Site of Naunton House

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 Naunton House', 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 14 July 2024].

'Site of Naunton House', 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 14, 2024,

"Site of Naunton House". 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. 14 July 2024.


The Ministers' Accounts for 1534–5 (fn. n1) show the tenement beyond Roger Weston's as in the tenure of Edward Myllet, (fn. n2) and on 14th April 1544, Myllet received a new grant of the property, described as then in his tenure and "existens prope Charyng Crosse," for 21 years. (fn. n3) On 17th July, 1554, Queen Mary sold (fn. n4) to John Greene and William Jenyns a large amount of property in Westminster, including the messuage formerly in the tenure of Myllet and afterwards in that of Sir Humphrey Foster (Forster) "iuxta le Charinge crose," in perpetuity, to be held as of the Manor of Éast Greenwich in free and common socage. No record has been found of the sale of the house by Greene and Jenyns to Forster, but it would seem that some such transaction must have taken place, as the property continued in the hands of the Forsters until 1606, when it was again sold (see below). Sir Humphrey died in 1556, (fn. n5) leaving (fn. n6) all his property to his son, William. The latter died in 1573–4 (fn. n7) and his will contains references to his "howse nere Chairing Crosse," which he left to his wife, Jane, for life. No allusion to the house is made in the will of William's son, Sir Humphrey, (fn. n8) but his name occurs in the ratebooks next to that of Stanhope for the years 1594 to 1599. (fn. n9) His son, Sir William, in 1606 sold the house for £120 to Lady Abigail Digby, (fn. n10) who appears in the ratebooks from 1605 to 1612. In 1616 her son, Sir John Digby, (fn. n11) appears and his name continues until 1618 ("Lord Digbie"). In the following year Lord Digby sold (fn. n12) the house for £160 to Sir Robert Naunton, (fn. n13) "principal secretary of the King." Naunton's name first appears in the ratebooks in 1622 (though he was certainly at the house in 1620) and with one intermission (1633) continues until 1634, after which Lady Naunton takes his place. Several letters from Sir Robert are extant written from "Charing Cross," (fn. n14) as is also the record of a burglary at his house in 1633. (fn. n15) Sir Robert died in 1635, leaving (fn. n16) to his "beloved wife, Dame Penelope Naunton (fn. n17) … the use of my House at Pickadilla, with the Barnes, stable and garden there During her life, to be used by her with my House at Charinge Crosse which I have formerly assured to her." In his will he refers specially to his "Deske inlaid with Mother of Pearle Covered with a Case of greene velvett, which stands upon my Presse in my Gallery att my house by Charing Crosse," and his "best Cabinett of white Satten imbrothered" and his "best Clocke Covered with Crimson velvett, both which are in my Gallery at Charing Cross," and in a codicil leaves to his son-in-law, Viscount Bayning, his "whole Library of Bookes, with my two Globes, and all my mapps and all other my writings, Notes and Papers which are in my house by Charing Crosse." To his daughter, Lady Bayning, and her heirs, he gives, after his wife's decease, "my house at Charing crosse wherein she was borne," (fn. n18) together with the lease of his houses, barns, stables and garden at "Pickadilla." Lady Naunton continued to reside at the house until her death, the ratebooks giving her name, with one intermission (1645), from 1635 to 1654, the last entry being marked "dead." Her daughter, Lady Bayning, who, on the death of her first husband, had married Philip Herbert, afterwards 5th Earl of Pembroke, and to whom and to whose heirs the reversion of the house had been left, had died in 1647–8. The next information that has been found concerning the ownership of the house is in 1657, when it was in the possession of her sister, Dame Dorothy Dromond, (fn. n19) daughter of Lady Naunton by her first husband, Sir William Lower. In that year Dame Dorothy and her three daughters sold to Richard Scutt one messuage with appurtenances in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. (fn. n20) Scutt died in 1660, leaving (fn. n21) to his daughter, Lucy, "All that my Messuage … scituate neare Charing Crosse, lately purchased of Dame Dorothy Drummond and others." On 16th February, 1666–7, Lucy married John Tisser, (fn. n22) and in 1696 the latter, with his son, John, figures in a deed (fn. n23) relating to "all those three messuages … scituate … in the parish of St. Martin's in the Feilds … bounded on the South side … with a Messuage … late in the possession of his grace the late Duke of Albemarle [i.e. Stanhope House, see p. 96] … and on the West with the Spring garden, and on the East with the Streete, now in the tenure … of Elizabeth Godfrey, John Dawsett, Jonathan Chase and Mathew Bancks." After Lady Naunton's death the house seems to have been successively occupied by "Mr Sandford" (1656–7), "Mr. Brighter" (1661–3), and John Williams (1664–9). The Hearth Tax Roll for 1666 confirms the last-mentioned name, and adds the information that the house was assessed for 13 hearths, showing that Naunton House was not much more than half the size of Stanhope House. The Roll for 1674 shows "Godfrey" at the house (12 hearths) and the ratebooks give "Roger Godfrey" as entering in 1670. The house soon after was divided into three, two facing the street and the other having a frontage to Spring Gardens. In 1705 one of the front portions is shown in the occupation of "Hester Mann," and three years later the amount paid by her in rates rose suddenly from 40s. to £5, apparently by reason of the addition to her premises of the house in Spring Gardens, occupied until 1699 by Elizabeth Godfrey, Roger's widow. (fn. n24) Mrs. Man's establishment was the well-known Young Man's Coffee House, (fn. n25) so called to distinguish it from Old Man's Coffee House, on the other side of the street (see p. 215). Hester Man continued at the house until 1714, when she was succeeded by Bridget Parker, who stayed until 1728. The title of the house seems to have remained unchanged until later than this, for in the ratebook for 1736 is a note against William Beddell, the occupier of the Spring Gardens portion: "Young Man Coffee House belongs to this House." (fn. n26) The front part of the coffee house became an ale-house known as the Green Man and Heathcock and afterwards, but before 1751, as The King and Queen. (fn. n27)

