Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings). Originally published by London County Council, London, 1980.
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In this section
- Individual Houses built before 1926
Individual Houses built before 1926
The house numbers in the Square generally run anti-clockwise from the south-east corner, but the southernmost house on the east side was numbered 51 and faced Grosvenor Street.
No. 51 (formerly 45).
Built in about 1731, (fn. 43) this house was first rated only in 1741, to Elizabeth Simmons, widow of the building lessee, John Simmons, carpenter, and a rather frequent change of occupant followed. (fn. 44) It was demolished in 1908. The outgoing owner had sold the short remainder of his lease to Joseph Hill of the building firm of Higgs and Hill, and a new house was then erected by them as a speculation under a ninety-year building lease. (fn. 45) The lessees were allowed to choose their own architect, and the obscure Joseph Sawyer, whose practice nevertheless included some substantial buildings, undertook one of the last dwelling houses to be constructed in the Square. Higgs and Hill's contract required of them that 'the present elevation in its general lines is to be retained' and Sawyer's first design was accordingly rejected by the Grosvenor Board, which told him his elevation 'should harmonise as far as possible with No. 1 Grosv Sq.' (fn. 46) Sawyer evidently could not quite bring his main front to the plainness that would have enabled the return front to the Square to match its neighbour, but the elevations approximate to the historicist brick-and-stone neoGeorgian that was soon to prevail on the estate (Plate 30a and folded drawing between pages 140–1). A perspective view of Sawyer's design shows that at one time it was hoped to carry out an earlier idea and extend rebuilding to the adjacent No. 1. Inside, Sawyer's treatment of the entrance hall combined a sweeping stone staircase of late eighteenth-century French type and a carved-wood Kentian doorcase. (fn. 47)
The house was finished in 1911 and had only one occupant before its demolition—the sportsman, and pioneer motorist, Captain Henrik Loeffler. (fn. 48) Some alterations of unknown extent were done for him by Lenygon and Morant in 1919. (fn. 49) He vacated the house in 1932 and it was demolished in 1935.
Occupants include: Viscount Barnard, latterly 2nd Earl of Darlington, 1757–63. Lady Arundell, wid. of 7th Baron Arundell of Wardour, 1764–8: her son, 8th Baron, 1769. 3rd Earl of Rosebery, 1769–78. Lady Vernon, wid. of 1st Baron Vernon, 1781–94. (Sir) Lionel Darell, latterly 1st bt., 1795–1801. Duke of Sussex, 6th son of George III, 1802–10. Lady Calthorpe, wid. of 1st Baron Calthorpe, 1822–7. Viscount Sandon, latterly 2nd Earl of Harrowby, 1829–50. Dow. Duchess of Beaufort, wid. of 6th Duke of Beaufort, and her son-in-law and da., Sir Walter Rockcliffe Farquhar, 3rd bt., and Lady Mary Farquhar, 1850–3. 3rd Baron Sherborne, 1867–70. Sir Charles Palmer, 1st bt., founder of the Palmer Shipbuilding Co., 1871–96. Capt. Henrik Loeffler, pioneer motorist, 1913–32.
The house demolished in c. 1935 to make way for the present building was the original structure put up by the carpenter, John Simmons, in c. 1731, (fn. 50) and externally was hardly altered (Plate 30a and folded drawing between pages 140–1: see also Plate 8a in vol. XXXIX). In 1758 all the rooms on the three main floors had marble chimneypieces and were wainscotted, those on the ground and first floors apparently having carved panelling of some quality with pulvino friezes over the doors and, for example, an Ionic modillion cornice in the front parlour and a Corinthian cornice in the room above it. (fn. 51)
By the late 1870's it was the Grosvenor Office's intention to rebuild this house on the expiry of a lease in 1888 but a renewal to 1895 was nevertheless granted to an incoming tenant in 1883, (fn. 52) and the house was allowed to remain until it succumbed to the inter-war rebuilding scheme. Its demise was marked by an 'obituary' in The Architect and Building News which found, however, only one or two mid-Victorian details to illustrate from the interior. (fn. 53)
Occupants include: 2nd Earl of Portmore, 1741. 2nd Duke of Buccleuch, 1743–50. 3rd Duke of Bolton, 1753–4: his wid., formerly Lavinia Fenton, actress, 1755. Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh, 1st bt., 1755–7. 1st Baron Archer, 1758–67. Viscount Beauchamp, later 2nd Marquess of Hertford, 1767–71. (Sir) Richard Heron, latterly 1st bt., Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1772–1803: Henry and Mrs. Thrale probably tenants, 1781: Samuel Johnson their guest: Sir Richard Heron's wid., 1804–14. Sir Reginald Graham, 8th bt., 1879–82. (Sir) C. E. Howard Vincent, first director of criminal investigations, Metropolitan Police, and politician, latterly kt., 1883–1908: his wid., 1908–34.
The house built here in c. 1731 by John Simmons (fn. 54) pleased at least one early occupant and amateur of architecture, Sir Edward Turner of Ambrosden, who wrote to Sanderson Miller on entering upon it in 1743: 'I have Cornices in the House from which I write, which would draw your eyes out of their sockets! I have Proportions which would command your attention during the two courses, in short, an House, on the glimpse of which you would pronounce—I'm satisfy'd!'. (fn. 55)
Another enthusiast for architecture, Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the fourth baronet, was in the house from 1768 to 1774, and paid 'Mr Devall' some £20 for a new chimneypiece in a dressing-room in 1771. (fn. 56) Repairs and refurbishings for the Marquess of Carmarthen in 1774–5 included builders' work amounting to some £860 by a group of tradesmen under Kenton Couse's supervision. (fn. 1) A larger sum, about £2,576, was paid to John Bradburn, cabinet-maker and upholsterer, for furniture and furnishings: his account, however, appears not to include the important rooms on the first floor. The painting of the other main rooms seems to have been chiefly in white picked out in green, blue or gold, and the same colours of either green or blue, set off by white or gold, gave the scheme of the furnishings in individual rooms. The ground-floor drawing-room, for example, had a 'Blew Roman pavement patern Carpet and Border made to cover the Room all over': most of the carpets were 'fitted' ones. As was often the case, the dining-room (and, here, the library-cum-dressing-room) had a Turkey carpet. Throughout, the wooden furniture was mainly in mahogany. The most expensive items supplied by Bradburn were the looking-glasses in their gilt frames. (fn. 57)
In 1858 a subsisting lease expired and No. 2 was demolished to make way for a house designed, as to its front, by the Marquess of Westminster's surveyor, Thomas Cundy II, in his characteristic style, with white Suffolk bricks, a Portland-stone portico and balustrades, and Portland-cement dressings (fn. 58) (Plate 30a and folded drawing between pages 140–1). The building lessee was the contractor John Kelk. The site was extended to include No. 37 Grosvenor Street which abutted, like No. 2 Grosvenor Square, on Three Kings Yard, and which was rebuilt as stables set back from its Grosvenor Street frontage. (fn. 59) The house was nearing completion in 1860. Nothing is known of the interior beyond the intended arrangements published in 1858, which supposed a ground floor containing a dining-room (35 feet by 20), a breakfast room, a 'business room', and a bathroom; and a first floor 17 feet 6 inches high containing 'superbly decorated' drawing-rooms en suite 65 feet long, a boudoir, and a retiring-room. (fn. 60) Kelk sold the house in 1862 for £12,500. (fn. 61) On the expiry of the lease granted to him, in 1935, this house was demolished.
Occupants include: Sir Edward Turner, 2nd bt., 1743–56. Charles Townshend, 2nd son of 3rd Viscount Townshend, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1758–66. 3rd Duke of Buccleuch, 1766–7. Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, 4th bt., 1768–74. Marquess of Carmarthen, latterly 5th Duke of Leeds, 1774–95. Robert Scott, City merchant, M.P., 1795–1801 (? William Beckford of Fonthill tenant here, c. 1796–1801: Sir William and Lady Hamilton his guests). 1st Earl of Leitrim, 1802–4: his wid., 1804–17: their da.'s, Lady Louisa (d. 1836) and Lady Elizabeth Clements, latterly with 2nd and 3rd Earls, 1818–58. Sir William Hutt, K.C.B., politician, 1868–77. 2nd Baron De Ramsey, 1891–5. La Marchesa di Serramezzana, 1896. Samuel Hope Morley, latterly 1st Baron Hollenden, 1898–1929.
Like its neighbours to the south the original house here was built by John Simmons about 1731. (fn. 62) In 1761 the sixth Earl of Coventry was having carver's work done, at a cost of some £40, by Sefferin Alken, including Ionic capitals to pilasters 'Carved after ye Antique' and carvings 'to alcove in Bed Room'. (fn. 63)
In 1831 the house was improved for James Balfour, probably by the architect Henry Harrison who twenty-five years later carried out £6,000-worth of work for the Balfours here. (fn. 64)
In 1875 this house was demolished to accommodate the wish of the successful contractor Sir John Kelk for a house of his own in the Square, which he was willing to further by paying £15,000 for some nineteen years of the subsisting lease. His intention was 'to make the house' (in the words of the Grosvenor Board Minutes) 'the handsomest on the estate, he says', but at first he proposed to achieve this by providing merely a new front. He soon reported to the Estate, however, that entire rebuilding would be necessary 'owing to the defective brickwork, many of the bricks having been dried clay without ever having been burnt. The Board of Works had condemned a considerable part of the brickwork'. Whether the new house, which had storey heights conforming to those of the original houses on this side of the Square, was a complete rebuilding is not quite clear. (fn. 65) His builders were his own old firm, by then Smith and Company of Pimlico, and his architect was his associate elsewhere, John Johnson (fn. 66) (Plate 30a and folded drawing between pages 140–1).
The sixth Duke of Portland lived here from 1890, and, in the recollection of his daughter, put in a marble staircase compartment from ground to second floor. (fn. 67) Alterations for the Duke recorded by the District Surveyor were made in 1890, 1906 (when additions at the rear were in the hands of Green and Abbott) and (internally) in 1930. (fn. 68) The Duke stayed here until 1936, when No. 3 was demolished.
Occupants include: 5th Earl of Coventry, 1735–51: his son, 6th Earl, 1751–64. John Crewe, later 1st Baron Crewe, politician, 1764–77 (later at No. 18 Grosvenor Street). 2nd Earl of Ilchester, 1777–9. Earl Percy, later 2nd Duke of Northumberland of 3rd cr., 1779–86. 1st Viscount Sydney of St. Leonards, 1787–1800: his son, 2nd Viscount, 1800–27. James Balfour (grandfather of A. J. Balfour), 1828–45: his wid., 1846–63, 1866. Belgian Embassy, 1864–5. 2nd Baron (later 1st Earl of) Londesborough, 1867–72. Viscount Ossington, Speaker of the House of Commons, 1873. 3rd Marquess of Exeter, 1875. Sir John Kelk, 1st bt., master builder, 1876–86: his son, Sir John Kelk, 2nd bt., 1886–9. 6th Duke of Portland, 1890–1936.
Occupying what is in some ways the most notable site in the Square, the present house is one of the four to survive from a period anterior to the latest phase of rebuilding. The original house was evidently built by John Simmons about 1728, (fn. 69) but for many years failed to attract a buyer, 'not being', as Simmons's widow said later, 'every Body's Money'. (fn. 70) Eventually Mrs. Simmons had to resort to a raffle in June 1739. For an unexplained reason the (joint) winners paid her no less than £1,000 for the conveyance of the house and could get only £4,725 when they sold it in September. (fn. 71) The purchaser was Francis Howard, first Earl of Effingham, doubtless in trust for the first, short-term occupant of the house, Edward Howard, the ninth Duke of Norfolk. (fn. 72) In 1741 Lord Effingham disposed of the house by an assignment concluded in February 1742 at a price of £5,500 to Thomas Watson-Wentworth, Earl of Malton, who removed from Lincoln's Inn Fields early in 1742. (fn. 73) He promptly took in hand 'considerable alteration', under Henry Flitcroft, who in 1743 wrote:
'The Works at your House in Grosvenor Square go on very well, and as fast as the Nature of them will permit, the Steps are made down to the Lower offices by your Lordshipp's dressing room, and I have had 3 useless Doorways, and 7 blanks or holow places in ye Lower Story walld up Solid, which is a great strengthening to the Lower part of the House, the Bricklayers are Now at Work upon the Blanks and useless doorways which your Lordshipp Ordered to be walled up on the Hall floor, which will add much strength to ye House, the Plaisterers are got to Work on ye Celing, (fn. 2) ye Doorway of the Front is altering, and when that is done I shall order the wall of the Back stair case to be underpinned. When that is done I hope to be able to report the House secure.
'The fitting up ye Dining Room (which will be a very good one) and the Hall etc. will be pursued with all proper dispatch, and hope to have done the Whole in about two Months time …'. (fn. 74)
So perhaps intending purchasers of No. 4 had been deterred by doubts about its construction. It is possibly relevant that the adjacent house to the south was said in 1876 to be defective in its brickwork and that to the north in 1810 to have been originally not well built.
It seems probable from Flitcroft's letter that it was at this time that the entrance was moved from the central to the southernmost bay of the house, where it is shown in Bowles's view published in 1751.
In 1764 Flitcroft recurs, supervising the stuccoing of the house, at an unknown expense, by the plasterer Joseph Rose, whose 'great care in Chusing and mixing the materialls' he praised in hoping the work would be 'an Example worthy of Imitation'. (fn. 75)
The state of the house during its occupation by Malton's son, the Prime Minister and second Marquess of Rockingham, is partially indicated by a post-mortem inventory of 1782. Any uniform 'colour schemes' were chiefly limited to the first-floor rooms, where they were mainly green or green-and-white, with one rear room in red. On the ground floor were, generally, Turkey carpets, and much statuary in the form of busts and bas-reliefs, which occurred elsewhere in the house. Marble chimneypieces were to be found up to second-floor level. The garret bedrooms included a footmen's room with four beds in it and a maids' room with three beds: on the floor below most of the rooms, including one with a crimson colour scheme, seem likely to have been those of upper servants. The porter's room contained a trophy of the Gordon Riots in 'an Iron Bar, taken from one of the Rioters in June 1780', a second-floor closet contained two organs, and a top-floor lumber room held another trophy, 'a White Flag taken from the French'. (fn. 76) The male servants in the house and stables were numbered, for tax purposes, at twentythree. (fn. 77)
The average annual repair-bills for the house were rather modest, though sharply increasing—some £76 in 1759–63, £177 in 1768–74, and £221 in 1776–81. In this last period the importance of furnishings is shown by the average expenditure on them of (it seems) some £357 annually. (fn. 3) (fn. 78)
Under the Marquess's nephew and successor here, the fourth Earl Fitzwilliam, some quite large sums were spent on the house. In 1785 they amounted to £3,986 (and probably occasioned a rise at that time in its rateable value) and in 1805 to £2,414: the occupant of No. 5 referred in 1810 to 'repairs' Lord Fitzwilliam had had carried out here, (fn. 79) and in 1814 £2,150 was spent. In between, the average outlay on the house was £125 in 1786–1803 and £97 in 1806–13. Additionally, furnishings in 1785 cost £1,351, in 1789 £2,424 and in 1807 £1,424: the average cost in 1790–1806 was £238. (fn. 80)
In 1854 the fifth Earl Fitzwilliam's son and heir was thinking of renewing the lease in anticipation of its expiry in 1865, but learning that the Estate would require the rebuilding of the house (fn. 81) dropped the idea. The Estate negotiated with at least two other potential owner-occupiers and then granted a lease to a builder who erected the new house, and from whom Earl Fitzwilliam bought the lease when the family in fact resumed occupation in c. 1872: the hiatus after rebuilding suggests that possibly the builder could not readily find another purchaser.
He was C. J. Freake, whose lawyer, C. F. Cundy, was brother to the estate surveyor, Thomas Cundy II, and who had just undertaken a big house with an elevation by Cundy at No. 10. In September 1865 Freake agreed to take a lease of No. 4 at £350 per annum, with an extended peppercorn term, of two years, to build in. In November 1865 he was, with Earl Fitzwilliam's consent, given possession: he bought the old materials for £945, and a year later the roof was on the new house. (fn. 82) In 1868 Freake received his lease. (fn. 83) Rather as at No. 10, the elevation was by the estate surveyor's son, Thomas Cundy III, (fn. 84) and in its enriched dressings followed closely the earlier front at No. 2 (Plate 32b and folded drawing between pages 140–1: see also Plate 25d in vol. XXXIX).
In the following year the Estate refused a request from a club to take the house, (fn. 85) and eventually in 1871 Freake assigned his lease to Earl Fitzwilliam, (fn. 86) who resumed occupation in that year. (fn. 87)
The rebuilt house is bigger, even, than its predecessor, with an extra storey and greater height to the rooms. An inventory of furnishings in 1901 shows that it had four rooms on the ground floor, five on the first, nine on the second, eight on the third and eleven on the top floor. Above basement level all floors except the first had at least one water closet (six in all), but the only bathrooms were in the basement or stables. Again above basement level, there was at least one bedroom on each floor (twenty-five in all). The first floor contained a 'Grey Drawing Room', a 'Star Drawing Room', a 'Red Drawing Room', and a 'Brown Room': nevertheless here and elsewhere, when the colour of furnishings is mentioned it is (except for green leather in the library) almost always red. (fn. 88)
In 1931 the seventh Earl Fitzwilliam surrendered his lease. The Estate then granted a 200-year lease at £350 per annum for £35,000 to the Italian Ambassador, for the removal of the embassy here from No. 20. (fn. 89) Work to the value of about £36,000 was done at that time—£14,750 on the interior of the house and £21,250 on the Chancery Building created out of the back premises at No. 14 Three Kings Yard where the main entrance was now situated and where the architects were Alexander Burnett Brown and Ernest Robert Barrow. (fn. 90) The internal redecoration and reshaping was in the hands of Lord Gerald Wellesley of Wellesley and (Trenwith) Wills, who effected what The Times in 1934 called a 'subtle Italianization', to form an appropriate setting for the magnificent pictures and furnishings that were introduced from Italy. (fn. 91) Thereafter, except for wartime, the Italian Embassy has occupied the house. A new fitting-out and decoration in a similar spirit to the earlier was undertaken c. 1969–73. (fn. 92)
The interior as it is today is largely the result of the remodelling by Lord Gerald Wellesley, forming an understated background to the Italian pictures, tapestries and furniture. The entrance hall paved with marble leads through an arch and wrought-iron gates to the impressive central staircase hall which rises through the full height of the house. The staircase is also of marble and sports an elaborate modern rococo balustrade of bronze. The landings are arcaded in a simplistic classical style typical of the 1930's. The chief rooms on the ground floor are the morning-room and dining-room, both of which have plain coved ceilings and modillion cornices by Lord Gerald Wellesley, and marble chimneypieces of Freake's time; that in the morning-room is slightly French and that in the dining-room Victorian 'Adam'. The principal rooms are on the first floor and the finest is the drawing-room which occupies most of the front overlooking Grosvenor Square (Plate 26 in vol. XXXIX). It is the chief survivor of Freake's work and has a white marble chimneypiece identical to that in the morning-room, and an elaborate stucco ceiling, bold but not gross. The Ambassador's study next door has an English eighteenth-century marble chimneypiece similar to examples at Wentworth Woodhouse and Woburn and so perhaps a Flitcroft design re-used from the old house. The ballroom beyond, with a canted bay window overlooking the garden, an intersected segmental tunnel vault of plaster and serried ranks of plain pilasters along the walls, is the most ambitious of the Wellesley interiors. The Venetian drawing-room at the back of the house is also probably by him and is lined with a variety of exotic woods, another 1930's enthusiasm.
Occupants include: 9th Duke of Norfolk, 1739–41. Earl of Malton, latterly 1st Marquess of Rockingham, 1742–50: his son, 2nd Marquess, Prime Minister, 1750–82: the latter's nephew, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam, 1782–1833: the latter's son, 5th Earl, 1833–9: the latter's son, Viscount Milton, latterly 6th Earl, 1840–65, 1871–1902: the latter's grandson, 7th Earl, 1902–31. Italian Embassy, 1932-present (except 1940–4).
No. 5 (fig. 33 and folded drawing between pages 140–1). At its demolition in c. 1961 this was probably still basically the house built by John Simmons in c. 1728. (fn. 93) In 1768 chimneypieces were provided by Robert and James Adam, two of them, for the front and back first-floor drawing-rooms, being made by the younger Thomas Carter and priced at £29 and £38. (fn. 4) The front evidently remained of exposed brick, probably with a stone doorcase. The bricklayer pulled down 'ye pavillion in Garden'. (fn. 94)
When in 1810 the sixth Duke of Beaufort renewed his lease from 1823 he commented that the house had not originally been well built. (fn. 79) In 1810–11 some work was done for him by 'Messrs Armstrong and Wyatt', that is, by (Sir) Jeffry Wyatt (Wyatville), at a cost, chiefly concentrated on the laundry, of only £821: Wyatt's own charges were for carpenter's work as well as architect's commission. (fn. 5) (fn. 95)
By 1866 Sir John Ramsden, looking for a house in the Square, found that No. 5, which had been untenanted the year before, had 'been quite spoilt by a speculating Upholsterer who has cut out the division walls and made each floor into one enormous and ill-shaped Room'. (fn. 96) In 1870 the Marquess (later first Duke) of Westminster was favourable to rebuilding, but only when the lease of No. 6 fell in in 1882, and meanwhile (Sir) William Cunliffe Brooks, banker and M.P., had Messrs. Gillow furnish the house 'expensively'. By 1879 the intention to rebuild completely had evaporated. (fn. 97) After Sir William's death in 1900 the estate surveyor, Eustace Balfour, thought the twelve bedrooms gave insufficient accommodation for servants and that an extra storey was necessary—roughly in conformity with the views of the recently deceased first Duke of Westminster, who had thought Nos. 5 and 6 'would look better with higher roofs and better dormers, that is, the latter more pronounced, as they are now squat and inadequate'. (fn. 98) In 1901–2 the extra storey was provided (builders, Patman and Fotheringham), together with a lift and new staircase, by Lee and Pain, the architects employed by the new lessee, who told the Estate he had spent over £12,000 on it. Soon, in 1904, Harrods were responsible for alterations for a new purchaser, Consuelo, Dowager Duchess of Manchester, including a bay at the back in iron and glass by Rahir of Paris. Balfour evidently induced his master to resist a request for permission to cut down some of the second-floor front windows. (fn. 99) In 1914 alterations were planned by Sir Aston Webb for a new owner, Sir Walpole Greenwell, but it is not known if they were carried out. (fn. 100) The house was pulled down c. 1961.
Occupants include: Dow. Lady King, wid. of 1st Lord King, 1734–67. 5th Duke of Beaufort, 1768–1803: his son, 6th Duke, 1803–35. Sir Compton Domville, 1st bt., 1836–57: his wid., 1857–9. Beriah Botfield, bibliographer and politician, 1860–3. (Sir) William Cunliffe Brooks, latterly bt., 1869–1900. Dow. Duchess of Manchester, wid. of 8th Duke, 1905–9: her son, 9th Duke, 1910–14. Military hospital, 1916–19. Sir Walpole Greenwell, 1st bt., 1919.
Like its neighbours, this was vestigially the original house, built probably about 1727 under an agreement with John Simmons, when it was demolished in the 1950's (see folded drawing between pages 140–1). Here, however, the actual building lease was made to Chrysostom Wilkins, plasterer. (fn. 101) Until 1777 the occupants held by sub-lease. (fn. 102)
In 1772 the entrance hall, with two windows to the Square, was described as 'paved with Portland and Black Dotts', and wainscotted full height, with a Portland stone chimneypiece. The front parlour, which had two windows to the Square, was also wainscotted full height, with an 'Ionick plaistered Cornice Enrichd and the ceiling ornamented'. The two rear parlours, approached by a wainscotted lobby, were, severally, wainscotted pedestal-high and full height: each had enriched dentil cornices in plaster and, perhaps, plain ceilings. All three parlours had one or two marble chimneypieces. There were three closets on this floor, one large. The upper part of the great staircase compartment, lit by two windows, had its walls 'divided into plaister pannels with Mouldings … ornamented, a Plaistered Cove Cornice Ornamented and an Ornament ceiling'. The rest of the front on the first floor was occupied by the three-windowed dining-room, wainscotted (like the other two rooms on this floor) only pedestal-high, with 'a Corinthian Plaistered Cornice Enricht and the Ceiling Ornamented'. The two back rooms had enriched dentil cornices in plaster and one had an ornamented ceiling. All the rooms on this floor had marble chimneypieces. On the second floor the four rooms and three closets probably had fuller wainscotting, with enriched plaster cornices and plain marble chimneypieces in at least the front rooms. The four garrets were not wainscotted, but in the basement the butler's pantry, the housekeeper's room and another room were panelled to full height. (fn. 103)
In 1772 the annual rent, for a thirty-five-year term, was £255, (fn. 103) but in 1797 £400 was to be paid annually, for twenty-one years, by the second Marquess of Bath. (fn. 104) Like his neighbour the Duke of Beaufort, he employed (Sir) Jeffry Wyatt (Wyatville) here, although only £400-worth of work is recorded, in c. 1809. (fn. 105) In 1819 the Marquess paid £6,988 for a fifty-nine-year lease from 1823 at £150 per annum. (fn. 106) He was said to have gutted the house in alterations which, with additions at the back, raised the rateable value in 1821–2 from £400 to £560. (fn. 107)
In 1875 the first Duke of Westminster decided to renew the lease from 1882 only until 1903, when that of No. 7 would expire, but in 1901 the second Duke granted another thirty-nine-year lease. (fn. 108) As at No. 5 the Estate thought an additional storey necessary and in 1903–4 this was provided by Todd and Wrigley, architects (builder W. H. T. Kelland of Stoke Newington). (fn. 109) In c. 1904–8 the lease was, as a speculation, in the hands of Joseph Joel Duveen, but in a depressed market the house stood empty for some years. (fn. 110) Damaged by enemy action in 1940, the house was demolished between 1951 and 1955.
Occupants include: Edward Chandler, Bishop of Durham, 1730–50. Sir Edward Montagu, 1751–5. Lady Anne Conolly, wife of William Conolly, Irish politician, 1755–96. 2nd Marquess of Bath, 1797–1830. Joseph Neeld, politician, 1830–56. 11th Earl of Home, 1861–81: his son, 12th Earl, 1881–1903. Walter Hines Page, American ambassador, 1913–18. Dow. Lady Burton, wid. of Michael Bass, 1st Baron Burton, brewer and politician, 1920–31: their da., Baroness Burton, 1931–40.
At the time of its demolition this was still basically the house built by John Simmons in c. 1727 as one of the two terminal blocks of the Square's symmetrical east side (fn. 111) (see folded drawing between pages 140–1). Its stuccoed front retained less of the original detailing than No. 1, but unlike the southern block it had kept the integrity of its five-bay front, marked off from its neighbour by quoins and its slightly superior storey heights.
The first occupant, in 1731, was Thomas Thynne, second Viscount Weymouth. He initially took a seven-year lease from Simmons at £396 per annum, with a peppercorn term for the first year, which suggests substantial work on the house remained to be done. Soon—probably in 1733—he exercised his option to buy Simmons's lease, expiring in 1823, for £6,400 (or alternatively an arbitrated sum), (fn. 112) and in May 1734 his mother-in-law, Countess Granville, was writing 'his house is so airy and good, that though the weather should grow hot yet Grosvenor Square will remain pleasant'. (fn. 113)
In 1761–3, some £1014-worth of work was done for the seventh Earl of Northampton, chiefly in an addition at the back. (fn. 6) A year or two later Stiff Leadbetter did some repairs for the family here. Upholsterer's work in 1761–3, probably here, by William and John Linnell, cost £379, and included crimson wallpaper and curtains and blue wallpaper. (fn. 114)
In 1808–9 the house was 'considerably enlarged, thoroughly repaired, and newly beautified' by Thomas Cundy I for the seventh Earl of Bridgwater: (fn. 115) perhaps it was then the front was stuccoed. (Sir) Jeffry Wyatt (Wyatville) was paid a small sum for unknown work in 1816. (fn. 116) In 1826 Lord Bridgwater's widow, having, in a seller's market, paid a high price for a smaller house at No. 20, herself obtained £23,700 for a forty-five-year term in the 'recently enlarged and improved' No. 7. By then a portico had been added. The ground floor contained a square entrance hall, an inner staircase hall, secondary stairs, a 'breakfast parlour or morning room', 'occasional eating room', gentleman's dressing-room, bedchamber, 'attendant's room' and water closet. On the first floor were two intercommunicating drawing-rooms, a boudoir, a 'saloon or dining parlour', a servants' waiting-room and a water closet. The stables accommodated thirteen horses and four coaches. (fn. 117)
In 1883 the first Duke of Westminster refused to renew the lease in reversion from 1903 because that was 'the date fixed in that block as the limit for the old houses to be kept up', but by 1895 had changed his mind, and a lease to 1942 was granted. Four additional bedrooms were made for the lessee, Sir Horace Farquhar, by the builders George Jackson and Sons on the Brook Street front at ground-and first-floor level. A conservatory was also added. (fn. 118)
Some decorative work was done here by the Marchese Malacrida for Lady Cunard during her occupation of the house from 1926 onwards. (fn. 119)
In 1925–6 the back premises facing Brook Street were converted, by the lessees, the building firm of E. D. Winn and Company, into three separate residences, numbered 73, 75 and 77 in that street. (fn. 120)
No. 7 was demolished in 1955.
