IX.—No. 45 LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.
Trustees of the late Mr. F. B. Wilner.
General description and date of structure.
By indenture of 15th August, 1638, (fn. 1) William Newton sold to
Richard Banckes "of London, freemason, … all that peice or
parcell of ground being part of the said feild or close … called Pursefeild, as the same is now lymitted, bounded and staked out and designed
for the said Richard Banckes for the scite whereon a capitall messuage is
intended shortly to be erected." The ground is defined as being 34 feet
wide, situated between a parcel of ground "letten" to Thos. Goode and
Thos. Dalwyn on the east, and another parcel "letten" to Geo. Plukenett
on the west. We may therefore assume that the original house on the site
of No. 45 was erected in 1639.
The present house may have been built about the middle of the
18th century. Its design favours this suggestion, as also does the date, 1752,
on a lead cistern in the yard. Moreover the fact that, according to the
ratebooks, the assessment rose in the latter year from £66 to £120 is
almost conclusive as to a rebuilding.
Plate 49 shows the exterior of the house, which is chiefly of brickwork. There is a stone cornice at third floor level. The central first
floor window is somewhat accentuated by having an arch and pilasters
which slightly project beyond the main front. The ground storey is
The interior of the house contains a considerable amount of architectural embellishment. Plate 53 shows the ground floor front room
with enriched wall panels and over doors.
The back room on the same floor (Plate 54) has carving of a similar
character to the front room. At one end of room is an alcove with Ionic
columns and pilasters which support an ornamental entablature, the
cornice of which continues round the room. The marble chimneypiece
appears to be contemporary with the house.
There are two other carved marble mantelpieces of interest in
the front rooms of the first and second floors. The staircase has good
ornamental wrought iron balusters.
The cast lead cistern in the yard, already referred to (Plate 55)
has the legend 1752 AA, (fn. 2) and is ornamented with badges, crests, interlacing mouldings, flowers and sea devices in the form of mermaids,
dolphins and scallop-shells.
Condition of repair.
The premises are in good repair.
According to the rate-books the occupiers of No. 45 were as follows:—
|1654–62.||Lady Rachel Newport.|
|1663–77.||Sir Charles Walgrave.|
|1680.||Mr. Banckes. (fn. 3) |
|1681–89.||Sir Edward Bromfeild.|
|1788–||Rev. Francis Annesley.|
|<To the above should be added Cecil, Lord Baltimore, mentioned in a deed of 1658 as having been late in occupation of the house.>|
Simon Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt ("Trimming" Harcourt, Swift called
him), the only son of Sir Philip Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, was called
to the Bar in November, 1683, and soon acquired a large practice. In 1690 he entered
Parliament, where he speedily obtained distinction. Soon afterwards he was appointed
recorder of Abingdon, and from 1690 to 1705 represented that borough in Parliament.
In 1701 he was selected by the House of Commons to impeach Lord Somers at the
Bar of the House of Lords for his share in the partition treaty of 1698. In this year
his first residence in Lincoln's Inn Fields, viz., at No. 45, which he had occupied
from 1690, apparently came to an end. In 1710 he appeared in defence of Sacheverell
before the House of Lords. As a Tory, he was usually opposed to Cowper, and when
the latter resigned in 1710 he became lord keeper, and entered into occupation
of the chancellor's official residence at Nos. 51–52, Lincoln's Inn Fields. A twelve-month
elapsed before he was raised to the peerage, as Baron Harcourt of Stanton
Harcourt in the County of Oxford, and his appointment as lord chancellor did not
take place until April, 1713. On the arrival of George I. in London in September,
1714, he was dismissed from office. In 1721 he was created a viscount, and on
several occasions during the king's absences he was on the Council of Regency. Harcourt
had the reputation of being a skilled and powerful speaker. He died in his house
in Cavendish Square in July, 1727, as the result of a paralytic stroke.
SIMON HARCOURT. VISCOUNT HARCOURT.
Francis Annesley, of Thorganby, Yorkshire, grandson of Arthur, 2nd Viscount
Valentia and 1st Earl of Anglesey, was appointed in the reign of William III. a trustee
for the sale of estates in Ireland, and was a member of both English and Irish parliaments. (fn. 4) He died on 7th April, 1750, at his residence in Lincoln's Inn Fields, (fn. 5) aged
86. (fn. 6) Lady Fowler, who appears as resident at No. 45 during the years 1750 and
1751, was his widow, he having married, for his third wife, in 1737, Sarah, widow of
Sir Richard Fowler, Bt. (fn. 7) Arthur Annesley, who succeeded him, seems to have been
his grandson. He died in the house at Lincoln's Inn Fields on 10th January,
In the Council's collection are:—
* Front room, ground floor (photograph).
* Back room, ground floor (photograph).
* Ornamental cast lead cistern (photograph).