Lincoln's Inn Fields: Nos. 1 and 2

Survey of London: Volume 3, St Giles-in-The-Fields, Pt I: Lincoln's Inn Fields. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1912.

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'Lincoln's Inn Fields: Nos. 1 and 2', Survey of London: Volume 3, St Giles-in-The-Fields, Pt I: Lincoln's Inn Fields, (London, 1912), pp. 23-25. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Lincoln's Inn Fields: Nos. 1 and 2", in Survey of London: Volume 3, St Giles-in-The-Fields, Pt I: Lincoln's Inn Fields, (London, 1912) 23-25. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Lincoln's Inn Fields: Nos. 1 and 2", Survey of London: Volume 3, St Giles-in-The-Fields, Pt I: Lincoln's Inn Fields, (London, 1912). 23-25. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section

I.—Nos. 1 and 2, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.

Ground Landlord.

Sir J. B. Whitehead, K.C.M.G.

General description and date of structure.

On 1st August, 1653 (fn. 1), Humphrey Newton, sole surviving trustee of William Newton, sold to Arthur Newman a plot of ground on the north side of Purse Field, 277 feet long, and having a width of 116 feet at the east end, and of 179 feet on the west, and abutting west upon the highway from Little Turnstile. Full liberty was given to Newman to build as many houses as he should deem fit. The houses subsequently erected comprised Nos. 1 to 12, Lincoln's Inn Fields, and were all finished by 1657. (fn. 2)

No record of the original houses is known other than the representation of them in the Wilton House picture (Plate 6). All were apparently rebuilt in the 18th century. In the Soane Museum is preserved a survey of No. 2 made by Sir John Soane in 1792, showing the entrance doorway and staircase on the eastern side. Material alterations were effected about 1820 by uniting this house with No. 1, removing the staircase from No. 2 and rebuilding that of No. 1 partly in each house, and making one entrance in the centre of the two houses.

The staircase (Plate 9) is the principal feature of the premises. The mahogany balustrading and brackets are well carved. On the ground floor of No. 1 is a carved wood chimneypiece (Plate 10), and a carved wood doorcase. On the first floor is a carved wood doorcase and chimneypiece (Plate 10). The staircase, balustrading, etc., all date from the first quarter of the 18th century. In No. 2 on the first floor is an ornamental plaster ceiling (Plate 11), with mouldings in low relief, and the panels enriched with symbols, wreaths and swags.

Historical Notes.

The residents at Nos. 1 and 2, Lincoln's Inn Fields, as ascertained from the ratebooks, supplemented by the Hearth Tax Rolls for 1667 and 1675 and the Jury Presentment Lists for 1683 and 1695, were as follows:—

No. 1.
1667. Lady Roscommon.
1675. Madam Conquest.
1683. —Walker
Before 1695 to after 1700. — Hilton.
Before 1703 to after 1708. Mrs. Ann Hilton.
1715. Mrs. Elianor Hilton.
Before 1723 to 1729. Eleanor Davis.
1731–5. Lady Moore.
1737–42. Thos. Oliver.
1743–53. Henry Perrin.
1754–60. John Gyrle.
1761–2. Master H. Holford.
1763–96. Master Holford.
1797–1804. Peter Holford.
1805– Robert Holford.
No. 2.
1667. "Lady Peeters."
1675. "Barry Walton."
1683. Jane Grinell.
1695. "Widow" Powell. (fn. 3)
Before 1700 to after 1715. Thos. Cheverly (Cheevely).
1723. Elizabeth Smith.
Before 1730 to 1736. James Bostock.
1737–45. "Widow" Bostock.
1749–54. Jas. Gorman.
1755–60. Jane Gorman.
1761–71. James Lincoln.
1772–74. Richard Baker.
1775–93. Mrs. Metcalfe.
1796–7. John Parker.
1798– Henry Cline.

Of these the only persons who seem to call for special mention are Walton and Cline.

"Barry" (or, as it is spelt in the Hearth Tax Roll, circ. 1673, "Perry") Walton is an error for Parry Walton, a copyist and still life painter. He studied under Robert Walker, and became keeper of the pictures to James II. He had much practice as a picture restorer, and as such exercised his skill upon Rubens's ceiling at Whitehall. He had left Lincoln's Inn Fields before 1683, but some time between that date and 1695 he returned, the Presentment List for the latter year showing him at No. 4, where he lived until his death about 1700. (fn. 4)

Henry Cline, who was born in 1750, was, when seventeen years old, apprenticed to one of the surgeons of St. Thomas's Hospital, and after a further seventeen years succeeded to his old master's position. He lived for several years in St. Mary Axe, removing about the year 1797 (fn. 5) to No. 2, Lincoln's Inn Fields. His house in St. Mary Axe was taken by his celebrated pupil Astley (afterwards Sir Astley) Cooper. He gradually acquired a very large practice. In 1810 he was appointed an examiner at the College of Surgeons, in 1815 he became master of the College, and in 1816 and 1824 delivered the Hunterian oration. In 1823 he became president of the College. He died in 1827. Although of such eminence in his profession, he did not allow it to monopolise his time, for he was a keen politician and an enthusiastic farmer, spending much time and losing much money in the pursuit of agriculture. (fn. 6)

Condition of repair.

The premises are in good repair.

In the Council's collection are—

Copy of plan of ground floor of No. 2 in 1792, preserved in the Soane Museum (drawing).
* Staircase (measured drawing).
* Chimneypiece, front room, ground floor of No. 1 (photograph).
Door and doorcase in front room, ground floor of No. 1 (photograph).
Door and doorcase in front room, first floor of No. 1 (photograph).
* Portion of chimneypiece, front room, first floor of No. 1 (photograph).
Ornamental plaster ceiling and cornice in front room, first floor of No. 1 (photograph).
* Ornamental plaster ceiling, front room, first floor of No. 2 (photograph).
Marble chimneypiece in front room, first floor of No. 2 (photograph).

No. 7, Lincoln's Inn Fields.
Doors and doorcases on first floor (photograph).
Ornamental plaster ceiling in front room, first floor (photograph).

No. 8, Lincoln's Inn Fields.
Wood chimneypiece on ground floor (photograph).
Ornamental plaster ceiling in front room, first floor (photograph).


  • 1. Close Roll, 1653 (8).
  • 2. See p. 11.
  • 3. Probably owner, not occupier.
  • 4. Bryan's Dictionary of Painters.
  • 5. According to the Dictionary of National Biography the year of the removal was 1796. The first year in which the ratebooks show him at No. 2 is 1798, a date quite consistent with an occupation dating from 1797, but not earlier. Moreover, 1797 was the year in which Astley Cooper took Cline's house in St. Mary Axe (Bettany's Eminent Doctors, p. 206). The date 1797 is, therefore, probably correct.
  • 6. B. B. Cooper's Life of Sir Astley Cooper, II., pp. 337–8.