XXXII.—XL.—Nos. 19, 20, 20a, and 21 to 26
CHEYNE WALK ON THE SITE OF THE MANOR HOUSE.
Ground landlord, leaseholders, etc.
Ground landlord, Earl Cadogan, Lord of the Manor. Leaseholders,
No. 19, S. W. P. Willoughby, Esq.; No. 20, W. Clifford Mellor, Esq.;
No. 20A, John Pedder, Esq.; No. 21, Hon. Victoria Grosvenor; No. 22,
Geo. H. Dawkins, Esq.; No. 23, A. W. Clarke, Esq.; No. 24, Edward
Clarence Wigan, Esq., M.B.; No. 25, Mrs. Herbert Fisher; No. 26, L. F.
General description and date of structure.
We have grouped together the nine houses which stand west of Don
Saltero's, for the purposes of our Survey, since they were built at one time,
and occupy the exact frontage formerly filled by Henry VIII.'s Manor House,
on the site of which they were built. They possess, moreover, a certain uniformity
of character, and in treating them as a whole we shall be able to include what
little there is to be said on the subject of the Manor House itself.
We have described already the houses which were built upon the
"Great Garden" (between the Manor House and Flood Street), which Sir
Hans Sloane had let on lease in 1717. The new Lord of the Manor did
not come to live in Chelsea until 1742, but in that year he brought with him
his great collection of natural treasures and objects of art which afterwards
formed the nucleus of the British Museum. Faulkner gives some description
of them with incidental allusions to the house, in recording the visit of the
Prince and Princess of Wales to Sir Hans Sloane in 1748. It was the desire
of Sir Hans Sloane that his collection should remain at Chelsea, and that the
Government should purchase it with the Manor House, but this was not to
be. The Collection was removed to Bloomsbury, and the Manor House was
pulled down soon afterwards, in order that the site could be sold for building
purposes. Nos. 19 to 26 Cheyne Walk were then built between 1759 and 1765.
The Manor House occupied by Sir Hans Sloane was the same building as
that erected by Henry VIII. soon after his acquisition of the Manor from
Lord Sandys, in 1536. Adjoining it on the west, a large addition had been
built by James Duke of Hamilton, during his tenancy (1639–1649), but this
had been bought in 1664 as a residence for the Bishops of Winchester, and
was thereafter known as Winchester House. It was described in the Cadogan
papers as "Hamilton House, a new-built brick house, purchased of Chas.
Cheyne, Esq., for the sum of £4,250." The view of the north side of the
Manor House given by Faulkner in the second edition of his Chelsea is
the only representation extant of the Tudor building. It is probably the one
referred to by a writer in the Gentleman's Magazine of June 1822, where it is
stated that Faulkner was about to publish a copy of a drawing of the Manor
House from an old "roll." The engraving does not help us to form any very
intelligible conception of the character of the original building. The drawing
seems to have been made after the Duke of Hamilton's tenancy, since the
portion on the right hand of the view approximates very nearly to the appearance of Winchester House, and more than one-third of the older part was
apparently remodelled at the same time, namely about 1640. (fn. 1) The alterations
may have been even more extensive than this, for Sir Hans Sloane is said to
have "thought that no part of the original building remained," an opinion in
which, if he expressed it, we think he must have been mistaken.
When the Manor House was seized by Parliament in 1653, and sold
by Commissioners, it was thus described in the deed of sale:—"All the capital
messuage or manor house, situate in the town of Chelsey, consisting of three
cellars in the first floor, three halls, three parlours, three kitchens, two parlours,
larders and nine other rooms, with a large staircase, in the first story; three
drawing rooms, seventeen chambers and four closets, with garrets over part of
them, and summer roomes with a bedroome, and garden and orchard, on the
north side of the said capital messuage, and courtyard on the south side thereof;
and one stable and one coachhouse, three little gardens and one parcel of
ground, enclosed with a brick wall, formerly called the Great Orchard, now
ploughed up." The house, here described, includes, of course, Winchester
House, and the western boundary is defined as "a messuage in the occupation
of T. Alston," that is Shrewsbury House, which adjoined the later gardens of
the Bishops of Winchester.
