The dividing line which separated the old parish of Chelsea from the City of Westminster was determined by a brook called the Westbourne, which took its rise near West End in Hampstead.
It flowed through Bayswater and into Hyde Park. It supplied the water of the Serpentine, which we owe to the fondness of Queen Caroline for landscape gardening. This well-known piece of water was afterwards supplied from the Chelsea water-works. The Westbourne stream then crossed Knightsbridge
, and from this point formed the eastern boundary of St. Luke’s parish, Chelsea.
The only vestige of the rivulet now remaining is to be seen at its southern extremity, where, having become a mere sewer, it empties itself into the Thames about 300 yards above the bridge. The name survives in Westbourne Park and Westbourne Street. The boundary line of the present borough of Chelsea is slightly different; it follows the eastern side of Lowndes Square
, and thence goes down Lowndes Street
, Chesham Street
, and zig-zags through Eaton Place
and Terrace, Cliveden Place
, and Westbourne Street, breaking off from the last-named at Whitaker Street, thence down Holbein Place
, a bit of Pimlico, and Bridge Road to the river.
In a map of Chelsea made in l664 by James Hamilton, the course of the original rivulet is clearly shown. The northern boundary of Chelsea begins at Knightsbridge
. The north-western,
that between Chelsea and Kensington, runs down Basil and Walton Street
s, and turns into the Fulham Road at its junction with the Marlborough Road.
It follows the course of the Fulham Road to Stamford Bridge, near Chelsea Station. The western boundary, as well as the eastern, had its origin in a stream which rose to the north-west of Notting Hill (Counters Creek). Its site is now occupied by the railway - line (West London extension) ; the boundary runs on the western side of this until it joins an arm of Chelsea Creek, from which point the Creek forms the dividing line to the river.
The parish of Chelsea, thus defined, is roughly triangular in shape, and is divided by the King’s Road
into two nearly equal triangles.
An outlying piece of land at Kensal Town belonged to Chelsea parish - but is not included in the borough.
The population in 1801 was 12,079- In the year 1902 (the latest return) it is reckoned at 73,842.
Bowack, in an account of Chelsea in 1705, estimates the inhabited houses at 300 ; they are now computed at 8,641.
The first recorded instance of the mention of
Chelsea is about 785, when Pope Adrian sent
legates to England for the purpose of reforming
the religion, and they held a synod at Ceal-
In the reign of Edward the Confessor Thurstan
gave Chilchelle or Chilcheya, which he held of
the King, to Westminster Abbey. This gift was
confirmed by a charter which is in the Saxon
language, and is still preserved in the British
Museum. Gervace, Abbot of Westminster, natural
son of King Stephen, aliened the Manor of Chel-
chithe ; he bestowed it upon his mother, Dameta,
to be held by her in fee, paying annually to the
church at Westminster the sum of £4. In
Edward III.’s reign one Robert de Heyle leased
the Manor of Chelsith to the Abbot and Convent
of Westminster during his own lifetime, for which
they were to make certain payments : " £20 per
annum, to provide him daily with two white
loaves, two flagons of convent ale, and once a
year a robe of Esquier’s silk." The manor at that
time was valued at £25 l6s. 6d. The Dean and
Chapter of Westminster hold among their records
several court rolls of the Manor of Chelsea during
the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II. With
the exception that one Simon Bayle seems to
have been lessee of the Manor House in 1455, we
know nothing definite of it until the reign of
Henry VII., after which the records are tolerably
clear. It was then held by Sir Reginald Bray,
and from him it descended to his niece Margaret,
who married Lord Sandys. Lord Sandys gave or
sold it to Henry VIII., and it formed part of the
jointure of Queen Catherine Parr, who resided
there for some time with her fourth husband.
