Pall Mall, South Side, Past Buildings: Nos 80-82 (consec.) Pall Mall, Old Schomberg House

Survey of London: Volumes 29 and 30, St James Westminster, Part 1. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1960.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


, 'Pall Mall, South Side, Past Buildings: Nos 80-82 (consec.) Pall Mall, Old Schomberg House', in Survey of London: Volumes 29 and 30, St James Westminster, Part 1, (London, 1960) pp. 368-377. British History Online [accessed 21 May 2024].

. "Pall Mall, South Side, Past Buildings: Nos 80-82 (consec.) Pall Mall, Old Schomberg House", in Survey of London: Volumes 29 and 30, St James Westminster, Part 1, (London, 1960) 368-377. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024,

. "Pall Mall, South Side, Past Buildings: Nos 80-82 (consec.) Pall Mall, Old Schomberg House", Survey of London: Volumes 29 and 30, St James Westminster, Part 1, (London, 1960). 368-377. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024,

In this section

Nos. 80–82 (consec.) Pall Mall: Old Schomberg House

Schomberg House (Plates 206, 207, 208, figs. 62–4) took its name from the third Duke of Schomberg, for whom it was reconstructed in 1698. In 1769 the house was divided into three; the eastern house (No. 82) was demolished in 1850, and the only part of the seventeenth-century building now surviving is the façade of Nos. 80 and 81, which was incorporated in the present building erected in 1956–8 (see page 417). The eastern part of the present façade is a reconstruction copied from the original front (cf. Plates 205, 206b).

In 1664 two adjoining vacant sites, each with a frontage of thirty-five feet to Pall Mall, were leased by the Earl of St. Albans's trustees to Richard Gomelden and Dr. Thomas Sydenham, respectively. (fn. 5) Dr. Thomas Sydenham, the famous physician (see page 49), lived in Pall Mall from 1660 until his death in 1689, (fn. 6) at first in a house on the south side (not the site of Schomberg House) and later on the north side. (fn. 7)

A house was erected on each of the two vacant sites let to Gomelden and Sydenham, and both were occupied in 1667, the easternmost by Lord Belasyse and the westernmost by Sir Thomas Clarges. By 1670 the two houses had been united, (fn. 7) having been purchased by the Dowager Countess of Portland, widow of Jerome Weston, the second Earl. (fn. 8) The Countess occupied the house, known for the remainder of its existence as Portland House, until her death in 1694. (fn. 9) By her will she directed that the house should be sold to pay her legacies. (fn. 10)

The house was purchased by the third Duke of Schomberg, Meinhard von Schönberg, who was born at Cologne in 1641. His father, Frederick Herman von Schönberg, accompanied William of Orange to England in 1688 as his second-incommand, and on William's accession was created Baron Teyes and Earl of Brentford, Marquis of Harwich and Duke of Schomberg. (fn. 11) Meinhard joined his father in England at the beginning of 1690 (fn. 12) and both took part in the battle of the Boyne. Frederick was killed in the battle and was succeeded in his titles by his son Charles; Meinhard was naturalized in 1691 (fn. 11) and was created Baron of Mullingar, Earl of Bangor and Duke of Leinster in the same year. (fn. 13) He was apparently a resident of No. 9 Park Place in 1691–3; he also appears in the ratebook of 1692 for a house on the site of No. 5 St. James's Square. (fn. 7) In 1696 Charles, second Duke of Schomberg, died, and Meinhard succeeded to the title; (fn. 11) he also received a grant of £4000 out of the Post Office, which represented interest on money granted to his father 'in consideration of his great services'. (fn. 14)

In the same year, 1696, Schomberg became the occupant of the house in Pall Mall on the west side of Portland House, which had belonged to Nell Gwynne. About this time or shortly afterwards he purchased Portland House and moved into it in 1698. (fn. 7)