Winchester House was not pulled down until 1828. Several views of
it exist and an interesting description is to be found in the Gentleman's Magazine, June 1822. Every vestige of it has, however, gone; the site is occupied
by modern houses and by Oakley Street, and, interesting though it is, it can
hardly find a place in our present survey. The older part of the Manor House
is on a different footing. Some fragments, insignificant perhaps, but none the
less real, are incorporated in the houses on the site, the old brickwork of the
garden walls has not altogether disappeared, and most interesting of all, the
gardens themselves still seem to live, and though divided, have not lost the
air of the palace pleasure grounds, planted many centuries ago.
The position of the Manor House from east to west has been ascertained,
but it is not so easy to define the distance of its frontage from the roadway,
nor the measure of its projection northwards. Hamilton's Survey (as published
by Faulkner) is in no respect so inadequate as in its delineation of the Manor
House, but we think it is probably right in showing the older portion considerably further back from the road than the wall of the Great Garden, and the
newer part (Winchester House) as still further recessed to the north. The roadway along the water side was narrow and little used, the more common approach
to the village (by land) being from Knightsbridge and down Church Lane.
The Duke of Hamilton seems to have built his new house further north to
allow an entrance courtyard on the south side, and according to the rough delineation of Winchester House on Horwood's Map of London (1794) its south
wall would come near the break in the garden wall on the west of No. 26
Cheyne Walk. This wall runs to the height of some 12 or 13 feet, and is for
the most part of Tudor brickwork. It gives one the impression of having been
part of the walls of the building, although there are no door or window openings, as indeed there would not be, since the two houses adjoined. Winchester
House was built round a courtyard, as was the Manor House, but the latter
came further south and possibly enclosed two courts, one north and one south.
If this were so it is not unlikely that the frontage of the present houses is the
same as that of the Manor House, and in support of this it has been pointed
out that the lower courses of the front walls are actually of 2-inch Tudor bricks,
which suggest the original foundations. Moreover, in the basement of No. 24
are still to be seen remains of old vaults, apparently belonging to the original
mansion, which would place the building quite as far as the southern wall of
the present house. The great garden would then most probably have reached
a point a little more southerly than the present garden railings.
We will now describe the houses in turn, and comment on any special
points which may connect them with the earlier buildings.
No. 19 Cheyne Walk has been largely rebuilt, and has been carried
up considerably higher than it was originally. It retains its old doorway,
which is of good proportion and is similar to that illustrated on Plate 85.
The doorways of all the houses appear to have been, at the first, from the same
design and indeed the whole external treatment of the row seems to have
aimed at strict uniformity. By way of contrast, the interiors exhibit marked
differences both in plan and in decoration. This was not so in the earlier
houses which we have described at the eastern end of Cheyne Walk, which
show much individuality in the design of their elevations, but are more
uniform in their internal detail. No. 19 retains the old dado panelling in the
front room on the ground floor, and the staircase is probably in its original
position between the front and back rooms. The whole of the rear part of
the house is new. The front room on the first floor retains its old cornice
and has since been beautifully panelled in the early 18th century style.
No. 20 has not been altered much in recent years. Over the front
doorway (another excellent example of the type mentioned above) a fine
wisteria twines its many branches, the apparent age of which—were it not a
plant of modern importation (fn. 2) —might seem to bear out the local tradition that
makes it a survivor of the creepers that overran the walls of the Manor House.
Several courses of 2-inch Tudor brickwork are clearly to be seen in the base
of the front wall, and although it would be easy to assume that these were
merely old materials used a second time in the foundations, yet they have
scarcely the mark of the 18th century bricklayer, and the balance of probability
seems to be on the side of tradition. The front room on the ground floor
has its old panelling and a late chimney-piece. There is a neat little arch
between the entrance hall and the staircase, and above the doorways of the
rooms are some well-carved entablatures. The best one of these is that shown
on Plate 83, in the front room on the first floor. The frieze is boldly carved
with flowing foliage, and in the centre, the enriched architrave is raised into
a double scroll, upon which is a shield with the royal arms of Scotland, put
here perhaps by Mr. John Hay, the first leaseholder. This room has a good
cornice with dentil ornament, resembling very much the room on the first floor
in No. 15. It is used as an oratory or private chapel.