Afterwards it appears to have been granted to
the Duke of Northumberland, who was beheaded
in 1553 for his attempt to place Lady Jane Grey
on the throne. The Duchess of Northumberland
held it for her life, and at her death it was
granted to John Caryl, who only held it for a few
months before parting with it to John Bassett,
’’notwithstanding which," says Lysons, "Lady
Anne of Cleves, in the account of her funeral,
is said to have died at the King and Quene’s
majestys’ Place of Chelsey beside London in the
Queen Elizabeth gave it to the Earl of Somerset’s
widow for life - and at her death it was granted to
John Stanhope - afterwards first Lord Stanhope -
subject to a yearly rent-charge. It is probable
that he soon surrendered itÂ« for we find it shortly
after granted by Queen Elizabeth to Katherine -
Lady Howard, wife of the Lord Admiral. Then
it was held by the Howards for several genera-
tions, confirmed by successive grants, firstly to
Margaret, Countess of Nottingham, and then to
James Howard, son of the Earl of Nottingham,
who had the right to hold it for forty years after
the decease of his mother. She, however, survived
him, and in 1 639 James, Duke of Hamilton, pur-
chased her interest in it, and entered into posses-
sion. He only held it until the time of the
Commonwealth, when it was seized and sold ; but
it seems that the purchasers, Thomas Smithby and
Robert Austin, only bought it to hold in trust for
the heirs of Hamilton, for in 1657 Anne, daughter
and coheiress of the Duke of Hamilton, and her
husband. Lord Douglas, sold it to Charles Cheyne.
He bought it with part of the large dower brought
him by his wife, Lady Jane Cheyne, as is recorded
on her tombstone in Chelsea Church. Sir Hans
Sloane in 1712 purchased it from the then Lord
Cheyne. He left two daughters - who married
respectively Lord Cadogan and George Stanley.
As the Stanleys died out in the second generation -
their share reverted by will to the Cadogans - in
whom it is still vested.
TOPOGRAPHY AND DETAIL.
Beginning our account of Chelsea at a point in
the eastern boundary in the Pimlico Road
have on the right-hand side Holbein Place
modem street so named in honour of the great
painter - who was a frequent visitor at Sir Thomas
More’s house in Chelsea. Holbein Place
to the west and finally enters Sloane Square
In the Pimlico Road
- opposite to the barracks -
there stood until 1887-88 a shop bearing the sign
of the " Old Chelsea Bun House." But this was
not the original Bun House - which stood further
eastward - outside the Chelsea boundary. It had
a colonnade projecting over the pavement - and
it was fashionable to visit it in the morning.
George H. - Queen Caroline - and the Princesses
frequently came to it - and later George IIL and
Queen Charlotte. A crowd of some 50,000 people
gathered in the neighbourhood on Good Friday,
and a record of 240,000 buns being sold on that
day is reported. Swift, in his Journal to Stella,
1712, writes: " Pray are not fine buns sold here
in our town as the rare Chelsea Buns ?" In 1839
the place was pulled down and sold by auction.
The barracks - on the south side of the road -
face westwards, and have a frontage of a thousand
feet in length. As a matter of fact, they are not
included in the borough of Chelsea, though the
old parish embraced them ; but as they are Chelsea
Barracks, and as we are here more concerned with
sentiment than surveyor’s limits, it would be in-
excusable to omit all mention of them.
The chapel stands behind the drill-yard at the
back. It is calculated that it seats 800 people.
The organ was built by Hill. The brass lectern
was erected in 1888 in memory of Bishop Claugh-
ton. The east end is in the form of an apse, with
seven deeply-set windows, of which only two are
coloured. The walls of the chancel are inlaid
with alabaster. Round the walls are glazed tiles
to the memory of the men of the Guards who
have died. The oak pulpit is modem, and the
font, cut from a solid block of dark-veined marble
and supported by four pillars, stands on a small
platform of tessellated pavement. Passing out of
the central gateway of the barracks and turning
northward, we come to the junction of Pimlico
Road and Queen’s Road. From this point to
the comer of Smith Street
the road is known
as Queen’s Road. Along the first part of its
southern side is the ancient burial-ground of the
hospital. At the western end of this the tomb-
stones cluster thickly - though many of the in-
scriptions are now quite illegible. The burial-
ground was consecrated in 1691, and the first pen-
sioner - Simon Box - was buried here in 1692. In
1854 the ground was closed by the operation of
the Intramural Burials Act - but by special per-
mission General Sir Colin Halkett was buried
here two years later. His tomb is a conspicuous
object about midway down the centre path. It is
said that two female warriors - who dressed in
men’s clothes and served as soldiers - Christina
Davies and Hannah Snell - rest here - but their
names cannot be found. The first Governor of
the Royal Hospital - Sir Thomas Ogle - K.T. - was
buried here in 1702 - aged eighty-four - and also the
first Commandant of the Royal Military Asylum -
Lieutenant-Colonel George Williamson - in 1812.
