CHAPTER 16: LXXIII—NO. 3, WHITEHALL GARDENS
The property is the freehold of the Crown, and is used for the
purposes of the offices of the Cabinet and the Committee of Imperial
In 1810 a lease was granted (fn. 1) to Richard Henry Alexander Bennet
of Nos. 2 and 3 Whitehall Gardens for 99 years as from 5th July, 1805.
The property is described (see plan on opposite page) as abutting south on
ground or buildings in the occupation of Archibald, Earl of Cassilis, containing in breadth 47 feet both towards the river and towards Privy Garden,
and in length 239 feet 5 inches and 241 feet 7 inches on the north and south
sides respectively "on part of which … have been lately erected … two
capital messuages now or late in the several occupations of Richd Henry
Alexander Bennettesq and … Bennett Esqr, his son, a captain in His Majesty's
Navy, containing in front towards Privy Garden 47 feet … & in depth from
east to west 56 feet 2 inches." The lease contained power to the lessee to build
within the ground next adjoining the east front of the houses, for the space of
22½ feet west to east and 47 feet north to south, "such proper & substantial
subterraneous offices, with a terrace over the same" as he should think fit.
In 1837 a separate lease (fn. 2) of No. 3 for the remainder of the 99 years'
term was granted to Sir John Edward Swinburne, Bt. In this the property
is described as bounded north on certain premises leased to and in the
occupation of the Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Peel, Bt., and south on ground or
buildings in the occupation of Algernon, Lord Prudhoe, containing in breadth
24 feet, and in length 239 feet 5 inches and 242 feet on the north and south
The lease of 1810 also included (but only during pleasure) (i) a
portion of the Privy Garden running the whole width of the premises, and
varying in breadth from 15¼ feet at the south end to 22 feet 2 inches at the
north, and (ii) the ground lying between the premises and the ground of
the Marchioness of Exeter (see p. 183).
From the date for the commencement of the lease, it would seem
that the houses were built about a year earlier than No. 1, but, as in the
case of the latter, their first appearance in Boyle's Court Guide is for the year
1808, implying a residence begun in 1807.
As has already been pointed out, No. 3, though built in conjunction
with No. 2, and having originally the rear terrace and garden in common
with the latter, has since been altered and is now joined to No. 4.
No. 3 Whitehall Gardens: survey of ground to be leased to Mr. Bennet.
From plan in the possession of H.M. Commissioners of Crown Lands
The exterior is faced with stone and with No. 4 is now designed as
one composition. All other features of interest have been dealt with in
the account of No. 4.
The occupiers of No. 3 as given by directories, etc., until the time when the house was
utilised for official purposes were:
|1808–10||Richard Alexander Bennet|
|1837–39||Captain Charles Henry Swinburne and Lady Jane Swinburne|
|1842–45||Rt. Hon. Major-General Sir Henry and Lady Emily Hardinge|
|1857–64||Countess of Falmouth|
|Faithfull, Son & Coode|
|Faithfull, Son & Coode|
|1869–76||Fuller & Marr|
|1878–81||Capt. Walter Wood|
|1884–93||Northbrook Indian Club|
Richard Henry Alexander Bennet married Elizabeth Amelia, eldest daughter of Peter
Burrell. Thus it happened that three sisters were in 1820 simultaneously living in Whitehall
Gardens (Mrs. Bennet, the Dowager Duchess of Northumberland, and the Dowager Marchioness
of Exeter). Mrs. Bennet died "in Whitehall Gardens" on 27th January, 1837, aged 92. (fn. 3)
On her death her son-in-law, Sir John Edward Swinburne, obtained a lease of the house,
which (on 2nd August, 1837) was said to be at the time in the occupation of Charles Henry Swinburne. (fn. 4) This was Sir John's second son, one of the executors under Mrs. Bennet's will, captain
and afterwards admiral in the navy, and father of Algernon Charles Swinburne, the poet. (fn. 5)
The next occupant was Emily, Lady Glenlyon, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Northumberland and of the dowager duchess who had in 1820 been resident next door. In 1810 she married
James, 1st Lord Glenlyon, who died in 1837. She died in 1844.
Sir Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge of Lahore, was born in 1785. He entered
the army at an early age and his first experience of active service came with the Peninsular War.
He was with Moore in the retreat from Corunna, and was afterwards on the staff of the Portuguese
army, in which capacity he won the commendation of Wellington. In the campaign of 1815 he
was in attendance on Blũcher, and lost his left hand at Quatre-Bras. In 1820 he entered Parliament
as member for the City of Durham. From 1828 to 1830 and again from 1841 to 1844 he was
Secretary at War; and in 1830 and again in 1834–5 was Irish Secretary. In 1841 he became
lieutenant-general and in 1844 was created G.C.B. In the latter year he went to India as GovernorGeneral. The three years of his government were marked by much useful work, but the outstanding event in this period was the first Sikh War, in which, at his own suggestion, he served as
second-in-command under Gough, though he might well have claimed the supreme command.
At the end of the war he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Hardinge of Lahore and of Durham.
Though not a full general until 1854, he was Commander-in-Chief from 1852 to 1855. In the latter
year he was made field marshal, and died in 1856.
His residence in Whitehall Gardens corresponded more or less with his second tenure of
office as Secretary at War, and lasted until his departure to India in the summer of 1844.
Edward Cardwell (afterwards Viscount Cardwell) was born in 1813. He was educated at
Winchester and Oxford, and was called to the Bar in 1838. In 1842 he entered Parliament as
member for Clitheroe and attached himself very closely to Sir Robert Peel, whose neighbour he
became in 1844. In 1852 he was made President of the Board of Trade, in which capacity he
drew up and carried the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854. From 1859 to 1861 he was Secretary for
Ireland, and from 1864 to 1866 Colonial Secretary. In the latter capacity he put an end to transportation. From 1868 to 1874 he was Secretary for War. During this period he reorganised the
British army, abolishing the system of purchase and introducing a short term of service and the
formation of a veteran reserve. In 1874 he was created a viscount. ] ed in 1886.
His residence at No. 3 Whitehall Gardens lasted until 1855, and in the following year
he was succeeded by the Countess of Falmouth. Anne Frances, daughter of Henry Bankes of
Kingston House, Dorset, married in 1810 Edward, 4th Viscount Falmouth, created earl in 1821.
He died in 1841, and his widow on 1st May, 1864, at "her residence in Whitehall Gardens." (fn. 6)