The rear part of the house has been extended, evidently many years ago,
to from a large room, with canted ends, looking upon the garden. The brickwork of this portion seems to be of much the same date as the house itself, and
it is probable that the alteration was made during the tenancy of John Hay, when
the rate-books show that the assessment of the house was nearly doubled. The
garden is very large, and possesses twice the length of the neighbouring gardens,
taking in the ground to the rear of Nos. 19 and 20A. There is a very interesting
lead cistern in the basement, of a triangular-shaped plan, with the largest face
curved outwards and well moulded in three panels. The inscription is:— [IAH 1760]
No. 20a has been altered considerably since it was built. Apparently
it was at some time incorporated with No. 21 to form one house. It has lost
its old entrance doorway, and the wall which divided the front gardens has been
taken down. The staircase is original, and occupies the rear part of the hall opposite the front door. The wall between the back room and the stair has been
taken down, and in its place are three wood columns, which have the appearance
of dating from the end of the 18th century. The back room becomes in this way
a lounge hall, and the graceful sweep of the stair is seen to advantage through the
columns. The front room retains its old chimney-piece, and a modern studio has
been built out at the back. On the first floor the two rooms have been thrown
into one, two wooden columns having also been inserted here. The back part
has its old fireplace, but the front room retains the cornice only. The house follows in its arrangement the earlier plans noticed in Nos. 3 and 5 Cheyne Walk.
The little wrought-iron balcony with cast-iron ends on the front elevation is a
No. 21, which seems to have been used in conjunction with 20A, has
also been subject to much alteration. The first flight of the staircase is modern,
the remainder, from the first floor upwards, is of an early and plain character.
The two rooms on the ground floor are panelled from floor to ceiling and have
a good cornice. In the place of the partition between are three arches supported
by two panelled columns of different design, back and front. There are two
old chimney-pieces with good dentil-cornice and carved architrave. The drawingroom on the first floor has a later cornice, but quite good fireplaces, the friezes
being freely carved and the grates being surrounded with slips of Siena marble.
A simple chimney-piece with well-designed mouldings is left in the front bedroom on the second floor; and on the third floor there are two more of the
same date, and panelling to a height of 7 feet. The fourth floor appears to have
been added during the last century.
Stanhope of Shelford.
This house has a very large share of the garden of the Manor House.
It extends behind that of No. 20, and reaches the old Tudor boundary wall on
the north. This is not a part of the "Great Garden" as shown by Hamilton,
which lay to the east of No. 19 Cheyne Walk, but of the garden that lay
directly to the north of the Manor House, and was not disposed of until after
Sir Hans Sloane's death. This northern portion of the old manorial gardens
(which was never separated from the Manor House as long as it stood) is
divided chiefly between Nos. 21 and 26 Cheyne Walk, while the other gardens
are laid out upon the site of the ancient buildings themselves. The part enjoyed
by No. 21 is in width equal to the frontages of Nos. 19, 20, 20A, 21 and 22,
and is bounded on the east by the wall which separated Sir Hans Sloane's private
gardens from the land which he had leased for building. The Tudor part of
the northern wall occupies about half this width, measuring from the east. The
garden has many fine old trees, and, with that of No. 26, forms one of the most
striking survivals of the Chelsea of the past.
No. 22 is a house that in spite of a good deal of alteration preserves in
a very great degree the pleasant and homely atmosphere of the 18th century.
The ironwork of the railings and that over the gate are simple and effective,
and the front doorway is another example of the beautifully proportioned
entrances which we have referred to above. The staircase, though modern, is
worth mentioning as it is reminiscent of the best work of the 18th century,
with fine Corinthian caps to the newels, and twisted balusters, the wall having
a panelled dado, finished with a half-handrail to match the stair. (fn. 3) The servants'
staircase from the third floor is original. There are two old fireplaces, one on
the second and one on the third floor, which have simple and well-proportioned
cornices with dentil ornament.
No. 23 seems to have lost its old doorway, but the present owner, Mr. A.
W. Clarke, has placed a hood over the circular opening, supported by two carved
brackets which he purchased from the remains of Paradise Row. It is pleasant
to feel that they are preserved so near to their earlier home. The staircase
has not been altered and the rooms on the ground floor have their panelling
but are fitted with new fireplaces. The first floor is quite altered, but retains
its old cornice; on the second floor, the back bedroom has the original mantelpiece with simple cornice, shaped frieze and marble slips. The one in the front
room is copied from this, the marble alone being of the date of the house. On
the third floor is an old grate with iron fret, and the railings and lampstand
outside the house are of the same date as the building.