Forester of Aldermaston

Sir Robert Naunton

The Rev. John Tisser, Rector of Ketton, Suffolk, to whom the Naunton property had descended, died in 1749, It then consisted of three houses (fn. n28) : the alehouse above-mentioned, a house adjoining it on the north, and a house on the Spring Gardens front called The Turk's Head Bagnio. (fn. n29) Tisser left the alehouse (under the name of The Green Man) to his niece Elizabeth Barcroft, and the house on the Spring Gardens front to his nieces Phoebe and Ann Barcroft, while the remaining house was devised to his niece Elizabeth Tisser (afterwards Johnson) and his nephews Gerard Vanhorn and James Barcroft. (fn. n30) James Barcroft died, and Vanhorn disposed of his interest to Edmund Smith and Benjamin Home. In 1758 the Westminster Bridge Commissioners purchased (fn. n31) for £1, 212 and £640 respectively the two front houses for the purpose of widening the street.

The ground not utilised for the street improvement was sold to Messrs. Drummond, (fn. n32) Bankers, for £1, 100, who also purchased The Turk's Head Bagnio. (fn. n33) The whole site of the Naunton property is now covered by Drummond's Bank.

A rough plan, based chiefly on plans accompanying the indentures of sale of the plots and of the surplus land, showing the front portions of the properties from Kirke House to Naunton House, is here reproduced.

Figure 23:

