Cheyne Walk: The Manor House, and Nos. 19-26

Survey of London: Volume 2, Chelsea, Pt I. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1909.

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'Cheyne Walk: The Manor House, and Nos. 19-26', in Survey of London: Volume 2, Chelsea, Pt I, (London, 1909) pp. 65-75. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]

In this section

XXXII.—XL.—Nos. 19, 20, 20a, and 21 to 26 CHEYNE WALK ON THE SITE OF THE MANOR HOUSE.

Ground landlord, leaseholders, etc.

Ground landlord, Earl Cadogan, Lord of the Manor. Leaseholders, No. 19, S. W. P. Willoughby, Esq.; No. 20, W. Clifford Mellor, Esq.; No. 20A, John Pedder, Esq.; No. 21, Hon. Victoria Grosvenor; No. 22, Geo. H. Dawkins, Esq.; No. 23, A. W. Clarke, Esq.; No. 24, Edward Clarence Wigan, Esq., M.B.; No. 25, Mrs. Herbert Fisher; No. 26, L. F. Harrison, Esq.

General description and date of structure.

We have grouped together the nine houses which stand west of Don Saltero's, for the purposes of our Survey, since they were built at one time, and occupy the exact frontage formerly filled by Henry VIII.'s Manor House, on the site of which they were built. They possess, moreover, a certain uniformity of character, and in treating them as a whole we shall be able to include what little there is to be said on the subject of the Manor House itself.

We have described already the houses which were built upon the "Great Garden" (between the Manor House and Flood Street), which Sir Hans Sloane had let on lease in 1717. The new Lord of the Manor did not come to live in Chelsea until 1742, but in that year he brought with him his great collection of natural treasures and objects of art which afterwards formed the nucleus of the British Museum. Faulkner gives some description of them with incidental allusions to the house, in recording the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Sir Hans Sloane in 1748. It was the desire of Sir Hans Sloane that his collection should remain at Chelsea, and that the Government should purchase it with the Manor House, but this was not to be. The Collection was removed to Bloomsbury, and the Manor House was pulled down soon afterwards, in order that the site could be sold for building purposes. Nos. 19 to 26 Cheyne Walk were then built between 1759 and 1765.

The Manor House occupied by Sir Hans Sloane was the same building as that erected by Henry VIII. soon after his acquisition of the Manor from Lord Sandys, in 1536. Adjoining it on the west, a large addition had been built by James Duke of Hamilton, during his tenancy (1639–1649), but this had been bought in 1664 as a residence for the Bishops of Winchester, and was thereafter known as Winchester House. It was described in the Cadogan papers as "Hamilton House, a new-built brick house, purchased of Chas. Cheyne, Esq., for the sum of £4,250." The view of the north side of the Manor House given by Faulkner in the second edition of his Chelsea is the only representation extant of the Tudor building. It is probably the one referred to by a writer in the Gentleman's Magazine of June 1822, where it is stated that Faulkner was about to publish a copy of a drawing of the Manor House from an old "roll." The engraving does not help us to form any very intelligible conception of the character of the original building. The drawing seems to have been made after the Duke of Hamilton's tenancy, since the portion on the right hand of the view approximates very nearly to the appearance of Winchester House, and more than one-third of the older part was apparently remodelled at the same time, namely about 1640. (fn. 1) The alterations may have been even more extensive than this, for Sir Hans Sloane is said to have "thought that no part of the original building remained," an opinion in which, if he expressed it, we think he must have been mistaken.


Henry VIII.

When the Manor House was seized by Parliament in 1653, and sold by Commissioners, it was thus described in the deed of sale:—"All the capital messuage or manor house, situate in the town of Chelsey, consisting of three cellars in the first floor, three halls, three parlours, three kitchens, two parlours, larders and nine other rooms, with a large staircase, in the first story; three drawing rooms, seventeen chambers and four closets, with garrets over part of them, and summer roomes with a bedroome, and garden and orchard, on the north side of the said capital messuage, and courtyard on the south side thereof; and one stable and one coachhouse, three little gardens and one parcel of ground, enclosed with a brick wall, formerly called the Great Orchard, now ploughed up." The house, here described, includes, of course, Winchester House, and the western boundary is defined as "a messuage in the occupation of T. Alston," that is Shrewsbury House, which adjoined the later gardens of the Bishops of Winchester.