Beneath No. 24 is an archway leading to Cheyne Mews, some stables
situated just at the back of the houses last described. This archway takes away
nearly half the ground floor of the house, so that the front door (which is like
that at No. 19) opens direct into a small room or entrance hall having an original
chimney-piece, which communicates by an arch with the staircase, and with a
similar room at the back. The first floor has two good sized rooms, looking
over the road and garden respectively, and both extending over the archway.
The characteristic dentil-cornice with enrichments is retained on this floor, and
the back room has a panelled dado. An elaborate roofed balcony of cast iron is
reached from the front room by French casements,—an addition of the last
century. Two chimney-pieces without ornament and a dado moulding remain
on the second floor.
Stuart of Doune.
The real interest of the house, however, is in the basement, for here
we have undoubted remains of the original vaults of the Manor House. There
are, in all, seven chambers vaulted in brickwork, lying chiefly beneath the roadway to the mews. These vaults have been in part rebuilt, probably when the
house was erected, but near the floor traces can be seen of the springing of the
old vaults, and in the vault furthest south the old brickwork is left projecting
from the floor. Although it is easy to distinguish from these remains the direction of each particular vault, yet they represent so small a portion of the old
house that they do not throw any light upon the buildings further than roughly
to locate them. A quaint effect is given to the rooms in the basement by these
various vaulted compartments. There is a two-light casement window, some
early 18th century panelling, and an apparently ancient lead cistern; this is in
such a position that it cannot be readily inspected.
Monson of Castlemaine.
No. 25 is approached through a wrought-iron gate of modern design,
fixed to the old railings. The doorway may serve as the type of those already
described in Nos. 19, 20, 22, and 24, and is illustrated on Plate 85. In the
hall is a wooden arch with key-block, supported on pilasters with caps, bases
and moulded pedestals. In the front room—in a line with the arch—is another
arch which suggests some modification of the original plan. The chimney-pieces
in this and the back room illustrate very plainly the rapid decadence in design
which was already moving toward the familiar early Victorian. There was still,
however, an attempt at the use of mouldings, in which appears some vague
scheme of proportion. The square opening of the fireplace is surrounded by a
wide border of marble, and wood. First a slip of Sicilian marble with its beaded
edge outwards, lines the opening; then a band of Siena slightly recessed; and
outside all a small carved moulding of wood. Above this a plain slab of Sicilian
marble provides the shelf.
The staircase is quite plain and there is nothing of special interest upstairs, but in the basement, on the garden side, is an old casement window with
its lead lights, wrought-iron hinges and cockspur handle, evidently taken complete from the walls of the Manor House.
No. 26, the last of the houses under consideration, has been completely
altered, but its garden, to which we have already referred, is rich in historic suggestion. As one walks northwards by the side of the west wall of the garden,
after passing about a third of its length, one comes to a sudden angle in the brickwork, which returns eastward some distance, and then continues north. The
wall is 12 or 13 feet high, and at first appears to be not earlier than the 17th
century, but after a few breaks and projections, it shows a fine stretch of Tudor
brickwork, which continues as far as the north wall of the garden. The first
part is evidently the boundary of the eastern portion of Winchester House, as
corroborated by Horwood's map; there are no indications of any doors or window openings, but these would naturally be north and south, and any internal
openings which may have originally connected it with the Manor House must
have been long ago filled up. The walls have been obviously patched and trimmed
to form the boundary of the garden, but the massiveness of the brickwork makes
it clear that here, if anywhere, are the remains of part of the old Manor House.
The western wall of the garden does not bond properly into the northern wall
(which is also of Tudor brickwork for some distance), but joins it irregularly.