Luttrell noted on 3 November 1698 that 'Portland House in the Pall Mall is rebuilt, and will be richly furnished for duke Schonberg'. (fn. 15) On the other hand, in March 1698 William Seabrooke and Robert Jeffs petitioned the Commissioners of Sewers for permission to lay new drains from the house they were 'repayring' for the Duke. (fn. 16) The architectural evidence available before the reconstruction of 1956–8 suggested that the house was by no means completely rebuilt in 1698, although a great deal of work must have been done to account for the increase in the rateable value from £4 in 1698 to £10 in 1699. (fn. 7)

Robert Jeffs, or Jeffes, was the son of a Buckinghamshire yeoman and had been apprenticed in 1670 to Israel Knowles, (fn. 17) a City carpenter, and one of the three master carpenters at St. Paul's Cathedral. (fn. 18) According to George Vertue, the French painter Pierre Berchet was employed to decorate the house, and was responsible for 'the stairs case painted statues Clair-obscure ornaments boys etc.' (fn. 19)

The street front of Schomberg House, as now restored and incorporated in the new building on the site, is four storeys in height and there is a basement entirely below ground level (Plate 205). It is built of brick with stone dressings and the projecting centre is pedimented and has three widely spaced windows to each storey, the middle one being set forward in a narrow vertical band of brickwork. On either side are pairs of closely spaced windows, with a lead rainwater pipe between them, and closet wings with single windows in front and blank panels on the inner return sides. (fn. 1) The ground storey of each closet wing has been restored to its original form as an open porch, with two plain-shafted Ionic columns and their pilaster-responds, the capitals having diagonal volutes and the entablature comprising an oddly proportioned architrave and frieze, and a plain modillioned cornice, all of painted Portland stone. Each porch now contains an entrance doorway, the central door with its late eighteenth-century porch being no longer used. The main cornice and pediment were formerly in timber but have been replaced by a copy in artificial stone during the recent rebuilding: there is a deep, plain cove below the cymatium with brackets, carved with shells and acanthus-leaf ornament, arranged singly and in pairs. The brickwork is vermilion in colour and the window openings, with their flat gauged arches and sunk panels below the sills, are dressed with gauged bricks forming 'chains' down the front of the building. There are plain keystones and the stone sills are flush except to the ground storey where they have been lowered. The basement windows have cambered heads, the wall here being faced with stucco. All the windows now have double-hung sashes of a late Georgian pattern, those to the upper storeys having wide, nearly flush frames. The stonework appears to be Portland; it is now painted.

Figure 62:

Schomberg House, Pall Mall, plans

Figure 63:

Schomberg House after reconstruction 1956–8, elevation to Pall Mall

Figure 64:

Schomberg House, Pall Mall, elevation of rear south-west wing

When the eastern third of the façade was reconstructed to the original design in 1956–8, the existing lead rainwater pipe and head were reproduced on the east side. But in the course of repairing the old head, the last figure of the date on it, which was missing, was mistakenly replaced as an '1'. The Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (fn. 20) states that the date on this head, as on another which existed at the rear of the building, was 1698.

Of the late seventeenth-century garden front, the only substantial portion to survive until 1956 was the west closet wing (Plate 207a, 207b, fig. 64). This was equal in width with the front wing but of considerably greater projection, and each of its faces broke forward, with single windows at the rear and niches on the inner return side. There was an offset with mouldings at ground-floor level and moulded stone storey-bands at the level of the two floors above, all of these being continued across the main face of the building, that at second-floor level, however, only as a plain brick band. The windows had segmental heads with moulded stone architraves and scroll keystones carved with acanthus leaf and other ornament. The sills were moulded and the pediments to the ground- and first-floor windows, segmental below and triangular above, cut into the panelled aprons of the windows over them. On the first floor the level of the sill had been lowered and all but the head of the ground-floor window had disappeared and its keystone had been largely cut away. On the inner return of the wing the central projection was entirely of stone, with a small moulded plinth above each storey-band. The niches, which were lined with plaster, were semi-elliptical on plan as well as at their heads, and had plain keystones, and sills and aprons similar to those already described. The brickwork of the basement was pierced on this side by a semi-circular headed arch.