Winchester House was not pulled down until 1828. Several views of it exist and an interesting description is to be found in the Gentleman's Magazine, June 1822. Every vestige of it has, however, gone; the site is occupied by modern houses and by Oakley Street, and, interesting though it is, it can hardly find a place in our present survey. The older part of the Manor House is on a different footing. Some fragments, insignificant perhaps, but none the less real, are incorporated in the houses on the site, the old brickwork of the garden walls has not altogether disappeared, and most interesting of all, the gardens themselves still seem to live, and though divided, have not lost the air of the palace pleasure grounds, planted many centuries ago.

The position of the Manor House from east to west has been ascertained, but it is not so easy to define the distance of its frontage from the roadway, nor the measure of its projection northwards. Hamilton's Survey (as published by Faulkner) is in no respect so inadequate as in its delineation of the Manor House, but we think it is probably right in showing the older portion considerably further back from the road than the wall of the Great Garden, and the newer part (Winchester House) as still further recessed to the north. The roadway along the water side was narrow and little used, the more common approach to the village (by land) being from Knightsbridge and down Church Lane. The Duke of Hamilton seems to have built his new house further north to allow an entrance courtyard on the south side, and according to the rough delineation of Winchester House on Horwood's Map of London (1794) its south wall would come near the break in the garden wall on the west of No. 26 Cheyne Walk. This wall runs to the height of some 12 or 13 feet, and is for the most part of Tudor brickwork. It gives one the impression of having been part of the walls of the building, although there are no door or window openings, as indeed there would not be, since the two houses adjoined. Winchester House was built round a courtyard, as was the Manor House, but the latter came further south and possibly enclosed two courts, one north and one south. If this were so it is not unlikely that the frontage of the present houses is the same as that of the Manor House, and in support of this it has been pointed out that the lower courses of the front walls are actually of 2-inch Tudor bricks, which suggest the original foundations. Moreover, in the basement of No. 24 are still to be seen remains of old vaults, apparently belonging to the original mansion, which would place the building quite as far as the southern wall of the present house. The great garden would then most probably have reached a point a little more southerly than the present garden railings.



We will now describe the houses in turn, and comment on any special points which may connect them with the earlier buildings.

No. 19 Cheyne Walk has been largely rebuilt, and has been carried up considerably higher than it was originally. It retains its old doorway, which is of good proportion and is similar to that illustrated on Plate 85. The doorways of all the houses appear to have been, at the first, from the same design and indeed the whole external treatment of the row seems to have aimed at strict uniformity. By way of contrast, the interiors exhibit marked differences both in plan and in decoration. This was not so in the earlier houses which we have described at the eastern end of Cheyne Walk, which show much individuality in the design of their elevations, but are more uniform in their internal detail. No. 19 retains the old dado panelling in the front room on the ground floor, and the staircase is probably in its original position between the front and back rooms. The whole of the rear part of the house is new. The front room on the first floor retains its old cornice and has since been beautifully panelled in the early 18th century style.

No. 20 has not been altered much in recent years. Over the front doorway (another excellent example of the type mentioned above) a fine wisteria twines its many branches, the apparent age of which—were it not a plant of modern importation (fn. 2) —might seem to bear out the local tradition that makes it a survivor of the creepers that overran the walls of the Manor House. Several courses of 2-inch Tudor brickwork are clearly to be seen in the base of the front wall, and although it would be easy to assume that these were merely old materials used a second time in the foundations, yet they have scarcely the mark of the 18th century bricklayer, and the balance of probability seems to be on the side of tradition. The front room on the ground floor has its old panelling and a late chimney-piece. There is a neat little arch between the entrance hall and the staircase, and above the doorways of the rooms are some well-carved entablatures. The best one of these is that shown on Plate 83, in the front room on the first floor. The frieze is boldly carved with flowing foliage, and in the centre, the enriched architrave is raised into a double scroll, upon which is a shield with the royal arms of Scotland, put here perhaps by Mr. John Hay, the first leaseholder. This room has a good cornice with dentil ornament, resembling very much the room on the first floor in No. 15. It is used as an oratory or private chapel.