Occupants include: 2nd Viscount Weymouth, 1731–9. 3rd Earl of Essex, 1740–1: his wife and (from 1743) wid., 1742–54: their son, 4th Earl, 1755–61. 7th Earl of Northampton, 1761–3: his mother-in-law, Dow. Duchess of Beaufort, 1764–8. Maj.-gen. (Sir) Charles Montague Halifax, K.B., 1768–71: his wid., suo jure Countess Grandison, 1771–9. Richard Pennant, latterly Baron Penrhyn, 1779–1803: his wife, 1804–8. 7th Earl of Bridgwater, 1808–23: his wid., 1823–6 (later at No. 20). 2nd Earl of Wilton, 1838–82 (formerly at No. 13): his wid., 1882–3: his son, 3rd Earl, 1884–5. Lady (Emilie) Scott, wid. of Sir Edward Scott, 5th bt., 1888–95: her 2nd husband, Sir Horace Brand Farquhar, bt., latterly successively Baron, Viscount and Earl Farquhar, 1895–1923. Lady Cunard, wid. of Sir Bache Cunard, 3rd bt., patroness of music and the arts, 1926–40.
For the house numbered 8 Grosvenor Square from 1888 to 1950 see No. 88 Brook Street on pages 18, 20.
No. 9 (numbered 8 until 1888. Plates 31b, 43a, fig. 34). This house, built about 1725 under a lease to the bricklayer William Barlow junior, is one of the four in the Square to survive from before the latest phase of rebuilding and the only one to preserve substantially its original exterior — here rather simple and unaspiring. Nevertheless, when newly built it was taken as the model, both generally and in its fittings, for the house, No. 10 (east) Grosvenor Square, which Barlow was building on the opposite corner of Duke Street. (fn. 121) From the first it was partly tucked-in behind the adjacent house in Brook Street.
An inventory of 1757 (fn. 122) mentions on the ground floor (which then lacked the present built-out entrance) a front and a back parlour, a back room or closet, a 'back passage room', and two stairs (the principal, which was in the entrance hall, being of stone with iron balusters). (fn. 123) On the first floor was the dining-room, doubtless over the front parlour, and a room next to it (both these having pictorial overdoors), a back room and a back closet. Above these were four rooms and a back closet, and at the top a 'large front garrett'. At the back was enough of a garden to need a 'roling stone'.
There was a rise in the rateable value from £70 to £110 when Admiral John Byron moved in in 1780. In June 1785, he leased the house (through the upholsterers Thomas Like and Henry Turner of Frith Street, Soho) for twenty-one months at £160 per annum. This was to John Adams, arrived from France only two weeks before as the first 'minister plenipotentiary' of the United States to this country. (fn. 124)
Dismissing the idea of running the embassy from lodgings or a hotel as prohibited by custom, the Adamses seemingly thought they were to bear more of the expense of residence than other ambassadors in London did—'the General Idea here', Adams's wife wrote, 'is that the United States find a house and furnish it like other powers—but we know the contrary to our cost'. (fn. 125) One neighbour was the Foreign Secretary, Lord Carmarthen, at No. 2, while another was Lord North himself, further away at No. 50.
Writing to her brother, Adams's daughter Abigail described the house. The dining-room of state, 'which will hold 15 persons with ease', was now down on the ground floor in the front parlour of the 1757 inventory and another ground-floor room served as the family dining-room: off this was a 'long room' which her father had made into 'an office for doing Publick business'. On the first floor the former dining-room had become the main drawing-room, with a small 'Common sitting parlour' next to it, and another 'very small one which serves to breakfast and sit in'—at least in warm weather. Another 'long room', presumably over that downstairs, was where 'Pappa has put his Library—and in which he writes usually himself'. (fn. 126)
These two 'long rooms' are not easily identifiable in the 1757 inventory and possibly date from the enhancement of the house for Admiral Byron in 1780.
Abigail's own bedroom was one of the four on the second (in her native parlance, third) floor. It looked into 'a little peice of a yard' and commanded 'a most extensive prospect … of the tops of all the Houses which surround us—and I can count an hundred Chimneys from it and see Nothin else…'. Above were the servants. (fn. 126)
The Adamses remained here until the early spring of 1788. (fn. 127) (fn. 7)
Rises in rateable value occurred in 1790–1 and 1821–2. The present protruded entrance, faced with channelled stucco, was, on the evidence of maps and plans, added between 1819 (or, probably, 1824) and 1851 (fn. 128) —perhaps in 1846. (fn. 129)
Large ground- and first-floor rooms of superior ceiling heights (latterly a dining-room and music-room) were built at the rear, probably after 1866 and possibly in 1877–8 for the seventh Earl Cowper. (fn. 130)
In 1819 a reversionary lease had been granted until 1882, but in 1870 was extended only until 1885, to coincide with the lease-expiry at the next-door house and presumably to facilitate a large rebuilding then. (fn. 131) In 1879, when a further renewal was asked for by the then occupant, Earl Cowper, the intended rebuilding as part of a block was deferred by an extension of the term, eventually granted in 1881, until 1899. (fn. 132) (fn. 8) When 1899 came, however, the drive to rebuild had slackened, and the existing lessee was granted a twenty-year term, evidently without any compulsion to rebuild completely. (It must, however, have been at about that time that the back premises, now No. 87 Duke Street, which were being reconstructed in 1899 as menservants' bedrooms by the builder G. Chappelow, were given their arcaded front, in the red brick advocated here by the first Duke. (fn. 133) ) When lease-renewal again became a question in 1918 the estate surveyor said 'in normal times opportunity would have been taken for the house to be reconstructed or rebuilt but at present this is not practicable', and it was given another, very brief, respite. (fn. 134) But in 1924 a long lease was granted to the interior decorator Mrs. Syrie Maugham. She was not required to rebuild and since then the various occupants, private, commercial and institutional, have preferred to leave the exterior of No. 9 largely unaltered. (fn. 135) This survival was not assisted by the London County Council in 1951 when the house was thought unworthy of any notice in the Ministry of Housing and Local Government's list of buildings of architectural and historic interest, and although it was listed Grade III in 1957 it was given statutory protection only in 1962.
By then drastic changes had been made to the interior. Many more-or-less unparticularized alterations, mostly internal, were recorded between 1828 and 1933. (fn. 136) By 1924 at latest they had resulted in part, at least, of the 'yard' of Abigail's comment being converted into an oval chamber toplit from a dome. (fn. 137)
In that year Mrs. Maugham shut off the rear dining-room (but not the music-room above it) and two floors of servants' bedrooms beyond, for conversion into an antique-dealer's and decorator's shop at No. 87 Duke Street (see page 90). The rest of No. 9 was taken, as a residence, until 1938, by Major J. S. Courtauld, for whom some rebuilding was done in 1933 by William Willett. (fn. 138)
Subsequent alterations here include the opening of a second-floor window on the Duke Street front, probably in 1947–8, and the removal of the staircase from the entrance hall, probably in 1961. (fn. 139)
Occupants include: Sir Thomas Samwell, 2nd bt., 1727–30. Smart Lethieullier, antiquary, 1741–5. (Sir) Thomas Wynn, latterly 3rd bt., and later 1st Baron Newborough, 1767–74. Viceadm. John Byron, grandfather of the poet, 1780–5. John Adams, first 'minister plenipotentiary' and later President of the U.S.A., 1785–8. Mrs. Anne Seymour Damer, sculptress, 1795–8. (Sir) William Alexander, latterly kt., lord chief baron of the Exchequer Court, 1821–43. Allen Alexander Bathurst, later 6th Earl Bathurst, 1856–63. Gen. Charles Richard Fox, numismatist, son of 3rd Baron Holland, 1864–5. 5th Baron Dufferin and Clandenboye, latterly Earl of Dufferin and later 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, diplomatist and administrator, 1866–72. 7th Earl Cowper, Lord Lieut. of Ireland, 1873–81. Sir Arthur Divett Hayter, 2nd bt., latterly Baron Haversham, politician, 1882–1917: his wid., 1917–24. Major John Sewell Courtauld, M.P., 1926–38.
No. 10 (formerly 9).
The house demolished in 1961 had been erected in 1865–6 to replace two houses originally built on the site.
No. 10 (east) (before 1866 numbered 9).
This house was built c. 1726–7 under a lease to the bricklayer William Barlow, junior. (fn. 140) Unusually, the purchaser of the lease was not the first occupant, but Thomas Archer, esquire, of Whitehall, the well-known architect, who was seemingly interesting himself in the house merely as a property. This is suggested by the agreement between him and Barlow made in July 1726, whereby the house was to be built 'as near as possibly may be in likeness and manner of works and finishing', especially in respect of the staircase, panelling and chimneypieces, to No. 9 Grosvenor Square, where the surviving front shows as little trace of Archer's hand as do the glimpses of No. 10 (east) in views of the Square. (fn. 123) These reveal a perfectly ordinary-looking three-bay house, with the door on the right, next to the corner of Duke Street.
By the agreement Archer was given the option to buy Barlow's leasehold interest for £1,600. Perhaps impending financial troubles explain the low price: Archer later claimed to have lent Barlow £650, the house was mortgaged to Archer as security, and early in 1727 Barlow became bankrupt. (fn. 141) Archer bought the house from Barlow's representatives in 1728. (fn. 142)
In 1768 the house had, on the ground floor, a 'fore parlour' (with a mahogany dining table in it), and a library containing an organ with gilt pipes: on the first floor were a 'Dining Room', whose furnishings included chafing dishes and twelve elbow chairs but not a dining table; a bedroom; and a dressing-room: and on the second floor were five rooms, including a housekeeper's room, a laundry, and a lady's room with a harpsichord in it. In the roof were a butler's garret, a maids' garret with two beds, and a lumber room. (fn. 143) Only one staircase is named (although in 1789 there were two (fn. 144) ). On the ground and first floors the curtains were of green or yellow, those on the first floor being en suite with the chair-or bed-coverings. Apart from the family pictures, much of the decoration was evidently by pieces of chinaware placed about the rooms. The principal rooms were carpeted in Turkey or Wilton. Below were the kitchen, servants' hall (with two forms but no chairs), butler's pantry and another housekeeper's room. (fn. 143)
In 1824 (Sir) Jeffry Wyatt (Wyatville) was preparing for alterations to be made here for the second Baron (later Earl) Cawdor. (fn. 145) In 1854 the building speculator Wright Ingle made some alterations, probably not extensive and confined to the Duke Street front, whither the entrance had been removed by 1855. (fn. 146)
Occupants include: Thomas Bladen, later Deputy Governor of Maryland, 1731–8. Dow. Viscountess Barrington, wid. of 1st Viscount, 1738–42. 'Edward Hulse esq', ?Sir Edward Hulse, 1st bt., physician, 1743–51. Henry Archer, nephew of Thomas Archer, architect, 1752–68: his wid., 1768–89. Dow. Countess Talbot, wid. of 1st Earl, 1798–1804. Gen. Sir Colquhoun Grant, K.C.B., 1817–18. Thomas Raikes, diarist and dandy, 1820–2. 2nd Baron (latterly 1st Earl) Cawdor, 1825–31. Gen. Sir Colquhoun Grant again, 1831–5: his son-in-law, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, grandson of the dramatist, 1836–9. Rev. Sir Edward Bowyer-Smijth, 10th bt., 1840–50. Lieut.-col. Sir Henry Tyrwhitt, 3rd bt., 1850–1. (Sir) Charles Henry Mills, later 2nd bt. and 1st Baron Hillingdon, partner in Glyn, Mills and Co., bankers, 1856–65.
No. 10 (west).
The building lessee here was William Packer of Lambeth, carpenter, who, like William Barlow, had failed financially by 1728. (fn. 147) A deed of assignment in 1768 declared the house to have been originally finished 'in an handsome genteel and ornamental way according to the then mode or fashion … suitable for the … use of the Nobility and Gentry of this Kingdom'. (fn. 148) In 1801 the Hon. Robert Petre or his father, the ninth Baron Petre, had £1,988-worth of work done on the house under the architect Samuel Wyatt, when the back wall was rebuilt and new rooms added. (fn. 9) The back drawing-room and back parlour each had a water closet adjacent. The service quarters included a 'men's dressing-room'. (fn. 149)
In 1844 Thomas Cundy II would have made it a condition of a lease-extension to 1907 that a stone portico should be added. The terms were refused, and so the house, escaping a portico, missed also the chance of longer survival, and was demolished when the lease expired in 1864. (fn. 150)
Occupants include: John Campbell, Lord of the Admiralty and of the Treasury, 1729–67. Dow. Lady Stourton, wid. of 15th Baron Stourton, 1768–85: her great-grandson by her 1st marriage, Robert Edward Petre, later 10th Baron Petre, 1785–1801 (later at No. 45): his step-mother, Dow. Lady Petre, wid. of 9th Baron, 1802–18, 1827–33: her son, Robert Edward Petre, 1819 27. Joan, suo jure Viscountess Canning, wid. of George Canning, Prime Minister, 1834–5: her son, Charles John Canning, latterly 2nd Viscount and Earl Canning, 1836–55, 1862. Earl Grosvenor, later 3rd Marquess and 1st Duke of Westminster, 1857–60. 3rd Baron Harris, 1861. 2nd Viscount and Earl Canning, 1862: his nephew, Hubert George De Burgh-Canning, later 2nd Marquess of Clanricarde, 1864–5.
No. 10 (double site).
In 1863 C. J. Freake, already rebuilding No. 26 in the Square, applied to the Marquess of Westminster for a lease of the two sites on which to put up one large house. (fn. 151) He was then supplanted as potential lessee by the fourth Marquess of Bath, who wanted to build a house for his own occupation, probably employing William Burn as architect. (fn. 152) By that time—June 1863—it is clear, however, that the elevations of any building erected here were to be from the office of Thomas Cundy II as estate surveyor and, moreover, were to match the corresponding elevations of Nos. 20–21 at the other end of the north side, built by Kelk to a 'Cundy' design some eight years earlier (see folded drawing between pages 140–1). Like them, it was to be set back a little from the previous frontage.
Lord Bath relinquished the site as insufficient. Freake resumed negotiations but on the basis of building two houses, to which Lord Westminster agreed in March 1864. (fn. 153) By October, however, Freake had found a client willing to buy, at the high price of £35,000, the one big house originally envisaged. He was Lord Lindsay, the future twenty-fifth Earl of Crawford and eighth Earl of Balcarres, and eldest son of the twenty-fourth Earl, who was to share the London house with Lord and Lady Lindsay. (fn. 154) Their house in Berkeley Square was too small for a growing family and lacked (as Lord Lindsay urged upon his father) a 'suite of rooms suitable for receiving society in the manner that will be requisite when Alice, Minnie and their sisters make their entry upon the scene of London'.
A further inducement in Lord Lindsay's eyes was the moderate ground rent of £300 per annum. He thought this much less than Lord Westminster could have obtained from two houses, the ground landlord's pride in the Square leading him to make a sacrifice to obtain 'a single large and handsome house' on the site.
Freake enjoyed the commendation of Lord Lindsay's brother-in-law, Sir Coutts Lindsay, who was recently established in a house built by Freake in South Kensington. (fn. 155) Furthermore, he impressed Lord Lindsay as 'a fair dealing, honest and indeed liberal man [with] a professional pride in doing his work solidly and well'.
Apart from supplying the elevations Thomas Cundy II had a general 'superintendence' over the architect employed by Freake. As at No. 26 and elsewhere in London this was evidently William Tasker, (fn. 156) presumably the author of what Lord Lindsay thought the 'admirable' plan: again as elsewhere, Tasker's role was not given much publicity. (fn. 157) Freake's surveyor for the site-plan on the lease was his employee, W. H. Nash, (fn. 158) who had a later career as an architect. Lord Lindsay himself did not employ an architect, but consulted Lewis Vulliamy (who had recently altered the Berkeley Square house) over the initial plans in autumn 1864. He also submitted the plans and specifications to a surveyor, Mr. Young, whose suggestion of a fire-proof roof over a staircase was accepted.
The specifications provided for the fronts to the Square and Duke Street to be in best white Suffolk facing bricks closely jointed and tuck pointed: the dressings were to be of Portland stone except that the Composite caps and the plinths of the pilasters, the modillions of the main cornice and, optionally, some balustrading were to be of terracotta—a very up-to-date provision probably reflecting Freake's South Kensington connexion. The windows were to be of plate glass and the roof of Bangor slates. Inside, four separate staircases are shown on the ground floor in undated drawings. There was to be at least one water closet on each floor and three in the basement: there was perhaps only one fitted bath. The kitchen was to have a 'gas stove' and hot water was laid on as high as the third floor. On the second floor and above, and in the basement, the rooms were to be papered. The main staircase compartment was to be hung with varnished marbled paper, and in later years was certainly faced with real or simulated marble. (fn. 159)
The work was noticeably expensive. Broadly the specifications followed what was prescribed at Nos. 20 and 21, but those houses together cost their owners something upward of £20,000 compared with Lord Lindsay's £35,000 for building of less extent.
In 1865 Lord Lindsay had written about the interior arrangements to Freake. He had noted that 'the peculiarity of the site necessitates a peculiar treatment, which as in so many other instances, generates character and individuality and this gives a charm which more regularity however formally beautiful rarely possesses', and had gone on to speak of what might be done by decoration and furnishings to make the interior as 'artistic' or 'quaint' as the family house in Scotland.
A design for a boudoir ceiling by G. E. Fox is dated 1868, (fn. 160) in which year the family took up residence.
Freake's price was met by selling the Berkeley Square house and borrowing the rest from a bank, but reassuringly in the background was the family coal-mine.
Occupants include: 24th Earl of Crawford and 7th of Balcarres, 1868–9: his son, Lord Lindsay, latterly 25th and 8th Earl, 1868–80. Sir Samuel Wilson, kt., Australian millionaire, 1882–95: his wid., 1895–1907. 6th Marquess of Anglesey, 1908. Japanese Embassy, 1913–37.
Although heavily altered by the time of its demolition in 1961, this house had probably never been completely reconstructed (see folded drawing between pages 140–1). It was built about 1726 under a lease to William Gray and John Brown, bricklayers: (fn. 161) by February 1728 they had agreed to sell it for £3,000 to the fourteenth Baron (later Earl) Clinton, a lord of the bedchamber to George II. The painting and finishing of the house for occupation was to be done 'according to the direccion and approbacion of Mr. Roger Morris Bricklayer' (fn. 162) (who in 1729–c. 1740 remodelled Lord Clinton's house in Devon under Lord Burlington's or Lord Herbert's direction (fn. 163) ). Despite Morris's hypothetical connexion with the house next door at No. 12, and his association elsewhere with the bricklayer Gray, there is no surviving evidence of a previous involvement of Morris at No. 11, a quite ordinary three-bay house externally.
The house survived the first Duke of Westminster's rebuilding phase by short lease-renewals to an elderly but long-lived occupant, and in 1894 had its lease extended until 1941. The prospective lessees, the building firm of Matthews, Rogers and Company, were required to pay £3,500 and lay out at least £6,000 on alterations and additions. (fn. 164) These included the stone porch and facing to the ground storey, the stone window dressings, and the iron balcony, (fn. 165) and probably also the attic storey, added after 1877. The architect is not known. Matthews, Rogers sold their interest in the lease for £17,000. In 1897–8 further alterations, mainly inside the house, were done by Trollope and Sons to the designs of the architect H. H. Collins. (fn. 166) In 1924 Charles Marriott attributed work here to Mewès and Davis. (fn. 167)
Occupants include: 14th Baron, latterly Earl, Clinton, 1729–51: his half-brother, 2nd Baron Fortescue, 1751–65. Sir George Yonge, 5th bt., politician, 1766–8. Charles Baldwyn, politician, 1769–79: Mrs. Elizabeth Baldwyn, 1780–1812. Sir Coutts Trotter, 1st bt., 1822–37: his wid., 1839–51: her son-inlaw, Lieut.-gen. James Lindsay, 1853–5: the latter's son, Sir Coutts Lindsay, 2nd bt., 1854–65: the latter's mother, wid. of Gen. Lindsay, 1866–94. Sir Robert Kindersley, latterly 1st Baron Kindersley, 1926–43.
No. 12 (Plate 34, fig. 35, and folded drawing between pages 140–1: see also fig. 2a in vol. XXXIX). When it was pulled down in 1961 No. 12 retained both internally and externally enough of its original features to confirm the impression given by general views of the Square that it had been one of the most interesting houses in the individuality of its design. Built about 1727–8 under a lease to a timber merchant, John Kitchingman, it was sold in 1729 for £4,200 to its first occupant, the former (and disgraced) Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Aislabie of Studley Royal, Yorkshire, (fn. 168) and in the identity of this owner there is a clue to the architectural auspices under which the carcase of No. 12 may have been finished and decorated. At Studley Royal Aislabie was being advised on his works there, in the year he took No. 12, by his architect Colen Campbell and, seemingly under Campbell's direction, Roger Morris. (fn. 169) Both Morris and Campbell had associations, direct or indirect, with the Square in its early days. Campbell, moreover, was then living, in the year of his death, nearby at No. 76 Brook Street, and Morris was building himself a house in Green Street. The guess that they were to some extent responsible also for the architectural character of Aislabie's town house is strengthened by its original external appearance. (fn. 10) Although a terrace house, it was given a façade treatment that is suggestive of the front and back elevations of the recently built Thames-side villa of Henrietta Howard (later Countess of Suffolk) at Marble Hill, where there is evidence for attributing the design to Roger Morris under some degree of guidance from Campbell. (fn. 170) Inside No. 12 the staircase compartment and some other features survived until 1961 in a form generally consistent with a Morris-Campbell provenance, even if they seemed to expert eyes in 1959 to lack 'the bold character and crisp detail of Campbell's known work' (fn. 171) (Plate 34a, 34b).
Undated designs for two ceilings for John Aislabie's son William (d. 1781) among the Adam drawings, (fn. 172) evidently indicate work actually carried out by the Adams, as one is similar to the first-floor front-room ceiling at the time of demolition (Plate 34c). Other first-floor ceilings then surviving may also have been authentic Adam. Two of the ceilings had panels supposedly painted by Angelica Kauffmann. (fn. 173)
By c. 1786 the pediment shown in mid eighteenth-century views of the Square had been removed. (fn. 174)
After the first lease-renewal, in 1808, until 1871, there were further successive short renewals in 1868, 1874 and 1882, until 1910, betokening tentative plans of the Estate to rebuild the house in conjunction with adjacent houses, but then, in 1895, for a rather longer period until 1941. (fn. 175)
From 1868 to 1873 the house was occupied by the novelist Lord Lytton, who was later said to have had the dining-room painted (by the decorating firm of Cowtans) in a Pompeian style. (fn. 176)
In 1875 some work reconstructing the roof was done for the third Lord Wynford, and it was therefore possibly then that the elevation to the Square was heightened by an attic storey absent in 1855. (fn. 177) Later, in 1895, Lord Wynford employed (Sir) Edwin Lutyens to plan the rear garden and make some probably minor alterations to the dining-room and the domestic offices. (fn. 178)
From 1902 the house was taken (until 1943) by John Pierpont Morgan, junior. (fn. 179) A family recollection is that the house was not then much changed from its eighteenth-century arrangement, with the underground kitchen located beyond the garden, and no running water above basement level. (fn. 180) Mr. Pierpont Morgan had a storey added to the house, inconspicuous from the front, by the builders Holland and Hannen, to the designs of A. William West of Maddox Street. (fn. 181) Some internal work, doubtless under the same architect, was done in 1904–5 by Cowtans. (fn. 182) It perhaps included the passenger lift, the bathroom on each floor, the electric lighting, and the radiators in hallways, installed by Mr. Pierpont Morgan. No radiators or other artificial heating were, however, put into the rooms. (fn. 179) A hint of the importance of decoration is given by the story that Cowtans had to remove nine layers of wallpaper hung in the dining-room since their work there for Lord Lytton. (fn. 176)
In 1959 permission to demolish the house, then on the Ministry of Housing and Local Government's list of buildings of architectural or historic interest, was sought by Mr. Charles Clore's firm, Princes Investments Limited. Although the brickwork of the front had by then been renewed, the survival of original features was acknowledged, and also a hypothetical connexion with Colen Campbell. The Ministry's Advisory Committee, however, thought that the house did not possess sufficient distinction 'to justify preservation as a single house in the otherwise uniform rebuilding of the north side of the Square' and it was demolished in 1961. Some exterior ironwork and painted panels from the first-floor ceilings were preserved but their present location is unknown. (fn. 183)
Occupants include: John Aislabie, politician, 1729–42: his son, William Aislabie, politician, 1742–81. William GoreLangton, 1809–45 (previously at No. 35): his wid., 1848–51: his grandson, William Henry Powell Gore-Langton, father of 4th Earl Temple of Stowe, 1853–67. 1st Baron Lytton, novelist, 1868–73. 3rd Baron Wynford, 1874–99: his wid., 1899–1902. John Pierpont Morgan, jun., 1902–43.
This house was unusual in the Square in being built as a pair, with No. 14. This was in about 1727, under a lease to a carpenter, Lawrence Neale, and the two houses were first occupied in 1729. (fn. 184) In 1874–5 the front was renewed, and heightened a storey, and a stone portico and stone dressings added: the architect is not known. In 1879 Arthur Cates designed a bow window for the front which the Duke of Westminster first permitted, then disallowed. Additions had been made at the back in 1874–5 in defiance of the Estate, which thought them injurious to No. 14 but not susceptible to action at law—and even appealed (unavailingly) to the local authority to step in. The additions were removed only in 1895, when the Duke made this a condition of renewing the lease, for £4,750, from 1900 to 1941 to the then lessees. They were the building firm of Matthews, Rogers and Company, who sold the house for £17,500. (fn. 185) Externally, it was a plain eighteenth-century house, plainly and moderately Victorianized, that was demolished in 1961 (see folded drawing between pages 140–1).
Occupants include: Dorothea Dashwood, da.-in-law of Sir Robert Dashwood, 1st bt., 1729–51. 3rd Viscount Wenman, 1752–5. Lucy Knightley, politician, 1765–91: his wid., 1791–1809. 1st Earl of Wilton, 1810–14: his wid., 1814–16. 2nd Earl Grosvenor, later 1st Marquess of Westminster, 1817–20: his son, Viscount Belgrave, later 2nd Marquess of Westminster, 1821 3: the latter's brother, 2nd Earl of Wilton, 1824–37 (later at No. 7). Sir Josiah John Guest, 1st bt., ironmaster, 1838–40. Gen. Sir Loftus Otway, kt., 1841–54: his wid., 1854–72: her son-in-law, Capt. William Marjoribanks Otway, 1872 95.