It is difficult to say how far the Manor House went northwards, but it probably
did not go very far beyond the stables of Cheyne Mews. North of this the
trees are very old—there are two good mulberries, and a gigantic plane-tree
stands just by the stable wall. This garden formed part of the four acres ac
quired by the Rev. Thomas Clare, who in Faulkner's day seems to have impressed
the inhabitants with his skill at "landscape" gardening. Mr. Clare's schemes
probably did much to preserve the present gardens. Faulkner's description is
distinctly amusing, for in these days of the revival of formal gardens we have
lost sympathy with much that aroused the enthusiasm of people then. He says
in one place: "Proceeding onwards we arrive at Queen Elizabeth's garden, in
which still remains the celebrated mulberry tree planted by Her Majesty's own
hands, but now hastening to decay. There the grounds, by judicious planting,
and the happy disposition of light and shade, offer to the visitor a coup d'œil of
scenery, at once extensive and delightful, particularly a small ancient alcove,
adjoining a Tudor arch, and an embattled turret, seen through the trees, convey an idea of monastic antiquity, the semblance of which is much heightened
by the mouldering walls and the seclusion and silence of the surrounding umbrageous scenery:—
N'avez vous pas souvent, au lieux infrequentés
Rencontré tout-à-coup, ces aspects enchantés,
Qui suspendent vos pas, dont I'image chérie
Vous jette en un douce et longue reverie?—(De Lille)."
and again: "From the taste displayed in designing the grounds, and the felicitous
disposition of the landscape scenery, the visitor becomes so occupied in the contemplation of the varied beauties, that he forgets his locality, and finds his way
out of this delicious labyrinth, with regret, with doubt, with difficulty."
Cary, Lord Hunsdon.
In the garden is an angle-cistern of lead with the inscription:— [SO 1676]
Condition of repair.
The houses are all in good repair.
The history of the new Manor House begins with the exchange of property made
in 1536, by William Lord Sandys, Lord of the Manor of Chelsea, with Henry VIII.
The presence of Sir Thomas More at what was afterwards called Beaufort House, had
already familiarised the King with the beauty of the neighbourhood, and he soon formed
the design of building himself a house here, on the banks of the Thames. Leland in his
Itinerary notes that "the Lord Sannes that lately dyed made an exchange with the King,
and gave Chelsey in Westminstre, for Mottisfont Priory in Hamptonshire." At that
time the old Manor House, later to become the home of the Lawrence family, was situated
further west, where Lawrence Street is now, but Henry chose a site nearer the water,
with a frontage on Cheyne Walk, as we have seen, and there he built the new Manor
House, soon after the attainder and execution of More. Eight days before the date of the
conveyance of the manor we learn, on the authority of Wriothesley, that Henry VIII.
married Jane Seymour secretly at Chelsea. In the 28th year of Henry's reign, Sir Francis
Bryan was made "keeper of the chief messuage of the Manor of Chelsey," and later he was
confirmed in the office for life, by patent 31 Henry VIII.
In 1543, on the marriage of Henry with Catherine Parr, the manor was assigned to
the Queen as part of her jointure. She lived here after the King's death, with her
fourth husband, Sir Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral, and in her care was the
Princess Elizabeth, who had lived here before Catherine Parr's marriage with the King.
Mr. L'Estrange, in The Village of Palaces, gives a lively account of the Queen's intercourse with Seymour, and of the latter's indiscreet behaviour towards Elizabeth, from the
letters preserved among the Burleigh Papers. Catherine died in 1548, whereupon it
seems that the manor was bestowed by Edward VI. on John Dudley, first Duke of
Northumberland, as in the year 1551 that nobleman surrendered it to the Crown; and
the King, soon after, in the fifth year of his reign, in consideration of the surrender of the
manor and park of Esher, granted it to John Earl of Warwick, the duke's son. Two
years afterwards (1553) it was again granted to the Duke of Northumberland, and the
Lady Jane, his duchess, in exchange for the manor and castle of Tunbridge and other
lands. But, in the same year, the duke was executed in consequence of his attempt to
place upon the throne Lady Jane Grey, who had herself stayed at Chelsea with Catherine
and Seymour. The Duchess of Northumberland resided here until the year of her
death, 22 January 1555–6, when she was buried in the church, where there is a monument to her memory in the More Chapel. She was the daughter of Sir Edward Guildford.
