Survey of London: Volume 21, the Parish of St Pancras Part 3: Tottenham Court Road and Neighbourhood. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1949.
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(formerly Russell Place (south), Upper Fitzroy Street (north))
Fitzroy Street is the continuance of Charlotte Street northwards from Howland Street to Euston Road. The name was originally applied to the section between Maple (formerly London) Street and Fitzroy Square, the portion north of the Square being known as Upper Fitzroy Street. The southern section between Howland and Maple Streets was called Russell Place before 1867.
The east side of the Russell Place section was built, according to the leases from the Duchess of Bedford, in 1790, except the two corner houses adjoining Howland Street and Maple Street, which were built in 1778. (fn. 44) Both these latter have been destroyed. Of the intervening houses Nos. 6 to 18 (even numbers) and No. 22 are still standing. They are now cement-fronted, of four storeys in height with a rusticated ground floor, finishing with a plain horizontal band. The original arched doorways, with a cornice and fluted frieze under the fanlights, and pilasters with guilloche ornament separating the door from narrow side lights, are now encased in a cement framework of a moulded arch with key block carried on heavy pilasters. The first floor windows have a cornice on brackets and iron balcony. The windows on the second and third floors are furnished with architraves and projecting sills on corbels, with a continuous moulded cornice at third floor level and another to the parapet.
The west side is similar to the east. The south end has been rebuilt, but Nos. 5 to 11 (odd numbers) and Nos. 17 and 19 follow the design on the opposite side of the road. The leases date from 1791 to Joseph Watson, of St. Marylebone and other builders. Nos. 13 and 15 have been destroyed. The northern block at the corner of Maple Street is now two houses (Nos. 21 and 23, formerly Nos. 14 and 13) of brick, four storeys high, each having three windows in width. These two houses (or their sites) were leased by John Winstanley of Norton Street, builder, in 1785, to James Playfair of St. Pancras, architect (elsewhere called "county architect") and William Playfair, (fn. 45) "manufacturer of hardware."
From Maple Street to Fitzroy Square the eastern side of Fitzroy Street has been destroyed, with the exception of the damaged building at the south end (No. 26) which is a combined shop and dwelling-house, and a late building at the north end which has a first floor balcony covering the three windows facing west. The leases on this side date from 1779 to 1791. (fn. 46)
The western side is less damaged. The corner house adjoining Maple Street is modern and its northern neighbour, No. 25, has been refronted. Nos. 27 and 29 are a pair which have been faced in cement on the ground floors. The four remaining houses (Nos. 31 to 37), of which the leases date from 1791, (fn. 47) remain in their original state, four-storey brick dwellings, with rusticated stucco ground floors, circular-headed doorways with fanlights and tall windows on the first floor with balconies the width of the two windows allotted to each house. The original area railings remain the full length of the row.
Fitzroy Square intervenes between this and the northern section of the street, and the last house in the square, No. 10, which is faced with stucco, adjoins No. 46 Fitzroy Street, which is of brick. These two houses seem to have been designed together and one-third of the frontage of No. 46 aligns with No. 10 Fitzroy Square, while the northern two-thirds is set back slightly, as if it were intended to carry the stucco treatment as far as this break. No. 46 is of four storeys with a semi-circular headed door, and three tall windows with separate curved balconies on the first floor. The pair of houses north of this (Nos. 48 and 50) are also of brick, of four storeys rather less in height than No. 46. They are of similar design, but No. 48 has three separate curved balconies, whereas No. 50 has one long balcony with cast-iron panels. Two houses farther north were originally part of the same scheme but now have cement fronts and shops below. The original area railings remain in front of Nos. 46 to 50.
On the west side of this section there are three houses (Nos. 39, 41 and 43) similar to No. 48, with separate curved balconies to each of the first floor windows. No. 43 alone retains its original fanlight over the entrance. The area railings remain. Between these houses and the rear of the north side of Fitzroy Square is a garden wall rendered with stucco and surmounted by an elaborate iron railing of seven panels.