There can be little doubt that the whole of the rear of the house was originally the same height as the closet wing, that is, three storeys above a basement. Parts of the original walling survived until the recent rebuilding to two-thirds of the ground storey and one-third of the two upper storeys. There was a central projection similar to that on the street front, with a comparable, though broader, break forward containing the central opening. The windows had segmental heads and one retained a plain keystone, though none was in its original state. There were no stone quoins and the main part of the walling appeared, beneath a thick coating of whitewash, to be of an inferior brick to that used for the other elevation. There were some dressings of a hard red brick which may have been original.

There is nothing incompatible between the square-headed windows and absence of horizontal bands on the street front and the cambered arches and storey-bands of the rear wall. An example of this, which had certain other characteristics in common with Schomberg House, was a house, dated 1670, which formerly existed in a court off Botolph Lane in the City and of which photographs are in the possession of the National Buildings Record. The front was of brick with stone dressings, but the back, which looked on to the very narrow Lovat Lane, was of coarser brickwork with thick storey-bands and rough cambered brick arches to the windows. It is possible that the garden front of Schomberg House was originally built in this manner, and that the wings, and perhaps other parts, were altered in 1698.

The style of the closet wing at the rear was so different from that of the street front that it is highly unlikely that they were built at the same time. It is also unlikely that the wing was later than 1698, the date on the rainwater head which survived in the angle between the wing and the main building. The rear wing was the more advanced in style and it seems probable that it represents some of the work carried out for Schomberg.

In Kip's view (Plate 4) the rear of the house is shown in some detail. The closet wings are only given a slight projection but the architectural decoration is suggested, and the central doorway, with its double flight of steps down to the garden at basement level, has a hood as its sole embellishment. This view shows an octagonal cupola rising in two stages from a balustraded platform above an almost flat roof. However, the earlier view by Knyff engraved by Kip, (fn. 21) although probably in general less accurate, shows the cupola above a hipped roof, as also does an anonymous view from across St. James's Park, dating from the reign of Queen Anne. (fn. 22) In this two additional cupolas are shown, but no details of the front, and the print is not very reliable. All trace of the original roof had disappeared long before the recent rebuilding, but in the reconstruction the street front has been given a steeply pitched, tiled roof screening the higher part of the building behind, and there are small hipped roofs over the closet wings.

If the main fabric of the house was not rebuilt for Schomberg it must of course be that of Portland House. In that case the considerable increase in rates in 1699 is difficult to account for, but perhaps a storey was added to the street front, accounting for the dissimilar heights of the front and back. How much of the original pair of houses remained after this alteration it is impossible to say, but the columns supporting the front closet wings suggest a pair of entrance porches. The centre of the house must have been reconstructed either when the two houses were combined in 1670 or at the time of Schomberg's rebuilding in 1698. The earlier date seems more likely because on Ogilby and Morgan's map of 1681–2 there is a crude representation of the building from the rear which shows it to have had a central pediment and projecting closet wings, in fact, roughly what now exists on the street front. One cannot be certain that this representation was intended to show the rear elevation rather than that facing Pall Mall. On Blome's map of c. 1689 is a similar representation, perhaps copied from the earlier one.

The division of the house into three in 1769 and other later alterations, had left little evidence of the original planning arrangements (fig. 62). On the north front was a central room, presumably the entrance hall, with a Doric colonnade at the rear. There was a room of similar size behind and to the west a front room, a smaller back room and a large top-lit stair compartment in the centre. The bottom flight of the staircase, which was not the original one, was on the axis of the space behind the colonnade. On the first floor the rooms corresponded with those below, there being a cross-corridor above the colonnade. The centre of the back and front of the house did not exactly coincide, and the plan of the eastern third, before the mid nineteenthcentury rebuilding, is not known. The internal partitions, except for those which became the partywalls of the three separate houses, were of heavy timber construction. Of the original decoration and fittings almost nothing survived. The date of the Doric colonnade in the hall is uncertain: it was of timber and the four columns, two of them attached, were unduly slender and their bases had been altered: the central intercolumniation was wider than the other two and the columns supported a moulded architrave only (Plate 207e). All the chimney-breasts had a double break forward and there was one bolection-moulded chimneypiece of red-and-white marble in the west front room (Plate 207d). The closets at the rear had plain box cornices, that on the second storey being a simple cyma moulding. There was nothing else worth noting.

