Nos 17, 19 and 21 High Street (The Gould Charity Estate)

Pages 19-21

Survey of London: Volume 17, the Parish of St Pancras Part 1: the Village of Highgate. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1936.

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II—NOS. 17, 19 AND 21, HIGH STREET (The Gould Charity Extate)

Ground Landlord, Leaseholder, etc.

These houses were originally copyhold of the Manor of Cantlowes but were enfranchised in 1862. They are now the Gould Charity Estate, which is administered by the Governors of Highgate School. They are in the occupation of:

No. 17 Mrs. H. D. Oxley.
No. 19 Mr. Frank Southgate.
No. 21 Messrs. A. T. and L. C. Attkins.

General Description and Date of Structure.

These houses were built in 1733, replacing the older houses referred to below. The builder's name was Robert Harrison. They constitute a row of three houses of three storeys with a basement and attic, and an extension to the east which seems to have been planned from the first as a shop, its upper floors being an enlargement of No. 17. The plans (Plate 15) of the houses are otherwise identical, namely a room back and front flanked by the entrance passage and stair, the only other variation being the small "powder closet" projection to the west of No. 21 which overlaps Englefield House.

The entrance doors, which have hoods and console brackets, are approached by steep flights of stone steps, the windows have arched heads and the two storeys are separated by plain brick bands. A slight brick cornice and parapet mask the eaves, and the tiled roof has flat-topped dormers. Above the doorways the windows are replaced by recessed brick panels (Plate 16).

The staircases (Plate 17) have continuous strings and turned balusters, the newels being shaped into dwarf columns. The strings and balustrades are in the same plane, forming a triangular space at their intersection which is panelled instead of being fitted with balusters of diminishing size. The ground and first floors are panelled throughout with large deal panels and a dado range. The doors are chiefly two-panelled. The opening from the entrance hall to the stair is flanked in each case by a pair of pilasters.

Condition of Repair.

The three houses are all in a good state of repair.

Historical Notes.

These three houses stand on land that at one time belonged to Sir Roger Cholmeley, the founder of Highgate School, and from him came to William Cholmeley, esquire (see pedigree, App. VI). In November, 1636, William Cholmeley leased to John Glover of Lincoln's Inn, esquire, a messuage in the occupation of John Flood, Richard Wall and Anthony Holland, and a barn and barnyard and a parcel of waste. This messuage stood on the site of the houses now belonging to the Gould Charity. John Glover severed a great part of the barnyard from the barn and added it to the waste ground, afterwards erecting a brick wall in place of the former palings across the waste, which he converted to a garden and orchard, planting it with "all manner of choice fruit trees" at a cost of at least £1,000. (fn. 28) On 20th November, 1640, Cholmeley conveyed the land to trustees for John Glover, who bequeathed it by his will dated October, 1648, to his wife Johanna. She afterwards married William Vaughan of Gray's Inn on 1st May, 1656.

In 1658 the estate was settled on Johanna Vaughan (late the wife of John Glover) and her son, Richard Glover, esquire, shortly before her death. Richard Glover came into possession in 1659, when he had licence to lease to Richard Gower for 31 years. Johanna (fn. 29) was the daughter of Francis Dorrington of London, merchant (by Hawes his wife, daughter of Simon Horspool, citizen and draper of London), third son of Matthew Dorrington of Stafford and Winifred his wife, daughter of Reginald Home. Her aunt, Elizabeth (d. 7th February, 1621–2, s.p.), a sister of Hawes, married Alexander Kinge, Auditor of the Exchequer (d. 6th January, 1617–8), lord of the manor of Bibsworth in Finchley.

In 1667 Richard Gower surrendered the three houses to his wife, Anne, and her heirs. The description in the Court Rolls then given is extremely detailed and reveals the fact that John Glover laid out the ground and built the wall referred to above. It is as follows: "three messuages or cottages formerly in the several tenures of Richard Wall, Anthony Holland and John Lloyd and now of Richard Gower, and a barn and barnyard near the aforesaid messuage or cottage, formerly in the occupation of Parker, widow, deceased, and now of Richard Gower, at Highgate, and a brick wall which divides the premises now surrendered from the premises and garden now in the tenure of Richard Gower (afterwards Bisham House, on the site of the present Bisham Gardens) and the soil on which the brick wall stands, and a parcel of ground lying in the garden last mentioned containing from the stone in the wall aforesaid lettered 'N-Glover' 28 feet to the stone in the quickset hedge lettered 'SW-Glover', 92 feet to the stone in the wall of the garden on the west lettered 'W-Glover,' and a passage which — Cholmeley, esquire, deceased, heretofore had for horses and carts to the field in his tenure, which adjoins the orchard now in the occupation of Richard Gower on the south in the barnyard aforesaid, which field is now in the occupation of George Pryor, gentleman."