Plan showing street widening circa 1760


  • n1. P.R.O., S.C. 6, Henry VIII, 2101.
  • n2. The Accounts of the Churchwardens of St. Martin's, 1525–1603 (p. 103), under the years 1544–6 contain the following item: "Receved of the gyfte of mayster Northe Chauncelor of the Augmentacyon at the Request of Edward myllet A coope of grene Satten A brygges Wt flowers and a Redd Crosse of the same Satten owt of the Rowncevall. It'm Receued of the Same gyft at the Request abovenamed one payre of Censors of Coper and gyLtte A Lampe of Latten and A Corporox case Wyth the clothe thervnto Apertenyng."
  • n3. P.R.O., E. 315/216, fo. 60b.
  • n4. P.R.O., L.R. 1/38, fo. 12.
  • n5. "[The … day of September was buried at saint] Martens be-syd Charyng-crosse ser [Humphrey Forster] knygght of … shyre, with ij goodly whytt branchys, xxiiij stayffe torchys, and iiij tapurs … a pesse, and with a harold of armes with hy [s coat armour], and ys pennon of armes and ys cott armur, [targatt], and sword and elmett, and crest, and vj dosen of [scocheons]; and the chyrche hangyd with blake and armes; [and many] morners." (Henry Machyn's Diary—Camden Socy., pp. 114–5.)
  • n6. His will, dated 16th September, 1556, was proved on 29th September. (P.C.C., 14 Ketchyn.)
  • n7. His will (P.C.C., 3 Martyn) is dated 28th December, 1573, and was proved on 16th January, 1573–4.
  • n8. P.C.C. 72 Hayes, dated 27th February, 1601–2, and proved on 27th November, 1605.
  • n9. In 1590 Master Humfrey "Foster" was presented "for having a window called a Clerestorie of 18 lights looking beyond his house into le Springe garden." (P.R.O., L.R. 1/44, fo. 2613—trans.)
  • n10. Fine between Abigail Digbie widow quer: and Sir William Forster def: of one messuage with appurtenances in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, in perpetuity, for £120 (Easter 4 Jas. I). She was the widow of Sir George Digby of Coleshill, co. Warwick, and daughter of Sir Arthur Heveningham. She had previously resided at the house on the site of Downing Street. (Survey of London, XIV, pp. 106–7.)
  • n11. John Digby, afterwards Earl of Bristol, was born in 1580. He was knighted in 1607. From 1611 to 1618 he spent much time at the Court of Spain, whither he had been accredited ambassador, chiefly in connection with a proposed marriage between Prince Charles and the Infanta. In 1618 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Digby. After employment on an unsuccessful mission to save the Palatinate he was in 1622 again sent to Madrid to further the proposed marriage. At first he met with success, and was rewarded by being created Earl of Bristol, but the arrival of Prince Charles and Buckingham at Madrid in 1623 upset his plans, and he managed to give offence to both. He returned home in disgrace, and in 1626 Buckingham and he mutually impeached one another. From then he lived in retirement until the outbreak of the Civil War, in which he first sided with the parliament, but afterwards went over to the King. He was captured at Exeter in 1646, and soon after retired to France, where he lived until his death in 1653.
  • n12. P.R.O., C.P. 25 (2), 324, 17 Jas. I, Trin.
  • n13. Sir Robert Naunton, born in 1563, was educated at Cambridge where he was appointed public orator in 1594. Under the patronage of the Earl of Essex he spent some years abroad, nominally as a travelling tutor, but chiefly to gather political intelligence for his patron. He returned to Cambridge about 1600, but soon afterwards again entered political life. He was knighted in 1614. In 1616 he became master of requests and was afterwards made surveyor of the court of wards. In 1618 James I promoted him to be secretary of state. In this post he came into conflict with Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, and in 1623 resigned, receiving the lucrative office of master of the court of wards, a position which he held until March 1635. A few days later he died at Letheringham, Suffolk. Naunton left a valuable account of the chief courtiers of Elizabeth, which has several times been printed.
  • n14. See, e.g., letter dated 22nd February, 1622–3, to Sir Edward Conway (Hist. MSS. Commn., MSS. of Earl Cowper, I, p. 130), and letter dated 22nd June, 1633, to Sir John Coke (ibid., II, p. 22).
