CHAPTER 36: XVIII—NOS. 8 AND 9, CRAIG'S COURT (DEMOLISHED)
Date and Description of Structure.
The earliest date at which Nos. 8 and 9, Craig's Court, can be
identified in the ratebooks is 1708, but it is probable that they were in
existence a few years earlier, though owing to the circumstances explained on
p. 232, it is not possible to trace the history of individual houses in the
court in the earliest years. There is no evidence that the houses were ever
They had a plain brick exterior and comprised three storeys and an
attic with a tiled roof. The front was relieved by plain bands at the levels
of the first and second floors, and also by the window frames being slightly
recessed, with the sashes divided into small squares. The entrance doorway
to No. 9 had a flat projecting hood (Plate 109) supported on carved wood
brackets resting on panelled pilasters to the jambs. This decorative feature
appeared to date from the early part of the eighteenth century, and was
contemporary with the erection of the buildings.
The doorway to No. 8 had columns with foliated caps, which were
probably introduced when the coat of cement rendering was applied to the
The interiors contained no features of interest.
The names of the occupants of Nos. 8 and 9, Craig's Court, taken from the ratebooks from
1708 to 1836, are as follows:
|1710–19||Samuel (Captain) Bourne (fn. 1) |
|1730–31||Dr John Wigan|
|1735–39||Lord or Lady Clinkarty|
|1743–45||— Newman (Newnham)|
|1765–72||Elizabeth Cragg (fn. 2) |
|1785||Rev. Mr Lettice|
|1711–17||Wm Sloper (fn. 3) |
|1726–59||Sun Fire Office|
|1778||Henry Fosset (fn. 4) |
|1792–3||Wm Thos Martyn|
|1805–06||H. W. Byfield and Son|
|1807–08||H. W. and Geo. Byfield|
|1819–28||G. P. Laplume|
|1830–||Rob. & Chas. Byfield|
John Wigan, physician and author, born in 1696, was the son of the Rev. William Wigan,
vicar of St. Mary Abbotts, Kensington. He was educated at Westminster and Christ Church,
Oxford. In 1726 he was admitted principal of New Inn Hall, Oxford, and about the same time
was appointed secretary to the Earl of Arran, chancellor of the university. In 1727 he obtained the
degree of M.D., and in 1730 was in practice at No. 8, Craig's Court. In 1731 he was admitted
a candidate at the College of Physicians and Fellow in 1732. At about this time he moved to
No. 5 in the court, at which house the ratebooks for 1732–6 show him residing. He died in 1739
in Jamaica, whither he had gone in the previous year as physician and secretary to his friend,
Edward Trelawny. His writings were numerous, one of the most important being his edition of
"Lord Clinkarty," who is shown at No. 8 from 1735 to 1739, was Robert MacCarthy,
elder son of the 4th Earl of Clancarty, who was attainted and whose vast fortune was forfeited for his
adherence to James II. At the time of the earl's death in 1734 Robert was an officer in the British
navy. In 1735 he returned to England to attempt the recovery of the confiscated estates, but
although he had certainly had no part in his father's treason he failed, owing to the weight of influence
against him. He nevertheless remained in the navy until 1741. Soon after he retired to France
and devoted himself to the Stuart cause. He died in 1769. "Lady Clinkarty," whose name
alternates with that of her husband in the ratebooks (owing no doubt to his absences on service)
was daughter of Mr. Pleyer, of Gosport.
For the occupation of No. 9 by the Sun Fire Office, see p. 236.
In the Council's Collection are:
(fn. 4) General exterior (photograph).
(fn. 4) General ground-floor plan (measured drawing).