In her interesting will she bequeaths to Sir Henry Sidney "the gold and green hangings
in the gallery in the Manor House water-side at Chelsey, with her lords arms and her
own." Against her express wish, her funeral was attended with great pomp and ceremony. (fn. 4)
Anne of Cleves, who after her divorce from Henry VIII. had remained in England, appears
to have resided in the Manor House after this, for she died "at the King and Quene's
Majesty's place at Chelsey beside London" (fn. 5) on 16 July 1556, and was buried in Westminster
In 1559, Queen Elizabeth leased the manor to Ann, Duchess of Somerset, widow
of the late Protector, Seymour, Duke of Somerset, for her life. The duchess afterwards
married her first husband's steward, Francis Newdigate, and died in 1587. She was the
daughter of Sir Edward Stanhope of Sudbury, and descended on her mother's side from
Thomas of Woodstock, youngest son of Edward III. After her death Elizabeth made a
similar grant of the manor to John Stanhope, Esq., afterwards Lord Stanhope of Harrington. In 1589 we find his marriage at Chelsea recorded in the Register, and also the
baptism of his daughter Elizabeth (1593) and his son Charles (1595). Stanhope seems,
however, to have given up the manor before this, for it was granted, in 1591, by the
Queen, to Catherine, first wife of Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham, Lord High
Admiral, on the same terms as the previous grants. During Nottingham's residence
here the Queen would often visit the Manor House, the home of her own childhood, and
there are several records of her coming to dine with the Lord Admiral. These visits
seem to have taken place as early as 1581 and 1585 when he was still Lord Howard, and
letters from him at Chelsea dated 1589 and 1591 are among the Harleian manuscripts.
It would appear, therefore, that he was a tenant here some time before the grant of the
manor to his wife, first under the Duchess of Somerset and later under Stanhope. The
first Countess of Nottingham was Catherine, daughter of Henry Cary, Lord Hunsdon.
She died 25th February 1603 and was buried at Chelsey on 21st March, three days
before the death of the Queen. This was the Lady Nottingham who is said to have
kept the ring that Elizabeth had given to the Earl of Essex, and the non-appearance of
which cost him his life.
The Earl of Nottingham married, as his second wife, Lady Margaret Stewart (or Stuart),
daughter of James Earl of Moray. Her mother was Elizabeth, daughter of James Earl of
Moray, natural son of James V. of Scotland. James I. granted the manor to the second
Countess of Nottingham for life. The Earl died in 1624, and was buried at Reigate; his
Countess subsequently married William, Lord Monson, Viscount Castlemaine. She died
14th August, 1639, and was buried in Chelsea Church. Before her death, however, she
and her husband parted with their interest in the manor to Sir John Monson and Robert
Goodwin, Esq., and in the year 1638 these persons sold it to Francis Vernon in trust for
James, Marquis and afterwards Duke of Hamilton, who in the following year obtained a
grant from the King of the manor in fee. Upon obtaining possession, he seems to have
begun the enlargement of the house which we have noticed above. His additions must
have nearly doubled the frontage to the river, and the new apartments were designed on
a large scale. In the Civil War he warmly espoused the cause of Charles I., and having
been taken prisoner at the battle of Preston, he was beheaded March 9th, 1649. His
brother William, who succeeded to the title, was killed at the battle of Worcester, 1651.
The manor and Manor House having been seized among the forfeited lands by Parliament
in 1653, the house and premises adjoining were sold by Commissioners and Trustees
appointed for that purpose to John Walker and others, and, having changed hands more
than once, were finally conveyed by the heirs of the Duke of Hamilton to Charles
Cheyne, Esq., in 1657, and the whole manor became his property in 1660. Charles
Cheyne was created Viscount Newhaven and Lord Cheyne in 1681. He married, first,
Lady Jane, eldest daughter and co-heir of William Duke of Newcastle, and it was with
the wealth which his wife brought him that he purchased the Chelsea property. We have
already mentioned the sale of the western part of the Manor House by him to the Bishops
of Winchester in 1664. Lord Cheyne lived in the eastern or old building. After the
death of his first wife, who was much beloved in Chelsea, and whose tomb is to be seen
in the parish church, Lord Cheyne married Lætitia;, the widowed Countess of Radnor,
who outlived him, and after his death resided at Radnor House, in Paradise Row. In 1698
Lord Cheyne died and was succeeded by his son William, Lord Cheyne, who, however,
does not seem to have resided here for long. The rate-lists inform us that the Manor House
was occupied for three years by the Countess of Plymouth (1701–3), and she was followed
by Mr. Anthony Chauvin, who stayed till 1709, when he moved to a large house in
Paradise Row, a little east of the Countess of Radnor's. The name of the Bishop of
Gloucester occurs for 1710, and then the Manor House remained empty until 1712 and
in that year, the manor was purchased by Sir Hans Sloane. We have only space here
to refer in the briefest manner to this distinguished man. His coming was a momentous
event for Chelsea, for, as we have already seen, it meant much drastic change, the beginning
of the end. The rate-books show that the Manor House was let to Madame Deborah
Woodcock from 1713 to 1728, and to Madame Edwards from 1729 to 1741. Mrs.