Work on Schomberg House was completed by the end of December 1698, when the Duke entertained the French ambassador, the Duke of Ormonde and 'other persons of quality' there. (fn. 23) In the following year a group of disbanded soldiers who 'grow every day more and more tumultuous . . . beseiged the Duke of Schomberg and the general officers as they were sitting . . . at the Horse Guards, and afterwards went to his house in Pall Mall, and threatened to pull it down'. (fn. 24) The danger was averted, however, and the Duke continued in peaceful possession, occasionally entertaining foreign ambassadors. (fn. 25) On his death in 1719 (fn. 11) the house passed to his daughter, Frederica. (fn. 26) She lived there until her death in 1751, with her first husband, Robert Darcy, Earl of Holdernesse, who died in 1722, and her second husband, Benjamin Mildmay, Earl Fitzwalter, who died in 1756. (fn. 9) The lease passed to her son Robert, fourth Earl of Holdernesse, (fn. 27) who let the house to John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, a fellow member of the Society of Dilettanti, (fn. 28) from 1756 to 1768, and to Thomas Thynne, Viscount Weymouth in 1769. (fn. 9)

In 1769 the Earl of Holdernesse surrendered his Crown lease and a new one was granted, at his nomination, to John Astley. (fn. 29) The artistic associations which made Schomberg House famous began with Astley's ownership. He, probably with his sub-tenants' assistance, divided the house into three, and each part, later known as Nos. 80–82, has a separate history until the year 1859, when the three parts were united again by the occupancy of the War Office.

It is not certain how much work was done at the time of Astley's division but a good deal of internal refitting had been carried out about the middle of the eighteenth century, including some fairly plain woodwork and enriched plaster cornices. One chimneypiece of this date had survived in the central front room on the first floor. It consisted simply of an architrave with carved mouldings, supporting a shelf of later date. (fn. c1)

No. 82

The eastern wing of Schomberg House was converted into a shop which from 1769 to 1857 (fn. 30) flourished as a fashionable textile store run by a succession of mercers and furriers, i.e., 1769–75, Gregg and Lavie, mercers; 1776–81, Lavie; 1782–4, William King; 1785–96, R. Dyde and Co., importers of lace, cambrics and lawns, haberdashers, milliners and fur manufacturers, and 1796–1857, Harding and Co., furriers and warehousemen. (fn. 31) (fn. 2)

A survey was made of No. 82 in 1850, when the demolition of the house on its east side for the erection of the new Ordnance Office (see page 368) endangered its east wall. James Pennethorne stated that this wall had 'been built at so many different times . . . that it is in a dangerous state and must be rebuilt'. The other main walls and timbers of Schomberg House were in 'an unsound state', the front and back walls being out of upright. Harding and Co., the occupiers of No. 82, were willing to rebuild the whole house, if a new lease of all three parts could be obtained; but, owing to the current policy of the Crown, the option for the new lease of No. 80 had to be offered to the occupier and sub-lessee, Sir John Kirkland, the Army's General Agent for Recruiting. (fn. 32) No difficulty stood in the way of a new lease of No. 81, however, which was only held on a yearly tenancy, and which John Thomas Payne, the occupier, wished to surrender. Harding and Co. therefore obtained an agreement with the Crown for a new lease, with covenants first to rebuild No. 82, their own shop, by the middle of 1851, and to rebuild No. 81 not later than 1866. Both houses were to be completed as one 'uniform Architectural Building', at a cost of not less than £2500 each. Messrs. Lawford's and Heneker's plans were found 'unobjectionable' by Pennethorne, and they were approved in August 1850. No. 82 was rebuilt by August 1851, Harding and Co. having spent £5000 on this house and on repairing No. 81. (fn. 33) The firm occupied No. 82 until 1857 (see below).