Anne, the wife of Richard Gower, esquire, was buried at Highgate on 10th May, 1687, and her husband, who died on 12th December, was buried there on 14th December, 1688. Their daughter, Elizabeth, had married Edward Gould of London, merchant (afterwards Sir Edward), and the estate was held in trust for her under her mother's will. (fn. 30) She died on 8th March, 1712–3, and was buried in Highgate Chapel on 14th March. With her sister, Anne, she inherited a considerable landed estate in Stoke Newington, (fn. 31) part of which is now contained in Abney Park Cemetery. Sir Edward Gould died on 26th September, 1728, aged 80, when, in accordance with the will of his late wife, the estate passed to three trustees nominated by the Rev. Edward De Chair, Rector of St. Pancras, by deed dated 4th August, 1729.


The three trustees so appointed were Francis Annesley of Green Street, William Bridges of Highgate, esquire (who lived in a house on the site of Holly Terrace), and Edward Stanton of Highgate, gentleman (who is recorded as paving the altar of Highgate Chapel with black and white marble at his own cost). They leased the property to Robert Harrison of Highgate, bricklayer, on 9th June, 1733, for 87 years, (fn. 32) the late tenants then being Andrew Brookes and Michael Roberts. The trustees, therefore, until the year 1820 had little control over the property, and their functions were virtually limited to receiving the reserved rent and distributing it according to the trusts of Lady Gould's will, as follows: "To distribute the issues and profits among such poor inhabitants of the village of Highgate, whether lying in Hornsey or St. Pancras, as shall not receive any public alms or collection from their respective parish and shall to the discretion of such trustees appear to be most proper and fit objects of relief and charity."

Robert Harrison, who owned considerable house property in different parts of Highgate, dying on 3rd August, 1744, left his leasehold estate to Mary and Sarah Lane, daughters of his niece, Bridget Wheeler. (fn. 33) In the wall of No. 17 is a stone tablet inscribed
L/ SM/ 1745
obviously referring to Sarah and Mary Lane. Harrison built the houses now standing, and a moiety was leased in 1756 to Henry Anderson of the Inner Temple by Mary Lane and her sister Sarah, then the wife of John Arnold, a lawyer of Staple Inn. The tenants were Bridget Wheeler (mother of Mary and Sarah), Noah Nason and William Marshall. In the following year Mary married Thomas Reynolds of Highgate, carpenter. In 1764 the other moiety, for the remainder of the lease, was assigned to Morris Spurling of Highgate, gentleman, by the executor of John Arnold, together with Thomas Reynolds and Mary his wife and her widowed sister Sarah. (fn. 34) It passed to Philip Acton of St. Marylebone, gentleman, in 1773. (fn. 35)

William Belcher, esquire, Benjamin Price and William Bloxam were admitted trustees on 25th April, 1810, and on 24th April, 1821, Robert Isherwood and Richard Nixon took the places of Messrs. Price and Bloxam, deceased. In 1859 the trustees were William Dodge Cooper Cooper of Toddington Manor, Dunstable (who had formerly lived in the house now called the House of Mercy on North Hill), and Harry Chester of Rutland Gate, Hyde Park, esquire. In 1861 Harry Chester and the Rev. William Weldon Champneys, Parson of St. Pancras, transferred the trust to Charles John Bloxam, esquire, of Lincoln's Inn Fields, George Abraham Crawley of Whitehall Place, esquire, and John Lawrence Tatham of Lincoln's Inn, esquire, the lessees then being Thomas Broadbent, at £24 per annum, Mary Redfern, at £22, and Nathaniel Sibley, at £24, whose leases dated 28th February, 1844, were for 21 years, expiring at Michaelmas, 1862. (fn. 36)


  • 28. P.R.O., C7/427/137.
  • 29. Visitation of London, 1633–4. Harl. Soc., vol. 15 (1880).
  • 30. Deed of Ann Gower, 12th April, 1687 on Court Roll for 1687.
  • 31. Abstract of the Court Rolls of Stoke Newington and Digest of the same in Stoke Newington Public Library (W. McB. Marcham).
  • 32. Land Registry, Midd. Mem., 1733/2/68.
  • 33. Will of Robert Harrison. P.C.C. 256 Anstis.
  • 34. Land Reg. Midd. Mem., 1764/3/153; also 1756/2/377 and 1757/2/589.
  • 35. Ibid., 1774/1/131.
  • 36. Ibid., 1861/11/900.