The rear part of the house has been extended, evidently many years ago, to from a large room, with canted ends, looking upon the garden. The brickwork of this portion seems to be of much the same date as the house itself, and it is probable that the alteration was made during the tenancy of John Hay, when the rate-books show that the assessment of the house was nearly doubled. The garden is very large, and possesses twice the length of the neighbouring gardens, taking in the ground to the rear of Nos. 19 and 20A. There is a very interesting lead cistern in the basement, of a triangular-shaped plan, with the largest face curved outwards and well moulded in three panels. The inscription is:— [IAH 1760]


No. 20a has been altered considerably since it was built. Apparently it was at some time incorporated with No. 21 to form one house. It has lost its old entrance doorway, and the wall which divided the front gardens has been taken down. The staircase is original, and occupies the rear part of the hall opposite the front door. The wall between the back room and the stair has been taken down, and in its place are three wood columns, which have the appearance of dating from the end of the 18th century. The back room becomes in this way a lounge hall, and the graceful sweep of the stair is seen to advantage through the columns. The front room retains its old chimney-piece, and a modern studio has been built out at the back. On the first floor the two rooms have been thrown into one, two wooden columns having also been inserted here. The back part has its old fireplace, but the front room retains the cornice only. The house follows in its arrangement the earlier plans noticed in Nos. 3 and 5 Cheyne Walk. The little wrought-iron balcony with cast-iron ends on the front elevation is a later addition.

No. 21, which seems to have been used in conjunction with 20A, has also been subject to much alteration. The first flight of the staircase is modern, the remainder, from the first floor upwards, is of an early and plain character. The two rooms on the ground floor are panelled from floor to ceiling and have a good cornice. In the place of the partition between are three arches supported by two panelled columns of different design, back and front. There are two old chimney-pieces with good dentil-cornice and carved architrave. The drawingroom on the first floor has a later cornice, but quite good fireplaces, the friezes being freely carved and the grates being surrounded with slips of Siena marble. A simple chimney-piece with well-designed mouldings is left in the front bedroom on the second floor; and on the third floor there are two more of the same date, and panelling to a height of 7 feet. The fourth floor appears to have been added during the last century.

Stanhope of Shelford.

This house has a very large share of the garden of the Manor House. It extends behind that of No. 20, and reaches the old Tudor boundary wall on the north. This is not a part of the "Great Garden" as shown by Hamilton, which lay to the east of No. 19 Cheyne Walk, but of the garden that lay directly to the north of the Manor House, and was not disposed of until after Sir Hans Sloane's death. This northern portion of the old manorial gardens (which was never separated from the Manor House as long as it stood) is divided chiefly between Nos. 21 and 26 Cheyne Walk, while the other gardens are laid out upon the site of the ancient buildings themselves. The part enjoyed by No. 21 is in width equal to the frontages of Nos. 19, 20, 20A, 21 and 22, and is bounded on the east by the wall which separated Sir Hans Sloane's private gardens from the land which he had leased for building. The Tudor part of the northern wall occupies about half this width, measuring from the east. The garden has many fine old trees, and, with that of No. 26, forms one of the most striking survivals of the Chelsea of the past.


No. 22 is a house that in spite of a good deal of alteration preserves in a very great degree the pleasant and homely atmosphere of the 18th century. The ironwork of the railings and that over the gate are simple and effective, and the front doorway is another example of the beautifully proportioned entrances which we have referred to above. The staircase, though modern, is worth mentioning as it is reminiscent of the best work of the 18th century, with fine Corinthian caps to the newels, and twisted balusters, the wall having a panelled dado, finished with a half-handrail to match the stair. (fn. 3) The servants' staircase from the third floor is original. There are two old fireplaces, one on the second and one on the third floor, which have simple and well-proportioned cornices with dentil ornament.

No. 23 seems to have lost its old doorway, but the present owner, Mr. A. W. Clarke, has placed a hood over the circular opening, supported by two carved brackets which he purchased from the remains of Paradise Row. It is pleasant to feel that they are preserved so near to their earlier home. The staircase has not been altered and the rooms on the ground floor have their panelling but are fitted with new fireplaces. The first floor is quite altered, but retains its old cornice; on the second floor, the back bedroom has the original mantelpiece with simple cornice, shaped frieze and marble slips. The one in the front room is copied from this, the marble alone being of the date of the house. On the third floor is an old grate with iron fret, and the railings and lampstand outside the house are of the same date as the building.