This was built as a pair to No. 13 (fn. 186) and survived, probably with no radical external alteration, until its demolition in c. 1935 (see folded drawing between pages 140–1). A sale advertisement in 1787 spoke of its spacious garden, which had a 'covered way' and in c. 1810 survived enough to require mould and gravel. (fn. 187) In 1788 Benjamin Bond Hopkins, a moneyed M.P., made 'a new vestibule, amended stair-case, modernized drawing-room, enlarged dining-parlour, etc.'. (fn. 188) In 1816–17 alterations by Soane for the second Lord Berwick evidently included a new wing 'across the yard'. (fn. 189)
In 1856 the Estate would have granted a lease-renewal from 1868 only if the occupant altered the house in the manner then favoured, but those terms were not accepted, and by 1877 the Estate's architectural demands had become kinder to the house, 'retaining the present character of the brick front'. They required, however, the addition of Cundy-designed stone dormers in the roof above an added storey, and in 1878 Holland and Hannen provided the more emphatic skyline desired. (fn. 190)
In 1900 G. D. Faber, later Lord Wittenham, bought the lease for £18,500, and spent another £25,000 on drastic alterations inside, by which the staircase was reversed and opened to a large inner hall and the rear of the house extended. The architect was J. Macvicar Anderson, together with or perhaps succeeded by the decorating firm of Charles Mellier and Company, whose hand was possibly shown in the French style of the front door. A proposed French-dressing of the front in stone, with an Ionic portico, was, however, not effected. (fn. 191)
Occupants include: Sir William Strickland, 4th bt., 1729–35: his wid., 1735 66: their son, Sir George Strickland, 5th bt., 1767. 1st Earl of Northington, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, 1770–2: his wid., 1772–87. Benjamin Bond Hopkins, M.P., 1788–94: his wid., 1794–5. 2nd Baron Berwick, 1807–25. George Denison Faber, latterly Baron Wittenham, 1901–28.
Nos. 15 and 16 (the latter formerly 15A).
The centre of the north side of the Square was from the beginning occupied by a building seven bays in width, of which the three midmost were dressed with Ionic pilasters. It clearly represented, like Nos. 18–20, a deliberate attempt to achieve a large effect, as for the first hundred years of its existence it consisted (and was to again from 1848) not of one house but two. The eastern, latterly No. 15, was the larger, and included the central bay, which at ground level was originally intended as a covered passage to George Street. (fn. 192) This passageway seems never to have been made, and the central opening (on the evidence of views of the Square) became instead the entrance to No. 15.
Like the rest of the north side east of No. 18 the two houses at Nos. 15–16 were built under an agreement with Augustin Woollaston, but here, at No. 15, Woollaston also received the building lease, in 1727. The following year he assigned this to the joiner, Richard Davies, who was the building lessee of No. 16. (fn. 192)
No. 15 before 1823.
Nothing is known of this house except that when it was insured in 1751 its rooms were said to be 'wainscotted', (fn. 193) and rises in rateable value suggest improvements in 1782 and 1814–15. (fn. 194)
Occupants include: Thomas Duncombe, politician, 1729–46: his wid., 1746–9: their son, Thomas Duncombe, politician, 1750–79. John Egerton, Bishop of Durham, 1781–7: his son, Lieut.-col. John William Egerton, latterly 7th Earl of Bridgwater, 1787–1808. Lady Penrhyn, wid. of Baron Penrhyn, 1808–16. 13th Marquess of Winchester, 1817–22.
No. 16 before 1823.
Again, very little is known of this house. During its occupation by William Drake of Shardeloes, Buckinghamshire, however, it was embellished in 1773–5 under the direction of James Wyatt— an early instance of his domestic work in London. The cost was some £3,022 (less a very little spent on Shardeloes). Apart from a design for a wall-mirror, (fn. 195) the work is only recorded in accounts of payments. (fn. 196) New stables and domestic offices were built, and inside the house the alterations seem to have included a new, skylit, staircase, and the room decorations new carved chimneypieces in wood or marble and ornamented ceilings. Wyatt himself was paid £60 for painting '4 large Antique Grostesque foliage pannels' in the 'Withdrawing Room Cieling', where 'the Centre piece and 4 figures' were by Rebecca.
One of the rooms had green wallpaper. Otherwise, they seem to have been painted—generally dead white or French grey with some shades of green. Purple and green are mentioned in the 'picking out' of mouldings, and there were gilded 'window cornices'. Lilac and green are mentioned in ceilings. (fn. 11)
More work for William Drake was done under Wyatt in 1785–6, to the value of £896, and a little further work in 1788–9, when it included 'a fanlight etc. made and fixed by Chippendale' (or rather his firm). (fn. 12) (fn. 197)
Occupants include: Lady Gowran, wid. of 1st Baron Gowran, 1729–44: their son, 2nd Baron Gowran, latterly 1st Earl of Upper Ossory, 1744–58. 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, 1761. Adm. Thomas Coates, 1762–5. William Drake, politician, 1765–96. Mrs. Deborah Grosvenor, wid. of Thomas Grosvenor, brother of 1st Earl Grosvenor, 1797–1805 (previously at No. 43): Robert, 2nd Earl, later 1st Marquess of Westminster, 1807–11 (for tenants): his first cousin, Richard Erle-Drax Grosvenor, 1812–17.
Nos. 15 and 16 as one house 1823–48.
In 1823 the original leases expired, and the houses were retained and thrown into one for occupation by Earl Grosvenor's heir, Viscount Belgrave.
The uniting of the houses in 1823–4 involved an outlay, for the main builders' work, of some £12,448, under the superintendence of the estate surveyor, Thomas Cundy (d. 1825), perhaps in association with his son, Thomas Cundy II. (fn. 198) The Morning Post in 1824 was to call it 'a new erection', (fn. 199) but the records of the Belgraves' move here suggest otherwise: (fn. 200) so, too, does the adherence of the stucco-fronted house to the moderate storey heights of the original building and, perhaps, the inhibited planning of the ground floor. The palatial front which the house presented to the Square by 1855 probably dates in essentials from the work of 1823–4, and similarly preserved the original scheme of an order marking off the three central bays (folded drawing between pages 140–1: see also Plate 20a in vol. XXXIX).
Among the £12,448-worth of builders' bills the biggest were the carpenter and joiner's (£4,024), mason's (£2,789), bricklayer's (£1,603) and plasterer's (£1,062). (fn. 198) Much Roman cement was supplied by James Cundy to stucco the exterior. (fn. 201)
Additionally Lord Belgrave paid John Davis, a cabinetmaker in Brook Street, some £3,829 for furniture and furnishings. He also used old furniture from the previous house—seemingly valued by Davis at £1,758. (fn. 200)
As reconstructed, the ground floor included three staircases but generally showed no extravagances of plan. (fn. 202) On the first floor the front was occupied by three drawing-rooms, called the State, Middle and Lady Elizabeth's. The first had 'Rich Crimson and Gold Flock paper for the Walls' with 'Broad Gold Moulding' at top and bottom, and the latter two crimson and buff flock paper with gilded mouldings: in each room, however, the curtains were of 'Superb Blue Taboray' and the covers of the rosewood chairs and sofas were similarly in 'blue stripd'. (fn. 13) Each individual curtain cost £96 (or £672 for the windows of the three rooms). Two rosewood sofas and twelve rosewood chairs cost, with covers and cases, £539, plate-glass mirrors from £116 to £237, and spectacular rosewood console frames bearing marble slabs and supported on gilded eagles from £80 to £159. The fitted Brussels carpet in the State Drawing Room, however, cost only £37 10s. (fn. 200) Altogether, these three rooms displayed 'a style of surprising neatness and grandeur'. (fn. 199)
After the succession of the second Marquess in 1845 and the death of his mother, who had briefly occupied the house, a year later the Estate invited offers for it in December 1846. By October 1847 the Marquess, rather unwillingly, felt it necessary to allow his old house to be divided into two again. (fn. 203) The lessee was the former retail silversmith turned speculator, Kensington Lewis, who at the same time was involving himself in property in Pall Mall and elsewhere. (fn. 204) He was to pay £6,600 for his sixty-three-year lease at an annual rent of £500 and spend not less than £5,000 on alterations. These were to include raising the top storey (perhaps at No. 16 only), and internally he was to 'reframe the drawing room floors and to put fir girders trussed with a flitch of cast iron … where required'. (fn. 205) In 1848–9 the front was being altered by Lewis's architects, Thompson and Morgan (of Paddington): (fn. 206) this included the replacement of a single portico by (or perhaps its enlargement into) one three bays wide. (fn. 207) Inside No. 15, at least, the replanning was not very radical, but a rear wing was added (and probably at No. 16 also). (fn. 208) Lewis disposed of No. 16 quickly, in 1848, but met great difficulties at No. 15, which he attributed, with some support from Lewis Cubitt, to its bad structural condition. (fn. 209) It was 1856 before his mortgagees found an occupant for the house. (fn. 210)
No. 15 from 1856.
In 1885 the occupant was refused a lease in reversion from 1910 because, in the estate surveyor's opinion, 'the house is not a good one', and in 1893 an incoming tenant, Colonel Ralph Vivian, who was to occupy it until 1924, laid out £12,000 upon it—mostly, it was said later, in structural repairs. (fn. 211) His architects were Ernest George and Peto (builders, J. Simpson and Son of Paddington Street), whose work included a 'flower house' at the back. (fn. 212) The house was demolished in 1935. (fn. 213)
No. 16 from 1848.
In 1901 unknown work (but including a change of chimneypieces) was done here by Cubitts for Mrs. Samuel Lewis, to designs by William Flockhart. (fn. 214) In 1927 the lease was bought back by the Estate and some £10,500 spent on alterations by Trollope and Colls, under the supervision of Edmund Wimperis as estate surveyor, to fit the house for occupation by the Dowager Duchess of Westminster, widow of the first Duke. (fn. 215) In 1940 the house was demolished by bombing. (fn. 216)
Occupants include: Col. Ely Wigram, 1851–69, with his brother Joseph Cotton Wigram, Bishop of Rochester, 1864–7. Dow. Marchioness of Lansdowne, wid. of 4th Marquess, 1871–91. Sir Edward Sullivan, 5th bt., 1892–3. Capt. Henry Denison, son of 1st Baron Londesborough, 1900–1. Dow. Duchess of Westminster, wid. of 1st Duke, 1929–40.
No. 17 (formerly 16).
In its later years No. 17 presented to the Square a façade not radically different from the elevation of 1729 (see folded drawing between pages 140–1). If The Daily Post in 1730 is to be believed, the architect, as at the houses immediately westward, was Edward Shepherd. (fn. 217) Like Nos. 10–16, No. 17 was built under an agreement with Augustin Woollaston, and the building lessee, as at Nos. 13 and 14, was the carpenter, Lawrence Neale, (fn. 218) who is known to have been associated with Shepherd elsewhere. The lease, expiring in 1823, was bought from Neale in 1730 for £4,800, plus £410 for furnishings and fittings, on behalf of the second Earl of Albemarle, on whose death in 1754 the house was sold for £5,500 to the Courtenays, Earls of Devon, who may have improved it somewhat. (fn. 219) In 1764 it had a front hall with staircase, a front parlour converted to a dining-room, a drawing-room, and Lord Courtenay's large dressing-room and closet on the ground floor; a front 'dining-room' used as a drawing-room, another drawing-room, a Green Damask bedchamber and a water closet on the first floor; five bedchambers on the second floor; and five garrets, which included an upper servant's room and a maids' room with three beds in it. Below stairs were rooms for the footmen (with three beds but no chairs), butler, steward, coachman, and cook, and a servants' hall with firearms in it. Almost all the rooms above the basement had stoves in them, except for the maids' garret. On the ground floor the rooms had crimson curtains, Turkey carpets and leather-seated chairs, and had busts and bronzes in them: Lord Courtenay's dressing-room had some thirty china figures over the chimney. In the first-floor rooms all the curtains were green, generally en suite with green upholstery, while the carpets—fitted in the drawing-rooms—were Wilton: pier-glasses, girandoles and marble slabs were important features. On the principal floors the movable furniture was mostly of mahogany. Outside, the garden contained two painted Windsor settles. Altogether the furnishings were valued at £1,206. (fn. 220)
In 1846 the subsisting lease was bought by Sir James Weir Hogg, M.P. and Chairman of the East India Company, who also bought a reversionary lease to 1910. (fn. 221) He made substantial alterations to the house, designed for him by the elderly architect Thomas Hopper (b. 1776) and executed in 1847–8 by the builder John Kelk. (fn. 222) Inside, they probably included the removal of the staircase from the entrance hall to the rear, and its replacement on the first floor by an additional front drawing-room. (fn. 223) The ground storey was rusticated, and a stone portico added which was singled out for praise in 1903 by F. Herbert Mansford as enhancing the elevation. (fn. 224)
In 1854 Hogg sold fifty-six years' tenure of the house for £16,500, plus £3,000 for furnishings and fittings. (fn. 225)
In 1915 a sixty-three-year lease was bought by a speculator who undertook to spend some £5,000 on modernization, including a lift and possibly the wooden staircase installed between 1847 and 1916. (fn. 226) By c. 1938, after further changes, the interior dressings had been given a Stuart or early-Georgian style. (fn. 227)
The house was half-destroyed by bombing in 1940 and demolished in 1943. Chimneypieces and other fittings were selected for preservation 'and eventual re-assembling after the War' (fn. 183) but it is not known if or where they were re-used.
Occupants include: 2nd Earl of Albemarle, ambassador to France, 1730–54. Sir William Courtenay, 3rd bt., latterly 1st Viscount Courtenay, 1755–62: his son, 2nd Viscount Courtenay, 1762–88: the latter's son, 3rd Viscount, later 19th Earl of Devon, 1788–1804. Sir James Weir Hogg, 1st bt., Chairman of East India Company, 1847–54. 2nd Marquess Camden, 1862–6. Lieut.-col. Richard Charteris, son of 9th Earl of Wemyss, 1868–74: his wid., 1874–1915. Sir Edward Mackay Edgar, bt., 1920–4. David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty, Adm. of the Fleet, 1926–36. 5th Baron De Saumarez, 1939–40.
No. 18 (formerly 17).
This was originally the easternmost of three houses, whose symmetrical grouping is discussed opposite (Frontispiece and Plate 28b). Like the others, No. 18 was built, about 1728, under an agreement with the builder-architect Edward Shepherd, although here the lessee was his associate elsewhere, the mason Thomas Fayram. (fn. 228) In 1736 the young second Earl of Rockingham, wedding himself to an heiress, bought it for £5,250, seemingly in compliance with a marriage agreement. (fn. 229) The statuary and mason John Deval charged £300 for eight tables of marble (white-and-veined, black-andyellow, Siena, and Egyptian), and for four works of marble-carving, doubtless on chimneypieces, and Abraham Jordan supplied an organ. (fn. 230)
The Earl died in 1745 but his widow continued in the house, latterly as Lady Guilford. From 1746 to 1764 the expenditure on repairs, though increasing, averaged only £57 annually, or a little under half that at her country house. (fn. 231) (The more fixed outgoings amounted in 1767 to some £76, of which £25 was the Grosvenor ground rent and the rest payments for the upkeep of the Square garden and paving and for rates and taxes. (fn. 232) )
In 1767 the ground floor contained, apart from hall and staircases, four rooms—a dining-parlour (its tables, however, kept in a closet), a drawing-room, Lord Guilford's dressing-room, and a back dressing-room. On the first floor there were four—a Great Room at the front, Lady Guilford's dressing-room, a Green Silk Damask (bed-)room and an adjacent inner room. Above were six bedrooms, three of them named after their furnishings— Blue Mohair, Green Harrateen and Printed Cotton. At the top were five garrets. The important first-floor rooms were generally furnished with green silk damask curtains and had green elsewhere: on the ground floor the corresponding colour was crimson. Turkey, Wilton and Persian carpets are mentioned. In the best rooms the furniture was of mahogany except where, as in Lady Guilford's bedroom and dressing-room, the chairs were gilded. The Great Room had over the doors '2 paintings of Ruins' (which were, however, removable (fn. 233) ). Gilt-framed pier-glasses, girandoles, and marble-slab console tables on gilded frames are listed, and pieces of china on chimneypieces— for example, the '3 coloured Bottles, 2 Beekers ditto, 2 blue and white Jarrs, 2 Beekers ditto' on that in Lady Guilford's dressing-room. An inner room on the same floor had prints over the chimneypiece. The main rooms had stove grates. The hall housed a sedan chair, and the porter's lodge two horse pistols and a blunderbuss. Below were rooms for a housekeeper, coachman and steward (the last having pictures in it and three more pistols), but no butler's, cook's or footmen's rooms. Except in that respect, and perhaps for more widespread gilding here, all was very much as at No. 17. The furnishings, including books, china and trinkets, were valued at £1,946. (fn. 234)
In the 1790's the owner could evidently expect to get some £580–£600 per annum for a three-year tenancy. (fn. 235) Between c. 1786 and 1800 the entrance was probably moved one bay westward of centre. (fn. 236) Some time between c. 1812 and 1855 the square second-floor windows were lengthened. (fn. 237)
In 1865–6 this house was rebuilt for the lessee, the third Earl Fortescue, by the seventy-five-year-old architect William Burn—acting, however, so far as the elevation was concerned, within lines laid down by Thomas Cundy II as estate surveyor. In 1863 Cundy's intention was, in fact, that the front (raised a storey) should repeat the pilastered fronts of the houses recently built at Nos. 10 and 20–21. If that had been done it would have preserved a sort of symmetry at Nos. 18–20, however much it departed from the original proportioning of that group. But Burn evidently objected to the requisite pilasters, and they were omitted (fn. 238) (Plate 30b, fig. 36, and folded drawing between pages 140–1).
Burn's massive house, which later daunted a bookish visitor by its size, included a schoolroom, music-room, one bathroom, day and night nurseries, and a nursery kitchen. Three of the rooms in the roof (like two of the rear rooms below) were without fireplaces. The extensive basement included a shoe room, a pastry room, a lamp room and a good-sized 'brushing room'. (fn. 239) The builders were Kelk's old firm, Messrs. Smith and Company, who used iron girders to support the floors. (fn. 240) Some marble chimneypieces from the old house were retained.
Lord Fortescue immediately sold the seventy-six-year residue of the lease, for £32,500, to an incoming occupant. (fn. 241)
In 1911 Mewès and Davis altered the house internally for Mrs. John Jacob Astor (later Lady Ribblesdale). The work included 'new lavatory, bathrooms, bedroom', (fn. 242) and the 'modern complement of bathrooms' was a 'sellingpoint' in 1928. (fn. 243) In 1934, however, the house was demolished.
Occupants include: 2nd Earl of Rockingham, 1736–45: his wid., 1745–51: her 2nd husband, 1st Earl of Guilford, 1751–67 (previously at No. 50): 1st Baron Sondes (cousin of 2nd Earl of Rockingham), 1767–86 (previously at No. 50): his son, Lewis Thomas Watson, latterly 2nd Baron Sondes, 1786–1802 (Henry Addington, Speaker of the House of Commons, later 1st Viscount Sidmouth, tenant, 1792–5: Sir Ralph Milbanke, 6th bt., probably tenant, c. 1799–1802). 1st Earl Fortescue, 1803–41: his son, 2nd Earl Fortescue, Lord Lieut. of Ireland (as Viscount Ebrington), 1841–61: his wid., 1863–5: her step-son, 3rd Earl Fortescue, 1867. Richard Benyon, politician, 1869–97. Ava Astor, former wife of John Jacob Astor, 1912–19: her 2nd husband, 4th Baron Ribblesdale, 1919–25: and as his wid., Lady Ribblesdale, 1926–8. Commander Sir Morton Smart, K.C.V.O., M.D., 1935.
No. 19 (formerly 18).
Of the houses in the Square No. 19 originally presented to it the most completely elaborated façade. It was the centrepiece of a tripartite composition which embraced the houses on either side, and endowed the three of them with the appearance of being a single mansion (Frontispiece and Plate 28b). The credit for this 'attempted magnificence' belongs to Edward Shepherd, who concluded a building agreement with the Estate for Nos. 18–20 (and also No. 21) in 1725, and was a party to the three building leases granted on consecutive days in July 1728. Two, of the outer houses, were to other, associated building tradesmen, but here at No. 19 Shepherd himself took the building lease. (fn. 244)
This was an early instance of the use of a palatial front for what was, in effect, the ordinary terrace-arrangement of London's street architecture. A friendly critic at the time said that Shepherd had been frustrated by other leaseholders in an aim to make the whole north side harmonious, and that the off-centre position of his front had been forced upon him unwillingly. (fn. 245) Even so, he achieved an effect recalling Colen Campbell's much-emulated great house of 1715 at Wanstead, while the outer houses taken separately are reminiscent of Campbell's Nos. 31–34 Old Burlington Street, designed c. 1718, with doorcases like that of the adjacent house in the same street designed by Lord Burlington for Lord Mountrath. The design of this block uses, indeed, forms common in Campbell's work, but which were also more widely current, and the decorative motif in Shepherd's pediment is a little more suggestive of Gibbs than Campbell. A feature marking out the central house at No. 19 from its neighbours is the placing of the square second-floor windows immediately under the bedmould of the pediment. This arrangement occurs in an Inigo Jones design for the Star Chamber, (fn. 246) but its employment here impaired the uniform effect of the triple front. It would seem inherently unlikely that Shepherd was acquainted with the Jones design, then in the Clarke collection, but in fact his composition of the front of No. 19 follows it closely, not least in the use of first-floor windows of the Palazzo Thiene type with a pedimented Corinthian (or in Grosvenor Square Composite) order. Shepherd's critic, Robert Morris, objected to this conjunction, which a later critic has censured in the Jones design, (fn. 247) and which otherwise occurs, without, however, the thrust-up second-floor windows, in an unexecuted Campbell design dedicated to Robert Walpole and published in 1717. (fn. 248) If similarity in features liable to criticism is thought to strengthen the likelihood of derivation it perhaps also, in this instance, strengthens the possibility that Shepherd as architect was here operating under some degree of guidance from those versed in Jonesian precedent.
That he was regarded as the architect at the time is clear enough. A newspaper in 1730 said No. 19 was 'built by Mr. Shepherd the famous Architect', (fn. 249) and Robert Morris in 1734 seems to think of him as an architect. (fn. 250) His control of the design appears in an agreement of 1728 that the bricklayer, Francis Drewitt, should, on receiving the building lease of the western site at No. 20, erect a house 'according to and after the modell plann or forme and elevation thereof which hath been made or drawne by the said Edward Shepherd' and was, further, to observe all directions given by Shepherd 'concerning the building of the front of the said messuage'. At No. 19 Drewitt was to do the bricklayer's work, again according to a plan and elevation drawn by Shepherd. (fn. 251) The agreement for the purchase of No. 19 in 1730 seems to have similar implications. This was between Shepherd and the seventh Earl of Thanet. It provided that five carved wooden chimneypieces should be supplied in accordance with 'draughts or designs to be approved and signed by the Earl of Thanet' and that the design of the 'Gallery', as the important first-floor front room was called, was to be similarly approved. (fn. 252) The absence of any reference to the Earl's surveyor or other agent suggests the designs came from Shepherd. (fn. 14)
The exterior was soon attacked, but without any reasoned argument, in Ralph's Critical Review of 1734, as 'a wretched attempt at something extraordinary' and 'bad in itself' as well as in its off-centre situation. (fn. 253) Robert Morris immediately came to Shepherd's defence in his Lectures on Architecture: he criticized the first-floor window dressings and the placing of the second-floor windows at No. 19 (ignoring any Jonesian or Palladian precedent), but thought the tripartite whole 'has Grandeur and Proportion in the Composure, the Parts are Majestick and of an ample Relievo, and the Taste is as elegant as the most agreeable Designs of those who boast of being exact Copiers of Palladio or Inigo Jones'. Morris went on to praise 'the same Architect' for the beauty of the 'regular Range' he had designed for the whole north side of the Square, 'in which he has shown a Nobleness of Invention, and the Spirit and Keeping of the Design is not unworthy of the greatest British Architect'. (fn. 245)
Shepherd, however, occupied a mid ground between building and architecture, and was still in part very much a tradesman—a plasterer in particular. The agreement of 1728 with Drewitt shows that Shepherd was at No. 19 to provide the bricks, which rather unusually and perhaps on second thoughts were to be 'red', not 'grey'. Shepherd's role as plasterer appears in the fact that the dressings of the front of this grand block—that is, the rusticated ground floor, the window surrounds, and the entablature—were to be not of stone but plaster. (fn. 251) Furthermore, inside No. 19 at least, some of the floors were to be not boarded but plastered or stuccoed and polished. (fn. 252) This use of plaster, 'in elegant houses', is noted by Ware, (fn. 254) but is not often encountered, and presumably betrays Shepherd's interests as building tradesman.
At the rear Portland stone steps led into an unusually large, gravelled, garden—perhaps that which later, in 1830, had poplar trees in it (fn. 255) —overlooked by the handsome, fully dressed and pedimented Roman Doric front of the stable block (Plate 35c). This last was lavishly constructed internally with fittings modelled on Colonel Charteris's in Bond Street, all made of heart-of-oak. (fn. 252)
The Earl of Thanet paid Shepherd £7,500 for the house, (fn. 252) the highest known price for a new house in the Square.
In 1764 his son, the eighth Earl, was visited by the young Mozart and his family, doubtless to perform here, (fn. 256) and at the same period, 1764–5, had the first changes made to the house of which anything is known. These were by Robert Adam, with at least one small item by his brother James. Designs were made for the first-floor front room or 'Gallery' (a chimneypiece, Plate 17a, 17b in vol. XXXIX), the Earl's dressing-room (the ceiling), another dressing-room, later the morning-room (the ceiling and, probably, the chimneypiece), and a drawing-room (a looking-glass frame, by James Adam). (fn. 257) Designs for the rectangular ceiling of the Salon, dated 1765, and its frieze, were evidently altered in execution, as that compartment was built circular under a coffered dome and with its great round-headed niches recalled the Pantheon, like the Saloon at Kedleston of 1763 (fn. 258) (Plate 15b in vol. XXXIX). Some of these features remained in the house in 1919. (fn. 259)
Externally the first great change was between c. 1786 and 1800, when the pediment was removed (fn. 236) (Frontispiece and Plate 28b). This was perhaps in 1793 by S. P. Cockerell, acting for the ninth Earl of Thanet. (fn. 260)
Between c. 1800 and c. 1813 the 'Palazzo Thiene' first-floor window dressings were removed. (fn. 261)
By 1855 the symmetry of, as well as individual elements in, the original tripartite group had been lost. It had not, indeed, remained in its original balance many years before the façade of No. 20 was extended over No. 21 (see page 137). Between c. 1786 and 1800 (on the evidence of views) the entrance at No. 18 was moved; (fn. 236) that at No. 20 was moved correspondingly in c. 1800–13; (fn. 261) but by 1855 at latest harmony was again, and badly, impaired by the lengthening of windows and the addition of a portico at No. 20. (fn. 237) Then in 1855–6 and 1865–6 No. 20 and No. 18 were rebuilt, and by no means identically.
Thus it is not surprising that in 1879 the first Duke of Westminster was prepared to countenance a complete rebuilding of No. 19. The house was, however, given a new lease of life until 1932 by the willingness of the new lessee, Mrs. Gerard Leigh, to make a large outlay on the house as it stood (amounting to nearly £25,000 by 1881, she said). Her architect was D. Cubitt Nichols. The external alterations were controlled by Thomas Cundy III as surveyor to the Duke, who here (unlike his practice elsewhere at that time) allowed Cundy to deploy the bygone manner of Thomas Cundy II. A portico in the 1860's style was added, and the first-floor windows refitted with pedimented dressings (the alternation of segmental and triangular pediments being, however, reversed from the original). (fn. 262) Perhaps it was at that time also that the second-floor windows were cut down to balconettes and a bandcourse introduced below them (Plate 30b and folded drawing between pages 140–1). Inside, Frederick Arthur of Motcomb Street renovated the surviving Adam work and designed decoration for other rooms to replace 'more recent and questionable work'. The walls of the staircase compartment were coloured 'a delicate shade of bluish or greyish green', and Adam's domed Salon (then a music-room) coloured in white, gold and cream. The great first-floor front room (then a ballroom) was similarly coloured in white, gold and shades of cream, with the walls panelled in canary-coloured velvet brocade. Arthur used brocaded walls in other rooms— scarlet silk in one small room and 'silk in a mignonette shade of green' in a boudoir. In the then dining-room Arthur evidently introduced a carton-pierre 'Adam' ceiling of his own designing (incorporating monochrome medallions by J. S. Cuthbert of Cheyne Walk). In other rooms Arthur's decorative schemes were more resonantly coloured, with 'bronze' effects in the entrance hall and morning-room (where ceiling panels were painted by a Mr. Paget). The Building News thought Arthur had 'avoided anything approaching the outré in design or the garish in colour'. (fn. 263) The plasterwork of the new and renovated parts was by Jacksons of Rathbone Place, who in 1884 also added a large conservatory at the back. (fn. 264)
The fine staircase seems from photographs to have been partly Adam's work but with a late-Georgian upper part, and skilful wall decoration by Arthur, who probably gave the house most of its latterday 'Adam' character (Plate 35a, 35b).
