Nos. 37 and 38, Charing Cross and Wallingford Garden

Sponsor

English Heritage

Publication

Author

G. H. Gater and E. P. Wheeler (editors)

Year published

1935

Supporting documents

Pages

71-74

Citation Show another format:

'Nos. 37 and 38, Charing Cross and Wallingford Garden', Survey of London: volume 16: St Martin-in-the-Fields I: Charing Cross (1935), pp. 71-74. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68109 Date accessed: 28 July 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

CHAPTER 6: V—NOS. 37 AND 38, CHARING CROSS (DEMOLISHED) AND SITE OF WALLINGFORD GARDEN

History of the Site.

The circumstances in which a 70-feet strip of the timber yard was acquired by the owners of Wallingford House have already been narrated (see p. 46). This ground was laid out as the garden of Wallingford House, and West's house, erected in 1687 and afterwards rented by the Admiralty (see p. 55), occupied the site of the Duke of Buckingham's summer house. (fn. 1) On 23rd March, 1685–6, the duke let the garden to Francis Jenkes on a building lease for 99 years as a security for debt owing to the latter. (fn. 2) A copy of the actual lease has not been found, but from recitals in later documents (fn. 3) it appears that the ground was described as "all that Toft or peece of Ground … adjoyning to Wallingford House, lying on the North Side of the said House, containing in Length from East to West One Hundred Twenty Six Foot and from North to South Seaventy Foot, the East side Fronting the … Street leading from Charing Cross to Whitehall, the West side Fronting the Spring Garden, the North abutting upon the Wall of Two houses, the one lately in the tenure of Sr Richard Franklyn, (fn. 4) the other in ye tenure of— Rowland, the South Side abutting upon the Gallery of Wallingford House, to be continued from the East to the West by a Streight line." That part of the building scheme which involved disturbance of the amenities of the Spring Garden met with opposition, and in July, 1686, the lord treasurer intimated that building on that side of the plot must be stopped. (fn. 5) The attorney-general, however, on being consulted, expressed the opinion that "the wall dividing that garden, which was formerly part of the Timber Yard, and the Spring Garden, doth pass by that grant [the original patent to Knollys], and the Duke and his assigns have liberty to erect buildings thereupon and to make lights towards Spring Garden by the express words of the patent." (fn. 6) Nevertheless, in May, 1687, Jenkes' widow was still waiting for the removal of the embargo, (fn. 7) which she obtained in the following month. (fn. 8) The total building operations comprised the formation of Buckingham Court (fn. 9) and the erection of fifteen houses, five of which were on the street frontage, one being over the entrance to the court. The freehold was sold on 18th December, 1713, by the Duke of Buckingham's trustees to Thomas Cole, (fn. 10) and the list of occupants given in the indenture includes the names of Sir James Wishart (in the house formerly of Robert West), showing that West's house was used for the accommodation of one of the lords of the admiralty, and Joseph "Gentlivre." This was Joseph Centlivre, principal cook to Anne and George I, husband of Susannah Centlivre, actress and dramatist, who died in Buckingham Court on 1st December, 1723. (fn. 11) Thomas Cole died in 1715, leaving (fn. 12) to his daughter, Elizabeth Lambe, his "freehold estate in Buckingam Court and adjoyning thereunto, containing 15 houses." The ratebooks for 1725 to 1729 show "Duncan Campbell" occupying the centre house of the five on the street frontage, that is, the one over the entrance to Buckingham Court. Campbell was a well-known soothsayer and quack. In 1725 Defoe published The Dumb Projector: or a Trip to Holland made by Mr. Duncan Campbell, in which he says: "I have not, a great while, seen a more polite Assembly of Gentlemen and Ladies than I met the other Day at his [Campbell's] House in Buckingham Court at Whitehall." Campbell died in 1730, and the ratebook for that year gives "Wid° Campbell" in respect of the house. She was succeeded in the following year by "— Miller," afterwards corrected to "John Millan." Millan was evidently much interested in his predecessor, for in 1732 appeared the Secret Memoirs of the late Mr. Duncan Campbel, "printed for J. Millan, at the Green Door, at the Corner of Buckingham-Court." (fn. 13)

On the widening of the street in 1758 (see appendix) the Westminster Bridge Commissioners purchased from James Lambe (apparently the son of Elizabeth) for £1,800 the five front houses, (fn. 14) and added to the public way a strip of ground increasing in depth from south to north from 20 to 28 feet. The portion not used (about 400 square feet) was resold to Lambe for £300, (fn. 15) on the condition that he should purchase the old materials for £90. (fn. 16) The new houses erected by Lambe were only four in number, the entrance to Buckingham Court not being built over.

The whole of the frontage is now included in the bank premises of Messrs. Glyn, Mills and Co., and Buckingham Court has disappeared.

Description and Date of Structure.

Nos. 37 and 38, Charing Cross, were the two houses north of Buckingham Court, built by Lambe in 1758–9. They were three-storey buildings with attics, and the original shopfronts seem to have been but slightly altered (Plates 81 and 82). They had brick fronts, though No. 38 had been in later years rendered in plaster. The return front of No. 37 to Buckingham Court was also in brick.

Historical Notes.