Beneath No. 24 is an archway leading to Cheyne Mews, some stables situated just at the back of the houses last described. This archway takes away nearly half the ground floor of the house, so that the front door (which is like that at No. 19) opens direct into a small room or entrance hall having an original chimney-piece, which communicates by an arch with the staircase, and with a similar room at the back. The first floor has two good sized rooms, looking over the road and garden respectively, and both extending over the archway. The characteristic dentil-cornice with enrichments is retained on this floor, and the back room has a panelled dado. An elaborate roofed balcony of cast iron is reached from the front room by French casements,—an addition of the last century. Two chimney-pieces without ornament and a dado moulding remain on the second floor.

Stuart of Doune.

The real interest of the house, however, is in the basement, for here we have undoubted remains of the original vaults of the Manor House. There are, in all, seven chambers vaulted in brickwork, lying chiefly beneath the roadway to the mews. These vaults have been in part rebuilt, probably when the house was erected, but near the floor traces can be seen of the springing of the old vaults, and in the vault furthest south the old brickwork is left projecting from the floor. Although it is easy to distinguish from these remains the direction of each particular vault, yet they represent so small a portion of the old house that they do not throw any light upon the buildings further than roughly to locate them. A quaint effect is given to the rooms in the basement by these various vaulted compartments. There is a two-light casement window, some early 18th century panelling, and an apparently ancient lead cistern; this is in such a position that it cannot be readily inspected.

Monson of Castlemaine.

No. 25 is approached through a wrought-iron gate of modern design, fixed to the old railings. The doorway may serve as the type of those already described in Nos. 19, 20, 22, and 24, and is illustrated on Plate 85. In the hall is a wooden arch with key-block, supported on pilasters with caps, bases and moulded pedestals. In the front room—in a line with the arch—is another arch which suggests some modification of the original plan. The chimney-pieces in this and the back room illustrate very plainly the rapid decadence in design which was already moving toward the familiar early Victorian. There was still, however, an attempt at the use of mouldings, in which appears some vague scheme of proportion. The square opening of the fireplace is surrounded by a wide border of marble, and wood. First a slip of Sicilian marble with its beaded edge outwards, lines the opening; then a band of Siena slightly recessed; and outside all a small carved moulding of wood. Above this a plain slab of Sicilian marble provides the shelf.

The staircase is quite plain and there is nothing of special interest upstairs, but in the basement, on the garden side, is an old casement window with its lead lights, wrought-iron hinges and cockspur handle, evidently taken complete from the walls of the Manor House.

No. 26, the last of the houses under consideration, has been completely altered, but its garden, to which we have already referred, is rich in historic suggestion. As one walks northwards by the side of the west wall of the garden, after passing about a third of its length, one comes to a sudden angle in the brickwork, which returns eastward some distance, and then continues north. The wall is 12 or 13 feet high, and at first appears to be not earlier than the 17th century, but after a few breaks and projections, it shows a fine stretch of Tudor brickwork, which continues as far as the north wall of the garden. The first part is evidently the boundary of the eastern portion of Winchester House, as corroborated by Horwood's map; there are no indications of any doors or window openings, but these would naturally be north and south, and any internal openings which may have originally connected it with the Manor House must have been long ago filled up. The walls have been obviously patched and trimmed to form the boundary of the garden, but the massiveness of the brickwork makes it clear that here, if anywhere, are the remains of part of the old Manor House. The western wall of the garden does not bond properly into the northern wall (which is also of Tudor brickwork for some distance), but joins it irregularly. It is difficult to say how far the Manor House went northwards, but it probably did not go very far beyond the stables of Cheyne Mews. North of this the trees are very old—there are two good mulberries, and a gigantic plane-tree stands just by the stable wall. This garden formed part of the four acres ac quired by the Rev. Thomas Clare, who in Faulkner's day seems to have impressed the inhabitants with his skill at "landscape" gardening. Mr. Clare's schemes probably did much to preserve the present gardens. Faulkner's description is distinctly amusing, for in these days of the revival of formal gardens we have lost sympathy with much that aroused the enthusiasm of people then. He says in one place: "Proceeding onwards we arrive at Queen Elizabeth's garden, in which still remains the celebrated mulberry tree planted by Her Majesty's own hands, but now hastening to decay. There the grounds, by judicious planting, and the happy disposition of light and shade, offer to the visitor a coup d'œil of scenery, at once extensive and delightful, particularly a small ancient alcove, adjoining a Tudor arch, and an embattled turret, seen through the trees, convey an idea of monastic antiquity, the semblance of which is much heightened by the mouldering walls and the seclusion and silence of the surrounding umbrageous scenery:—
N'avez vous pas souvent, au lieux infrequentés
Rencontré tout-à-coup, ces aspects enchantés,
Qui suspendent vos pas, dont I'image chérie
Vous jette en un douce et longue reverie?—(De Lille)."
and again: "From the taste displayed in designing the grounds, and the felicitous disposition of the landscape scenery, the visitor becomes so occupied in the contemplation of the varied beauties, that he forgets his locality, and finds his way out of this delicious labyrinth, with regret, with doubt, with difficulty."