By the early years of this century the front was whitened but the Estate evidently did not much like this and eventually the brick of the front reappeared. (fn. 265) The house was demolished in 1933. (fn. 15)
Occupants include: 7th Earl of Thanet, 1730–53: his son, 8th Earl, 1753–86: the latter's son, 9th Earl, 1786–90, 1792–4. Paul Benfield, nabob and politician, 1794–9. (Sir) Francis Lawley, latterly 7th bt., 1821–51: his wid., 1851–78. Mrs. Gerard Leigh, 1880–4: with her 2nd husband, M. Christian Frederick de Falbe, the Danish Minister, 1885–96, and as his wid., Madame de Falbe, 1896–9. 9th Baron Strabolgi, 1925. Lady (Josephine) Beecham, wid. of Sir Joseph Beecham, 1st bt., and Lady (Utica) Beecham, wife of Sir Thomas Beecham, 2nd bt., 1926–32.
No. 20 (formerly 19).
For most of its existence as a separate entity No. 20 had been linked in one way or another with the smaller house to the west, facing North Audley Street but latterly numbered 21 Grosvenor Square. During the greater part of the period they shared a common elevation to the Square, and for some sixty-five years were occupied together before being redivided.
As first built, however, No. 20 related to the houses eastward not westward. In elevation it mirrored No. 18 and with it formed the outer elements of a tripartite composition of which No. 19 was the centre (Frontispiece and Plate 28b). Like them (and, indeed, like No. 21), No. 20 was built under an agreement between the Estate and Edward Shepherd, (fn. 266) whose handling of the tripartite block is discussed in the account of No. 19. Here at No. 20 the building lessee, on the completion of the carcase in 1728, was a bricklayer, Francis Drewitt: (fn. 267) his contract with Shepherd, whereby, in return for the lease, he agreed to build the house according to a plan and elevation made by the latter, (fn. 251) is also discussed above. The first occupant, from 1731, when he bought the lease, (fn. 268) until his death in 1744, was an Irish peer, Algernon Coote, sixth Earl of Mountrath, who in 1738 bought the lease of No. 21, previously in separate occupation, and threw the two houses into one. (fn. 269) Eighteenth-century views seem to show that by 1751 (or perhaps by 1741), and presumably at his own initiative, he had extended the elevational scheme of No. 20 across No. 21's hitherto quite distinct two-bay front, and had thereby put Shepherd's tripartite composition out of balance. But the two houses were not, it seems, totally rebuilt, and the plan of the interior remained to that extent awkward. (fn. 270)
In 1766 two rooms in the double residence—a 'fore parlour' and a drawing-room—had fixed overdoor- and chimneypiece-paintings by the Italian Jacopo Amiconi (who was also, as it happens, the painter of part of the auditorium ceiling at Shepherd's Covent Garden Theatre): these probably dated from the early days of the house. Two of the drawing-rooms were called the 'Crimson Damask' and 'India Paper' rooms. (fn. 271)
In that year the youthful third Duke of Buccleuch was said by Lady Mary Coke to have bought the fifty-eight remaining years of the leases of Nos. 20–21 for no less than £11,000 (fn. 272) and had Sir William Chambers plan alterations here, including five 'ornamental Designs for Ceilings etc'. (fn. 273) A rise in the rateable value in 1766–7 suggests that the work was actually carried out. (fn. 194) (fn. 16) In 1791, moving to Montague House, Whitehall, the Duke sold the leasehold to the Earl of Leicester, who reputedly paid £10,000 for the twenty-five-year interest. (fn. 274)
In 1803 the leasehold interest (by then extended to 1855) in the double property (and in Nos. 2 and 3 North Audley Street behind No. 20) was bought by Peter Denys, (fn. 270) who had married an heiress, the daughter of the Earl of Pomfret. From 1806 the double residence stood empty for some years and when re-occupied had been divided back into two. This was presumably by Denys, who was assessed for rates in 1807–11 for a newly built house behind No. 21 at No. 1 North Audley Street. (fn. 194)
Although a Soane lecture diagram of c. 1813 shows the Square front unaltered except for the shift of the entrance one bay eastward, it is likely the windows of both Nos. 20 and 21 were cut down, as shown in a drawing of 1855, and a portico added. (fn. 275)
Some not very expensive work under an architect, Thomas Neill, was done at No. 20 for Charles, Earl Whitworth (costing £343 in 1817–18 and £167 in 1820). (fn. 17) More expensive, at £1,163, was the work by an upholsterer, David Taylor of Wardour Street. The curtains and chairs in the first-floor double drawing-room were yellow, of silk or satin: elsewhere, there were green silk curtains in the library, green wallpaper in an upper front room (paperhangers, Robson and Hale), and green-painted walls in the hall and staircase compartment. Furniture in mahogany, ormolu, buhl, ebony, marble, brass and satinwood are mentioned in the great drawing-room, and 'Grecian lamps' on the ground floor. There was a water closet on the ground, first and second floors. (fn. 276) Somewhere on the premises was an 'ice vault'. (fn. 277)
In 1825 the Dowager Countess of Bridgwater bought the thirty-year residue of the lease for, it was said, £18,460. (fn. 278)
In 1854 the Estate decided that any new lessees should rebuild Nos. 20 and 21 completely and separately. An outlay, at No. 20, of not less than £11,000, and conformity with the architectural requirements of Thomas Cundy II as estate surveyor were insisted upon. (fn. 279) Externally, the new porticoed and pilastered elevation did not depart very radically from that of No. 19 to the east, but it further damaged the tripartite composition of Nos. 18–20 by an added storey rising above the centrepiece at No. 19, and is probably to be seen (with No. 21) as the first step in a major re-harmonizing of the whole north side, which proceeded as far as the building of an identical front at No. 10 some ten years later (Plate 30b and folded drawing between pages 140–1). Despite Thomas Cundy II's nominal responsibility for Nos. 20–21 it is clear he shared the work with his son, Thomas Cundy III. (fn. 280)
In August 1856 The Land and Building News described the two new houses as 'the only ones of the kind now in progress in the metropolis', and a few years later T. L. Donaldson published the specifications for No. 20 as an exemplar. The builder of each was John Kelk, whose tender for No. 20 was accepted at £12,845: (fn. 281) his clerk of works was named Roberts.
At No. 20 the intending lessee was Simon Watson-Taylor, a Wiltshire country gentleman. (fn. 282)
Set back from the former building line, the front of the new house (two feet thick at ground-floor level and laid in Parker's Roman cement) had four windows instead of five. This complied formally with Lord Westminster's insistence on 'broad piers and simplicity of arrangement' in the fenestration, although Thomas Cundy III had to admit that the pilasters with which the front here and at No. 21 was dressed made it look in fact 'rather crowded than otherwise'. (fn. 283)
The white-brick façade was to be adorned with a portico and first-floor balconettes of Portland stone 'not too fresh quarried'—a material used also for the area balustrade and the window sills. The stone portico steps had glazed risers to light the space below. The other dressings, including the rusticated face of the ground floor, the pilasters and the entablature, were of White's Portland cement, except for the capitals of the pilasters which were pre-cast and therefore probably of plaster. The roof was covered with Bangor slates, and the front windows filled with plate glass. The ground- and first-floor windows had mahogany woodwork, the others deal painted chocolate colour. (fn. 284)
Inside, the Portland-stone staircase rose to the second floor. On the ground floor a rear room for the owner, with its bathroom and dressing-room, communicated by a private stair with a bedroom, similarly provided, above. (fn. 284) The ground- and first-floor rooms were sixteen feet high. (fn. 285) On the second floor was a third bathroom and also a schoolroom. (fn. 286) A small private staircase rose from the second to the third floor, presumably to meet the Victorian need for family and servants to share the bedroom accommodation on an upper floor without using a common stair. (fn. 287)
No provision is shown on the ground-floor plan published in c. 1859 for any servery or special access from the kitchen to the dining-room. Nor, although there were water closets on all floors, were there, seemingly, any on the ground and first floors other than the servants' and those in the private family suite at the rear.
Inside the house, the materials used included some iron in trussing and framing the boarded floors and partitions. Hardly any oak was employed although the library and dining-room floors had an oak or 'wainscot' border. The entrance hall and corridors were paved with Portland stone. (fn. 288) The decorative plasterwork—some of it very elaborate—was 'modelled expressly from the designs of the architect'. (fn. 285)
Some chimneypieces were found by Thomas Cundy III in the closing-down sale of the marble works of Joseph Brown and Company in University Street, Bloomsbury: a French-style piece for the boudoir cost £65. (fn. 289)
Gas-fittings and the hot-water system were provided by William Jeakes of Great Russell Street. (fn. 285)
The house proved easy to sell and by December 1856 Watson-Taylor had arranged to dispose of his interest to an intending occupant, the Hon. C. C. Cavendish, later Lord Chesham (ultimately for seventy-two years from 1860). The price was £22,000, which would seem to have shown an appreciable profit on the building cost. (fn. 290)
Lord Chesham, despite his outlay, had alterations made by his architect, Henry Clutton, at the rear, unauthorized by the Estate, which, in a compromise reached in 1860, insisted upon some reinstatement. (fn. 291)
The house was demolished in 1933. (fn. 292)
Occupants include: 6th Earl of Mountrath, 1731–44 (and of No. 21 also from c. 1738): his wid., 1744–66. 3rd Duke of Buccleuch, 1767–91. Earl of Leicester, later 2nd Marquess Townshend, 1791–1806. House separated from No. 21 c. 1806–12. Earl Whitworth, 1817–25. Dow. Countess of Bridgwater, wid. of 7th Earl, 1826–49 (previously at No. 7). Comte De Flahaut, later French ambassador in London, 1850–5. Charles Compton Cavendish, latterly 1st Baron Chesham, 1857–63. 6th Earl Fitzwilliam, 1865–71. 2nd Earl of Leicester of Holkham, 1872–86. Italian Embassy, 1887–1932.
No. 21 (formerly 19A).
This house had only a comparatively narrow flank front to the Square, with its entrance round the corner in North Audley Street. Associated with No. 20 Grosvenor Square for much of its history, the site was originally separate. Like Nos. 18–20, however, the house was built under the aegis of Edward Shepherd as party to a building agreement in 1725. (fn. 266) Here the building lessee, in 1728, was Shepherd's brother John, like him a plasterer, (fn. 293) while the bricklayer's work was done by the lessee of No. 20, Francis Drewitt: this was under an agreement with Edward Shepherd, who supplied the bricks. (fn. 251) Why, in these circumstances, the symmetrical elevation given to Nos. 18–20 by Edward Shepherd was not differently designed, to include No. 21, is not known. It was only after the occupant of No. 20, Lord Mountrath, took the lease of No. 21 also, in 1738, that its elevation was brought into conformity with that of No. 20, the history of which house it shared until 1803. The houses were redivided between 1806 and 1812 (see under No. 20). At the back of No. 21 a new and substantial house, No. 1 North Audley Street, was built on its curtilage.
In 1837 No. 21 was bought by William Brougham, a Master in Chancery and younger brother of the statesman Lord Brougham, whom he eventually succeeded as second Baron Brougham and Vaux. (fn. 294) He had some apparently small alterations made under the upholsterer Thomas Dowbiggin of Mount Street. (fn. 295)
In 1854 Brougham decided to renew his lease and rebuild the house under the conditions, common to Nos. 20 and 21, of conformity with the design and specifications of the Grosvenor Office (Plate 30b and folded drawing between pages 140–1). The rebuilding site was to include that of the lately built No. 1 and the older Nos. 2 and 3 North Audley Street. The outlay required was at least £6,000, but Brougham's resources were recruited, for example, (as he said later) by the proceeds 'from Australasian bank shares, or from the Colliery', and he thought the expenditure better value than buying a house in Belgravia. (fn. 296)
Brougham had an active interest in architecture and visual matters, and many letters passed between him and his architect. This was Thomas Cundy III, whose work, as at No. 20, was in some manner shared with his father Thomas Cundy II as the estate surveyor, the rebuilding being essentially similar at both houses. Although the elevational design was nominally specified by the Estate, Brougham evidently paid Thomas Cundy III a full commission of five per cent. (fn. 297)
Brougham's planning of the house began in May 1854 and went on until January 1855. Discussion of the elevation was confined to the North Audley Street front, where Brougham chiefly wanted economy and simplicity. Here the northernmost two bays constituted a rear wing and were not given the full dressing of the main North Audley Street elevation, but Thomas Cundy III, although sympathetic to economy, successfully resisted a drastic break in architectural treatment, partly because the Estate would have objected but partly also because it would have lowered the value of the house by lessening its apparent extent or suggesting that the architecturally denuded 'wing' contained only separate 'servants' apartments'. That arrangement had, he said, been unsuccessful in houses built by Seth Smith and Thomas Cubitt in Belgravia. (fn. 298)
At one time Brougham and Cundy were thinking of introducing a Venetian window near the corner with Grosvenor Square, by the precedent of Spencer House. The management of the fenestration, however arranged, required 'blanks', where Cundy optimistically thought 'blackened sashes can be inserted which will give the whole flank a very cheerful and complete face'. (fn. 298)
The Venetian window was rejected by Lord Westminster, Cundy's position as son of the estate surveyor not always enabling him to judge what would be acceptable. In important architectural matters the second Marquess decided for himself, insisting generally on 'simplicity of arrangement'. (fn. 299)
Cundy later admitted implicitly that the reception rooms lacked grandeur. (fn. 300) Presumably the ground- and first-floor rooms were sixteen feet high as at No. 20. The best staircase did not rise the full height of the house and Cundy rejected its continuation higher, which would have made it look like 'a large back stairs'. (fn. 301) Apart from two menservants' beds in the basement, there were sixteen bedrooms, one on the second floor measuring 30 feet by 20½. (fn. 302) There was a nursery on the third floor, a schoolroom probably on the ground floor, and at least one bathroom, on the back stairs at second-floor level. (fn. 303) No doubt the water closets, the inadequate provision of which was a subject of complaint in 1910, were as obscurely positioned as at No. 20. Another complaint then was the lack of a servery to the dining-room. (fn. 304)
As at No. 20 the builder whose tender was successful was John Kelk of South Street, at £7,137, with Roberts as clerk of works. (fn. 281) Cundy took a rather high professional line over the tendering and did not much consult Brougham about it. (fn. 18) (fn. 305)
The materials used were essentially as at No. 20. Apart from the facing bricks, Cundy used one new brick in the walls to three 'good sound stocks' from the demolished houses on the site. (fn. 306)
In May 1855 the old house was demolished and the new one was roofed-in by November. (fn. 307) The interior work was finished about a year later.
Some of the internal fittings were extra to Kelk's contract. William Jeakes, engineer and ironmonger, of Great Russell Street, provided the hot-water system, supplying a galvanized-iron cistern on the second floor (where it served a bathroom) heated from a cast-iron boiler and range in the kitchen. Hot-water coils warmed the best and back staircases. Jeakes arranged a plate-hoist to be operated from the basement, and also supplied '42 Pulls of Bells' and a speaking-tube on the back stairs 'with mouthpieces and whistles'. James Slater of Denmark Street put in the gas-fittings. Evidently the previous house on the site had had gas laid on: even so, its use in the new house seems chiefly to have been in lighting the basement, staircases, hall and passages (and, perhaps, the schoolroom). The only gas heating was probably by a stove in Brougham's own dressing-room. (fn. 308)
A fitting that Brougham valued highly was his 'machine organ'—probably of Black Forest manufacture—in its ebony case. A second organ was being altered in 1856 by Thomas Robson of St. Martin's Lane for hydraulic operation from a cistern on the back stairs. (fn. 309)
Another display of Brougham's taste was in some of the main ceilings, where he inserted paintings he had had executed in Rome following a visit there at Easter 1856. Cundy thought them badly done, some 'crude and gaudy', others 'black and heavy', but admitted 'they are classical in idea and may assist the sale of the House'. Brougham had also contemplated having a copy of Guido Reni's 'Aurora' painted in distemper by an Italian artist, Raglianti, with supplementary decoration by Nicola Consoni, but it seems clear this was not done. (fn. 19) (fn. 310)
Brougham had throughout viewed the operation in terms of a balance-sheet. Originally, he had expected the house to cost £6,500. (fn. 311) The tendered price of £7,137 in April 1855, when Cundy told him the final cost would be not less than £8,000, occasioned serious thoughts of selling his interest at once, and although he found the appearance of the completed house 'imposing' he thought it 'too large, too good and too dear for us', and decided it would pay him better to dispose of the house than to live in it. He calculated his outlay at £8,000 plus £2,000 for furnishings and determined to hold out for £12,000. (fn. 312) Compared with No. 20, however, No. 21 was hard to sell, chiefly because of the limited frontage to the Square and, especially, the lack of stables. (fn. 313) The alternative of letting the house caused 'furnishing plans' —evidently 'packaged' schemes of house-furnishing —to be considered. (fn. 314) Eventually the decorators Collmann and Davis did the work, and Brougham let the house furnished to the Dowager Lady Douglas in August 1857 at £900 per annum. (fn. 315) In the following year he sold it to her for £12,000 but had to throw in the furniture. (fn. 316) In September 1858 she received the seventy-seven-year Grosvenor lease from 1855. (fn. 317) Brougham thought himself 'well out of it'. (fn. 318) Even in Grosvenor Square limitations of site could drastically affect the fortunes in the market of adjacent and similar houses.
In 1910 a prospective purchaser of No. 21 told the Estate that there was 'no gas or electric light and no bathrooms in the house … There are no w.c.'s in the house except on the back staircase and they are small and inconvenient. There is no serving room and no lift from the kitchen', which, if true, suggests that some of Cundy's contrivances had gone out of use. (fn. 304) By then stables had been added and these were rebuilt in 1911 by the architect R. G. Hammond for Lord Furness. Hammond also moved the entrance portico one bay northward. (fn. 319) The house was demolished in 1933. (fn. 320)
Occupants include: Sir Cecil Bishopp, 6th bt., 1733–8. House united with No. 20 from c. 1738 to c. 1806. Later occupants of No. 21 include Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges, 1st bt., 1815–19. Gen. Bayley Wallis, 1821–2. Sir George Warwick Bampfylde, 6th bt., latterly 1st Baron Poltimore, 1824–37. William Brougham, later 2nd Baron Brougham and Vaux, Master in Chancery, 1838–55. Dow. Lady Douglas, wid. of 4th Baron, 1857–66. Lieut.-gen. (Sir) Charles Trollope, latterly K.C.B., 1867–88: his wid., 1891–1909. 2nd Baron and latterly 1st Viscount Furness, 1911–15, 1931–2: his mother, wid. of 1st Baron, 1913–30.
No. 22 before 1906 (formerly 19B).
This house was erected about 1728 under a building lease to a timber merchant, John Kitchingman. (fn. 321) The entrance front to North Audley Street was perhaps of some consequence, being composed with a raised centre. (fn. 322) On the other, south, front eighteenth-century views show a distinctive tripartite dormer window. Despite heightening and other changes the house had not been radically altered externally when demolished in 1906. (fn. 323)
Occupants include: 5th Baron, later 1st Earl, Cornwallis, 1730–9. Sir John Rawden, 4th bt., later 1st Baron Rawden and 1st Earl of Moira, 1741–6. Field Marshal Sir George Howard, latterly K.B., 1748–96. Dow. Duchess of Beaufort, wid. of 4th Duke, 1799. 2nd Viscount Dungannon, 1802–5. 4th Viscount Ashbrook, 1806–10. Mrs. Mary Champion, 1819–23: and with her 2nd husband, Lewis Loyd, banker, 1823–49. Countess of Dysart, wife of 8th Earl, 1850–69. Dow. Countess Beauchamp, wid. of 3rd Earl, 1874–5. Marchioness De la Valette, 1884–1905.
No. 23 before 1906 (formerly 20).
Physically the easternmost unit of Upper Brook Street, this house was built under a lease dated in 1727 to Robert Andrews, (fn. 324) a lawyer, and son of the Richard Andrews with whom he was to participate as agent of the Grosvenor family. In 1731 he assigned this lease to a building tradesman, John Worrington, paviour. (fn. 325) By 1805 at latest a canted bay on the south front stood forward on two columns, and the house was perhaps improved in 1808. (fn. 326) Some external alterations were made in 1860 (architect, Hunt of Hunt and Steward, land surveyors), and 1876 and 1879 (J. T. Wimperis). By the later alterations the house was raised a storey. (fn. 327)
Occupants include: Dow. Countess of Ailesbury, wid. successively of 3rd Earl and of Field Marshal Henry Seymour-Conway, 1796–1803. Thomas Radclyffe-Livingstone-Eyre, who claimed to be 7th Earl of Newburgh, 1828–33. William Duncombe, latterly 3rd Baron and 1st Earl of Feversham, 1862–8.
Nos. 22 and 23 Grosvenor Square and No. 43 North Audley Street.
This single building (Plate 31a) was put up as an intended private house in 1906–7 by Holloway Brothers as building lessees, who were preferred by the Estate to John Garlick because of his age and his other undertakings in hand. Holloways were evidently eager for the speculation, offering to spend £25,000 on the house and quickly raising their offer of rent from £500 to £650. The architects, suggested by Holloways, were Read and Macdonald, who had recently designed attractive flats for Holloways on the estate. Here the design, which was approved without delay by the second Duke and his surveyor, Eustace Balfour, was for a single mansion faced with Portland stone, with a lavishly spacious hall and staircase, large intercommunicating rooms on the main floors, and a musicians' gallery. The floors were constructed of reinforced concrete. The Duke liked the look of the house. But Holloways could not find a buyer, although in 1909–12 it was occupied by a tenant, A. J. Drexel, the American banker, for whom (Sir) Charles Allom designed alterations including a new, larger, ballroom 'entirely Louis Seize in decoration' and the marbling of floors and staircase. (fn. 328)
From 1931 it was, after conversion, occupied as flats. (fn. 329) The building was restored after severe damage from bombing in the war of 1939–45.
Occupants include: Anthony J. Drexel, banker, 1909–12. Chilean Legation, 1916–25 (previously at No. 48).
No. 24 (formerly 21).
This house was first built about 1728 under a lease to Francis Bailley, carpenter, which he assigned to a timber merchant, James Theobald. (fn. 330) Latterly having three windows facing the Square (Plate 30c and folded drawing between pages 140–1), it originally had more, the reconstruction perhaps occurring in 1762–3 or 1771–2. (fn. 194) In 1911 the 'Adams decorations' were praised, (fn. 331) but a spokesman in 1803 for the Dowager Duchess of Chandos, who had moved in in 1774, severely criticized both the original construction and the changes made by her precursors. 'The house built a great number of years past, when Walls and joist were of smaler dimentions, sat upon plank and 4 windows in front, was afterwards Improved as then thought so by pulling part down, making 3 windows only in front whereby the Old piers were cut in peices, and upright timber props supplied the place coverd over with a 4 in. × 9 in. Front, to decieve by The Artificers and the Space filled up with rubble and Brickbrats, but all lookd fair to the Eye until the dry rot shewd the front piers had no support. Begining to look into one of the piers it plainly shewd in a few days perhaps the whole would have fell. The Dutchess first puled down and rebuilt at a great Expence to part in Brook Street, and now in Grosvenor Square, all of solid brick and stone in a most hansome manner and the foundation purpect [sic] Stone. Instead of a house of 3 or 4 days Standing will now stand 300 Years'. (fn. 332) (fn. 20) The Duchess's own refrontings here referred to had perhaps been done in 1797–8. (fn. 194)
At a lease-renewal in 1854 a bow window on Upper Brook Street at first-floor level was ordered by the Estate to be removed and the portico facing the Square to be replaced by another, as part of a recasting of the fronts in the 'Cundy' style. The work was done by R. Watts of Motcomb Street. (fn. 333) After the war of 1914–18 the Estate, which despite pre-war difficulties in disposing of the house was reluctant to see it converted to flats or an embassy, let it to Demosthenes Soulidi. He had large alterations made by the builders Foster and Dicksee of Chelsea in 1920. (fn. 334) A. I. Dasent, writing in c. 1934, says: '… the house was taken by a Greek merchant named Soulidi, who spent a large sum of money in redecorating it, every room in the house being designed in a different style but perfect of its kind. He also enlarged it by adding an adjoining house in Upper Brook Street, (fn. 21) at the same time making a new entrance from that street instead of … in the Square itself'. (fn. 335) The portico to the new entrance was perhaps the 1855 one, as it was in the 'Cundy' style. The internal reconstruction provided an exceptionally large entrance hall occupying the full depth of the house and containing a sweeping staircase. The house was largely destroyed by bombing in 1942. Remnants of the walls stood until 1957. (fn. 336)
Occupants include: Lord Nassau Powlett, son of 2nd Duke of Bolton, 1735–8. 4th Earl of Inchiquin, 1738–41. 4th Earl of Rochford, 1743–4. Earl of Blessington, 1747–9. Dow. Lady Carpenter, wid. of 2nd Baron, 1751–62. Dow. Duchess of Chandos, wid. of 2nd Duke, 1774–1806: her great-nephew, 2nd Baron Henniker, 1807–21: his nephew, 3rd Baron, 1821–8. Sir George Talbot, 3rd bt., 1842–50: his da.'s, Mary-Anne and Georgina-Charlotte Talbot, owners of the Talbot estate in North Kensington, 1851–68: Mary-Anne Talbot, 1869–86. Ronald Melville, later 11th Earl of Leven, 1886–8. Sir Richard Sutton, 5th bt., 1889–91. (Sir) Henry Brassey, later bt. and 1st Baron Brassey, 1893–1901. Marquesa De Braceras and Count De Ramirez De Arellano, 1913. 11th Marquess of Huntly, 1927–37: his wid., 1937–9.
No. 25 (formerly No. 22).
At its demolition this house was vestigially the original one, built about 1728 under a lease to the joiner John Green (fn. 337) (Plates 30c, 30d, 41d, and folded drawing between pages 140–1).
A 'fresco painting' on the staircase mentioned in 1799 was doubtless of early date. (fn. 338)
From 1736 at latest the site was held in conjunction with an adjacent but separate plot at what was later No. 56 Upper Brook Street. That plot was built upon from the beginning and evidently intended as a dwelling house, (fn. 339) but was seemingly used as domestic offices to No. 25 Grosvenor Square and then partially taken into its living accommodation between 1762 and 1798. (fn. 340) In c. 1804–6 it was divided from No. 25 Grosvenor Square. (fn. 341)
In 1762 Robert Adam had thought this 'extremely well built' house fit for the Prime Minister, the Earl of Bute. It was, he told Lord Bute, 'a prodigious fine House', with three 'very large and Handsome' rooms and a smaller room on each of the two principal floors. 'The Bed Chamber story is excessively Good, with the best offices I have seen in London with stables for 16 Horses and Coach Houses for 4 carriages adjoining to the House'. Adam thought the owner would ask £9,000 and take £8,500 for the sixty-twoyear residue of the lease. (fn. 342) The purchaser was in fact the eighth Earl of Abercorn, who employed Sir William Chambers to prepare it for occupation. The work was evidently completed fairly quickly, (fn. 343) but occasioned a modest rise in the rateable value in 1762–3: (fn. 194) it included papering a small ground-floor room. In the garden young trees were planted. (fn. 343)
The first Marquess of Abercorn employed Soane here (the carver Edward Foxhall having done some work under Soane for the eighth Earl in 1787). (fn. 344) By 1798 the house, including the Upper Brook Street extension, contained at first-floor level four staircases and eight rooms, comprising a drawing-room, card-room, eating-room, library, laundry, two bedrooms, and a dressing-room. In 1799–1800 internal alterations, mainly at the rear and including the refitting of the laundry facing Upper Brook Street as an eating-room, were made for some £1,374 under Soane. (fn. 22)
A bricklayer, David Jearrad, tuck pointed the front to the Square in 1802. (fn. 345)
In 1804–5 Thomas Hopper was acting for the purchaser of the house, and was presumably responsible for 'repairs'. (fn. 346) By the end of the century a series of alterations had left little or no vestiges of this or Soane's work. (fn. 347) In 1933 the estate surveyor, Detmar Blow, praised the house's beauty, and its 'old deal panelling', but it is likely some, at least, had been imported. (fn. 348)
Having rather fortuitously escaped Cundy-style dressings in the 1860's the house received them in 1936, at the hands of the architects Collcutt and Hamp (builders, Gee, Walker and Slater), who were called upon by Lady Olive Cecilia and Sir Adrian Baillie, to enlarge the accommodation (fn. c1). A full attic storey was constructed over the cornice, and the late-Georgian front fitted with mid-Victorian-classic additions (Plate 30c, 30d). The interior was re-cast, chiefly to form grand intercommunicating spaces on the principal floors. (fn. 349) The house was demolished in 1957.
