–7, p. 140.)
  • n45. P.C.C., 57 Pem.
  • n46. G.E.C[ockayne's] Baronetage.
  • n47. P.R.O., L.C. 5/144, p. 46.
  • n48. The buildings were frequently used as a sanctuary for offenders. See, e.g. (i) "Treasury Lords to the Board of Greencloth to forthwith remove Christopher Banister out of the King's house, that so he may be proceeded against, he being considerably indebted to the King, and shelters himself from arrest in Denham's Buildings within the limits of the King's house" (Cal. of Treasury Letter Bks., 1681–5, p. 336–15th December, 1681); (ii) "Whereas Complaynt hath beene made to His Matie That Robert Feilding Esq who is accused for Murder doth hide himselfe in Mrs Prices Lodgings or in a Lodging of his owne in Sir John Dinhams buildings in Whitehall," the gentleman usher daily waiter in ordinary was instructed to search for him and hand him over to the head bailiff of Westminster. (P.R.O., L.C. 5/141, p. 454–9th September, 1676.)
  • n49. "Reference to the Lords of the Treasury of the petition of Sir Thomas Arden Price for payment for lodgings in Denham Buildings, wherein Sir Joseph Williamson kept the East India papers and several others belonging to the Paper Office for 7 years, amounting at 25l. per annum to 175l." 20th April, 1682 (Cal. of S.P. Dom., 1682, p. 172).
  • n50. A note says: "of which said … premisses soe demised to the said Sr John Denham it is questionable whether it be parcell of the said mannor or Baylywick … of Westm' or not, but his maiestys expresse Will & pleasure is that they shall be comprehended within this his grant." (P.R.O., C. 66/3207.)
  • n51. Two early advertisements concerning Denham Buildings are interesting. (i) "Denham Buildings, in Scotland Yard, Whitehall, are built in different Apartments, with several Stair Cases, after the same Manner as the Inns of Court, where there are Rooms and Apartments to be Lett, from whence you may walk clean to Church in the worst Weather. Inquire at Wills' Coffee-House, Whitehall." March, 1717 (quoted in Notes and Queries, 27th August, 1859). (ii) "In Denham Buildings, facing the Admiralty Office, is to be lett an Apartment on the first Floor, containing four Rooms and an Anti-Room, all being compleatly sash'd, wainscotted, and fitted up with Marble Chimneys, &c., after the neatest Manner, with a Stair-Case at each End of the Apartment: there is Garret and Cellering, with other Conveniencies belonging to it. Enquire of Mr Jacson in the said Building" (The Daily Post, 22nd March, 1726).
  • n52. Seventh son of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire. Pepys refers to his swearing propensities (Diary, 1st September, 1665)
  • n53. The plan of Great Scotland Yard accompanying William Killigrew's application in 1690 (see p. 163) shows "Sir Philip Howard" in this position. (P.R.O., T. 1/7, No. 78.)
  • n54. His application is dated 12th June, 1688. (P.R.O., Treasury Reference Book, V, 272.)
  • n55. P.R.O., Works, 6/2–19th February, 1691–2.
  • n56. "We have consulted the Comptrollers of the Armys Accompts, who are of Opinion that a House of Mr John Edwin in great Scotland Yard will be a fit place for their Office … Mr Edwin agrees to take One hundred & fifty pounds per annum Rent for the Term of Twenty One Years, which we think reasonable provided that Mr Edwin makes the Alterations proposed." 9th May, 1745 (P.R.O., Works, 6/16, p. 176).
  • n57. Dated 12th March, 1711–2, between Thomas Edwin and Charles and John Edwin. (Middx. Register, 1735, I, 85.)
  • n58. (i) "A Gold Seal was found in Whitehal Chappel the 30th of January, the owner may have it giving a description of it, and paying the charge of this Advertisement, enquire at Mrs Wells Coffee House in Scotland yard" (The Post-Man, 1st February, 1700–1). (ii) "Stolen or strayed out of Sohoe-Square, about 10 days since, a pale, whitish, dun Greyhound Bitch, of a small Size; she has a white reach down her Face. … Whoever brings her to Mrs Wells at Scotland Yard Coffee house by White-hall, shall have a Guinea reward." (The Post-Boy, 28–30th July, 1702.)