Cary, Lord Hunsdon.


In the garden is an angle-cistern of lead with the inscription:— [SO 1676]

Condition of repair.

The houses are all in good repair.

Historical notes.

The history of the new Manor House begins with the exchange of property made in 1536, by William Lord Sandys, Lord of the Manor of Chelsea, with Henry VIII. The presence of Sir Thomas More at what was afterwards called Beaufort House, had already familiarised the King with the beauty of the neighbourhood, and he soon formed the design of building himself a house here, on the banks of the Thames. Leland in his Itinerary notes that "the Lord Sannes that lately dyed made an exchange with the King, and gave Chelsey in Westminstre, for Mottisfont Priory in Hamptonshire." At that time the old Manor House, later to become the home of the Lawrence family, was situated further west, where Lawrence Street is now, but Henry chose a site nearer the water, with a frontage on Cheyne Walk, as we have seen, and there he built the new Manor House, soon after the attainder and execution of More. Eight days before the date of the conveyance of the manor we learn, on the authority of Wriothesley, that Henry VIII. married Jane Seymour secretly at Chelsea. In the 28th year of Henry's reign, Sir Francis Bryan was made "keeper of the chief messuage of the Manor of Chelsey," and later he was confirmed in the office for life, by patent 31 Henry VIII.


In 1543, on the marriage of Henry with Catherine Parr, the manor was assigned to the Queen as part of her jointure. She lived here after the King's death, with her fourth husband, Sir Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral, and in her care was the Princess Elizabeth, who had lived here before Catherine Parr's marriage with the King. Mr. L'Estrange, in The Village of Palaces, gives a lively account of the Queen's intercourse with Seymour, and of the latter's indiscreet behaviour towards Elizabeth, from the letters preserved among the Burleigh Papers. Catherine died in 1548, whereupon it seems that the manor was bestowed by Edward VI. on John Dudley, first Duke of Northumberland, as in the year 1551 that nobleman surrendered it to the Crown; and the King, soon after, in the fifth year of his reign, in consideration of the surrender of the manor and park of Esher, granted it to John Earl of Warwick, the duke's son. Two years afterwards (1553) it was again granted to the Duke of Northumberland, and the Lady Jane, his duchess, in exchange for the manor and castle of Tunbridge and other lands. But, in the same year, the duke was executed in consequence of his attempt to place upon the throne Lady Jane Grey, who had herself stayed at Chelsea with Catherine and Seymour. The Duchess of Northumberland resided here until the year of her death, 22 January 1555–6, when she was buried in the church, where there is a monument to her memory in the More Chapel. She was the daughter of Sir Edward Guildford. In her interesting will she bequeaths to Sir Henry Sidney "the gold and green hangings in the gallery in the Manor House water-side at Chelsey, with her lords arms and her own." Against her express wish, her funeral was attended with great pomp and ceremony. (fn. 4) Anne of Cleves, who after her divorce from Henry VIII. had remained in England, appears to have resided in the Manor House after this, for she died "at the King and Quene's Majesty's place at Chelsey beside London" (fn. 5) on 16 July 1556, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.