The new building (Plate 204) was Italianate in style, four storeys in height and faced with yellow brick with dressings of brown stone. It had a small Doric portico and a large crowning cornice. The exterior lacked distinction, but within, on the first floor, was an arched corridor with saucer-domes which had some of the quality of Sir Charles Barry's work. The rear room on this floor was surprisingly richly decorated. The walls were arcaded and the ceiling panelled, the rich mouldings being picked out in gold. The plain surfaces were painted with excellent arabesque decoration (Plate 208b, 208d).

No. 81

The central portion of Schomberg House was taken by John Astley for his own occupation. Astley (? 1730–87) was a portrait painter. He studied in London and Rome and painted portraits in Dublin for a few years. His first wife, Lady Duckenfield Daniel, was a rich widow; shortly after her marriage to Astley she and her daughter died, leaving him a considerable fortune. (fn. 34) He was said to have paid £5000 for Schomberg House and to have spent another £5000 on its conversion. (fn. 35)

A staircase was inserted at the front of the house on the west side, and it was reputedly Astley who added the studio at the top of the house, overlooking St. James's Park. (fn. 36) The alteration included the rebuilding of the rear wall of the house from the first floor upwards and the new work was faced with a hard yellow brick with red dressings. The studio was lit by a large three-light window, above which was a pediment with a round window in the tympanum, the timber mouldings having plain modillions. The approach was by a narrow and twisting staircase, having simply turned balusters and a thin mahogany handrail, which rose in a square compartment constructed of timber, with a domed roof. (fn. 3) The doorways and window openings in the lobby, and also the window to the main room, were remarkable in having threecentred arched heads. The lobby (Plate 208a, 208c) had a shallow saucer-dome in plaster with a band of ornament round its base. The junction of the walls and the dome, without the use of pendentives, was clumsy, but this was disguised to a certain extent by plaster decoration forming a lunette on each wall face, its head meeting the base of the dome. The northern lunette contained a circular window. The lower part of the lobby was panelled in timber with a small cornice and a rich guilloche band in plaster above, but much of the plaster decoration was missing. The panelling was divided by a chair-rail and the upper panels had enriched mouldings and oval plaques with festoons and drops: the cornice was also enriched, all the ornament being executed in composition. In the studio, which was square with a large cupboard recess on either side of the lobby, the decoration was considerably mutilated and the chimneypiece had been removed, but there was an enriched plaster cornice and fluted frieze, a chairrail with a band of fret ornament and a moulded skirting and architraves. The large window came to within eighteen inches of the floor. In the rear rooms on the ground and first floors there were enriched plaster cornices of this period.

Astley lived in the central part of Schomberg House from 1769 to 1777. (fn. 7) In 1781 it was taken by Dr. James Graham (1745–94), a quack doctor (fn. 37) who had studied medicine at Edinburgh University. Having travelled abroad, he set up as an aurist and oculist in Bristol and Bath in 1774, and at the beginning of 1775 came to London. He established himself in Pall Mall 'nearly opposite the King's Palace', where he offered consultations gratis between the hours of eight and twelve. (fn. 38) After another period abroad he went to Bath where he set up an electrical apparatus in January 1777. (fn. 39) He moved to London again in 1779 and established a 'Temple of Health' at No. 4 Adelphi Terrace. (fn. 40) In 1781 Graham came to Schomberg House. (fn. 7) His establishment here was called the 'Temple of Health and Hymen', (fn. 41) and his advertisements called attention to his 'Medico-Electrical Apparatus' (fn. 42) and to the 'grand celestial state bed', which was supported by forty pillars of brilliant glass, was covered by a dome lined with mirrors, had coloured sheets, and played music. (fn. 43) He also dispensed three medicines, 'electrical aether', a preventative medicine, 'nervous aetherial balsam . . . for decayed and worn out constitutions', and 'imperial pills', which were 'purifiers of the blood and juices'. (fn. 44)

Graham's activities were not confined to quackery, for in 1782 six men were prosecuted 'for keeping a Common Gaming House for playing at E.O. at Dr. Graham's in Pall Mall', and an unsuccessful attempt was made to bribe certain of the prosecution's witnesses. (fn. 45)