Occupants include: Dow. Duchess of Rutland, wid. of 2nd Duke, 1733–51: her son, Lord Robert Manners, 1752–62. 8th Earl of Abercorn, 1764–89: his nephew, 9th Earl and latterly 1st Marquess, 1789–1804. Capt. (later Adm.) Arthur Duncombe, son of 1st Baron Feversham, 1843–52. French Embassy, 1853–4. 8th Duke of Beaufort, 1856. 3rd Marquess of Donegall, 1857–83. 1st Baron Donington, 1890–2. Sir Adrian Baillie, 6th bt., 1938–45: his wife (latterly wid.), 1946–8.
No. 26 (formerly 23).
This house, later celebrated as Derby House, was built about 1728 under a lease to Charles Griffith, carpenter, (fn. 350) from whom it was bought in about 1730 by Sir Robert Sutton, M.P. and former ambassador, and husband of the Dowager Countess of Sunderland. Sutton paid Griffith £6,500 for the ninety-seven-year residue of the lease, and Lady Sunderland laid out £1,000 to fit the house up. (fn. 351) In 1732 the ground floor contained a hall, staircase compartment (domed by 1773, if not before (fn. 352) ), dining-room, drawing-room, back room, library, closet and back stairs. On the first floor were a 'first' and a 'second' front room and a 'Drawing Room', as well as a back room, bedchamber and closet. The rooms above included 'nursery rooms' and a valet-de-chambre's room.
Gilt pier-glasses, marble-topped tables, some marble busts, and red or green curtains (wholly or partially en suite with other furnishings in three of the rooms) set the tone of decoration. Some 115 pictures were scattered throughout the house. In the library and ground-floor back room pictures were 'fixed in' the chimneypieces. The orient is suggested by china-paper screens, a Japan screen, and two 'Tunquin Lacquer'd Chests' on frames. (fn. 351)
The furniture, goods, plate and pictures were sold for £3,418 when Lady Sunderland died in 1749. (fn. 353)
In 1773–5 the house was given the interior that has made Derby House famous (Plates 36, 37a: see also Plate 15a in vol. XXXIX). This recasting was the work of Robert Adam for Lord Stanley, later twelfth Earl of Derby, who had succeeded to the house in 1771 at the age of nineteen. He was a bachelor when Adam was preparing his first drawings, but was married in June 1774, when the fittings and furniture still remained to be designed.
Working for patrons less than half his age did not free Adam from supervision. This was supplied quite actively by Lord Stanley's uncle by marriage, General John Burgoyne—himself a recent patron of Adam at his new house, No. 10 Hertford Street. He criticized decorative features, with some effect, and was kept busy furthering the work until he left England for America in February 1775. (fn. 354)
Adam retained the structure of the existing house. He left the front to the Square of exposed brick, and the windows, fitted with bowed balconettes, displayed a slight irregularity of grouping which must have been original to the house. He dressed the entrance with a simple and shallow Doric portico (fn. 355) (Plate 29a). Internally the brilliant management of the room-spaces was contrived mainly within the existing plan (fig. 9a in vol. XXXIX). As Adam says, the principal storeys were 'altered and newly decorated', with an 'addition' (probably exaggerating, he calls it 'large') to the rear wing. (fn. 356)
In March 1773 Lord Stanley gave a ball which attracted much attention. A newspaper announced that he had 'given the direction of the arrangement of the ornamental part of the house to the celebrated brothers, the Adams's, without restriction or limitation of expense! Preparation has been making, and a display of taste going forward in his Lordship's house these three weeks past!' (fn. 357) This must, however, have marked only the commencement of permanent alterations, as Adam's drawings show that the main work ran on into 1774. (fn. 358) Other designs dated 1774, especially after Stanley's marriage in June, are for fittings and furniture and these continued through 1775, (fn. 359) although Lady Stanley opened 'her fine House' in November 1774. (fn. 360) In September Adam designed a remarkable domed twin bed to occupy a round-topped alcove in the first-floor bedchamber (fn. 361) (Plate 37b).
Adam himself published a statement of his aims here. His planning was 'an attempt to arrange the apartments in the French style'. This seems to have meant the creation of a sequence of ceremonial rooms 'well suited to every occasion of public parade', with a distinct private part of the house commodiously arranged. Adam claimed that for the latter purpose he had made his 'large addition' to the wing; but it is not clear how accurate this was: the number of rooms on each of the two main floors exceeds that in 1732 only by a small rear closet. In the disposition of these private rooms Adam confessedly had to adhere to the separation of the gentleman's and lady's apartments on different floors enforced on English architects by custom and the narrowness of London house-sites, and could really only point to the provision of a private communicating stair between them and the contrivance of a servant's bedchamber on an entresol within this private domain as instances of commodiousness. (fn. 356) With its own water closets and powdering-rooms (the former being the only ones on the main floors), the private 'rearward suite' on two floors nevertheless represented an arrangement still thought valid three generations later.
How far the private rooms were separated from the rooms of state is not clear. At the ball in the barely altered house it is evident that virtually all the rooms were brought into use. (fn. 352) Pastorini's well-known view of the Third Drawing Room, furthermore, shows it divided from Lady Derby's dressing-room only by two columns in a wide opening. But it is difficult to think that a dressing-room, even if frequently used to entertain visitors, was permanently open to a drawing-room, and both the published plan and an Adam drawing show a dividing wall between them (Plate 36: see also Plate 15a in vol. XXXIX).
Despite the strong chiaroscuro of Pastorini's engraving (where the sun streams in from the north) the natural lighting of the Third Drawing Room cannot have been especially brilliant, but the room was evidently planned chiefly for use by artificial light. (fn. 362) In colouring these first-floor salons Adam seems to have used much green, pink and violet.
Lady Derby's dressing-room beyond was alternatively called the 'Etruscan' room, for here was concentrated the 'new style of decoration' vaunted by Adam as a departure 'from anything hitherto practiced in Europe'. Whether, in this first essay, Adam's exploitation of the style extended beyond smart black-and-ochre detailing to the all-over treatment of the walls is uncertain: if so, Pastorini does not show it. (fn. 23) With Etruscan walls or not, the multiplicity of small-scale motifs in the house drove Horace Walpole to speak of it in 1777 as 'filigreed into puerility'. (fn. 363)
Derby House was a very complete example of Adam's style in its decorative aspect, extending to the movable furniture—chairs, sofas, commodes, and beds. Horace Walpole commented on the expensiveness of it all. (fn. 364) The outward view was also considered, to the extent that Adam designed a screen wall in the form of a triumphal arch (perhaps unexecuted), probably to stand flush with the rear wall of the house and partially conceal the stable block behind (fn. 365) (Plate 37c).
Neither the cost of the recasting nor, generally, the workmen are known. Some chimneypiece designs were sent to 'Mr. Carter', doubtless the statuary Thomas Carter the younger. That in the ante-room cost £59. An unused design of 1773 for that room had been marked for 'Mr. Deval', either John Deval the younger (1728–94) or the elder (b. 1701), who died in 1774. (fn. 366) At least some of the plaster ceilings were executed by Joseph Rose. (fn. 367) The only artist mentioned in The Works in Architecture is Antonio Zucchi, whom Adam praised for his painting of ornamental designs and small pictorial panels. (fn. 368) Some pictorial overdoors and panels were also painted by Angelica Kauffmann. (fn. 369) In the Third Drawing Room door-panels had ornaments 'painted on papier-mâché, and so highly japanned as to appear like glass'—evidently the work of the papier-mâché-maker, Henry Clay, at Birmingham. (fn. 370)
The fourteenth Earl of Derby, who succeeded to the house in 1851, preferred St. James's Square, and sold the end of his lease to the Dowager Duchess of Cleveland. After 1855 she was content with a yearly tenancy, and when she died in 1861 there was no lien on the house to prevent its demolition. (Sir) Charles Freake, the builder, promptly applied for a rebuilding lease. (fn. 371) Very unusually, the second Marquess of Westminster, accompanied by Lady Westminster, Cundy and others, went to view the house, but decided to have it taken down. (fn. 372)
Freake as rebuilding lessee was allowed to re-use some ceiling paintings and chimneypieces in the new house but probably did not do so. He did buy some old materials for £877 and these presumably included the overdoors by Angelica Kauffmann owned by his widow in 1893. (fn. 373) (fn. 24) By autumn 1861 he had demolished the old house— unrecorded, it seems—and by November 1862 had found a buyer for the new one in the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. (fn. 374)
This house was not as wide as the old by seven or eight feet on the north side, which were appropriated as an 'area' held with No. 25. Architecturally the white-brick Italianate of the front (Plate 30d and folded drawing between pages 140–1: see also Plate 25c in vol. XXXIX) showed the close control by Thomas Cundy II as estate surveyor. (The stock-brick stable front to Blackburne's Mews, however, was a simple design with high, round-arched doorways and squareish windows above. (fn. 375) ) Freake's executive architect was probably William Tasker. (fn. 376)
The Duchess paid Freake £24,000 for his interest in the lease granted to her by the Marquess in 1863 for seventyseven years from 1861. £14,000 of this she borrowed from Freake himself on the security of the house. She and succeeding occupants handed on the shortening leasehold interest at rising prices—£26,000 in 1865, £33,500 in 1871 and £45,000 in 1878. (fn. 377) This last purchase was by A. P. Heywood-Lonsdale, who soon had the house altered internally by an architect far from the Cundy-Freake mode—W. Eden Nesfield. (fn. 378) The builders were W. Lawrence and Son. (fn. 379) J. M. Brydon, writing early in 1897 (the year Heywood-Lonsdale died), said that Nesfield, the architect of the client's country house, 'almost entirely remodelled' No. 26, which 'is chiefly remarkable … for its fine oak panelling, its rich plaster ceilings, its charming chimney-pieces and its very cleverly designed conservatory … . A special feature is the smoking room, which has a barrel-vaulted ceiling enriched with very good decorative plaster work, and a quaint fireplace …'. (fn. 380) James Forsyth, writing in 1901, said the work 'consisted of wainscot panelling and chimney-piece in the entrance hall, and oak and marble work for the principal rooms'. (fn. 381)
In 1901 (Sir) George Cooper bought the remaining thirty-seven years of the lease for £39,000, (fn. 382) and, being willing to pay a 'fancy price' for a longer lease, then surrendered what he had and gave the Estate £5,000 for a new lease of sixty-three years at £500 per annum instead of the subsisting £255. (fn. 383) Howard and Sons redecorated the house in 1901–2 under the aegis of Duveen Brothers, who had Anatole Beaumetz of Paris make late-dixhuitième-style panelling for tapestries. Sir Charles Allom redecorated the dining-room in 'English' style. White Allom did further interior work in 1909 with the architects A. Marshall Mackenzie and Son (fn. 384) (Plates 38b, 40a, 41a, 41b: see also Plate 40b in vol. XXXIX). The house was demolished in 1957.
Occupants include: Sir Robert Sutton, K.B., diplomat, 1730–5: his wife (and after 1746 wid.), formerly Countess of Sunderland, 1736–49. James Smith-Stanley, styled Lord Strange, 1750–71: his son, Lord Stanley, latterly 12th Earl of Derby, 1771–1834: the latter's son, 13th Earl, 1834–51. Dow. Duchess of Cleveland, wid. of 1st Duke, 1852–61. Dow. Duchess of Norfolk, wid. of 13th Duke, 1863–5 (later at No. 28). Arthur P. Heywood-Lonsdale, J.P., 1878–97: his son, Capt. Henry Heywood-Lonsdale, Chairman of Shropshire County Council, 1897–1901. (Sir) George Alexander Cooper, latterly 1st bt., Alderman, Hampshire County Council, husband of American heiress, 1902–40: his son, Sir George Cooper, 2nd bt., 1940–4.
No. 27 (formerly 24).
Built like its neighbours about 1728, No. 27 was erected under a lease to the carpenter Robert Scott. (fn. 385) Some alterations were carried out by Messrs. Morris of Mount Street in 1851 for the philanthropic Earl of Shaftesbury, but he had little taste (or wealth) for a big rebuilding, partly because, as he said, 'I forsee a distribution of property; and what then, in a subdivision, will a Palace be worth?' (fn. 386) In 1859 the house had a stuccoed front and iron balcony (Plate 28c), but by 1863 had a stone balcony. (fn. 387)
In 1886 the site was leased to the seventh Earl (later first Marquess) of Aberdeen for rebuilding and the old house pulled down. (fn. 388) (fn. 25) Lord Aberdeen's intention was not to employ an architect, but the Duke of Westminster would have none of this, and J. T. Wimperis was chosen in 1886 to act for Lord Aberdeen, by the Duke or his agent H. T. Boodle. Externally the new house, finished by 1888 (builder, A. Bush of Gower Street), conformed to the Duke's wish for red brick and stone (or terracotta). (fn. 389) It represented the most violent departure yet from the original styles of house fronts in the Square. The Builder called the design exhibited at the Royal Academy 'palatial and dignified' (fn. 390) (Plate 30d and folded drawing between pages 140–1).
The interior arrangement, at the cost of admitting some tortuous corridors, contrived to meet the increased demands of the Victorian noble family (fig. 24a in vol. XXXIX). A passenger lift, electric light, and at least an adequacy of wash-basins and water closets were provided. In the basement were rooms for housekeeper, butler, under-butler, chef, cook, housemaid, valet, and menservants (two rooms), as well as other offices. The three-storeyed stable block included five bedrooms. The main house had fourteen bedrooms, three bathrooms, two large night nurseries, a large day nursery, a large schoolroom, a governess's room, two dressing-rooms, a maid's room, two boudoirs, a sitting-room, two intercommunicating drawing-rooms, Lady Aberdeen's room, two rooms for Lord Aberdeen, a dining-room and a library. (fn. 391) By 1890 the drawing-rooms were decorated in the prevailing white-and-gold French rococo manner by Turner, Lord and Company. (fn. 392) A large exotically designed wood and plaster music-room or 'Indian hall' occupied the first and second floors of the stable block, to accommodate public meetings (Plate 40d). Its entrance was in Blackburne's Mews, to avoid the use of the front door. An organ built by Lewis and Company of Brixton was at one end of the room, which was decorated by Messrs. Liberty in carved teak and oriental fabrics. The cost is said to have been £48,000, and the resale price in 1890 £65,000. (fn. 393)
In 1912–14 the house, which had lacked a permanent occupant for some years, was partially reconstructed for a new owner, the merchant banker Robert Fleming, by the architects Mewès and Davis (builder, James Carmichael of Wandsworth). The front was left unaltered but on the two main floors the planning was made simpler, and a 'terrace garden' was created in the courtyard (Plate 40c). Under Mewès and Davis there was much specialist subdivision in decorating the interior, where the dining-room was by M. Boulanger of Paris, a Louis Seize bedroom by Paul Turpin and Company of Berners Street, and the entrance and the galleries in the staircase compartment by Charles Mellier and Company of Albemarle Street (working in an English not a French style). Farmer and Brindley supplied marble. (fn. 394) The 'Indian hall' survived, however, until the demolition of the house in 1957.
Occupants include: 4th Earl of Shaftesbury, 1731–71: his wid., 1772–97: their son, Cropley Ashley Cooper, latterly 6th Earl, 1798–1851: his son, 7th Earl, the philanthropist, 1851–85. 7th Earl, later 1st Marquess, of Aberdeen, sometime Governor General of Canada, 1888–90 (previously at No. 42). Robert Fleming, merchant banker, 1914–33: his wid., 1933–6: their son, Maj. Philip Fleming, J.P., 1937–42.
No. 28 (formerly 25).
Like No. 29, No. 28 retained at its demolition vestiges of the original house built about 1728, here under lease to the carpenter, Benjamin Timbrell. (fn. 395)
In 1769–70 General Sir Robert Rich had Robert Adam prepare designs including ceilings (generally green and pink on white), chimneypieces and girandoles which were probably executed. (fn. 396)
A summary and diagrammatic plan of the house in 1824 (fn. 397) seems to show an awkward arrangement with a 'passage' against the party wall with No. 29, running through from the main staircase compartment to the rear wing, and perhaps communicating with the 'slated passage' in the garden, that had abutted on No. 29 in 1765: (fn. 398) in 1916 (by which time the plan may, however, have been changed) a tenant's agent called No. 28 'one of the worst planned houses he had ever been over in Mayfair'. (fn. 399) In 1859 it still had its original brick front and doorcase (fn. 400) (Plate 28c), but in 1876 alterations by Messrs. Trollope and Son under the architect Henry Dawson for Earl Percy probably included its latterday prominent dormers and cement front (fn. 401) (Plate 30d and folded drawing between pages 140–1). In 1900 the building firm of John Garlick took a nineteen-year lease and altered the house as a speculation, doubtless to the designs of the architect R. G. Hammond. (fn. 402) In 1919 the inter-war occupant, Captain J. F. Harrison, paid the Estate £8,000 for a ninety-year term at £500 per annum and undertook to spend £20,000 on work on the house, probably by Turner, Lord and Company. (fn. 403) Some work was done by Holloway Brothers in 1936. (fn. 404)
Despite radical internal alterations the house retained the external appearance of a Victorian refacing when demolished in 1957. (fn. 405)
Occupants include: Lieut.-gen. Sir Charles Wills, K.B., 1730–41. Field Marshal Sir Robert Rich, 4th bt., 1742–68: his son, Lieut.-gen. Sir Robert Rich, 5th bt., 1768–85. Marquess, latterly 3rd Duke, of Montrose, 1786–1836. 1st Baron Poltimore, 1836–58: his son, 2nd Baron, 1858–60. Dow. Countess of Glengall, wid. of 2nd Earl, 1862–4. Lieut.-col. Richard Charteris, son of 9th Earl of Wemyss and March, 1865. Dow. Duchess of Norfolk, wid. of 13th Duke, 1866–70 (formerly at No. 26). Earl Percy, later 7th Duke of Northumberland, 1871–99. 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, High Commissioner for Canada, 1902–14: his da., Baroness Strathcona and Mount Royal, 1915–16.
No. 29 (formerly 26).
Built in about 1728 under a lease to the carpenter Thomas Richmond, No. 29 was probably to some extent a pair to No. 28. (fn. 406) In 1746 the hall, with its Portland-stone chimneypiece and 'Portland Octagon Paveing with Black Marble Dotts', was dressed with 'a Dorick Entablature with fluted Pillasters'. Beyond, the principal stairs, of wood, rose to the second floor under a domical skylight in a compartment 'painted in Architecture and History'. The room called the dining-room was on the first floor. Here and in the front parlour downstairs pilasters seem to have stood on each side of the chimneypiece, and some of the rooms had Ionic cornices and entablatures: whether these features were of wood or plaster is unclear. On the second floor the rooms were all 'compleatly wainscotted'. (fn. 407)
In 1746 Earl Brooke paid £3,750 for the remaining seventy-nine years of the lease, (fn. 407) and eleven years later sold the residue to the ninth Earl of Exeter for £6,000. The designated dining-room was by then on the ground floor. This and the first floor had water closets off a dressingroom and bed-chamber respectively. A 'stove grate' in the hall communicated warmth through 'a tin pipe' to the main staircase compartment (where a closet was fitted to take Lady Brooke's sedan chair). Paper hangings are mentioned in four rooms, including yellow in a second-floor room, red cloth-paper in the first-floor Great Room and green cloth-paper in a ground-floor drawing-room. At the back the 'garden' contained two wooden seats and a stone roller. (fn. 408)
In 1764 Sir Gilbert Heathcote had the house enlarged by the architect Kenton Couse. A new rear wing was built, and there is reference to a new strong-room, a new subterranean passage, a new garden, and new stables. The cost, including Couse's fee, was about £1,831. The brickwork cost £7 10s. a rod. (fn. 26) (fn. 409) Couse was still ordering small works here for Sir Gilbert in 1775. (fn. 410) The upholsterers, Bromwich, Isherwood and Bradley, hung 'grey ground paper' or 'grey ground embos'd paper' in ground- and first-floor back rooms, and striped paper, crimson on grey, in a first-floor back bedchamber in the 1770's. In 1781–2 Haig and Chippendale's bill for refurbishings suggests there was much crimson damask and glass and burnished gold in the principal rooms, and in the drawing-room included charges for 'furnishing the Pilasters and moldings with additional new Ornaments— and making very neat carvd Antique Ornaments to the Frizes of the 2 Chymney Pieces—and fixing them Complt'. (fn. 411)
In 1840 repairs cost some £1,205 (architect or surveyor, Parkinson; builder, Naish) (fn. 412) before the house was sold to the fourth Baron Foley. (fn. 413) He promptly introduced into the house the fascinating art of Richard Dadd, commissioning from him perhaps a hundred or more painted panels said to illustrate Byron's Manfred and Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata. A writer in the Art Union periodical in 1843 commented that Dadd's 'friend Mr. Parnell executed the decorations of the house, and produced most beautiful effects in combination with the studies of the artist'. Probably these works were removed by the fifth Baron Foley when the lease of the house expired in 1887 and subsequently dispersed. (fn. 414)
Ernest Beckett (later second Lord Grimthorpe) had a storey added to the house in 1900 at a reputed cost of £8,000 (builder, W. H. T. Kelland of Stoke Newington). (fn. 415)
The estate surveyor Eustace Balfour commented in 1901 on No. 29's good marble chimneypieces, and in 1933 the then surveyor, Detmar Blow, remarked that No. 29 was, like No. 25, 'exceptionally beautiful and full of old deal panelling'. Externally, however, the house had by 1901 had its front cemented in the same way as No. 28 (fn. 416) (Plate 30d and folded drawing between pages 140–1). Some rebuilding work was done for Lord Bath by Holloway Brothers in 1926 and 1936. (fn. 417) Back premises were destroyed by bombing in 1941 and the house was demolished in 1957.
Occupants include: 2nd Duke of Manchester, 1732–9. 8th Baron Brooke, latterly 1st Earl Brooke, later 1st Earl of Warwick, 1741–57. 9th Earl of Exeter, 1758. 1st Earl of Hardwicke, Lord Chancellor, 1758–64: his son-in-law, Sir Gilbert Heathcote, 3rd bt., 1764–85: the latter's wid., 1786–99: their son, Sir Gilbert Heathcote, 4th bt., 1800–40 (5th Earl of Tankerville, tenant, c. 1826–39). 4th Baron Foley, 1841–69: his son, 5th Baron, 1869–87. 1st Earl of Londesborough, 1889–1900. Ernest Beckett, later 2nd Baron Grimthorpe, 1901. 5th Marquess of Bath, 1903–40.
No. 30 (formerly 27).
The first house here was built in about 1728 under a lease to the bricklayer, Joseph Stallwood, with the carpenter Thomas Richmond a party to the lease. (fn. 418) In 1799 and 1801 the architect Henry Holland negotiated with the Estate on behalf of the lessee, his relation by marriage, Quintin Craufurd, but it is not clear whether the building operations seemingly implied by a rise in rateable value in 1804–5 were carried out for Craufurd or his successor in the house, William Needham. (fn. 419) In 1815 a strong-room was built here for the sixth Earl of Plymouth, designed by Thomas Cundy I—not yet the Grosvenors' estate surveyor. (fn. 420)
In 1865–6 this house was rebuilt by Messrs. Trollope in the approved style of the estate surveyor Thomas Cundy II, and set back, for the occupant, Sir John Johnstone, who then sold it for £17,750 (fn. 421) (folded drawing between pages 140–1). The identity of Johnstone's own architect is not known. Alterations of unknown extent were made in 1923 on the entry of the Dowager Countess of Strafford, for whom Wimperis and Simpson were in 1924 proposing further alterations and additions. (fn. 422) The house was demolished in 1957.
Occupants include: Soame Jenyns, M.P., author, probably here, c. 1755–6. Quintin Craufurd, author and essayist, 1799–1804. Gen. Francis Needham, later 12th Viscount and 1st Earl Kilmorey, prominent in quelling Irish rebellion of 1798, 1807–15. 6th Earl of Plymouth, 1815–33. Sir John Johnstone, 2nd bt., 1835–65. (Sir) Edward Henry Scott, latterly 5th bt., 1871–83: his wid., Lady (Emilie) Scott, 1885–7. Sir Reginald Hardy, 2nd bt., Chairman of Staffordshire County Council, 1894–1923. Dow. Countess of Strafford, wid. successively of Samuel Colgate of U.S.A., 4th Earl of Strafford and M. T. Kennard, 1924 32. Dow. Duchess of Somerset, wid. of 15th Duke, 1935–6.
No. 31 (formerly 28).
This house survived until demolition in 1957 without radical rebuilding, and its plain rendered front respected the original fenestration (Plate 29c and folded drawing between pages 140–1). It was built about 1729 under a lease to the carpenter John Sanger, the carpenter Thomas Richmond being a party. (fn. 423) In 1815 the one water closet was on the ground floor, although there was also a servants' water closet below in the front area. (fn. 424) Sir Robert Lawley had very recently put in a stained-glass window somewhere, 'with purple border, white roses, and vermicelli ground', made in Birmingham and painted by Samuel Lowe. (fn. 425) The building firm of John Garlick took a short lease in 1900 and disposed of it two months later, perhaps after a quick campaign of improvement, as the Estate valued the house much higher than in 1886. In 1904 Garlicks added a storey for Captain and Lady Sarah Wilson, who were later said to have brought in 'white panelling and carved woodwork', much of which survived until demolition. (fn. 426) Latterly the front had a simple iron first-floor balcony resembling that at No. 29.
Occupants include: (Sir) Charles Gunter Nicoll, latterly K.B., 1730–3: his wid., who 1735 m. Marquess of Lindsey, latterly 3rd Duke of Ancaster, 1733–43. Thomas Potter, wit and politician, 1753–6. William Warburton, latterly Bishop of Gloucester, 1756–79. Ralph Allen of Bath, philanthropist, intermittently c. 1756–64. John Moore, Bishop of Bangor, latterly Archbishop of Canterbury, 1779–83. William Tatton Egerton, politician, grandfather of 1st Baron Egerton of Tatton, 1784–97. Sir Robert Lawley, 6th bt., later Baron Wenlock, 1811–15. Dow. Lady Petre, wid. of 10th Baron, 1816–27. (Sir) John Williams, latterly K.B., judge, 1828–46: his wid., 1846–61. Edward Ellice, M.P., 1871–80: his wid., 1880–1900. William B. Cloete, landed proprietor and company chairman, 1901–2. 3rd Baron Leigh, 1909–38: his wid., 1938–49.
No. 32 (formerly 29).