In 1559, Queen Elizabeth leased the manor to Ann, Duchess of Somerset, widow of the late Protector, Seymour, Duke of Somerset, for her life. The duchess afterwards married her first husband's steward, Francis Newdigate, and died in 1587. She was the daughter of Sir Edward Stanhope of Sudbury, and descended on her mother's side from Thomas of Woodstock, youngest son of Edward III. After her death Elizabeth made a similar grant of the manor to John Stanhope, Esq., afterwards Lord Stanhope of Harrington. In 1589 we find his marriage at Chelsea recorded in the Register, and also the baptism of his daughter Elizabeth (1593) and his son Charles (1595). Stanhope seems, however, to have given up the manor before this, for it was granted, in 1591, by the Queen, to Catherine, first wife of Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral, on the same terms as the previous grants. During Nottingham's residence here the Queen would often visit the Manor House, the home of her own childhood, and there are several records of her coming to dine with the Lord Admiral. These visits seem to have taken place as early as 1581 and 1585 when he was still Lord Howard, and letters from him at Chelsea dated 1589 and 1591 are among the Harleian manuscripts. It would appear, therefore, that he was a tenant here some time before the grant of the manor to his wife, first under the Duchess of Somerset and later under Stanhope. The first Countess of Nottingham was Catherine, daughter of Henry Cary, Lord Hunsdon. She died 25th February 1603 and was buried at Chelsey on 21st March, three days before the death of the Queen. This was the Lady Nottingham who is said to have kept the ring that Elizabeth had given to the Earl of Essex, and the non-appearance of which cost him his life.

The Earl of Nottingham married, as his second wife, Lady Margaret Stewart (or Stuart), daughter of James Earl of Moray. Her mother was Elizabeth, daughter of James Earl of Moray, natural son of James V. of Scotland. James I. granted the manor to the second Countess of Nottingham for life. The Earl died in 1624, and was buried at Reigate; his Countess subsequently married William, Lord Monson, Viscount Castlemaine. She died 14th August, 1639, and was buried in Chelsea Church. Before her death, however, she and her husband parted with their interest in the manor to Sir John Monson and Robert Goodwin, Esq., and in the year 1638 these persons sold it to Francis Vernon in trust for James, Marquis and afterwards Duke of Hamilton, who in the following year obtained a grant from the King of the manor in fee. Upon obtaining possession, he seems to have begun the enlargement of the house which we have noticed above. His additions must have nearly doubled the frontage to the river, and the new apartments were designed on a large scale. In the Civil War he warmly espoused the cause of Charles I., and having been taken prisoner at the battle of Preston, he was beheaded March 9th, 1649. His brother William, who succeeded to the title, was killed at the battle of Worcester, 1651. The manor and Manor House having been seized among the forfeited lands by Parliament in 1653, the house and premises adjoining were sold by Commissioners and Trustees appointed for that purpose to John Walker and others, and, having changed hands more than once, were finally conveyed by the heirs of the Duke of Hamilton to Charles Cheyne, Esq., in 1657, and the whole manor became his property in 1660. Charles Cheyne was created Viscount Newhaven and Lord Cheyne in 1681. He married, first, Lady Jane, eldest daughter and co-heir of William Duke of Newcastle, and it was with the wealth which his wife brought him that he purchased the Chelsea property. We have already mentioned the sale of the western part of the Manor House by him to the Bishops of Winchester in 1664. Lord Cheyne lived in the eastern or old building. After the death of his first wife, who was much beloved in Chelsea, and whose tomb is to be seen in the parish church, Lord Cheyne married Lætitia;, the widowed Countess of Radnor, who outlived him, and after his death resided at Radnor House, in Paradise Row. In 1698 Lord Cheyne died and was succeeded by his son William, Lord Cheyne, who, however, does not seem to have resided here for long. The rate-lists inform us that the Manor House was occupied for three years by the Countess of Plymouth (1701–3), and she was followed by Mr. Anthony Chauvin, who stayed till 1709, when he moved to a large house in Paradise Row, a little east of the Countess of Radnor's. The name of the Bishop of Gloucester occurs for 1710, and then the Manor House remained empty until 1712 and in that year, the manor was purchased by Sir Hans Sloane. We have only space here to refer in the briefest manner to this distinguished man. His coming was a momentous event for Chelsea, for, as we have already seen, it meant much drastic change, the beginning of the end. The rate-books show that the Manor House was let to Madame Deborah Woodcock from 1713 to 1728, and to Madame Edwards from 1729 to 1741. Mrs. Woodcock seems to have moved here from Shrewsbury House (q. v.) where she had kept a school. There is little doubt that she moved this to the Manor House; and that it was continued by Mrs. Edwards. In 1742 Sir Hans Sloane had the house prepared for himself, and came to spend the evening of his days in Chelsea. He was already over 80 years of age, and found his chief pleasure in arranging the vast collection of objects of natural history and works of art that he had accumulated and in showing them to the royal and distinguished visitors who came to see him. He died in 1753, and his monument is in the disused burial-ground of the Old Church. The daughter and co-heir of Sir Hans Sloane married an ancestor of Earl Cadogan, the present lord of the manor.