The pensioners are now buried in the Brompton
Cemetery. For complete account of the Royal
Hospital and the Ranelagh Gardens adjoining -
see p. 67.
At the comer between Turks Row and Lower
there is a great red-brick mansion
rising several stories higher than its neighbours.
This is an experiment of the Ladies’ Dwelling
Company to provide rooms for ladies obliged to
live in London on small means - and has a restaurant
below, where meals can be obtained at a reason-
able rate. The first block was opened in February -
1889. It is in a very prosperous condition - the ap-
plications altogether surpassing the accommoda-
tion. The large new flats and houses called
Sloane Court and Revelstoke and Mendelssohn
Gardens have been built quite recently - and
replace very "mean streets.*’ The Httle church
of St. Jude’s - district church of Holy Trinity -
stands on the north side of the Row - and at the
back are the National and infant schools attached
to it. It was opened for service in 1844. In
1890 it was absorbed into Holy Trinity parish.
It seats about 800 persons. From Turks Row we
pass into Franklin’s Row. On Hamilton’s map
(corrected to 1717) we find marked "Mr. Frank-
lin’s House," not on the site of the present Row,
but opposite the north-western comer of Burton’s
Court, at the comer of the present St, Leonard’s
Terrace and Smith Street
. The name Franklin
has been long connected with Chelsea, for in
1790 we find John Franklin and Mary Franklin
bequeathing money to the poor of Chelsea. At
the south end is an old public-house, with over-
hanging story and red-tiled roof ; it is called the
Royal Hospital, and contrasts quaintly with its
towering modem red-brick neighbours.
The entrance gates of the Royal Militaiy
Asylum, popularly known as the Duke of York’s
School, open on to Franklin’s Row just before it
runs into Cheltenham Terrace
. The building
itself stands back behind a great space of green
grass. It is of brick faced with Portland stone -
and is of very solid construction. Between the
great elm-trees on the lawn can be seen the
immense portico, with the words "The Royal
Military Asylum for the Children of the Soldiers
of the Regular Army " running across the frieze.
The building is in three wings, enclosing at the
back laundry, hospital. Commandant’s house, etc.,
and great playgrounds for the boys. Long low
dormitories, well ventilated, on the upper floors
in the central building contain forty beds apiece,
while those in the two wings are smaller, with
thirteen beds each. Below the big dormitories
are the dining-rooms, the larger one decorated
with devices of arms ; these were brought from
the Tower and arranged by the boys themselves.
There are 550 inmates, admitted between the
ages of nine and eleven, and kept until they are
fourteen or fifteen. The foundation was estab-
lished by the Duke of York in 1801, and was
ready for occupation by 1803. It was designed
to receive 700 boys and 300 girls, and there was
an infant establishment connected with it in the
Isle of Wight In 1823 the girls were removed
elsewhere. There are a number of boys at the
sister establishment, the Hiberniui Asylum, in
Ireland. The Commandant, Colonel G. A. W.
Forrest, is allowed 6jd. per diem for the food of
each boy, and the bill of fare is extraordinarily
good. Cocoa and bread-and-butter, or bread-and-
jam, for breakfast and tea ; meat, pudding, vege-
tables, and bread, for dinner. Cake on special
f -te-days as an extra. The boys do credit to
their rations, and show by their bright faces and
energy their good health and spirits. They are
under strict military discipline, and both by train-
ing and heredity have a military bias. There is
no compulsion exercised, but fully 90 per cent,
of those who are eligible finally enter the army ;
and the school record shows a long list of com-
missioned and non-commissioned officers, and even
two Major-Generals, who owed their early training
to the Chelsea Asylum. The site on which the
Asylum stands was bought from Lord Cadogan ; it
occupies about twelve acres, and part of it was
formerly used for market-gardens.