The 'elisium', as Graham described his house, was redecorated in 1783 and on its re-opening he informed the public that he would 'have the Honor of delivering from the Celestial Throne his very celebrated Lecture on Generation'. 'The Suite of Apartments in this Elysian Palace—in this magical, enchanting Edifice, far excel, in point of Elegance, Brilliancy, and Magnificence, every Royal Palace in the World, and to glowing, vivid and brilliant Imaginations, they will now be found to realize the Celestial, Soul-transporting, and dissolving Descriptions that are given in the Fairy-Tales.' (fn. 46)

In 1784 Graham vacated Schomberg House (fn. 7) and his subsequent publications gave some indication of his travels. He was eventually confined in a lunatic asylum. (fn. 37)

The next occupant was Richard Cosway (1740–1821), another painter. As a boy he waited on the students at a drawing-school in the Strand in return for lessons. He won prizes and eventually became a fashionable portrait painter and a miniaturist. (fn. 47) His wife Maria, whom he married in 1781, was also a miniature-painter and book-illustrator. They moved to Schomberg House in 1784. (fn. 48) Richard Cosway had risen 'from one of the dirtiest boys, to one of the smartest of men' and his wife's Sunday concerts 'were sanctioned by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and some of the highest fashionables of the day; the professional talents were of the first class, and Pall Mall, upon Sunday evenings was hardly passable'. (fn. 49) The Cosways lived in Schomberg House until 1791. (fn. 7)

A print entitled 'A View from Mr. Cosway's Breakfast Room Pall Mall, with the portrait of Mrs. Cosway' was published in 1789 by the engraver William Birch. The landscape was painted by William Hodges, R.A., and the portrait by Cosway himself. The room appears to be the one probably added by Astley at the top of the house.

From 1792 to 1795 the house was occupied by Thomas Goddard on behalf of the Polygraphic Society (fn. 7) 'for the exhibition of their wretched copies of good pictures'. According to J. T. Smith, the Society 'put up the figures at the porch', (fn. 49) i.e., the Coade stone termini supporting the porch roof, which were probably cast from the same moulds as those framing the doorway of the Coade stone showrooms in Westminster Bridge Road. (fn. 50) The shafts of these termini are panelled and have moulded bases with the impressed mark, 'coade lambeth', the easternmost one being dated 1791. They rest on high stone plinths and they support the entablature without abaci. Above the plain dentil cornice is a blocking-course and a balustrade with a moulded capping and plain dies. Breaking through the centre of this is a very large tablet with a reclining, draped, female figure in high relief, holding an artist's palette and brushes. (fn. 4) The tablet has its own capping and is flanked by clumsy 'anvil'shaped consoles resting on the balustrade. The former entrance doorway has a plain, moulded architrave and is flanked by panelled strip-pilasters topped by draped satyr masks which support the entablature, the eastern one being a modern replacement. The mask and the tablet are probably also of Coade stone and, like the termini, they are excellently modelled. The rest of the work is not of the same quality and appears to be, in part at least, of a stone resembling Bath (Plate 206c).

Michael Bryan (1757–1821), the connoisseur, picture-dealer, and publisher of the Dictionary which bears his name, occupied the house from 1796 to 1804. (fn. 48) He 'adorned it with old pictures, for the most part extensively retouched by . . . William Brooks'. (fn. 49)

In 1805 and 1806 the house was occupied by Peter Coxe (d. 1844), the auctioneer and poet. (fn. 51) In 1804 Anthony Harding, haberdasher, now the lessee of the whole of Schomberg House, (fn. 52) had let the centre portion to Thomas Payne (fn. 53) the younger (1752–1831), who like his father was a bookseller. His shop at Schomberg House was opened in 1806; after his retirement in 1825 (fn. 37) the business was continued under the name of Payne and Foss by his nephew John Thomas Payne, who retired in 1850. (fn. 54) Harding and Co. then occupied No. 81 whilst their own premises at No. 82 were being rebuilt. The firm's lease of No. 81, which contained a covenant to rebuild by 1866, was given up and a new one taken (see below).

No. 80

The most notable of the eighteenth-century artists who were associated with Schomberg House was Thomas Gainsborough. His residence in the western wing between 1774 and his death in 1788 (fn. 48) is commemorated by a London County Council plaque.