We have already stated that, contrary to his wish, Sloane's great collection did not remain at Chelsea, but was taken to Bloomsbury to form the nucleus of the British Museum. It now remains only to record the tenants of the houses that were erected upon the Manor House site:—

No. 19 Cheyne Walk.—1760–1763, Catherine Wiseman; 1764–1780, Charles Bainbridge; 1781, William Hunt; 1782–1783, Mary Cobb; 1790–1792, W. Gibson; 1793, James Bolton; 1794, Thomas Fielding; 179 5–1797, Henry Hill Hervey.

No. 20.—1760–1767, John Hay; 1768, Viscount Clare; 1775–1783, Anne Lane; 1790–1797, Thomas Rowntree.

No. 20a.—1760–1761, Rev. Richard Brooks; 1762–1767, James Metcalf; 1768–1776, Catherine Metcalf; 1777, Mrs. Day; 1778–1783, William Cooke; 1790–1797, Robert Whitworth.

No. 21.—1760–1763, Gidley Burgess; 1764–1772, John Smith; 1773, Peter Ducane; 177 5–1783, George Medley; 1790–1793, William Hale; 1794–1800, William, Henry and Mary Shiffer.

No. 22.—1761–1778, Sarah Burnaby; 1779–1798, Thomas Paulin; 1798–1802, Elizabeth Paulin.

No. 23.—1761, Joseph Manger; 1762, William Hill; 1763–1770, Mary Bridges; 1771–1772, Dorothy Davies; 1774, Charles Moore; 1776, Walter Cutt; 1777–1781, Thomas Collett; 1782–1795, Richard Ladbroke; 1796–1800, Ann Ladbroke.

No. 24.—1765–1769, Griffith Phillips; 1770–1772, Sir William Merideth, Bart.; 1773, John Greenwell; 1774–1781, Lucretia Horsmandon; 1782–1793, Thomas and Charles Harris; 1794-1802, Amelia Corderoy or Cowdry.

No. 25.—1765, Henry Willis; 1766–1771, Thomas Northmore; 1772–1783, Elizabeth Kirby; 1790–1802, Catherine Raper.

No. 26.—1765–1769, Sir Joseph Hankey; 1780, Lady Hankey; 1781–1785, George Medley; 1786–1791, Susannah Nicholas and Sarah Coggs; 1792 Robert Cramp; 1793–1802, William Rowlatt.

Bibliographical references.

John Bowack, Antiquities of Middlesex, &c. (1705).
Rev. Daniel Lysons, Environs of London (1795).
Thomas Faulkner, Chelsea and its Environs (2nd edition, 1829).
Rev. A. G. L'Estrange, The Village of Palaces (1880),
Alfred Beaver, Memorials of Old Chelsea (1892).
Reginald Blunt, Historical Handbook to Chelsea (1900).
Randall Da vies, Chelsea Old Church (1904).

Note.—In the above works-will be-found references to all the original sources which have been consulted.

In the committee's ms. collection are—

Houses on site of Manor House (photograph).
3277. No. 20 Cheyne Walk, Front doorway (photograph).
3278. (fn. 6) No. 20 Cheyne Walk, Carved overdoor (photograph).
3279. (fn. 6) No. 20 Cheyne Walk, Lead cistern (photograph).
3280. (fn. 6) No. 20a Cheyne Walk, Staircase (photograph).
3281. (fn. 6) No. 25 Cheyne Walk, Front doorway (photograph).


  • 1. The little "bird's-eye" sketch of the Manor House on Faulkner's version of Hamilton's map, while inscribed as a view from Cheyne Walk, i.e., from the south side, is an exact repetition of this drawing reversed, and is manifestly inaccurate. The relative position of the courtyards is also in all probability not correct. Mr. Beaver mentions a water-colour drawing, the property of Dr. Phené of Chelsea, "which purports to be a view founded upon a drawing amongst the Manor records, of one of the fronts." He further says that it shows a building of Elizabethan character, which perhaps may mean that it represents the south elevation, altered possibly by the Howards.
  • 2. The wisteria was introduced from China into this country in 1817 or 1818.
  • 3. This stair is a copy of the one at Burford Priory, Oxon.
  • 4. See Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials.
  • 5. MS. at the College of Arms, I. XV. fo. 232.
  • 6. Reproduced here.