Russell Place was formerly numbered consecutively, 1 to 12 on the east side, from south to north, and 13 to 24 on the west, from north to south. The present numbering in Fitzroy Street, used in the lists below, is all from south to north, the even numbers on the east and the odd numbers on the west side.
|No. 2.||1835–1838, George Frederick Kiallmark (1804–1887), musician, son of George Kiallmark (1781–1835), musical composer. He gave his first concert at the King's Theatre (1822) and his piano-playing won the commendation of Mendelssohn. He had an academy for the study of the piano at 29 Percy Street (q.v.).|
|No. 4.||1804–1811, John Smart (1741–1811), miniature painter, vice-president of the Incorporated Society of Artists (1778). Visited India. Returned to England before 1797 from which year to his death he exhibited yearly at the Royal Academy. He died at Russell Place (Fitzroy Street). See also 20 Grafton Street.|
|No. 6.||1804–1826, Rev. Anthony Stephen Matthew, first minister of Percy Chapel, Charlotte Street (q.v.). He came here on his retirement.|
|No. 8.||1794–1804, Edward Rudge (1763–1846), botanist and antiquary, son of Edward Rudge of Salisbury who possessed part of the abbey estate at Evesham. He studied botany, especially the flora of Guiana. Excavated site of Evesham Abbey. F.S.A., F.R.S. and F.L.S. Sheriff of Worcestershire 1829. He died at Evesham. 1808–1826, Sir Stephen Shairp. 1821–1836, Richard Westall (1765–1836), historical painter, R.A. (1794). From 1790–94 he lived at 57 Greek Street (the corner house of Soho Square) which he shared with Thomas Lawrence. In 1794 he removed to 54 Upper Charlotte Street, now No. 105 (q.v.) and after living at 6 South Crescent, Bedford Square from 1816–28, he spent his last eight years at 4 Fitzroy Street. 1840–1846, Thomas Musgrave Joy, (1812–1866), painter. Born at Boughton-Monchelsea, Kent, and studied under Samuel Drummond, A.R.A. He exhibited at the R.A. (1831) and painted portraits but is best known for his subject paintings. In 1839 he married Eliza Rohde, daughter of Charles Spratt of Salisbury. (fn. c1)|
|No. 14.||1794–1797, Sir John Croft, Bt. (d. 1797). He had succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his brother, Sir Archer Croft, in 1792. They were sons of Sir Archer Croft, Bt. of Hereford who died in 1753.|
|No. 18.||1794–1798, Sir Booth Gore, of Lissadell, Sligo and Huntercombe House, Bucks, died in 1804. 1804–1826, General Trent.|
|No. 3.||1818–1833, The Rev. Robert Corrie.|
|No. 5.||1804–1807, Colonel John Harris Cruger (1747–1807). For an account of his exploits see his Memorial Inscription in St. James's Church, Hampstead Road (p. 131).|
|No. 9.||1808–1812, Edmund Pepys, who apparently helped to finance the development of Colville Place (q.v.) and neighbourhood. 1818, Charlotte Pepys.|
|No. 11.||1808–1812, Sir William Clayton, Bt. (1762–1834).|
|No. 19.||1804–1818, James Heath, the historical engraver (1757–1834). His name appears at 42 Howland Street in 1830. He died at Great Coram Street. 1845–1859, Sir William Sterndale Bennett (1816–1875), musical composer and principal of the Royal Academy of Music (1866). Knighted (1871). He moved to 15 Russell Place (Fitzroy Street) in 1845 and in 1859 went to 50 Inverness Terrace. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.|
|No. 21.||1798, John Ashley. He was possibly the manager of the oratorio concerts at Covent Garden (1795), who was the father of a remarkable family of musicians. He lived c. 1734–1805. 1804–1822, The Rev. Edward Balne. 1837–1850, Daniel Maclise (1806–1870), historical painter. See No. 85 Charlotte Street.|
|No. 23.||1788–1794, James Playfair, architect (d. 1794). He was the father of William Henry Playfair, the well-known Edinburgh architéct, and was the third son of the Rev. James Playfair, minister of Liff and Benvie, near Dundee, and Margaret (Young) his wife. He married Jessie Graham and since his son William Henry was born in 1789 in Russell Square (see D.N.B.) it is probable that the house in Russell Place was his office. He apparently built this and the adjoining house (No. 21, see p. 44) and was associated in the venture by his brother William Playfair (1759–1823), who had a varied commercial and literary career. In the rate-books (sewers) James Playfair was additionally rated for a shop at No. 23, and this no doubt was where William, called in the lease a manufacture of hardware, tried out some of his earlier business projects. In 1794, the rate-book entry is Widow Playfair, 1849–1850. James George Playfair, physician, M.D. Edinburgh, 1819. He was probably the elder son of James Playfair, architect. He practised at Ventnor before, and at Sevenoaks, after coming to London.|
|No. 37.||(fn. c2)|