It was probably for him that a new staircase was inserted, presumably in the position occupied by the old main stair. The new one (Plate 207c), which existed until the recent rebuilding, had cut strings with shaped spandrels at the ends of the steps, and thin turned newels and balusters. The handrail was of mahogany and the bottom flight of the stair was nicely curved, but the whole effect was somewhat meagre, even where the panelled ceiling rose to the large roof-light with a certain amount of enriched moulding. Another addition which may well have been carried out for Gainsborough was the pair of large, plainly decorated rooms, one above the other, which were built over the garden. They were each fifteen feet high and had single large windows overlooking the garden of Marlborough House. The rooms were connected to the house by passages of timber construction, the lower one being plain but the upper one arcaded, with lunette windows and roof-lights, and steps arranged in two flights between them with a small niche on the landing. It seems likely that at least the upper room was used by Gainsborough as a studio. Some of Gainsborough's pictures and drawings were sold after his death at an exhibition of his work held in the house; the rest were sold later at Christie's. (fn. 55) His wife Margaret lived in the house until her death in 1792. (fn. 7)

The next occupant of Gainsborough's house was the painter, Robert Bowyer (1758–1834). The ratebooks record him as a resident for the years 1793–1803; he then moved from Schomberg House to another house in Pall Mall. (fn. 56)

In 1830 Decimus Burton made alterations to a house in Pall Mall, presumably No. 80, for (Sir) John Kirkland, (fn. 57) army agent. (fn. 58) Some unremarkable chimneypieces and cast-iron window-guards dated from this period and were probably Burton's work.

Later history of Nos. 80–82

In 1852 Harding and Co. agreed to purchase the lease of No. 80 from the occupant, Sir John Kirkland, who was allowed to occupy the upper floors (fn. 33) until 1859. (fn. 30) New leases of all three houses were granted to the firm in 1854, (fn. 59) with covenants to rebuild the centre and western wing by 1865. Before any attempt was made to carry out these covenants, however, the firm left the premises in 1857, (fn. 58) and the whole house was put up for sale. (fn. 60) The particulars of the sale suggested that the house was 'admirably adapted for a national gallery of pictures . . . also . . . for conversion into a nobleman's mansion, Banking Establishment . . . or . . . a handsome and Commodious Club house'. The rebuilding covenants were obviously a great drawback to possible purchasers, but in December 1857 the Secretary of State for War entered into treaty with the Crown and succeeded in obtaining their relaxation. Thus the preservation of the central and western houses was largely fortuitous. In 1859 the whole house was taken by the Office of Works for use by the War Office. (fn. 61)

When the War Office staff accommodated in Pall Mall was removed to the present War Office building in Whitehall in 1906 Schomberg House was retained for use by the staff of the Director of Barrack Construction. (fn. 62) It remained in use, chiefly for government offices, until shortly before its demolition in 1956.