  • n15. "20 August 9 Chas I. True Bill that, at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields on the said day, Richard Rose of the said parish yoman stole and carried away a round jewell sett with diamonds worth sixty pounds, a gold ring sett round with diamonds worth thirteen pounds six shillings and eightpence, another gold ring with five diamonds foure in square and one in middle worth thirteen pounds six shillings and eightpence, a black inamelled ring with a knott and a pointed diamond in it worth ten pounds, another gold ring with four diamonds worth thirteen pounds six shillings and eightpence, another gold ringe inameled with divers colours worth twenty shillings, a jewel called A True Lovers Knot inameled black with one or two diamonds worth six pounds thirteen shillings and eightpence, a gold ring worth forty shillings, a Cluster of Nutts with rubies of gold worth thirteen pounds six shillings and eightpence, a Golden Fly sett with rubies diamonds and sapphires worth ten pounds, a great gold ringe inameled black worth forty shillings, two diamonds with a pendant worth five pounds, two padlocks of gold inameled worth twenty shillings, and eighty pounds in numbered moneys, of the goods chattels and moneys of Sir Robert Naunton knt, Master of the Court of Wards and Liveries." (Middx. County Records, III, pp. 53–4.)
  • n16. P.C.C., 121 Sadler.
  • n17. Daughter of Sir Thomas Perrot and widow of Sir William Lower.
  • n18. Baptised 2nd October, 1620, at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. (G.E.C., s.v. Bayning.)
  • n19. Widow of Sir Maurice Dromond, "gentleman Usher of his mats privy Chamber." Will dated 20th April, 1640, proved 13th May, 1642. (P.C.C., 62 Campbell.)
  • n20. P.R.O., C.P. 25(2), 575 Mich., 1657.
  • n21. P.C.C., 214 Nabbs.
  • n22. Marriage Licences, Faculty Office.
  • n23. Indenture dated 15th June, 1696, between John Tisser the elder of the Inner Temple and John Tisser his younger son and heir apparent and James Tisser of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. (P.R.O., C. 54/4805, No. 2.)
  • n24. In December, 1688, administration of Roger Godfrey's goods was granted to his only daughter, the Hon. Elizabeth Garinbert, wife of Hercules Garinbert, Count Dorian, his widow, Elizabeth Godfrey, "prius renunciante." (P.C.C., Admon. Act Book.)
  • n25. Her occupation of the premises preceded the entry of her name in the ratebooks: "Lost between Charing Cross and Norfolk-street … on Friday night last, a Diamond Ring … Whoever gives notice so as it may be had again, to Mrs. Man at Young Mans Coffee-house at Charing Cross, shall have 4 Guineas reward." (The Postman, 28th February—3rd March, 1702–3.)
  • n26. The connection, if any, between "Jenny Man's Coffee House" at Charing Cross at the end of Anne's reign and "Young Man's" is obscure.
  • n27. Deed Poll, dated 11th June, 1751, as to seizure by the Sheriff of Middlesex of the remainder of a lease owned by Richard Holloway in a messuage "theretofore called the Green Man and Heathcock but now the King and Queen situate at or near Charing Cross." (Middlesex Register, 1751, I, 521.)
  • n28. Described by the Westminster Bridge Commissioners' Surveyor in 1756 as "old brick houses."
  • n29. There was another Turk's Head Bagnio on the other side of the way, see p. 248.
  • n30. P.C.C., 268 Lisle.
  • n31. Indentures, dated 10th August, 1758, (i) between (1) Edmund Smith and Benjamin Horne, (2) Elizabeth, Phoebe and Ann Barcroft and (3) Samuel Seddon and John Simpson, relating to the King and Queen, and (ii) between (1) Edmund Smith and Benjamin Horne, (2) Joseph Johnson and Elizabeth his wife and Gerard Vanhorn, and (3) Samuel Seddon and John Simpson, relating to the other house in the tenure of "Thomas Leslie, Grocer." (P.R.O., C. 54/6017, Nos. 18 and 17.)
  • n32. "Then an Intimation was given to the Board that … Messrs. Drummond … intended to Cause a new House to be built on the said Grounds … to Front the said Street And that it was Apprehended that Messrs. Drummond Proposed … to Cause the Front thereof … to be Built in a Form different from the General Plan Approved of by this Commission … Whereupon It was Ordered That Mr. Seddon do forthwith Apply to the said Messrs. Drummond and acquaint them … that this Commission will not Consent to the Building of any House … which shall Vary from the said General Plan" (P.R.O., Works, 6/35, p. 144—28th November, 1758). "Mr. Drummond Junr and Mr. Phillips the Builder Attended And … Produced a Plan of the intended new House proposed to be Built by Messrs. Drummond on the West Side of the Street leading from Charing Cross … Resolved That the Board doth Approve of the said Plan as it is now Altered" (ibid., pp. 152–3—12th December, 1758). The house was built at once, but the legal formalities were not settled until 1765 (indenture, dated 12th June, 1765, between (1) Samuel Seddon and John Simpson, (2) five of the Commissioners, and (3) Andrew Drummond—P.R.O., C. 54/6165).
  • n33. See indenture dated 15th December, 1758, between (1) Elizabeth, Phoebe and Ann Barcroft, (2) Edmund Smith and Benjamin Horne, and (3) Andrew Drummond. (Middx. Register, 1759, I, 147.)