(fn. 27) Sutton Nicholls shows the first house here with its slightly 'Baroque' south front punctuated by mainly blank windows (Plate 5 in vol. XXXIX). It was built about 1729 under a lease (to which, as at Nos. 30 and 31, Thomas Richmond was a party) granted to the paviour John Worrington. (fn. 427) In 1768 the occupant, James Shuttleworth, who had bought the lease for £1,700 in 1752, sold it for £6,300 (this sum, however, perhaps including furniture): (fn. 428) the valuations for rating suggest improvements between 1755 and 1768. (fn. 194)
By 1886 a storey had been added, and the entrance in the south front was marked by columns supporting a canted bay window. (fn. 429)
In 1899 the builder John Garlick took a short lease, and soon found a tenant. In 1905 the Estate was thinking it better to grant another lease at a substantial fine rather than sacrifice this and require the lessee to rebuild the house, which was thought 'a good one'. Garlick, however, was still interested in the potentialities of the site and terms for a sixty-three-year rebuilding lease were agreed in 1906. Eustace Balfour as estate surveyor recommended that Garlick should be required to use a design by J. J. Stevenson, John Belcher, R. S. Wornum or Norman Shaw. But when Garlick submitted a design by R. Stephen Ayling of Westminster and Lionel Littlewood of Ashstead, Surrey, this was accepted. (fn. 430) Unlike No. 51, similarly being rebuilt by a little-known architect, No. 32 was not adjacent to an original brick front, and perhaps for that reason no stylistic continuity seems to have been required (Plate 29c and folded drawing between pages 140–1). Built in 1906–7 and stone-faced, the new house retained the old floor heights. It had the traditional domestic offices in the basement, but the enlarged entrance hall and reception rooms of its period. There was an electric passenger lift. Almost all the internal joinery was in hardwood. (fn. 431) An iron-and-glass first-floor 'winter garden' was added at the rear in 1909—perhaps when a first-floor arcaded screen was erected on the Upper Grosvenor Street front. The architect of this feature was at least nominally Garlick's usual designer, R. G. Hammond, who had had some previous connexion with the work. (fn. 432)
In the same year, buyers seemingly being harder to find than expected, John Garlick's son William thought it necessary to pay £3,000 for an extension of the lease-term from sixty-three to ninety years to improve the attraction to purchasers. (fn. 433) Nevertheless, although the house was occupied from 1911, (fn. 434) it was 1916 before Garlicks found a buyer, in Captain Clive Pearson, (fn. 435) for whom the firm made a series of alterations between the wars. (fn. 436) In 1946–7, when the lower floors were used by a club, the two upper floors were converted into flats for Captain Pearson. From at least 1922 the work was designed by the architect Victor Heal, including early-Georgian-style oak and pine panelling in the ground- and first-floor rooms. (fn. 437) The house was demolished in 1957.
Occupants include: James Shuttleworth, M.P., 1748–68. John Radcliffe, M.P., 1768–83. Walter Spencer Stanhope, M.P., 1784–1820. Earl of Mount Charles, later 2nd Marquess Conyngham, general, 1827–30. Adm. Edward Howard, latterly Baron Lanerton, 1869–80. Dow. Duchess of Roxburghe, wid. of 7th Duke, 1900–2. Clive Pearson, company director, 1917–c. 1950.
No. 33 before 1886.
This house, physically the easternmost on the south side of Upper Grosvenor Street and numbered 49 in that street, was built about 1727 under a lease to William Moreton, mason. The building lessees at the adjacent No. 34, Robert Scott and William Barlow, senior, were parties to the lease. (fn. 438)
In 1840 a twenty-four-year sub-lease at £472 10s. per annum was taken as a speculation by the builder Thomas Arber, who agreed to spend £1,200 on repairs and alterations. These were to include cementing the front and adding a portico and first-floor balustrade (probably of iron). The domestic offices were to be reconstructed, and a new dining-room made. All the old interior wainscotting was to be removed. Arber soon found a tenant in James Maxse of Woolbeding, Sussex, to whom he passed on the sub-lease for £5,000. Additional work for him included the provision of scagliola columns and pilasters, probably in the dining-room (where the centre of the floor was to house a 'lazy pull' to the service-bells below). Each floor had a new water closet, and 'gas fitters' are mentioned. The walls were painted except on the first floor, where they were papered. (fn. 439) The architect in charge was probably (C. O.) Parnell. (fn. 440)
Occupants include: 4th Earl of Inchiquin, 1731–6. 3rd Earl of Essex, 1737–9. 2nd Earl of Effingham, 1747–55. 3rd Earl of Abingdon, 1755–60. John Windham Bowyer, 1760–80: his wid., 1780–9: their son-in-law, Sir William Smijth, 7th bt., 1790–1823. Sir Gore Ouseley, 1st bt., 1825–39. James Maxse, yachtsman and M.F.H., 1841–64: Lady Caroline Maxse, 1864–86.
No. 34 before 1886.
Until 1833 this house was rated in South Audley Street and thereafter was numbered 29A Grosvenor Square. (fn. 44) It was built about 1728 under a lease to Robert Scott, carpenter, and William Barlow, senior, bricklayer. (fn. 441) They sold it in 1730 for £1,750 to the first occupant, Lady Bishopp, widow of Sir Cecil Bishopp, baronet, of Parham, Sussex. (fn. 442) Doubtless it was always entered from South Audley Street, although Sutton Nicholls does not show this.
From c. 1785 the occupant, until his death in 1827, was the painter and patron of artists, Sir George Beaumont, who in 1790–2 had a small picture gallery some thirty feet by sixteen built at the rear, lit by a 'lantern'—seemingly one of the first to be built as such at a London private house. The architect, evidently chosen in preference to 'Hackwill' (doubtless Hakewill), was James Playfair, and the estimated cost only some £354. (fn. 443) In 1792 an alteration of unknown extent was made by 'Mr. Cantwell', probably Joseph. (fn. 444) In 1818 'Mr. Dance', (doubtless George, who had designed Sir George's house in Leicestershire) was acting for him in lease negotiations here. (fn. 445) (fn. 28)
From 1832 Sir Stratford Canning (later Viscount Stratford De Redcliffe) occupied the house intermittently until 1878. It was probably here, at the time he acquired the house, that the architect Anthony Salvin supervised work for him costing £3,700. (fn. 446)
Occupants include: Lady Bishopp, wid. of Sir Cecil Bishopp, 5th bt., 1730–50. William Northey, M.P., 1758–70. John Willes, M.P., 1772–84: his son-in-law, Sir George Beaumont, 7th bt., art patron and painter, 1785–1827: his wid., 1827–9. Sir Stratford Canning, G.C.B., latterly Viscount Stratford De Redcliffe, ambassador, 1832–78. 6th Earl of Albemarle, 1879–86.
No. 33 and No. 34 from 1886.
In 1886 these houses were demolished and a building lease granted to the traveller and Egyptologist, T. Douglas Murray, who was required to spend not less than £25,000 on the work. (fn. 447) Two houses in a similar style, of red brick and red terracotta, were built in 1887–8 by Patman and Fotheringham to designs by the architect W. H. Powell (Plate 62a). The carving of the brick frieze, and elsewhere, was by Walter Smith, and some of the finishings were by Longmire and Burge, builders. (fn. 448) As was sometimes the case the supply of the moulded terracotta blocks caused delay, (fn. 449) but the up-to-date effect was hailed by The Builder, when the design was exhibited, as enlivening the streets of 'that fashionable but architecturally dull neighbourhood', and the houses attracted some publicity. (fn. 450) The Duke of Westminster, too, is said to have told the lessee, 'Well, Murray, you have indeed built a beautiful house here'. (fn. 451) It was evidently, therefore, on nonarchitectural grounds that W. H. Powell fell out of favour in the autumn of 1888, when the Duke was advised 'there are reasons why Mr. Powell should not be further employed as architect on the estate'. The work was finished under the architect William Kidner. (fn. 452) Both houses were first occupied in 1889—No. 33 by the lessee. (fn. 434) Photographs of No. 34 in 1890 show that the interior treatment was not 'advanced' (fn. 453) (Plate 38a). In 1897 No. 33 was altered for (Sir) Lionel Phillips by the Decorative Arts Guild (decorator, C. E. Birch) of Bloomsbury. (fn. 454)
The houses were demolished for the building of flats in 1959.
Occupants include: No. 33, T. Douglas Murray, traveller and Egyptologist, 1889–93. William Knox D'Arcy, formerly of Queensland, Australia, 1894–6 (later at No. 42). (Sir) Lionel Phillips, later 1st bt., partner in Wernher, Beit and Co., and 'identified with Witwater's rand gold industry', 1897–1907. No. 34, Jack Barnato Joel, financier, Chairman of Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Co., 1903–40.
No. 35 (formerly 30).
Like most houses on the south side of the Square, this was erected under a building lease of 1727 to Robert Grosvenor. (fn. 455) The site was sub-let to William Head, carpenter, with George Barlow, bricklayer, a party to the lease, (fn. 456) and the house was built about 1728. The entrance was in the Square (fn. 457) but by the nineteenth century had been moved to South Audley Street. When John Wilkes bought No. 35 in 1790 he was said to be 'fitting up his … house … very elegantly. His Library has been particularly attended to'. (fn. 458) Wilkes's embellishments included parlour windows which Henry Angelo said 'perhaps were the most valuable of any in the world, for the whole of the lower sashes, composed of very large panes, were of plate glass, engraved with eastern subjects in the most beautiful taste. These were naturally the more valued by Mr. Wilkes as they were the ingenious labours of his daughter'. They were broken by 'the Mount Street rioters' of June 1792. (fn. 459) (fn. 29) In 1854 the speculator Wright Ingle had the house altered by the builders Messrs. Higgs of Davies Street, but, it was said, sold it for no more than £3500 to a prospective occupant. The frequent succession of occupants suggests that No. 35 was less attractive than other houses in the Square—'closed up entirely behind, and an old House, low storeys and other drawbacks' as Thomas Cundy III said in 1855. (fn. 460) But it was vestigially still the original building that was demolished in 1934 (Plate 29d and folded drawing between pages 140–1).
Occupants include: Lady Mary Saunderson, da. of 1st Earl of Rockingham, 1730–7. Dow. Countess of Nottingham, wid. of 2nd Earl, 1738–43. Miles Barne, M.P., 1746–8. 20th Earl of Kildare, later 1st Duke of Leinster, 1753. Lady Jerningham, wid. of Sir George Jerningham, 5th bt., 1773–85. John Wilkes, politician, 1791–7: his da., Mary Wilkes, 1797–1802. William Gore-Langton, 1804–6 (later at No. 12). Charles Elliott, upholsterer, 'for tenants', 1807–32: his son, Rev. Henry Venn Elliott, 1835–8. Lady Giles Puller, wid. of Sir Christopher Puller, kt., 1839–54. Dow. Duchess of Beaufort, wid. of 7th Duke, 1859. Baron Strathnairn, general, 1871–2. Charles Henry Wilson, ship-owner and politician, later 1st Baron Nunburnholme, 1877–85 (later at No. 41). Maj. Alfred Wynne Corrie, J.P., 1889–98. 15th Duke of Somerset, 1899–1923: his wid., 1924–34.
No. 36 (formerly 31).
This house was erected under a building lease of 1727 to Robert Grosvenor, which he made over in that year to George Barlow, bricklayer, by a deed to which a third party was the carpenter William Head, who had a reversed role with Barlow in the subletting of No. 35 in the following year. (fn. 461) Thereafter virtually nothing is known of the house except that it was here, over the years 1866–9, that Mrs. Gwynne Holford, during negotiations for the renewal of the lease, made the only successful resistance of which there is record in the nineteenth century to the enforcement of elevational changes required by the Estate. (fn. 462) The house demolished in 1934 was thus externally not very greatly altered beneath its stucco, retaining an early nineteenth-century iron balcony and, perhaps, its original doorcase (folded drawing between pages 140–1).
Occupants include: Col. (later gen.) Roger Handasyde, M.P., 1730–42. 3rd Earl of Jersey, 1744–69: his son, 4th Earl, 1769–95. James Stuart-Wortley (later -Mackenzie), son of 3rd Earl of Bute, Prime Minister, 1796–1805. 10th Earl of Westmorland, Lord Lieut. of Ireland, 1807–41. Lieut.-col. James Price Gwynne Holford, J.P., High Sheriff Co. Brecknock, 1845–6: his wid., 1846–81: their son, James Price William Gwynne-Holford, 1881–1900. James Henry Cecil Hozier, latterly 2nd Baron Newlands, 1901–29.
No. 37 (formerly 32).
Erected about 1728 under the same building lease as Nos. 35–36 and 38–41, and under a sub-lease to Samuel Phillips, carpenter, (fn. 463) No. 37 was altered for the fifth Duke of Bolton in c. 1761–5 at great expense by John Vardy, whose work ranged from designing a wall-bracket to (it would seem) giving the house the plain mid-Georgian brick front it retained until its demolition in 1934 (folded drawing between pages 140–1). In 1781 there was one water closet, hung with green flock paper and equipped with what was called a 'Mahogany Watercloset with Bason and Handles Compleat', situated on the ground floor. The library on the same floor, which had an out-of-order wind-dial over the chimneypiece, was hung with green gilt-bordered flock paper. Above, the curtains, hangings and upholstery of the two drawing-rooms were all of crimson damask, and the two Wilton carpets each covered 'the whole Floor'. (fn. 464) At the time of demolition the first-floor windows had been cut down to a later iron balcony, but the iron lamp-holders were original and so, perhaps, was the doorcase.
Occupants include: 2nd Earl of Scarbrough, 1733–40. 7th Baron (later 1st Earl) De La Warr, 1740–55. Lord Guernsey, later 3rd Earl of Aylesford, 1755–7 (previously at No. 45, later at No. 44). 5th Duke of Bolton, 1759–65. 3rd Duke of Grafton, Prime Minister, 1765 8. 4th Earl of Tankerville, 1769–79. Baron Alvensleben, Hanoverian Minister, c. 1780–92. 6th Duke of Bolton, 'for tenants', c. 1793–5: his wid., 1795–1809: her nephew, 3rd Earl of Darlington, later 1st Duke of Cleveland, 1811–13: his cousin, (Sir) John Lowther, latterly 1st bt., 1814–44: the latter's son, Sir John Henry Lowther, 2nd bt., 1844–7. 4th Baron Sondes, 1849–74. Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson, latterly 2nd Baron (and later 1st Viscount) Burnham, newspaper-proprietor, 1885–1918. 6th Viscount Clifden, 1926–30: his son, Cecil Edward Agar-Robartes, 1931–4.
No. 38 (formerly 33).
Of the original house, erected about 1727 under a building lease to Robert Grosvenor and a sub-lease to the painter-stainer Israel Russell, (fn. 465) nothing is known before its occupation by the third Duke of Dorset in 1777. It was for him that the interior of the house was given its present character, as the only example of eighteenth-century decoration surviving in the Square (Plate 42: see also Plates 16c, 17c, fig. 9c in vol. XXXIX). This was at the hands of the architect John Johnson, and probably in 1776. Externally, Johnson rendered the house with a composition, allegedly of his own invention and consisting of serum of blood, linseed oil, sand and lime— an action which contributed to the attack upon him in Chancery in 1777 by John Liardet and the Adam brothers, for a supposed breach of their patent rights in Liardet's own 'composition or cement'. (fn. 466) A survey made in 1781 by George Shakespear speaks of a rearward wing building distinct from the 'old house', which wing, like all or part of the front to the Square, was plastered. This seems likely to have been an addition by Johnson, and to survive in the present wing. Shakespear (who did not name Johnson) was very critical of all the external plaster, which he thought would probably fall off. (fn. 467)
To Johnson's further responsibility for the interior of the wing and the main house there is strong evidence in the resemblance of many features to those in other interiors of his. The staircase and balustrade-pattern, the domical staircase compartment, the first-floor front-room chimneypiece, the first-floor ceiling patterns, the wall decoration by roundels in grisaille or plaster, and the detailing of friezes, all present motifs encountered in various permutations in Johnson's other town and country houses: for example, Nos. 61 and 63 New Cavendish Street, Woolverstone Hall in Suffolk and Langford Grove, Essex. (fn. 30)
Shakespear was also critical of the interior plasterwork, which in the staircase and dining-room chimney-breast had, he thought, been applied to the bare brickwork. (fn. 467)
The upholsterer employed by the Duke of Dorset was David Crighton, whose account shows that most of the movable furniture was of mahogany, and that the predominant colour of fabrics was probably green, with some green bed furnishings and window curtains, a 'green sprig paper' in a room and closet, green-ground carpeting and a 'green and white stripe carpett' fitted to the great, stone, iron-balustraded stairs. The most expensive single item from Crighton was, not unusually, a pier-glass in carved and gilt frame, costing £45. He supplied 'a plaster venus' and a pianoforte. At least one marble chimneypiece was bought second-hand. (fn. 468)
In 1854–5 the house was given its present front (folded drawing between pages 140–1: see also Plate 25a in vol. XXXIX). This was for the fourth Baron Calthorpe, to the design of Thomas Cundy II, as a condition of the Estate's new lease. Even so, Lord Calthorpe had to pay £8,515 for the renewal, in addition to the cost of Cundification and other work, by his own architect, E. M. Foxhall of South Street, that involved the insertion of some iron girders. (fn. 469) In 1913 the estate surveyor, Edmund Wimperis, thought that 'in many respects it is a fine house' and new leases granted in 1914 and 1927 took the prospective tenure of the house into the twenty-first century. (fn. 470) A lift was installed in 1928, some alterations made by Lenygon and Morant and by W. Willett Limited in 1929 and some structural repair done in 1933. (fn. 471) After threats of demolition in 1956–61 the house was excluded from the subsequent rebuilding of this side of the Square.
Behind Cundy's stucco front of 1854 is still preserved one of the most complete late eighteenth-century neoclassical interiors on the estate. The ground-floor rooms have lost their chimneypieces and have plain ceilings but there are nice plaster cornices, and the front room, which was probably the dining-room, has a well-modelled oval stucco panel on the chimney wall of Bacchus and a sleeping nymph under a festoon of vine leaves. In the rear wing the room with a segmental bow window is now subdivided but retains a Doric frieze and four circular monochrome wall paintings, in reeded stucco frames, of sacrifices to Apollo and Diana and a pair of Bacchantes. The staircase (Plate 42a) has wall-hung stone treads, elegantly chamfered underneath, and an iron balustrade of S-scroll pattern which Johnson frequently used elsewhere. Overhead is a plaster dome with a sparse radiating pattern of thin husks and medallions in the spandrels.
The sequence of rooms on the first floor has elaborately stuccoed ceilings with inset paintings in the style of Biagio Rebecca and sculpted white marble chimneypieces of high quality. That in the front room, with beautiful flanking figures emblematic of Music and Drama, is like others in houses by Johnson and was doubtless executed to his design by a leading sculptor, perhaps Richard Westmacott (Plate 17c in vol. XXXIX). The ceiling in the front room (Plate 16c in vol. XXXIX) has an oval pattern composed of delicate scrolls, oak leaves, ears of wheat and lilies with fans in the corner. A circular painting in the middle, of Jupiter and Juno, is surrounded by small vesica-shaped panels of the Dancing Hours and at either end are roundels of Night and Day. The rear room is similar but with a plainer marble chimneypiece, bearing a frieze of delicate festoons, and a more rigidly geometric ceiling embellished with scrolls, urns and anthemion. The central painted medallion shows a sacrifice and the corner medallions are of the Four Seasons (Plate 42d). The ceiling of the bow room in the rear wing also has inset paintings, in this case of Apollo and the Nine Muses, and the Arts: the stuccowork includes scrolls and lyres (Plate 42b, 42c, 42e).
The total ensemble is an accomplished piece of decoration, for all that it lacks the originality and intellectual rigour of James Wyatt's or Adam's work. The ceiling designs, if rather loose and lacking in overall unity, are beautifully executed, and although the flatness and thinness of the designs generally mark them as the work of an architect not of the very first rank, they have the fluent grace of their period.
Occupants include: 4th Earl of Dysart, 1733–9. Edward Rudge, M.P. (whose grandfather made a fortune as a London merchant), 1741–63: his wid., 1763–75. 3rd Duke of Dorset, 1777–83. William Strode, M.P., 1784–91. Sir Henry GoughCalthorpe, 2nd bt., latterly 1st Baron Calthorpe, 1792–8: his wid., 1798–1821: her son, 3rd Baron, 1822–51: her younger son, 4th Baron, 1851–68: the latter's son, 5th Baron, 1868–93: the latter's brother, 6th Baron, 1893–1910: his wid., 1910–25. Lady (Mildred) Meux, wid. of Adm. of the Fleet Sir Hedworth Meux (formerly Lambton), G.C.B., 1930: her 3rd husband, Lord Charles William Augustus Montagu, son of 7th Duke of Manchester, 1931–9 (previously at No. 44): his wid., then Lady Charles (Mildred) Montagu, 1940–2.
No. 39 (formerly 34).
Here the first occupant, an M.P. and former place-holder, William East of Hurley, Berkshire, took from Robert Grosvenor in 1728 a sub-lease to which the carpenter Thomas Phillips was a party. (fn. 472) East later moved to another new house at No. 29 Sackville Street, Piccadilly, where the work was again under Phillips's aegis. (fn. 473) In about 1758 the sixty-four years of the sub-lease was bought for £5,000 by a 'nabob', Richard Benyon. (fn. 474) Undated plans, perhaps of the end of the eighteenth century, show the house in the Benyon family's occupation, with an arrangement not very different from that at No. 38. (fn. 475) The main stairs rose only to the first floor, in a toplit compartment behind the entrance hall. The first-floor drawing-room extended the full width of the front and had a niched or apsidal feature at one end. A rear wing rose the full height of the house. In 1807–8 Soane carried out some alterations for Mrs. Benyon (Thomas Moor, clerk of works) at the time the head lease was renewed in reversion to 1870. (fn. 476) In 1853–4 the builder William Harris of Green Street was working on back premises here. (fn. 477) The portico, of usual Roman Doric type, was doubtless added in 1857 by another local builder, Thomas Watts of Mount Street. (fn. 478) The chief Victorianization came, however, in 1877–8, when the building firm of Holland and Hannen took a lease, and gave the house a new, awkward, red-brick and stone front designed by a 'Mr. Wyatt', which the Duke of Westminster liked (folded drawing between pages 140–1). Holland and Hannen paid £4,780 for a sixty-two-and-a-half-year lease from 1877 at £490 per annum and sold the house, which they said they had 'practically had to rebuild' to the Marquess of Lothian in 1878. He paid them £23,500, and Cundy estimated that they had made a profit of about £8,000. (fn. 479) Other work, in 1879, was done by the decorators Holland and Son, again of Mount Street, (fn. 480) who, as Holland and Taprell, had worked here for the Benyons in the 1820's–1840's. (fn. 481) Unspecified work was also done for the Marquess in the 1880's and 1890's by the decorating firm of Cowtan. (fn. 482) The house was demolished between 1962 and 1965.
Occupants include: William East, M.P., 1728–31. Richard Benyon, Governor of Fort St. George, 1758–74: his son, Richard Benyon, M.P., 1774–96: the latter's wid., 1796–1828: her son, Richard Benyon De Beauvoir, High Sheriff of Berkshire, 1828–54: his nephew, Richard Benyon, M.P., 1854–68. 4th Marquess of Hastings, 1868. Fulke Southwell Greville-Nugent, latterly 1st Baron Greville, 1869–77 (previously at No. 41). 9th Marquess of Lothian, 1880–1900 (previously at No. 42). 3rd Earl of Durham, 1901–23: his wife, Maud, Countess of Durham, and her brother-in-law, Edward Gascoyne-Cecil, Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, 1924–9.
No. 40 (formerly 35).
As at No. 39, Robert Grosvenor, the head lessee, granted a sub-lease in 1727 to the first occupant—here the elderly general George, Lord Carpenter. (fn. 483) Vertue records in about 1737 a staircase painted by Francesco Riari for Carpenter's son and successor here and therefore perhaps for this house. (fn. 484) The rateable value rose in 1765–6 and 1799–1800—the latter being when the Pusey family acquired the lease and possibly indicating work for them by Philip Pusey's surveyor, the architect Samuel Wyatt. (fn. 485) In 1858 the builder C. J. Freake agreed to buy the last few years of the lease, and successfully applied to the Estate for a leasing agreement to rebuild. (fn. 486)
The elevation of white Suffolk bricks with cement dressings was designed by the estate surveyor, Thomas Cundy II, in his prevailing mode, (fn. 486) which The Building News greeted as a sign that 'a more go-a-head spirit is abroad' in the architecture of London's squares, superseding 'the common-place structures' hitherto prevalent 'with perforated windows and doorways in them' (Plate 29b and folded drawing between pages 140–1). Freake (whose clerk of works was John Gascoigne) retained the ample storey heights of the original building — 10 feet 6 inches in the basement, 14 feet 6 inches on the ground floor, successively 14 feet 9 inches, 11 feet 9 inches and 11 feet on the floors above, and 9 feet in the garrets. (fn. 487) He increased the extent backwards slightly. (fn. 488) Behind the entrance hall was a spacious, toplit compartment for the stone staircase, with its mahogany and gilt-iron balustrading, which rose to the second floor. There were four other staircases. Three rose from the basement —the secondary stairs to the top of the house, the porter's to the entrance hall, and the valets' to a ground-floor dressing-room—and one joined second- and third-floor bedrooms. The library and large dining-room on the ground floor had 'panelled ceilings and enrichments from the models of the celebrated "Tom Garland" ', (fn. 489) who was perhaps the modeller who had worked at the Haymarket Theatre. (fn. 490) By 1906 these rooms had walls hung with plush and ample fittings in dark, carved woodwork. A single-storey rear extension contained a 'gentleman's business-room' and dressingroom. (fn. 489) On the first floor the reception rooms are said to have been 'in the gilded style of Louis XVI' by the end of the century, (fn. 491) but were 'Adam' in 1906. Above were fourteen or fifteen principal bedrooms. By 1906, at least, there were water closets on the first, second and third floors and two more attached to the two fitted bathrooms. (fn. 492) The Building News in 1858 had noticed that 'the joisting is of extra scantling' in this 'very favourable example of constructive excellence'. (fn. 493)
At the back, in Adams Row, were similarly styled stables and a double coach-house (which was converted between 1906 and 1926 into 'an exceptionally large garage'). (fn. 494)
The house was demolished between 1962 and 1965.
Occupants include: 1st Baron Carpenter, general, 1727–32: his son, 2nd Baron, 1732–49: the latter's son, 3rd Baron, latterly 1st Earl of Tyrconnel, 1749–62. Mrs. Mary Bowes, 1762–7: her son-in-law, 7th Earl of Strathmore, 1767–76: his wid.'s 2nd husband, Andrew Robinson Stoney (afterwards Bowes), a 'scoundrel', 1776–9. 2nd Earl of Tyrconnel, 1781–3. Heneage Legge, grandson of 1st Earl of Dartmouth, 1783–99. Philip Pusey, son of 1st Viscount Folkestone and father of Dr. Edward Pusey, divine, 1800–28: his wid., 1828–58. 2nd Earl of Durham, 1861–3. Sir Robert Tolver Gerard, 13th bt., latterly 1st Baron Gerard, 1868–81 (previously at No. 43). (Sir) Charles Tennant, latterly 1st bt., head of Charles Tennant, Sons and Co., chemical manufacturers, 1882–1906. Sir Daniel Cooper, 2nd bt., 1908–9. Sir John William Kelk, 2nd bt., 1912–23. James Gomer Berry, later 1st Viscount Kemsley, newspaper-proprietor, 1927.
No. 41 (formerly 36).
The original house here was built about 1727 under a sub-lease from Robert Grosvenor to Benjamin Timbrell, carpenter. (fn. 495) In 1778 Peter Delmé employed James Wyatt to stucco the front with Bryan Higgins's patent cement. (fn. 496) Delmé also extended the house at the rear, (fn. 497) and had Wyatt decorate or recast the rooms, with one ante-room apsed at each end, and a bedroom with double columns to form a recess. In the ceilings green with brownish or pinkish red was perhaps the prevailing colour. (fn. 498) In January 1780 Lady Mary Coke visited Lady Betty Delmé, noting that 'the room she sat in is finish'd by Mr. Wyatt in the most expensive manner', and Lady Betty's dressing-room ceiling was certainly ornate. (fn. 499) Peter Delmé was succeeded by the art patron Sir John Leicester, later Lord De Tabley, in 1789 (when his brother-dilettante, Sir George Beaumont, was occupying No. 34). The World newspaper spoke of 'improvements' intended by him and 'work' (not necessarily extensive) actually done early in his tenure. (fn. 500) In 1821 another occupant, Robert Williams, employed the architect Thomas Leverton, who had rebuilt part of the Williams' country house in Dorset, in lease negotiations with the Estate but it is not known if Williams altered the house. In 1883, perhaps because the 'tenant's fixtures' were unusually valuable, the Duke of Westminster unwontedly inspected the house before deciding to replace it. (fn. 501)
The building lessee and intending occupant was the shipping magnate C. H. Wilson, later Lord Nunburn-holme. His architect was George Devey and the builder W. Shepherd of Bermondsey, whose tender was accepted at £15,985. (fn. 502) Dasent in 1935 said the final cost was £60,000. (fn. 503) The old house was pulled down in 1883, the contract drawings for the new were signed in December of that year, and the house was completed in 1886. (fn. 504)
As the Duke wished, the front was of (diapered) red brick with stone dressings (fn. 505) (Plate 29b and folded drawing between pages 140–1). Devey's first known elevational design was perhaps over-dressed and the executed version was simpler. (fn. 506) Designed in an early seventeenth-century 'vernacular' classicism, it might almost be read as a silent criticism of the similarly composed front at No. 39, although it was no more accommodating than the other to the styles of its older neighbours.