  • n59. "To be sold by Auction, At Will's Coffee-house in Scotland-yard … An Exceeding curious Collection of Original Pictures by the most Eminent of the Italian, French, Flemish and other Masters, being the Collection of Egbert Sancroft, Esq., deceased." (The Daily Post, 9th March, 1731–2.)
  • n60. See indenture, dated 5th March, 1760, between Humphrey Edwin and others and Sir Hew and Lady Martha Dalrymple, concerning inter alia "all those Lodgings … called the North Part of Denham Buildings Including Wills Coffee House" (Middx. Register, 1760, III, 95). In 1762 there was a Wills' Coffee House in Buckingham Court. (British Chronicle, 15–18th October, 1762.)
  • n61. Records of H.M. Commissioners of Crown Lands, U. 4, p. 265.
  • n62. Ibid., p. 271.
  • n63. In 1772 the premises were already described as a "tenement now divided into three Houses" (indenture, dated 18th December, 1772, between (1) Humphrey Edwin, Sir Hugh (Hew) and Lady Martha Dalrymple, (2) Elizabeth and John Milbourne, and (3) Thos. Banister—Middx. Register, 1773, IV, 104).
  • n64. P.R.O., E. 310/19/92, fo. 19.
  • n65. Reference is made in the Ministers' Accounts for a long series of years from 1544 onwards to a piece of ground lying between the King's manor (Whitehall) and the Hermitage, extending from the high street to a certain parcel of land called Scotland Ground, and containing in length 12 perches and in breadth one perch, at first demised to John Rede and afterwards included within Scotland Ground for the enlargement of a place called the Timber Yard. The precise position of this has not been ascertained, but it must have been somewhere in this vicinity.
  • n66. P.R.O., C. 66/1898.
  • n67. The wall of Scotland Yard on the early plan reproduced in Plate agrees with the boundary line of 1816, in that it is shown as straight at its north-west end. There can be no doubt, however, that this is incorrect. It appears from the description of the southern portion of the Basil property given on p. 224 that the protuberance on the north-west was compensated for by a similar protuberance on the south-east. The ground, although properly a portion of Scotland Yard, is not included in the plan of 1670.
  • n68. P.R.O., C. 66/2503, No. 3.
  • n69. Will (P.C.C., 88 Rudd) dated 17th July, with codicil of 2nd August, proved 18th October, 1615.
  • n70. The ratebook for 1615 gives "Symon Basill xiijs, Inigo Jones iiijs iiijd." In the following year Jones is shown alone for "xvijs iiijd."
  • n71. Cal. of S. P. Dom., Committee for Advance of Money, I, p. 185.
  • n72. P.R.O., E. 317, Middx. 75.
  • n73. John Webb was born in 1611, and was trained as an architect under Inigo Jones, whose kinswoman, Anne Jones, he married, and whose deputy he became. After the Restoration he petitioned for the post of surveyor-general of works, but Denham was appointed and Webb only obtained a grant of the reversion. Even this was afterwards denied him, and on Denham's death the position was given to Wren. Webb died in 1672.
  • n74. Should be "north."
  • n75. Should be "93."
  • n76. P.R.O., T. 1/27/6.
  • n77. Probably the person who was until July, 1660, secretary to the Admiralty. He is frequently mentioned by Pepys, and was uncle to William Hewer.
  • n78. Blackburne was paid £250 (Cal. of S. P. Dom., 1657–8, pp. 218, 290). Being unfortunate in his new house, he asked permission to return on the ground that the house was still empty (Octr. 1658, ibid., 1658–9, p. 170), but the ratebook for 1659 shows "Coll. Clarke" (probably representing the "life-guard") in occupation.
  • n79. The first appearance of "Mr Man" in the ratebooks is for the year 1669.