  • 1. A drawing of c. 1793 and an early nineteenth-century drawing both show an arched niche containing a statue above the entrance in the western closet wing with a window in place of the blank panel on the return of the wing.
  • 2. An article on the shop was published in Country Life, 1958.
  • 3. It is tempting to connect this domed roof with the cupola shown in Kip's view, although the latter was represented as being octagonal.
  • 4. A similar relief used to be on the front of No. 7 Blackfriars Road.
  • 5. B.M., Add. MS. 22063, items 196–7.
  • 6. P.C.C., 12 Dyke.
  • 7. R.B.
  • 8. B.M., Add. MS. 22063, items 196–7; G.E.C.
  • 9. R.B.; G.E.C.
  • 10. P.C.C., 63 Box.
  • 11. G.E.C.
  • 12. Narcissus Luttrell, A Brief Historical Relation of State Affairs . . ., 1857, vol. ii, p. 25.
  • 13. Ibid., vol. ii, p. 213.
  • 14. Ibid., vol. iv, p. 143.
  • 15. Ibid., vol. iv, p. 447.
  • 16. L.C.C.R.O., Westminster Commissioners of Sewers, Orders of Court, vol. 9, p. 31.
  • 17. B. Marsh, Records of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, 1913, vol. i, p. 133.
  • 18. Wren Society, vol. xiv, 1937, p. iv.
  • 19. Walpole Society, vol. XX, 1932 (George Vertue Note Book II), pp. 85–6.
  • 20. Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England), West London, 1925, p. 135.
  • 21. Copy in L.C.C. Members' Library, Westminster DE 23, 1269.
  • 22. Ibid., Westminster EH 7, 320.
  • 23. Luttrell, op. cit., vol. iv, p. 467.
  • 24. Letters . . . 1696 to 1708 Addressed to the Duke of Shrewsbury by James Vernon Esq., Secretary of State, ed. G. P. R. James, 1841, vol. ii, p. 319.
  • 25. Luttrell, op. cit., vol. v, p. 337.
  • 26. P.R.O., LRRO63/32, pp. 66–8.
  • 27. Ibid., LRRO63/54, pp. 272–4.
  • 28. Cust and Colvin (I above), op. cit., pp. 17–19.
  • 29. P.R.O., LRRO63/62, pp. 12–16.
  • 30. R.B.; P.O.D.
  • 31. Directories.
  • 32. C.E.O., file 11680; P.O.D.
  • 33. C.E.O., file 11680.
  • 34. E. Edwards, Anecdotes of Painters, 1808, p. 124.
  • 35. J. P. Malcolm, Londinium Redivivum, 1807, vol. iv, p. 316.
  • 36. W. T. Whitley, Thomas Gainsborough, 1915, p. 108.
  • 37. D.N.B.
  • 38. J. Graham, An Address to the Inhabitants of Great Britain, London, 1775.
  • 39. J. Graham, The General State of Medical and Chirurgical Practice Exhibited, Bath, 1778.
  • 40. Survey of London, vol. XVIII, 1937, The Parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Part II, pp. 105, 113, 136.
  • 41. J. Graham, Medical Transactions at the Temple of Health in London, 1782.
  • 42. L.C.C. Members' Library, newspaper cutting, Westminster b. 30.
  • 43. J. Graham, A Lecture on the Generation, Increase and Improvement of the Human Species, 1783.
  • 44. J. Graham, The Guardian Goddess of Health, N.D. (? 1782).
  • 45. W.P.L., D1764, 29 March 1783.
  • 46. A Poetical Epistle to the very celebrated Doctor Graham, Derby, printed for the author, 1783.
  • 47. J. T. Smith, Nollekens and his Times, 1829 ed., vol. ii, p. 401; D.N.B.
  • 48. R.B.; D.N.B.
  • 49. Smith, op. cit., vol. ii, pp. 402, 404–5.
  • 50. Survey of London, vol. XXIII, 1951, The Parish of St. Mary Lambeth, Part I, Plate .
  • 51. Smith, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 404; R.B.; W.P.L., deed 10/301; D.N.B.
  • 52. P.R.O., LRRO63/95, pp. 244–9.
  • 53. W.P.L., deed 10/301.
  • 54. C.E.O., file 11680; D.N.B.; R.B.
  • 55. Edwards, op. cit., p. 139.
  • 56. W. Matthews, An Historical Sketch of the Origin, Progress & Present State of Gas-Lighting, 1827, p. 28.
  • 57. Colvin.
  • 58. P.O.D.
  • 59. C.E.O., London lease book 63, pp. 96–137.
  • 60. Survey of London office files, printed particulars of sale, 19 May 1857.
  • 61. C.E.O., file 11678; P.O.D.
  • 62. Ibid., file 11340.
  • 63. Reproduced in W. T. Whitley, Artists and their Friends in England 1700–1799, 1928, Plate 5.
  • 64. Reproduced in A. E. Richardson and C. L. Gill, London Houses from 1660 to 1820, 1911, Plate XVIII.
  • 65. Country Life, 15 May 1958, pp. 1058–9.
  • 66. Ibid., vol. XXII, 1950, The Parishes of St. Saviour and Christ Church, Southwark, Plate .
  • c1. According to The World, 7 Dec 1787, Astley divided the house into three and was his own architect.