Nos. 93 and 94, Cheyne Walk

Survey of London: Volume 4, Chelsea, Pt II. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1913.

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'Nos. 93 and 94, Cheyne Walk', in Survey of London: Volume 4, Chelsea, Pt II, (London, 1913) pp. 33-34. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

In this section

LXIII., LXIV.—Nos. 93 and 94, CHEYNE WALK.

Ground landlord and leaseholders, etc.

The property belongs to Mrs. Campbell; No. 94 is tenanted by Francis Ormond, Esq.

General description and date of structure.

These two late 18th-century houses are of unpretentious appearance and scarcely warrant detailed description. They date from the year 1777. They form with Nos. 91 and 92 one block of buildings and No. 94 has always had windows on the west. There is a good early Victorian balcony at the first floor level which is carried round the west front of No. 94, and here it projects forward in front of a curved window, which was apparently inserted at the same time. A comparison of the photographs in plates 31 and 35 will show the modern alterations on this side. No. 93 is now [1913] being practically rebuilt.

Condition of repair.


Historical notes.

The rate-books give the following as residents:—

No. 93.
1778–1781. Charles Smythe.
1782–1783. Mrs. Frances Eels.
1791–1792. Elizabeth Sharp.
1793. Captain Simeon Gordon.
1794. Ann Baker.
1795–6. John Thomas.
1797–1798. James Helme.
1799–1800. Charles Sidgwick.
No. 94.
1778–1790. Andrew McIlwaine.
1791–1793. Thomas Porter.
1795–1798. Andrew McIlwaine.
1799. William Green.
1800. Captain Andrew McIlwaine.

No. 93.—The rate-book for 1811 shows "W. Stephenson" as occupying what is now No. 93. This is therefore the house "in Lindsey Row, now a portion of Cheyne Walk" (fn. 1) in which his daughter, Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson (afterwards Gaskell) was born on 29th September, 1810. Her connection with the house was but brief. Her mother died within a month of her birth. For a week she was entrusted to the care of a shopkeeper's wife, after which time she was sent to her aunt, Mrs. Lumb, at Knutsford. (fn. 2) When she returned to Chelsea at the age of seventeen, it was to No. 3, Beaufort Row, whither her father had removed a few months after her mother's death. In 1832 she married the Rev. William Gaskell, and went to live at Manchester. Six years later she began her career as a writer with an account of Clopton Hall for Howitt's Visits to Remarkable Places. Her first long work, Mary Barton, was published anonymously in 1848, and created great local excitement. Other novels are The Moorland Cottage (1850), Cranford and Ruth (1853) North and South (1855), Round the Sofa (1859), Right at Last (1860), Sylvia's Lovers (1863), Cousin Phillis and Wives and Daughters (1865). She also wrote the Life of Charlotte Bronte (1857). She died suddenly on 12th November, 1865, at Holybourne, Alton, in Hampshire, and was buried at Knutsford.

The London County Council has decided to affix a tablet to the house, commemorative of Mrs. Gaskell's birth there.

No. 94.—Of Captain McIlwaine, Faulkner tells us, (fn. 3) in describing the new workhouse: "Over the chimney-piece is a fine painting of a woman spinning of thread, probably from the Flemish school; it was the gift of Captain Mackilwaine. Above the picture were the following words in capitals, WANT NOT, WASTE NOT."

In the Council's ms. collection are:—

(fn. 4) View from S.W. (photograph).
(fn. 4) Plan of ground floor. (measured drawing).


  • 1. Introduction to Cranford, p. viii.
  • 2. Biographical Introduction to the Knutsford edition of Mrs. Gaskell's works.
  • 3. Chelsea and its Environs, II., p. 25.
  • 4. Reproduced here.