Devey's floor-plans had met resistance from the estate surveyor Thomas Cundy III, who told the Grosvenor Board in August 1883 that he thought 'the offices very badly arranged, and that there is deficient bedroom accommodation for the family. Mr. Cundy does not think that Mr. Devey can have had any experience in planning a large house'. How far this outspoken gainsaying of Devey's career and reputation was effective in enforcing alterations is not known but his plans, altered or not, were approved in October. (fn. 505) The house seems to have been designed, as were later, Edwardian, houses in the Square, primarily for entertaining in Society (fn. 507) and the contract plans of December 1883 suggest the number of family rooms may have been a little less than the size of the house led Cundy to expect. In the arrangement of the domestic offices Devey perhaps surprised Cundy by departures from precedent. As shown in slightly revised plans (fig. 38), the basement contained the traditional rooms for a cook, porter, housekeeper and even a steward, but the kitchen, scullery, pantry and butler's room were removed to the ground floor, where they formed a group of service rooms between the dining-room and the stable block. Above this part was a mezzanine containing servants' bedrooms. Two bathrooms were provided, on the second and fourth floors (as well as one for the menservants on the mezzanine and one in the stable block), and a water closet on each floor except, perhaps, the first. A lift was provided. (fn. 506) The basement had compartments for 'heating' and 'electric engines', the artificial lighting being electric. (fn. 508) The stables at the back accommodated a garage by 1909. (fn. 507) On the two principal floors the levels and circulation were complicated and ingenious—and in the area of the main staircase further revisions of the surviving plans are indicated by photographs of 1909.
By 1902–9 the decorative style of the interior varied greatly from room to room (fn. 509) (Plates 39b, 40b: see also Plate 41 in vol. XXXIX). On the ground floor there was Jacobean, mid seventeenth-century 'school of Inigo Jones', early Georgian, and late eighteenth-century English neo-classical. The style of the staircase compartment was made more exotic-seeming by Devey's clothing of it wholly in marble—white for the steps and reddish for the staircase and wall panels—with a marble pavement. The first floor was 'foreign', with rich but conventional white-and-gold Louis Quinze in the green-silk-hung drawing-room, and ante-room, and an exuberant essay in Continental rococo in the large gilded ballroom over the dining-room, where yellow silk wall-panels were complemented by furniture upholstered in yellow and black silk (Plate 41a in vol. XXXIX).
Stylistically this last apartment is difficult to see as a design by Devey, and the extent to which the state of the house in 1902–9 represents his decorative ideas is uncertain. All his (few) detail drawings for the work are in some phase of English classicism less suave and more 'provincial' than what was actually manifested by 1902–9.
In 1919 work was carried out for the Wilsons by the interior decorators Keeble Limited, (fn. 510) and this may be when the striking changes, indicative of a more discerning taste, apparent in photographs of 1926 were made. The ballroom was given an equally magnificent but quite different and weightier dressing in a Franco-Dutch style probably derived from the designs of Daniel Marot (Plate 41b in vol. XXXIX). Below, the morning-room and dining-room were redecorated in darker and perhaps generally more 'masculine' tones, the former with walnut graining and an excellent late eighteenth-century marble chimneypiece, the latter with a spectacular French scenic wallpaper, 'Les Paysages de Télémaque' (originally printed by Dufour et Leroy of Paris about 1823–5). (fn. 511)
This house was pulled down between 1962 and 1965 and, according to Reginald Colby, 'its staircase was torn out and sold in the King's Road, Chelsea'. (fn. 512)
Occupants include: Henry Bromley, M.P., later 1st Lord Montfort, 1728–34. Peter Delmé, M.P., 1734–70: his son, Peter Delmé, M.P., 1770–89. Sir John Leicester, 5th bt., later 1st Baron De Tabley, 1789–93. Sir Joshua Vanneck, 3rd bt., latterly 1st Baron Huntingfield, 1793–1816. George-Hay DawkinsPennant of Penrhyn Castle, 1817–18. Robert Williams, M.P., banker, 1819–35: his son, Robert Williams, M.P., 1835–40. 2nd Marquess of Exeter, 1841–67. 6th Lord Vernon, 1868. Fulke Southwell Greville-Nugent, later 1st Baron Greville, 1869 (later at No. 39). Sir Henry Meux, 2nd bt., 1870–83. Charles Henry Wilson, latterly 1st Baron Nunburnholme, ship-owner, 1886–1907 (previously at No. 35): his wid., 1911–1915, and with her son-in-law, 10th Earl of Chesterfield, 1920–32.
No. 42 (formerly 37).
The first house here had differed from the other houses in the Square in the conditions of tenure affecting its erection. Instead of a building lease or sub-lease being granted of the undeveloped or partly undeveloped site, the sub-lease was here granted of the site with an already completed house upon it, which had evidently been built directly for the head lessee, Robert Grosvenor. The recipient of his sub-lease, in 1731, was, however, the building tradesman Benjamin Timbrell, who was Grosvenor's building sub-lessee in the normal way next door at No. 41, and therefore the actual procedure in erecting the house may not have differed much, if at all, from there. Timbrell paid Grosvenor £3,640 for the sublease. (fn. 513)
In 1835, when the house was probably still in essentials the original building, it had a stone-paved hall and two stone staircases. (fn. 514) In 1853, on the expiry of the Grosvenor head lease, the estate surveyor's first thought was of a refronting, but the building speculator interested in the site, Wright Ingle, wanted to rebuild, and this was done. The front, virtually identical with that at No. 40, was by Thomas Cundy II, but the interior was designed for Ingle by the architect Henry Harrison (folded drawing between pages 140–1). The builders were Higgs and Cullingford, of Davies Street. Their tender had been accepted at £7,564, but the minimum outlay required of Ingle by the Estate was £9,000 and Harrison later said the cost was £10,000. By May 1855 Ingle had found a purchaser and the lease was made to the intending occupant (and Lord Westminster's son-in-law), the second Lord Wenlock. (fn. 515)
In 1872 the house had a main staircase which rose to the top floor, water closets on every floor (two on the top floor), and a bathroom on the ground and second floor. The distribution of rooms was generally conventional, although the first floor had a 'small room now used as Oratory' by Lady Londonderry. The stables at the rear included 'a separate loose box (small) used for any horse that may be unwell'; also four menservants' rooms accommodating seven beds. (fn. 516)
In 1872 £35,000 was being asked for the fifty-eight years of the lease and five or six years later the owner's father-inlaw, the Duke of Buccleuch, called it 'the nicest and best arranged house of its size in London'. Lord Aberdeen bought it at that time for £43,500 despite the fact that (in Lady Aberdeen's words) 'the drainage experts reported that "some incredible things have been found, though it would compare favourably with other large establishments"'. (fn. 517) By 1891 the lease could be bought for, it seems, £30,000. (fn. 518) The house was demolished between 1962 and 1965.
Occupants include: Frederick Frankland, M.P., 1731–7. Col. Gumley, probably brother-in-law of Earl of Bath, 1752–7. John Gilbert, Archbishop of York, 1758–61. Gen. Lord Robert Manners, son of 2nd Duke of Rutland, 1762–83: his wid., 1783–1829: Mrs. Lucy Manners, 1830–5. 9th Earl of Galloway, 1836–44. 3rd Earl of Mornington, politician, 1845: his wid., 1845–51. 2nd Baron Wenlock, son-in-law of 2nd Marquess of Westminster, 1855–7. 4th Marquess of Londonderry, 1858–72: his brother, 5th Marquess, of Lothian and 7th Viscount Powerscourt, 1872–3. 9th Marquess of Lothian, 1874–8 (later at No. 39). 7th Earl, later 1st Marquess, of Aberdeen, Governor General of Canada, 1879–86 (later at No. 27). Edward Levy-Lawson, later 1st Baron Burnham, newspaper-proprietor, 1887–92. Dow. Countess of Dudley, wid. of 1st Earl, 1893–9. William Knox D'Arcy and 2nd wife Nina (née Boucicault), 1900–17 (previously at No. 33). Claude Hope (-Morley), son of 1st Baron Hollenden, 1920–39.
No. 43 (formerly 38).
Built about 1727 under a sub-lease from Robert Grosvenor to William Barlow the elder, bricklayer, the house survived until 1967 without radical rebuilding. In 1769 the insurers singled out 'the Hall and Staire' as 'finished in a Grand Manner'. (fn. 519) By 1862 the front was cement-rendered or stuccoed, with its first-floor windows cut down to an iron balcony (fn. 520) (Plate 29d: see also Plate 7 in vol. XXXIX).
In 1907 the Estate (its surveyor being Eustace Balfour) evidently wanted the cement front to be replaced by one of stone, but met with objections from the leaseholder and occupant, D. C. Stiebel, a Jewish merchant. He was eventually granted a new long lease in 1909, and in 1911 his architects, Davis and Emanuel (who had evidently altered the house for him in 1904), produced a design, supposedly to make No. 43 in appearance a pair to the brick-fronted No. 44. What it was like is not known but the new estate surveyor, Edmund Wimperis, thought it was 'a vulgar treatment—a sort of semi-commercial front and not like the quiet refined front next door'. Wimperis, rather confusingly, wanted No. 43 to be stone fronted on the ground floor, with a Luton-brick face and stone cornice above. Davis and Emanuel promptly produced an amended design to his satisfaction. (fn. 521) The work was carried out by Harris and Wardrop, builders, of Limehouse (who in 1885–6 had worked for the same firm of architects in Spitalfields). (fn. 522) It mirrored No. 44 by the protrusion of a canted bay on the ground floor. However, when the Grosvenor Board discussed the new front in 1912 they 'agreed that the stone work is vulgar and makes the front unsatisfactory from an architectural point of view': (fn. 523) Wimperis's own stone front of a few years earlier at No. 45 was certainly even more restrained than Davis and Emanuel's. The episode seems to show, like other recastings in the Square, the Estate's difficulty at that time in obtaining quite the style it wanted from the architects then employed by its lessees (folded drawing between pages 140–1).
In c. 1953–4 the original wooden main staircase was removed and by 1959 few early features remained inside. (fn. 524) The house was demolished in 1967.
Occupants include: Duchess of Kendal, mistress of George I, 1728–43. 5th Baron Maynard, 1744–5: his brother, 6th Baron and later 1st Viscount Maynard, 1745–52: the latter's 3rd cousin, Sir William Maynard, 4th bt., M.P., 1753–72: the latter's son, Sir Charles Maynard, latterly 2nd Viscount Maynard, 1772–6. Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester, 1778–80. John Thomas, Bishop of Winchester, 1781. Dow. Lady Grosvenor, wid. of Sir Robert Grosvenor, 6th bt., 1782–91: her da.-in-law, Mrs. Deborah Grosvenor, 1791–6 (later at No. 16). 2nd Viscount Maynard, again, 1796–1824: his nephew, 3rd Viscount, 1824–65. Sir Robert Tolver Gerard, 13th bt., later 1st Baron Gerard, 1867 (later at No. 40). George Matthew Fortescue, son of 1st Earl Fortescue, 1868–77: his wid., 1877–81. William Fowler, financier, 1883–1901: also (Sir) William Coddington, latterly bt., cotton-spinner and manufacturer, 1890–6, 1904. Daniel C. Stiebel, merchant, 1905–12: his wid., Ada Juliana Stiebel, 1913: her 2nd husband, Sir Kenneth Matheson, 2nd bt., 1913–20: his wid., Lady (Ada Juliana) Matheson, 1920–2. (Dow.) Viscountess Tredegar, wife and latterly wid. of 3rd Baron and 1st Viscount Tredeger, 1929–43.
No. 44 (formerly 39).
Like its neighbours, No. 44 was one of the houses built about 1727 under a sub-lease from Robert Grosvenor, with a brick front and segmentally headed windows (Plate 7 in vol. XXXIX). Here the sublessee was a carpenter, Robert Scott, who in 1728 found a tenant in Oliver St. George, younger son of Sir Oliver, the first baronet, of County Leitrim in Ireland and in 1730 sold him the house for £3,400. (fn. 525) St. George died, however, in 1731, when his widow remained there until 1747.
A striking feature of the house in its early days was its painted staircase compartment at the front of the house, where it served also the function of an entrance hall (Plate 44d, fig. 39). The painting (now partly preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum) strongly resembled the decoration in the staircase compartment at No. 75 Dean Street, Soho, built some six years later in about 1733. (fn. 526) The building tradesman there was Thomas Richmond, the carpenter who took a building sub-lease of the two houses immediately eastward of No. 44 Grosvenor Square at Nos. 45 and 46, the former of which had a 'painted' staircase (of unknown character) in a wainscotted interior certainly similar to the Dean Street house. The lessee of No. 44, Robert Scott, himself occurs as a builder in Soho not far from Dean Street. (fn. 31)
This relationship suggests that the staircase at No. 44 is likely to have been painted at the initiative of the builder, Scott, rather than of the first occupant, who had no known connexion with the occupant for whom the staircase in Dean Street was painted. Direct evidence on this is, however, lacking; and Scott is known to have agreed to make alterations of unknown character and extent when he let the house to St. George. (fn. 527) That the painting dates from the very early years of the house is suggested by its general character, strongly reminiscent of the King's Staircase, newly painted by Kent in c. 1725–7 at Kensington Palace. It should, however, be said that inconclusive testimony to a later date for the work was given in 1909. This was by Sir Charles Boxall, the solicitor acting for the noblewoman then taking the house, who interested himself in the investigation of the painting, which had been newly discovered during alterations. At first he informed the Grosvenor Board (it seems, mistakenly) that the painting had been panelled-up in 1746. Later, however, he wrote 'that it had been discovered that the stone mason had marked 1747 on the wall, so that the fresco could not have been of an earlier date'. (fn. 528) In the absence of further details it is impossible to evaluate this purported evidence. If the painting was executed, in a rather out-of-date style, in 1747, it would probably have been done for Simon, second Viscount (and later Earl of) Harcourt, briefly the occupant of the house in 1748. This would leave the admittedly rather indirect connexion with Thomas Richmond a coincidence.
The identity of the painter is not known, but Mr. Desmond Fitz-Gerald's suggestion of the younger John Laguerre (d. 1748) (fn. 529) is supported by his responsibility for a painted staircase at No. 48 Grosvenor Street.
In 1752 the house was let furnished by the Earl of Winchilsea to the Earl of Scarbrough for three years at £315 per annum. (fn. 530) The existence of a second-floor front room 'over the Staircase' seems to show that the main staircase was still at the front, rising to the first floor, and presumably still displaying its painting. The other compartments on the ground floor were a gilt fore parlour, a grey parlour, an ante-room, a large dining-room, a back stairs, and a 'Bathing roome'—a number of rooms that indicates the existence of a rear wing. On the first floor was a back chamber with a water closet adjacent, a 'crimson paper' bedchamber, a 'crimson paper' dressing-room, and a large fore room. On the second floor were three back rooms and a large back closet, the fore room over the staircase already mentioned, and a green fore room. There were four garrets. The soft furnishings in the first-floor rooms were often crimson.
Lord Scarbrough perhaps improved the house, as its rateable value rose in 1752–3, and in 1755 the owner was able to sell the diminishing leasehold interest for £4,000. The purchaser, Edward Dering, in turn sold the house furnished in 1757 for no less than £7,500. (fn. 531) The price, together with that year-date on a cistern, (fn. 532) suggests further work had been done on the house, and it is likely that it was at some date between 1752 and 1757 that the substantial change was made by which the main staircase in the front hall was removed and its function assumed by the former and enlarged secondary staircase. By 1757 it seems that the old staircase compartment had been ceiledover to permit the extension of the first-floor front room across the full width of the house. (fn. 533) The old painting was partly destroyed by the removal of the staircase and of the west wall at first-floor level, and the remainder was concealed.
An inventory of 1757 designates the ground-floor rooms as a dining-parlour, probably at the front, an adjacent dressing-room, probably at the back, and a library, probably in the rear wing. The bathing-room is not mentioned. On the first floor was the big front drawing-room, an adjacent dressing-room backward, and a bedchamber presumably in the wing. On the second floor was a bedchamber, an adjacent little room, a nursery, Miss Dering's room and a room perhaps for an upper servant. In the garrets another upper servant's room had one bed but the rest was divided into two rooms for the maids and footmen with three and two beds respectively. (fn. 533)
The fitting-out of the house appears more clearly than five years earlier. One emphatic note was the blue decoration of all the first-floor rooms, in their hangings, the upholstery of chairs and sofas and the window curtains. In the great front drawing-room, which had absorbed the upper part of the former staircase compartment, the walls were 'hung with fine Blue mixt Damask lined with Canvas and a fine Open Moulding round the Hangings Gilt in Burnished Gold'. Gilding was prominent, on carved mirror- and picture-frames, girandoles, lamp-stands, and the carved frames of marble tables like the 'gallo Siena' slab in the front drawing-room. That room had four 'festoon' curtains, but the rear dressing-room had only one window, furnished with 'a pair of blue Damask Window Curtains for the Venetian Window with a Canopy a top made to draw up in a Genteel manner lined with Tammy Enriched with Silk Fringes Tassells etc'. Each room on this floor had a Wilton carpet, covering the whole floor in the drawing-room and dressing-room, with an additional worsted 'fireplace carpet' in the latter: in the bedchamber there was a Wilton carpet round the bed, and also a square carpet. The bed there was the usual four-poster but with 'mahogany Gothick feet pillars'. Most of the movable furniture was of that wood but the dressing-room contained a carved-and-gilt china cabinet and two stands which were of 'Angola wood'.
On the ground floor there was evidently less gilding, and a unified colour scheme only in the library. In all the rooms chairs were covered with haircloth and the carpets were Turkey. In the dining-parlour the festoon window curtains were of yellow moreen, the marble sidetables dove-coloured and black-and-gold, and the dining furniture was of mahogany: the dining table would accommodate from seven to eighteen diners. In the library the covers of two elbow chairs and the moreen festoon window curtains were green and the room was hung with green and white flock paper. The dressing-room was hung with 'a stucco paper'.
On the second floor the bed furniture and the festoon window curtains were consistently green, generally with 'matted chairs coloured red'. Apart from a little mahogany the movable furniture on this floor was wainscot. In the garrets the bed furniture was also green. Only the upper servant's room was papered. In the maids' room the five drawers in a wainscot chest had 'different locks and keys'.
The hall contained a 'turn-up' bedstead for the porter, with green lindsey furniture, the butler's pantry had a green press bedstead, and the cook's room, which was papered, had a bed with 'green china furniture'. (fn. 533)
In 1799 an incoming occupant, Rowland Burdon of Castle Eden, County Durham, bought the remaining twenty-two-and-a-half years of the lease for £4,200 and in the next year paid the Estate £1,995 for a forty-one-year extension to 1863. (fn. 534) He was an old acquaintance and occasional patron of Sir John Soane, but although a rise in rateable value in 1799–1800 suggests improvements by him (conceivably converting the garrets into the full attic storey that had replaced them by 1857) there is no record of Soane's involvement. (fn. 535) In 1804 Burdon was able to sell the house furnished for £10,500. The dining-room still had a Turkey carpet but the furnishings were generally more variegated in type and material than in 1757. (fn. 536) The purchaser in 1804 was Lord Harrowby, whose family retained the house until 1908.
Various changes were made by them, the most visible being the canted bay of brick and stone thrown out on the ground-floor front in 1877—designed, however, in an unobtrusive style by the estate surveyor, Thomas Cundy III. (fn. 537)
In 1908 Lord Harrowby sold his lease to the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, (fn. 538) who had alterations made by G. Trollope and Sons to designs by the architect Frederick Wheeler. The Duke of Westminster wished the existing character of the house to be, generally, preserved, and a suggested refacing in cement with a pilastered façade of late seventeenth-century character was rejected. (fn. 32) Inside, the various changes (assuming they were carried out as planned) left the house with five bathrooms, of which two were for servants. In the stable block part of the coachhouse was appropriated as a garage and there was living accommodation for a chauffeur as well as for the coachman and his family. (fn. 539)
It was in the course of this work that the partly surviving staircase painting came to light in 1909 in the first-floor drawing-room (Plate 44d). The Duke of Westminster expressed interest and in his absence abroad the painting was inspected by G. F. Hatfield, the Duke's lawyer. Long entries in the Board Minutes of the Estate record discussions of the painting. The Estate called in the Keeper of the National Gallery, Hawes Turner, who strongly advocated the preservation of the painting. As reported in the Grosvenor Board Minutes, he was inclined to think it 'of the school of Verrio or Sebastiano Ricci'.
The Duchess thought it difficult to incorporate the painting in her scheme for the drawing-room, and it was decided to panel it up again. (fn. 540) The intention was to make the new panels easily removable for displaying the painting, and this was probably done, as in 1960 a former visitor to the house recollected that the painting was visible in 1917. (fn. 541)
In 1920 structural repairs were carried out, probably for Sir Ernest (later Lord) Cable. (fn. 542) In 1928–30 White Allom made further changes for a new occupant, Lord Illingworth, and these were followed by others in 1934. As described in 1967 by Lady Illingworth, who married Lord Illingworth in 1931, the work in 1928–30 was very expensive as well as prolonged. According to Reginald Colby it included the courtyard garden at the rear, the redecoration of the ground-floor front room, the iron balustrades of the (wooden) main staircase—copied from the staircase in White Allom's own premises at No. 15 St. George Street—and the redecoration of the first-floor front room (fn. 543) (Plate 44b, 44c). The last left the mural painting concealed, if it was not already concealed in 1928.
Thus when in 1959 the Estate proposed that the house should be demolished, together with those westward to No. 38, there was behind the brick front very little visible of the original building period. Whether the external doorcase was wholly original is not quite certain. Photographs show that at Nos. 45 and 46 there had been doorcases virtually identical with that at No. 44 less the raking members of its pediment, which was slightly unusual for the building period of the house in lacking modillions. But it is perhaps less likely that this pediment was a later enhancement than that the other doorcases had the upper members of their pediments removed to make room for the iron balconies above them (folded drawing between pages 140–1).
The Minister of Housing and Local Government nevertheless decided late in 1960 to make a Building Preservation Order on the house. Shortly afterwards Lady Illingworth, who was aware that a mural painting was supposed to be concealed behind the drawing-room wall, had it brought to light again. At the Public Enquiry held early in 1961 into the Grosvenor Estate's appeal against the confirmation of the Building Preservation Order the Westminster City Council and the London County Council opposed the Order, and in May the Minister agreed with his Inspector in deciding not to confirm it. This was partly because of the extent of the external and (especially) the internal changes that had been made to the house, and partly because the retention of No. 44 would have prevented the completion of the rebuilding of the south side of the Square in a broadly consistent manner. This last consideration, which postulated the demolition of No. 38, as was then intended, was a factor also in the London County Council's disinclination to preserve the house. The Council was, furthermore, conscious that an attempt to preserve No. 44 might incur a charge of inconsistency, as it had very recently decided not to resist the demolition of a better-preserved house at No. 12. (fn. 183)
The house was demolished in 1967–8. The Duke of Westminster presented the mural painting on permanent loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum and with the agreement of Grand Metropolitan Hotels, which had taken the site for incorporation into that of the Britannia Hotel, the painting was transferred to a staircase in the Museum. During demolition of the house fragments of the wall painting had been discovered on the east and south walls of the entrance hall. Although it was not possible to preserve them they gave belated but absolute confirmation that the paintings above had formed part of the decoration of a two-storeyed staircase compartment. (fn. 544)
Occupants include: Oliver St. George, 1728–31. 2nd Viscount (later 1st Earl) Harcourt, Lord Lieut. of Ireland, 1748. Countess of Thanet, wife of 7th Earl, 1748–51. 4th Earl of Scarbrough, 1752–5. (Sir) Edward Dering, later 6th bt., 1756–7. 3rd Earl of Aylesford, 1758–77 (previously at Nos. 37 and 45): his wid., 1777–99. 2nd Baron (latterly 1st Earl of) Harrowby, politician, 1804–47: his son, 2nd Earl, 1847–82: the latter's son, 3rd Earl, 1882–1900: the latter's wid., 1900–8. Dow. Duchess of Devonshire, wid. of 8th Duke, 1910–11. Lord Charles William Augustus Montagu, son of 7th Duke of Manchester, 1913–20 (later at No. 38). Sir Ernest Cable, latterly Baron Cable, Calcutta merchant, 1920–7. Baron Illingworth, company director and politician, 1928–42: his wid., Margaret, Lady Illingworth, 1943, 1956–66, and with Princess Lalla Aisha, ambassador from Morocco, 1967.
No. 45 (formerly 40).
This house was built about 1727 under a sub-lease from Robert Grosvenor to the carpenter and prominent builder, Thomas Richmond. (fn. 545) In 1730 Richmond was reported to have let this 'fine House' to Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who promptly had it 'fitted up and furnish'd in a compleat manner' for occupation by her grandson and his wife, the Marquess and Marchioness of Blandford. (fn. 546) After their brief residence here Richmond let it again in 1733 for £240 per annum, to the fourth Earl of Chesterfield. (fn. 547) What the house was then like is indicated by a schedule of landlord's fixtures. (fn. 33) It was indeed a carpenter's house in so far as the rooms in the three main storeys were all 'compleatly wainscotted'. In the important rooms the panelling conformed to the classical ordonnance, with the marble chimneypieces flanked by Doric pilasters on the ground floor and Ionic on the first floor, where the front room had two pedimented doorcases. The staircase, which was evidently at the front of the house, was also of wood, with twisted balusters and carved brackets, and was 'painted'— doubtless, that is, enlivened by scenes depicted on the walls of its compartment. (fn. 547) In its panelling and painted staircase the house must have resembled quite closely the house Richmond was to build some five years later at No. 75 Dean Street, Soho. (fn. 526)
In 1755 the newly succeeded seventh baronet, Sir Richard Grosvenor, through the carpenter John Phillips, bought (or bought back) from Richmond's heirs and mortagees the lease of the house granted by his uncle, for its remaining sixty-six and a half years. The cost was £4,200 (fn. 548) and by 1761 Phillips had carried out more than £2,055-worth of alterations. (fn. 549) Sir Richard retained the house until his death, as Earl Grosvenor, in 1802. In 1783–6 he is known to have had work done at a cost upward of £1,147. Most of this was evidently supervised by the surveyor, John Jenkins, architect of Grosvenor Market, but some small bills for plasterer's and slater's work were submitted by James Wyatt. The front parlour was given 'Brown ground Sprig Paper' and two second-floor rooms 'Olive ground Sprig Paper' in 1784, and the front parlour and another room green curtains in 1786. (fn. 34) (fn. 550)
In 1802 Lord Petre bought a sixty-three-year lease of the house for £7,350 (fn. 551) and then laid out some £9,908 on an extensive reconstruction in 1803–6 under his architect, Samuel Wyatt. (fn. 149) Both enlargement and thorough renewal seem to have been involved, the back wall being rebuilt. It was at this time that the house ceased to be essentially a carpenter's: much wainscotting was taken down and the walls battened for hangings. The old painted staircase was supplanted by a new one of stone, in a centrally placed compartment under a dome. It was warmed via a flue through the entrance hall: there was a 'pump room' somewhere and a 'furnace' on the back stairs. The Ionic doorcase probably remained in large part the original one. The outside was plastered (or perhaps re-plastered), and the first-floor windows were cut down to a balcony. This was constructed of slate, for a feature of the changes was the widespread use of that material, in which Wyatt had a commercial and technical interest and which he employed in roofs, sills, cornice-copings, skirtings, 'back linings', doorways and chimneypieces. Old materials were carted off to Wyatt's slate-yard. The entrance hall still had the old-fashioned contrivance of a bed for a porter, in a 'press'. A nursery and a children's playroom are mentioned. As recast by Wyatt, there were two large rooms, respectively on the ground floor at the rear, and on the first floor, at the front, where the drawing-room now extended across the whole five-windowed width of the house. A number of the rooms were given curved walls, including the library, for which Wyatt designed curved mahogany bookcases, so that he left the house, in fact, with noticeable similarities of planning to No. 15 St. James's Square as recast by him in the 1790's (fn. 552) (fn. 35) (fig. 9b in vol. XXXIX).