According to the ratebooks the occupiers of Nos. 37 and 38 from the time of their erection until 1840 were as follows:

No. 37
1759–79John Hartwell
1779–85Richard Grasswell
1787–89Samuel Holden
1790John Thomas
1791–92Samuel Francis
1793William La Lazerne
1794–95Ann Wooding
1796Francis Jarvis
1798–1806Henry Tatham
1807–13Henry Tatham and Jos. Egg
1814–Henry Tatham
No. 38
1759— Mortimer
1760Lucy Morris
1761–62Mary Collier
1763–64(No ratebooks extant)
1765Edward Edwards
1765–87Louis Remus
1789–90Richard Reece
1792— Wilkie
1794— Williamson
1794–1830Charles Correll
1831–Robert Wiss

In the Council's Collection are:

(fn. 17) General elevation to Charing Cross (photograph).
(fn. 17) Elevation to Charing Cross of Nos. 37–41, Charing Cross (copied from a drawing in the possession of H.M. Office of Works).
Plans of ground, 1st and 2nd floors (copied from drawing in the possession of H.M. Office of Works).

Footnotes

1 P.R.O., Adm., 1/3665, No. 43.
2 Cal. of Treasury Books, 1685–9, p. 951.
3 E.g. Indenture, dated 26th July, 1687, between Sarah Jenkes, the widow of Francis, and Robert West (P.R.O., L.R. 1/307, fo. 33–35), from which the above particulars are taken.
4 Sir Richard Francklyn is shown in the ratebooks for 1684 and 1685 as occupying the southernmost house on the site of the remaining portion of the timber yard on the main street frontage.
5 As a matter of fact the order to Sir Christopher Wren only referred to the blocking up of a way into the Spring Garden: "Treasurer Rochester would have the Duke of Buckingham's building at Wallingford House go on, that is, the building itself; but as to the way out of the street into Old Spring Garden that must be stopped up till the Lord Treasurer is satisfied that it may legally be made into that ground" (Cal. of Treasury Books, 1685–9, p. 854); but the order seems to have been interpreted broadly, for Jenkes refers to it as putting a stop to "that part of the building that adjoins to Spring Garden." (Ibid., p. 951.)
6 Cal. of Treasury Dooks, 1685–9, p. 1055 (9th December, 1686).
7 "Treasury Reference to Sir Christopher Wren … of the petition of Sarah Jenkes, widow, praying for the removal of the stop which is put upon her building in a piece of ground adjoining Wallingford House, the profits of which ground are the support of herself and family." (Ibid., p. 1373, 27th May, 1687.)
8 "It is the King's pleasure that Sarah Jenkes have liberty to finish her buildings adjoining Wallingford House next Spring Garden, which building was stopped by the late Treasurer. She is also to have a passage out of Wallingford Garden into Spring Garden." (Ibid., p. 1398, 9th June, 1687.)
9 Described in 1720 as "so called as built on Buckingham Garden. It hath a Free-stone Pavement, and a Passage into Spring Garden, and the Houses are better built than inhabited, as being for the Generality all Coffee Houses, and for other such publick Uses" (Strype's edition of Stow's Survey, Book VI, p. 77). One of these coffee-houses attracted the notice of the Government in 1689, and on 9th September of that year an order in the following terms was given to Sir Christopher Wren: "Whereas information hath been given … that there is a great & numerous concourse of Papists and other persons disaffected to the Governement that resort to the Coffee house of one Bromefield in Buckingham court near Wallingford house, and to other houses there, And Whereas there is a Dore lately opened out of that Court into the lower part of the Springgarden that leads into St. James's parke, where the said Papists and Disaffected persons meet & consult, wch may be of Dangerous consequence, These are therefore to pray & require you to cause the said Dore to be forthwith Brickt or otherwise so clos'd up as you shall judge most fit for the Security of their Mats Pallace of Whitehall and the said Park, and the Avenues of the same." (P.R.O., L.S., 13/174, p. 13.)
10 Indenture between the Rev. Thos. Spratt, archdeacon of Rochester, son of Thomas, late Bishop of Rochester, surviving trustee of the Duke of Buckingham, and John, Earl of Buckingham, and Thomas Cole, citizen and brewer of London. (Middx. Register, 1713, V, 159.)
11 Dict. Nat. Biog. Pope refers to her as "the cook's wife in Buckingham Court." (An Account of the Condition of E. Curll.)
12 P.C.C., 3 Fox.
13 Millan moved to the other side of the road in 1735 (see p. 223).
14 Indenture, dated 20th June, 1758, between (1) James Lambe and Esther his wife, (2) Joseph Brooksbank, (3) Thomas Lane and Benjamin Avery, and (4) Samuel Seddon and John Simpson. (P.R.O., C., 54/6017, No. 16.)
15 See P.R.O., Works, 6/35, pp. 133–5.
16 The following is interesting as showing the standard set in certain respects by the commissioners. "Then the said Mr. Lambe desired to know Whether this Commission would permit convenient Steps at the Doorways, and Areas for Light to the Kitchens of those Houses to be made, so as to Project from the Fore Fronts of the Houses into the said Street. … To which the Board Answered That they are Resolved … That no Steps nor Areas … shall in any manner Project … in any part of the said Street … (Save that One or Two Step or Steps may be permitted to Project Two Feet and no more at the Doorway from the Front … And that Breaks of the Weidths of the respective Kitchen Windows may be made for giving Light to such Windows, so as no such Break shall project more than Two Feet into the Street from the Wall of the Fore Front of the House)." (P.R.O., Works, 6/35, p. 57, 9th May, 1758.)
17 Reproduced here.