Woodcock seems to have moved here from Shrewsbury House (q. v.) where she had kept a
school. There is little doubt that she moved this to the Manor House; and that it was
continued by Mrs. Edwards. In 1742 Sir Hans Sloane had the house prepared for himself, and came to spend the evening of his days in Chelsea. He was already over 80
years of age, and found his chief pleasure in arranging the vast collection of objects of
natural history and works of art that he had accumulated and in showing them to the
royal and distinguished visitors who came to see him. He died in 1753, and his monument is in the disused burial-ground of the Old Church. The daughter and co-heir of
Sir Hans Sloane married an ancestor of Earl Cadogan, the present lord of the manor.
We have already stated that, contrary to his wish, Sloane's great collection did not
remain at Chelsea, but was taken to Bloomsbury to form the nucleus of the British Museum.
It now remains only to record the tenants of the houses that were erected upon the Manor
No. 19 Cheyne Walk.—1760–1763, Catherine Wiseman; 1764–1780, Charles Bainbridge; 1781, William Hunt; 1782–1783, Mary Cobb; 1790–1792, W. Gibson;
1793, James Bolton; 1794, Thomas Fielding; 179 5–1797, Henry Hill Hervey.
No. 20.—1760–1767, John Hay; 1768, Viscount Clare; 1775–1783, Anne Lane;
1790–1797, Thomas Rowntree.
No. 20a.—1760–1761, Rev. Richard Brooks; 1762–1767, James Metcalf; 1768–1776, Catherine Metcalf; 1777, Mrs. Day; 1778–1783, William Cooke;
1790–1797, Robert Whitworth.
No. 21.—1760–1763, Gidley Burgess; 1764–1772, John Smith; 1773, Peter
Ducane; 177 5–1783, George Medley; 1790–1793, William Hale; 1794–1800,
William, Henry and Mary Shiffer.
No. 22.—1761–1778, Sarah Burnaby; 1779–1798, Thomas Paulin; 1798–1802,
No. 23.—1761, Joseph Manger; 1762, William Hill; 1763–1770, Mary Bridges;
1771–1772, Dorothy Davies; 1774, Charles Moore; 1776, Walter Cutt; 1777–1781, Thomas Collett; 1782–1795, Richard Ladbroke; 1796–1800, Ann
No. 24.—1765–1769, Griffith Phillips; 1770–1772, Sir William Merideth, Bart.;
1773, John Greenwell; 1774–1781, Lucretia Horsmandon; 1782–1793,
Thomas and Charles Harris; 1794-1802, Amelia Corderoy or Cowdry.
No. 25.—1765, Henry Willis; 1766–1771, Thomas Northmore; 1772–1783,
Elizabeth Kirby; 1790–1802, Catherine Raper.
No. 26.—1765–1769, Sir Joseph Hankey; 1780, Lady Hankey; 1781–1785,
George Medley; 1786–1791, Susannah Nicholas and Sarah Coggs; 1792
Robert Cramp; 1793–1802, William Rowlatt.
John Bowack, Antiquities of Middlesex, &c. (1705).
Rev. Daniel Lysons, Environs of London (1795).
Thomas Faulkner, Chelsea and its Environs (2nd edition, 1829).
Rev. A. G. L'Estrange, The Village of Palaces (1880),
Alfred Beaver, Memorials of Old Chelsea (1892).
Reginald Blunt, Historical Handbook to Chelsea (1900).
Randall Da vies, Chelsea Old Church (1904).
Note.—In the above works-will be-found references to all the original sources which have
In the committee's ms. collection are—
|Houses on site of Manor House (photograph).|
|3277.||No. 20 Cheyne Walk, Front doorway (photograph).|
|3278.|| (fn. 6) No. 20 Cheyne Walk, Carved overdoor (photograph).|
|3279.|| (fn. 6) No. 20 Cheyne Walk, Lead cistern (photograph).|
|3280.|| (fn. 6) No. 20a Cheyne Walk, Staircase (photograph).|
|3281.|| (fn. 6) No. 25 Cheyne Walk, Front doorway (photograph).|