By 1842 the garrets had been converted into a full attic storey (Plate 7 in vol. XXXIX). In 1879 a flat-faced bow was made on the still-stuccoed ground-floor front for Lord Dartmouth by Thynne and Thynne, described in directories as land agents (builder, J. Morris). (fn. 553)
In 1895 a lease-renewal from 1901 to 1916 was bought by Sir James Miller, second baronet. (fn. 554) Photographs taken in 1897 are evidence of work here by the firm of Mellier and Company (fn. 555) (Plates 39a, 41c: see also Plate 42d in vol. XXXIX). The interiors included not only upstairs rooms in white-and-gold Louis Quinze and white and brocaded Louis Seize styles, but also a ground-floor front room with Jacobean panelling and plasterwork and a conservatory with gleaming marble and white-painted semi-chinoiserie trellising. Then in 1902 Sir James bought another reversionary lease, to 1951, at £600 per annum, for £10,744, and had the architects Edmund Wimperis and Hubert East make important changes. (fn. 556) They raised the ceiling height of the first floor and rebuilt the upper two floors, and refronted the whole with a very restrained Portland stone façade incorporating paraphrases of the previous doorcase and ground-floor bow (fn. 557) (folded drawing between pages 140–1: see also Plate 44a in vol. XXXIX). This early example of a stone fronting, soon to be so favoured by the Estate, was built by Prestige and Company. (fn. 558) In 1911 a society paper said 'the noble marble hall somewhat resembles that of an Eastern palace', (fn. 559) but by the late 1920's the house was empty, and alterations by the interior decorators Payne and Ekin and the builders H. J. Tench and Company, perhaps dividing it into flats, in 1927–8, were evidently unsuccessful. (fn. 560) It was demolished in 1938.
Occupants include: Marquess of Blandford, grandson of 1st Duke of Marlborough, 1730–1: his wid., 1731–3. 4th Earl of Chesterfield, politician and letter-writer, 1733–48. Dow. Duchess of Somerset, wid. of 7th Duke, 1750–1. Lord Guernsey, later 3rd Earl of Aylesford, 1751–5 (later at Nos. 37 and 44). Sir Richard Grosvenor, 7th bt., latterly 1st Earl Grosvenor, 1755–1802. 10th Baron Petre, 1802–9 (previously at No. 10 west). Edward Harcourt, Archbishop of York, 1810–47: his son, Egerton Vernon-Harcourt, 1847–9. 2nd Earl of Verulam, 1850–1. 5th Earl of Dartmouth, 1855–91. Sir James Percy Miller, 2nd bt., 1895–1906: his wid., 1908–16, 1920: also 3rd Baron Tredegar, later 1st Viscount Tredegar of 2nd cr., 1915–18. Polish Legation, 1921.
No. 46 (formerly 41).
One of the five houses built under a lease to Robert Grosvenor, (fn. 455) No. 46 shared the general elevational scheme of two others (Nos. 43–44), which was perhaps originally that of all five. Here, as at No. 45, the sub-lessee in 1727 was Thomas Richmond, carpenter. (fn. 561) He in turn let the house for £200 per annum to its first occupant, Lord Glenorchy, M.P., later third Earl of Breadalbane, who lived here from 1731 until he moved to a smaller house in Henrietta Place in 1738. Glenorchy paid the Chelsea water company in 1733 for a supply to the house at the rate of £4 per annum and in 1735 for the stableyard at 15s. per annum, but in 1733 was also paying the 'New River Water men for laying In pipes'. In 1733 he paid £3 5s. for the material and labour for gravelling his garden, and in January 1735 15s. 'To Bridgeman a Gardener for work done in my Garden in town'. Glenorchy paid 'Richards a Carver'—presumably James Richards—'for festoons under the Picture over the chimney in the Outer Room' in 1733 and a joiner, Oakman, for the picture-frames themselves. Cabinet-makers and upholsterers paid included Belchier, Dodd, Jones, Waters and Wotton. Other small payments were to 'Barlo the bricklayer' and a glassmaker, Adams. (fn. 562)
The next occupant, Sir James Dashwood, bought the eighty-four remaining years of the lease from Richmond in 1738, for £3,400, it was said. (fn. 563)
In 1798–9 the incoming occupant, J. W. Willett, pleased the Estate by 'the very great expence he is now putting himself to in the improvement of the house', which raised its rateable value. The only improvement known is the addition of a stone balcony on wooden cantilevers — presumably that which survived in c. 1911 with a metal balustrade—and, doubtless, the cutting down of the first-floor windows to balcony level. (fn. 564) Willett's surveyor was called Martyr and was perhaps the builder Richard Martyr of Greenwich, or even his architect son Thomas, then, however, barely of age. (fn. 565)
By 1856 Lord Ailesbury had installed an early centralheating system, Perkins's. (fn. 566)
In 1906 the estate surveyor, Eustace Balfour, wanted the house refronted in stone but the prospective lessee, thinking the brick front 'charming and picturesque', successfully resisted the change, (fn. 567) and in 1911 it was illustrated in Richardson and Gill's London Houses from 1660 to 1820. The authors there commented on the placing of the entrance out of alignment with the window openings above it (fn. 568) —evidently an original feature as it was shared with Nos. 43, 44 and 36 (folded drawing between pages 140–1).
The Post Office Directory shows no occupant here after 1917. Alterations in 1926–8, involving the addition of a new skin of brickwork to the front, were unsuccessful in making the house attractive to tenants, and in 1933 the Estate reacquired the lease. (fn. 569) The house was demolished in 1938.
Occupants include: Lord Glenorchy, later 3rd Earl of Breadalbane, 1731–8. Sir James Dashwood, 2nd bt., 1738–79: his wid., 1779–98. John Willett Willett, M.P., 1798–1810. Lord Bruce, latterly successively 2nd Earl and 1st Marquess of Ailesbury, 1811–56: his wid., 1856–7. Simon Watson-Taylor, M.P., 1858–78. Robert Richardson Gardner, M.P., 1882–90. Marcus Van Raalte, stockbroker, 1891–1900: his son, Charles Van Raalte, 1901–7: the latter's wid., 1907–17.
No. 47 (formerly 42).
The first house here was built about 1726, under a lease to a brickmaker of Hammersmith, Caleb Miller, to which other parties were the carpenters Thomas Cook and Caleb Waterfield who had received the building agreement for the site in the previous year. The joiner Thomas Knight then bought the house and in turn assigned it to the first occupant. (fn. 570)
Work was done in the house by the plasterer Joseph Rose for the third Viscount Grimston, who occupied the house from 1774. (fn. 571) Grimston's son, the fourth Viscount, paid the Grosvenor Estate £4,466 in 1809 to renew the lease from 1824 to 1872 (fn. 572) and then had some additions made at the rear, at a cost of about £1,390. This was under the supervision of a Thomas Martin, builder and surveyor, who also worked extensively for Lord Grimston at Gorhambury. (fn. 573) At that time the house was evidently not stuccoed. The principal staircase was of stone with iron balusters, and rose under a skylight to the second floor. Secondary stairs rose from the basement to the garrets, which were approached also by a third staircase from the second floor. (fn. 574) Somewhere there existed an 'octagon room' or 'octagon building'. (fn. 575) There was evidently a considerable quantity of wainscot panelling in the rooms. The entrance hall had a 'diamond Portland stone and dotted pavement' and a 'groined ceiling'. The double front door was surmounted by an 'Iron circular head fanlight' and was set in a 'capital stone frontispiece'. (fn. 574)
Despite this outlay, four years later Martin reported 'a radical defect in the original building of the house; that the walls are ill constructed and of bad materials'. (fn. 576) Lord Grimston, doubtless reflecting that he had already sunk capital in the lease, thereupon had the house completely rebuilt, except for the stable block.
The materials of the old (but partly brand-new) house yielded £1,204 (or £1,101 net) when it was demolished in 1814—a good price, despite Martin's animadversions, although the wrought-iron railings and lamp-irons in front of the house brought in only £1 3s. (fn. 574) (fn. 36)
The new house was built in 1814–16 under Martin's supervision, and in the absence of any reference to an architect in the accounts he may be supposed to have designed it. (fn. 577) The only known representation is limited to a few feet adjacent to No. 46, but this suffices to show it had a plain large-scaled brick front of four high storeys, the topmost being an attic rising above a severe stone or plaster cornice. The window openings were undressed but the round-headed door opening was sheltered by a Greek Doric portico with fluted columns, supporting a plain iron balcony. (fn. 578) Inside there were three stone staircases with iron balusters. The work cost some £12,900. (fn. 37) What Martin's remuneration was does not appear. (fn. 577)
In 1819 the Earl of Verulam (as Viscount Grimston had become) was consulting about the furnishing of the house with 'Betts' (fn. 579) —probably George Betts, an upholsterer in neighbouring Charles Street. In 1824 the Earl was reported to be 'improving his beautiful house'. (fn. 580)
In 1874 Cundy thought the house 'most spacious and convenient and well adapted for the largest establishment' but by 1908, when it fell empty, it proved difficult to sell and remained unoccupied. (fn. 581) Four years later the Estate decided to have it (and No. 48) rebuilt within a smaller curtilage that would permit new buildings to be put up in Carlos Place. A lessee was forthcoming in the architect, F. W. Foster, who was granted a ninety-year rebuilding lease. (fn. 582) The house was built in 1913 by the firm of builders with which Foster was associated, F. Foxley and Company: (fn. 583) he may well have been the architect himself although this was not invariably so in his undertakings. The design was in a surprisingly unaffected mid-Georgian manner with ampler window openings than neo-Georgian architects usually allowed themselves: the decorated stone doorcase was more characteristic of its actual date (folded drawings between pages 140–1). Like the area of the site, the storey heights of the new house were appreciably less than before.
In c. 1924 the house was taken by (Sir) Stephen Courtauld, who had the interior luxuriously remodelled by E. Vincent Harris. Some of the decoration was in a spirit of fantasy, and included work by the Marchese Malacrida in Mrs. Courtauld's bedroom, in an eighteenth-century Venetian style, and elsewhere. Behind the house an open, columned courtyard was built at the same time, in the style of a Roman atrium and rather reminiscent of the Duke of Westminster's own hunting lodge at Mimizan (Plate 44a). (fn. 38) At its southern end this communicated on the east with a racquets court, designed by Vincent Harris, which extended behind No. 48 Grosvenor Square to a frontage at what is now No. 13 Carlos Place (Plate 90d, fig. 77, and see pages 322–3). On the west the courtyard communicated with a lower-level but high-ceilinged music-room built in 1926 behind No. 46 Grosvenor Square in a southern-European late-mediaeval manner (Plate 43b). No. 47 was demolished in 1938 but the former music-room, the south end of the courtyard and the former racquets court survive after conversion to an art gallery entered from Carlos Place. The décor of Mrs. Courtauld's bedroom has been reinstated by the architects Seeley and Paget in the house built by them for the Courtaulds at Eltham Hall. (fn. 584)
Occupants include: 5th Baron Baltimore, 1731–42. 2nd Earl of Halifax, 1747–57. Edward Walter, M.P., 1758–74. 3rd Viscount Grimston, 1774–1808: his son, 4th Viscount Grimston, latterly 1st Earl of Verulam, 1808–45: his wid., 1845–63. 5th Baron Rendlesham, 1866–72. (Sir) Robert Loder, latterly 1st bt., M.P., 1873–88: his wid., 1888–1907. Henry William Pelham-Clinton, grandson of 4th Duke of Newcastle, 1921–4. (Sir) Stephen Lewis Courtauld, later kt., 1924–36.
No. 48 (formerly 43)
No. 48 (formerly 43) After the construction of this house in about 1726 under a lease to the carpenters Thomas Cook and Caleb Waterfield (fn. 585) twelve years passed before it attracted its first ratepaying occupant. In the 1820's a prospective tenant, the Oriental Club, was advised by Benjamin Wyatt that the house was 'fit only to be pulled down' (fn. 586) and in 1835 the lessee, the third Earl of Carnarvon and Charles Barry's patron at Highclere, was said by a newspaper to be rebuilding it. (fn. 587) In 1852 the 'compo'-faced house was let (for five years) at £840 per annum. (fn. 588) In 1908 the estate surveyor Eustace Balfour tried, probably unsuccessfully, to induce a lessee to spend £10,000 refronting it with stone. (fn. 589) But in 1912 the redevelopment of the site was in contemplation (fn. 590) and eventually, after some years when the house was shown unoccupied in the Post Office Directory, it was demolished for rebuilding in 1927–8.
Occupants include: Sir William Wyndham, 3rd bt., politician, 1738–40: his wid., the Marchioness of Blandford, 1740–79. Mrs. Wyndham, 1779–85 (for tenants), 1789–91, 1793–9: her kinsman, Percy-Charles Wyndham, grandson of 3rd bt., 1786–8, 1792: his nephew, Lord Porchester, latterly 2nd Earl of Carnarvon, 1800–25. 3rd Earl of Mansfield, 1826. 2nd Earl of Carnarvon again, 1827–33: his son, 3rd Earl, 1833–49. 4th Baron Douglas of Douglas, 1851–7. 2nd Earl Amherst, 1858–86. (Sir) Ernest Cassel, financier, latterly K.C.M.G., 1890–1908. Chilean Legation, 1912–16 (later at No. 22).
No. 49 (formerly 44).
This house was first built about 1728—like No. 50 under a lease to the bricklayer John Jenner, who in that year, shortly before his death and when he was probably in financial difficulty, sold it to its first occupant, Henry Talbot, esquire. (fn. 591) The price of £1,165 was very low—lower in fact than the sum for which Talbot could mortgage it in 1737. (fn. 592) Drawings of later date suggest the exterior had originally something of the solid, slightly Baroque aspect of, for example, No. 32, with many of the window openings in its entrance front blank (fn. 593) (fig. 40).
By 1797 the entrance in Charles Street was surmounted by a canted bay rising through the first and second floors and standing on two columns. Inside, the finest room was probably the south-facing library on the ground floor. Its walls were treated as a round-headed arcade on Ionic pilasters, between which were set the bookshelves and, on the south side, three windows. Free-standing Ionic columns defined two vaulted 'aisles', and also supported the back wall of the house in the upper storeys. Possibly the making of this room was the work hinted at by a rise in the rateable value in 1770–1, when the house passed into the occupation of a Christopher Bethell. In the basement the large kitchen was at the north end and seemingly accessible only from the area, being divided by a solid wall from the other basement rooms. (fn. 594) At the end of the garden the stable block was dressed with a portico, distyle in antis and probably Ionic. (fn. 595)
In 1799 the Dowager Countess of Pembroke, widow of the tenth Earl, and lady of the bedchamber to the Queen Consort, occupied the house after alterations in 1797–9 by Soane. An extravagant scheme to move the rear apartments bodily southward was not executed, and the alterations in the end cost some £2,189. In the basement the kitchen was opened to the other compartments. The main staircase was intended to be rebuilt to at least the second floor. The chief changes were on the first floor. On the front to the Square the windows were cut down and the outside reveals splayed. The ante-room was rearranged, the four windows of the two southern drawing-rooms replaced by two Venetian windows, and doors moved and widened. New chimneypieces were provided. The general effect was, perhaps, greater stateliness of enfilade through these rooms. (fn. 39) (fn. 596)
Lady Pembroke's occupation of the house was, however, brief, and in 1801 she was succeeded by Robert Knight, illegitimate son of the Earl of Catherlough, who in the following year took (for £1,614) a reversionary lease until 1865. (fn. 597) After employing a Mr. Farquhar (probably Colin) as his surveyor in the preliminary lease negotiations in 1800, (fn. 598) he retained Soane to design further and larger alterations to the house. (fn. 599) The work began in Spring 1802 at an estimated cost of £2,380 but Knight required numerous alterations and the eventual cost was some £4,405. (fn. 600)
Externally the most conspicuous change was the enclosure of the ground-floor portico, making the canted bay on the entrance front continuous from the ground. The greater extent this gave to the entrance hall enabled Soane to make a wall, with central opening, on its eastern or inward side, thereby giving the hall a heightened sense of enclosure while at the same time introducing a cross-corridor, between the hall and the principal staircase, which on the lateral axis formed a more emphatic enfilade joining the dining-room at the front and the library at the back. The entrance hall was expressive of Soane's discriminating neo-classicism, tempered, if at all, only by the re-use here of the four mid-Georgian free-standing Ionic columns from the library: the west wall was thus a little reminiscent of Henry Holland at Carlton House, though with characteristic incised Greek-key patterns in the ceiling (fn. 601) (Plate 33c). The staircase was brought through an additional right angle before descending laterally behind a screen of piers, replacing columns: its metal balusters, 'made to a neat fancy pattern', cost 17s. a foot. (fn. 602) The greatest change on this floor was in the library, which was completely recast and extended southward to a new wide window. The eastern wall was curved, and although the old fittings were removed they were echoed in the repeated round-headed motifs of Soane's finely judged wall designs, where they were delicately juxtaposed to segmental and rectangular forms, and created an effect reminiscent of a Roman catacomb. Soane's library fittings were, as to the greater part, grained by John Crace to imitate satinwood. (fn. 602)
On the first floor (as on the second) the south wall was moved back flush with the south wall of the library below. This large extension permitted the replacement of the two moderate-sized rooms by a new, second, ante-chamber looking on Charles Street and a large and sparingly decorated drawing-room lit by a wide south window. Soane produced several unexecuted alternative plans for this room, one of them T-shaped with apsed arms like that at Wimpole. A very shallow groin vault ceiled almost all the room save on the chimneypiece side, where there was a 'flat arch' as in the parlour at Pitzhanger Manor. These alterations in 1802–3 were followed, in 1805, by a transposition of the functions of the main ground-floor rooms. The large south room was refitted as a diningroom, the curve of the east wall being replaced by two great segmental-headed niches, canted on plan, on either side of the chimneypiece. (fn. 599)
The workmen and tradesmen, of whom at least the bricklayer Todd may have been Knight's choice, (fn. 603) were generally different from those employed on work for Lady Pembroke. (fn. 40)
Further work for Knight under Soane in 1810–11, including '3 stained glass windows in the anti room' by the painter William Watson, cost some £921. (fn. 41) In 1817–18 the Mount Street mason, John Tombling, supplied a marble bust for the drawing-room, and changed the Dove marble chimneypiece in the library for a Kilkenny marble one, and some bricklayer's work was done by Thomas Poole and Son. (fn. 604)
In 1819–20 the stables were replaced by a large stable block also designed by Soane, and containing at basement and ground level a high-ceilinged kitchen, which evidently replaced that under the house (fig. 40). Soane made his external effect with virtually no modelling of the surface, and no decoration except for a rudimentary quasi-cornice of bricks. The garden front was even severer. A single contractor, Samuel Lake, was employed, at a contract price of £2,000 and an ultimate cost of some £2,283: his carpenter was W. Shotton and bricklayer John Hunt. (fn. 605)
The site of this house (and of No. 50) was entirely redeveloped in 1925–6. Alterations since 1820 included the recasting and extension of Soane's south rooms on the ground and first floors. (fn. 606)
Occupants include: Henry Talbot, brother of 1st Baron Talbot, Lord Chancellor, 1728–61. Sir Ellis Cunliffe, 1st bt., 1762–7: his brother, Sir Robert Cunliffe, 2nd bt., 1767–70. Dow. Countess of Pembroke, wid. of 10th Earl, 1799–1800. Robert Knight, illegitimate son and heir of Earl of Catherlough, 1801–55. Sir George Henry Dashwood, 5th bt., 1856–62: his wid., 1862–89. Edward Anthony Strauss, hop and grain merchant, 1892–1925.
No. 50 (formerly 46).
This house, physically the westernmost on the south side of Grosvenor Street, was built in about 1726 and (like No. 49) under a lease to the bricklayer John Jenner, (fn. 607) whose undertakings in London and the country at about that time for Lord Tankerville suggest he was capable of some degree of overall and design responsibility. (fn. 608) The carpenter was Henry Huddle, who charged at the rate of £7 a 'square' (compared with £3 10s. a square for houses in Mount Row and £2 5s. a square for stables). The brickwork of the party wall with the adjacent house in Grosvenor Street was valued at £5 a rod. The iron railings in front of the house, by John Montigny, smith, cost £76 5s. 0½d. (fn. 609)
In 1731 the house was sold by Montigny, as Jenner's executor, for £2,500 to a recently wedded officer of the South Sea Company, William Bumpstead, esquire, of Norfolk Street, St. Clement Danes, (fn. 610) who about that time was acquiring a country house at Upton in Warwickshire. (fn. 611) (Jenner's widow thought the price too low (fn. 612).) It is doubtful whether Bumpsted occupied the house before selling it for £3,500 in August 1732, when he was still described as of St. Clement Danes, to Charles, fifth Baron Baltimore and the Hon. William Townshend. (fn. 613) They were lord and gentleman of the bedchamber to Frederick, Prince of Wales, and were acting on his behalf. The house was intended for the Hon. Anne Vane, daughter of Lord Barnard, who was the Prince's mistress. (fn. 614) She moved into the house in November 1732, but in the course of 1735 the Prince disengaged himself and she had withdrawn to Bath by the time of her death in 1736. (fn. 615) The Prince sold the house in February 1737 for £3,000 to another of his lords of the bedchamber, Francis North, who bore the double title of Baron (later Earl of) Guilford and Baron North. (fn. 613)
The slightly Baroque exterior is portrayed in a drawing by John Buckler made in 1841, when it was probably very little altered (fn. 616) (Plate 33a). Undated plans and drawings among the North manuscripts show, however, that at least by an early period in Lord Guilford's occupation the interior was rather conventionally Palladian, as was also the laundry block at the rear (fn. 617) (Plate 33b). The ceiling heights were some 11½ feet on the ground floor and some 14½ feet on the first floor. The main staircase, which rose to at least the second floor, ascended within a large rectangular compartment by continuous winders round an oval well (fig. 41). The spacious secondary staircase was at the extreme end of the rear wing and did not descend to the basement (called on the plans 'the butler storey'), whither access by servants required their passage through the rooms in the wing to a flight of steps under the principal staircase.
Lord Guilford's outlay on the house was substantial— evidently upward of £1,675 in the first year or two of his occupancy—and some interest on his part in the look of things is perhaps intimated by payments for 'Wares Designs'—probably one of Ware's publications—in 1740, and 'a Book of Architecture' in 1742. (fn. 618) The drawings possibly indicate changes in the panelling to accommodate paintings and decorative reliefs.
Some adjustment of the original plan of the ground floor also seems to be shown by the drawings, where the symmetry and proportions of the front room had been destroyed to make an extension to the back parlour, screened by Ionic columns. This had doubtless been designed to convert that room in fact into a dining-room with servery. The back sleeping apartment on the second floor had a wide and deep recess for the bed. On this floor the bedrooms in the rear wing depended on borrowed light across a corridor.
No windows are shown in the west wall of the first-floor front room, looking on to Grosvenor Square, although they appear in Sutton Nicholls's view probably taken in the 1730's and in all later views.
Whatever the work done for Lord Guilford, at least part of it, to the value of some £650, involved an unparticularized payment of £143 to a 'Mr. Morris'— possibly Roger. (fn. 42) (fn. 619)
Lord Guilford's normal annual outlay on the house between 1738 and 1751 (perhaps, however, including such items as rates and taxes) fell from some £230 to some £100, except for 1741 when it was £439. (fn. 620)
In 1751 Lord Guilford let the house, at £300 per annum. (fn. 613) An inventory taken then shows that on the ground floor it contained an 'anti-room', 'parlour', 'dressing room' and 'powdering room'. The designated 'dining-room' was the large front room on the first floor, but that had become in fact a drawing-room, and the actual eating-room, as was suggested by the plans already mentioned, was downstairs in the so-called 'parlour'. The second floor probably accommodated both family and servants' bedchambers and the four garrets included two appropriated to named servants. Below stairs, the service quarters included a sick room. No water closets are mentioned in the house, nor are any indicated on the earlier plans, although the yard contained the 'necessary house' mentioned in the inventory.
The entrance hall contained the wooden chairs, the seven-day clock, the 'square lanthorne with a gilt frame', and, somehow, the night-time provision for a porter (here, a turn-up bed and bedding) usual in such apartments. In the other rooms on the two principal floors the dominant decorative feature was the red of the soft furnishings, called 'scarlet' on the ground floor and 'crimson' on the first. Generally the chairs and curtains matched, and in three rooms the hangings (damask or mohair) were also red. Only one room was said to be papered, on the first floor and in an unspecified colour. On the upper floors the bed furnishings and curtains also usually matched, in blue, yellow or red, and one garret also had 'blue woolsey' wall hangings en suite. Two ground-floor rooms had Turkey carpets. Throughout this floor and in the front first-floor rooms framed pictures were important, and paintings were inset over doors and chimneypieces in most of the main rooms. Otherwise, large pier-glasses, sconces, marble walltables (supported on gilt eagles in some first-floor rooms) and japanned cabinets sustained the high, if rather conventional, tone of the interior. (fn. 621)
In 1847 the estate surveyor Thomas Cundy decided the house was structurally unsafe: it was pulled down in 1848, and a new house was erected by the building lessee. (fn. 622) He was (Sir) Matthew Wyatt, architect son of the sculptor Matthew Cotes Wyatt, and had been closely involved in the 1830's and 1840's in building developments in Victoria Square and Tyburnia, but by 1848 seems to have retired from professional life. (fn. 623) He thrice unsuccessfully submitted elevations for the new house to Lord Westminster before the progressive removal of ornamentation obtained the landlord's (and Cundy's) approval in 1849 (fig. 13b in vol. XXXIX). A 'Mr. Fowler (fn. c3) ' was acting for Sir Matthew in that year, when he asked unavailingly for a door to be permitted in the flank front. (fn. 624) It seems likely that the design was in fact Fowler's and that he was the architect F. E. H. Fowler. (fn. 625) The builder was probably J. Payne of Lonsdale Terrace. (fn. 626) The new house was one storey higher than the old. The very large first-floor drawing-room had three windows in both its north and west walls. (fn. 627) It was completed for occupation by 1853, when the first resident was a Mrs. Clifton, the widow of a Lancashire landowner. She had had Gillow's alter, finish and decorate the house for her at a cost upward of £1,667, and also furnish it. The main staircase, which rose to the second floor, evidently had an enriched dome and was decorated with 'tableaux' which it was proposed to give a cobalt-blue ground. Other proposals were to paint the staircase ironwork bronze green and the front door a dark bronze green. Mrs. Clifton, however, disliked green as a decorative colour in rooms, thinking it 'so vulgar—like an Inn'. (fn. 628)
The house was demolished in c. 1926.
Occupants include: Anne Vane, mistress of Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1732–c. 1735. 3rd Baron Guilford and 7th Lord North, later 1st Earl of Guilford, 1737–51 (later at No. 18). Lewis Watson, later 1st Baron Sondes, 1752–3 (later at No. 18). Lord North, later 2nd Earl of Guilford and Prime Minister, 1753–4. 2nd Earl of Dartmouth (whose mother married as her 2nd husband 1st Earl of Guilford), 1755–6. Lord North again, latterly Prime Minister and 2nd Earl of Guilford, c. 1757–1765, c. 1782–92: his wid., 1792–7. Field Marshal Thomas Grosvenor, nephew of 1st Earl Grosvenor, 1797–1848. Dow. Countess of Sandwich, wid. of 6th Earl, 1857–62: her son, 7th Earl, 1862–84. Dow. Duchess of Marlborough, wid. of 7th Duke, 1885–99. Sir Walter Palmer, bt., director of Huntley and Palmer, biscuit manufacturers, 1901–10.
No. 51 see pages 117–18.