XXXII–XXXIII.—Nos. 36 AND 38 OLD QUEEN: STREET.
Ground Landlord, Etc.
The freehold is the property of the Crown, and the premises are in the
occupation of the Irish Grants Committee.
General Description and Date of Structure.
The first item dealt with in the indenture accompanying the sale by
Thomas Sutton in 1704 (see p. 71) was "all that parcell of ground, being
"parte of the ground neare Longditch … formerly let by lease (fn. 1)
from John Toms, butcher, to the Rt. Honble George Ld Dartmouth
deceased and by him assigned to Phillip Musgrove, Mathew Johnson
and Richd Grahme, being on the north side of a new intended street
there, at or neare the west end thereof, containing next the sd intended
streete and now since called Queen street 28 feet …, next St.
James Parke 40 feet … on the east side 60 feet, on which said
parcell of ground there has since been erected … a new messuage
or tenement of Mary Frith, widow, and now of Benson, Esq."
The ratebooks show that the premises continued as a single house until
1768, when Dinah Dearden was the occupier. For a year or two they are
marked "E" (empty), but in 1771–72 they reappear as two houses. It
would, therefore, seem that this is the date to which the present premises
should be assigned, and the architectural features are quite in accord with
such a suggestion.
From 1806 the premises have been in one occupation, and have had
openings cut through their party wall for the purpose of communication.
The exterior comprises a brick front of three storeys over a basement,
with an attic storey in a slate roof (Plate 75). The back overlooks the Park,
and each house is constructed to form a cant bay to the parapet level. The
western boundary of No. 38 abuts on the passageway known as Cockpit
steps, and the frontage to Old Queen Street is reduced accordingly.
The entrance doorways have semicircular fanlights, while the doorcase
to No. 36 has fluted Ionic wood pilasters. The inner hall to No. 38 has
a screen of wood Doric columns with block entablatures which support a
semicircular archway containing a radiating fanlight (Plate 75), while the
staircases to both houses have turned balusters and shaped brackets to the
return nosings on the outer strings. The back room on the ground floor
of No. 36 has a wood mantelpiece (Plate 76), with the frieze enriched with
carved vases between swags and a carved urn to the central tablet, while
decorated consoles support the jambs. The mouldings to the dado rail,
skirting and window and door linings are also carved, while the doors have
moulded overdoors with a carved frieze. The linings to the back room of
No. 38 are similar in detail, and the wood mantelpiece has similar mouldings, but without the decorative features to the frieze and jambs. Some of
the other rooms contain carved wood mantelpieces and good cast-iron
Condition of Repair.
According to the ratebooks, the occupiers of these houses, and of the previous premises
on the site, were as follows:—
|1715–28||Robert, Lord Bingley.|
|1733–51||Capt. Alec. Wilson. (fn. 2) |
|No. 36.||No. 38.|
|1772–74||Rev. Dr. Dodd.||1771–80||Samuel Martin.|
|1776–78||Col. Thos. Edmonds.|
|1779–80||Mrs. Janet Edmonds.|
|1782||Kitty Tibbs.||1782–89||Miss Harris.|
|1785–87||Rev. Clayton Cracherode.|
|1788–90||Alex. Trotter.||1790–98||Mrs. Auriol.|
|1791–92||Sir Ric. Worsley.|
|1793–96||Lady Richardson.||1800||John Woodford.|
|1799–1804||Mrs. Somers Cocks.||1801–02||Capt. Gardner.|
|1805||Wm. Boscawen.||1804–05||Geo. Garland.|
Robert Benson, Baron Bingley, son of Robert Benson, of Wrenthorpe, Yorks, was born
in 1676. From 1702 to 1705 he sat in Parliament as member for Thetford, and from the
latter year to 1713 he represented York City. At first a Whig, he afterwards joined the Tories.
In 1711 he became Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer, and in 1713 was
raised to the peerage. Later in the same year he was appointed ambassador extraordinary to
the Court of Spain. He died in 1731.
The remarkable record of William Dodd, LL.D., popular preacher, royal chaplain and
convicted forger, is well known, and only the salient points need be mentioned here. He
was born in 1729, the son of the vicar of Bourne. Coming to London in 1751, he entered
the ministry, and soon attained great popularity. He identified himself particularly with the
interests of the Magdalen Charity, to which he was appointed chaplain, and purchased for
himself a proprietary chapel in Pimlico called Charlotte Chapel, where he attracted a fashionable congregation. In 1772 he entered into occupation of the house in Queen Street, and a
letter dated 24th November, 1773, addressed by Gainsborough, the painter, to "the Rev.
"Dr. Dodd, Queen Street, Westminster," is extant. (fn. 3) A few months later the simony scandal
occurred (Mrs. Dodd had written anonymously offering money for the reversion of the living
of St. George, Hanover Square) and Dodd lost much of his popularity. He soon became
involved in debt, and had to leave the house in Queen Street. (fn. 4) In 1777 he forged the signature
of the Earl of Chesterfield to a bond for £4200, was arrested, tried and sentenced to death.
In spite of numerous petitions on his behalf the sentence was duly carried out.
For details of the Rev. Clayton Cracherode see p. 131.
Sir Richard Worsley, son of Sir Thomas Worsley, of Appuldurcomb, Isle of Wight, was
born in 1751. He is chiefly known for the remarkable collection of antiques which he amassed
in his journeys in the East during the period 1785–87, and which he arranged at his seat at
Appuldurcomb. After a short career in the Civil Service, he became British Resident at
Venice, and an F.S.A. With a few breaks he was Member of Parliament from 1774 to 1801.
He died in 1805. The house in Queen Street formed his town house for only two years.
In the Council's Collection are:—
(fn. 5) General exterior of premises to Old Queen Street (photograph).
General exterior of premises overlooking the Park (photograph).
(fn. 5) View of screen to Hall (No. 38) (photograph).
(fn. 5) Mantelpiece to back room on ground floor (No. 36) (photograph).
General view of door-heads on ground floor (No. 36) (photograph).
Mantelpiece and grate, front room on ground floor (No. 36) (photograph).
Mantelpiece to back room on ground floor (No. 38) (photograph).
Cast-iron hob grate, first-floor back room (No. 38) (photograph).
Mantelpiece and grate, second-floor front room (No. 38) (photograph).