  • n80. The earliest notice that has been found under that name is in 1702. "Lost … an Order upon the Survivance No 2564 for the life of Mr George Jennings … Let them deliver it to Mrs Man at Old Man's Coffee (sic) near Charing Cross" (The Post-Man, 25–27th June, 1702). It seems earlier to have been known as The Royal. "The Famous Dr Lower's Purging Paste, Exceeding all Pills and Elixirs now Extant … Sold … by Mr Man at the Royal Coffee-house, at Charingcross." (The London Post, 24–26th February, 1700–1.)
  • n81. Indenture, dated 28th February, 1711–2, between Thomas, Charles and John Edwin and Alexander Man, coffee man. (Middx. Register, 1712, II, 4.)
  • n82. P.C.C., 54 Fagg, dated 12th August, 1707, proved 15th March, 1714–5.
  • n83. P.C.C., 199 Shaller, dated 13th May, 1718, proved 12th September, 1720.
  • n84. He died in 1728. "On Monday last died Mr Edmund Man, Master of Old Man's Coffee-house at Charing Cross, a very noted and reputable Person of the Profession. He succeeded his Father in the said Coffee-house, which was the Second that was set up in the Cities of London and Westminster." (Daily Post, 15th May, 1728, quoted by Mac Michael, Charing Cross, p. 55.)
  • n85. On 14th January, 1734–5, Elizabeth Kelby sold to Edward Hurst "all that messuage … in or near Scotland Yard … commonly called … Old Man's Coffee house, formerly in the Occupation of Ann Man … for all the rest … of the Term of Twenty one years … leased by the sd Ann Man to John Wintle and since assigned by him … to the sd Eliz. Kelby." (Middx. Register, 1734, IV, 437.)
  • n86. Probably the husband of Mary Cooper.
  • n87. P.R.O., L.R. 1/68, ff. 41–2.
  • n88. Indenture, dated 20th December, 1740, between (1) Martha Edwin, (2) Humphrey Edwin, (3) Anne, Hannah and Susannah Edwin, and (4) Edward Hurst. (P.R.O., L.R. 1/68, ff. 53–5.)
  • n89. The premises included somewhat more in the front than was comprised in the middle house of the three built by Basil, and certainly extended further in the rear.
  • n90. Later in the year the following advertisement appeared: "To be Lett or Sold. Almost opposite to the Admiralty, near Charing Cross, A Large new built Brick House, late Old Man's Coffee-House, five Stories high, elegantly finish'd. Also a back House and Kitchen, commodiously fitted up, with good Cellaring, and other Conveniences, fit for a Tavern, Coffee-House, or other publick Business, and with a little Alteration may be fitted up for a private Family, Enquire at Mr Millan's, Bookseller, near the said House." (Daily Advertiser, 21st December, 1741, quoted by MacMichael, Charing Cross, p. 55.)
  • n91. P.R.O., T. 55/15, pp. 258–9.
  • n92. Richard Wild was the partner of Francis Place (see p. 248). On 6th April, 1799, Place and Wild purchased the remainder of a 24 years' lease of the house (Middx. Register, 1801, I, 215). Wild and Place are shown in the ratebooks for 1799 and 1800 in respect of the house, but in the following year Wild appears alone. This to be connected with two indentures recording (i) the sale on 1st January, 1801, by Place and Wild to three of their creditors (ibid., 1801, I, 231), and (ii) the assignment of the same on 22nd January, 1801, by the latter to Wild (ibid., 1801, II, 126).
  • n93. Records of H.M. Commissioners of Crown Lands, E. 5, pp. 208, 212.
  • n94. Appendix to 7th Report of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests, 1830, p. 53.
  • n95. "Warrant from Treasurer Latimer to the Customs Commissioners to deliver at the lodgings of Sir Joseph Williamson in Scotland Yard several packs, chests, boxes and trunks being claimed by him as his own proper and peculiar goods" (Cal. of Treasury Books, 1672–5, p. 520–11th May, 1674). The reference may, however, be to Williamson's lodgings in Denham Buildings (see p. 210).
  • n96. The above information is taken from the Treasury Board Papers. (P.R.O., T. 1/27/6.)
  • n97. Records of H.M. Commissioners of Crown Lands, D. 4, p. 200.