One of the schoolrooms has still the pulpit, and
a raised gallery running round, which mark it as
having been the original chapel ; but the present
chapel stands at the comer of King’s Road
. On Sunday morning the
boys parade on the green in summer and on the
large playground in winter before they march in
procession to the chapel with their band playing, a
scene which has been painted by Mr. Morris,
A.R.A., as "The Sons of the Brave." The chap-
lain is the Rev. G. H. Andrews. The gallery
of the chapel is open to anyone, and is almost
always well filled. The annual expenditure
of the Asylum is supplied by a Parliamentary
On Hamilton’s Survey the ground now occupied
by the Duke of York’s School is marked " Glebe,"
and exactly opposite to it, at the comer where
what is now Cheltenham Terrace
Road, is a small house in an enclosure called
’’Robins’ Garden." On this spot now stands
Whitelands Training College for school-mistresses.
" In 1839 the Rev. Wyatt Edgell gave -1,000 to
the National Society to be the nucleus for a
building fund, whenever the National Society
could undertake to build a female training
college." But it was not until 1841 that the
college for training school-mistresses was opened
at Whitelands. In 1850 grants were made from
the Education Department and several of the
City Companies, and the necessary enlargements
and improvements were set on foot. Some of
the earlier students were very young, but in 1858
the age of admission was raised to eighteen.
From time to time the buildings have been en-
larged. Mr. Ruskin instituted in 1880 a May
Day Festival, to be held annually, and as long as
he lived, he himself presented to the May Queen
a gold cross and chain, and distributed to her
comrades some of his volumes. Mr. Ruskin also
presented to the college many books - coins, and
pictures, and proved himself a good friend. In
the chapel there is a beautiful east window erected
to the memory of Miss Gillott, one of the former
governesses. The present Principal is the Rev.
J. P. Faunthorpe, F.RG.S.
On the west side is Walpole Street
, so called
from the fact that Sir Robert Walpole is supposed
to have lodged in a house on this site before
moving into Walpole House, now in the grounds
of the Royal Hospital. Walpole Street
into St. Leonard’s Terrace
, formerly Green’s Row,
which runs along the north side of the great court
known as Burton’s Court, treated in the account
of the Hospital. In this terrace there is nothing
calling for remark. Opening out of it, parallel to
, runs the Royal Avenue
, also con-
nected with the Hospital. To the north, facing
, lies Wellington Square
, named after
the famous Wellington, whose brother was Rector
of Chelsea (1805). The centre of the square is
occupied by a double row of trees. St. Leonard’s
Terrace ends in Smith Street
, the southern part
of which was formerly known as Ormond Row.
The southern half is full of interest Durham
House, now occupied by Sir Bruce MaxweU Seton,
stands on the site of Old Durham House, about
which very little is known. It may have been
the town residence of the Bishops of Durham, but
tradition records it not. Part of the building was
of long, narrow bricks two inches wide, thus diflfer-
ing from the present ones of two and a half inches ;
some of the same sort are still preserved in the wall
of Sir Thomas More’s garden. This points to its
having been of the Elizabethan or Jacobean period.
Yet in Hamilton’s Survey it is not marked; instead,
there is a house called ’’Ship House," a tavern
which is said to have been resorted to by the
workmen building the Hospital. It is possible this
is the same house which degenerated into a tavern,
and then recovered its ancient name. Connected
with this until quite recently there was a narrow
passage between the houses in Paradise Row called
Ship Alley, and supposed to have led from Gough
House to Ship House. This was closed by the
owner after a lawsuit about right of way.
A Httle to the north of Durham House was one
of the numerous dwellings in Chelsea known as
Manor House. It was the residence of the Steward
of the Manor, and had great gardens reaching back
as far as Flood Street
, then Queen Street. This
is marked in a map of 1838. This house was
afterwards used as a consumption hospital, and
formed the germ from which the Brompton
Hospital sprang. On its site stands Durham
Place. Below Durham Place is a little row of
old houses, or, rather, cottages, with plaster fronts,
and at the comer a large public-house known as
the Chelsea Pensioner. On the site of this, the
comer house, the local historian Faulkner lived.
He was bom in 1777, and wrote histories of
Fulham, Hammersmith, Kensington, Brentford -
Chiswick, and Ealing, besides his invaluable work
on Chelsea. He is always accurate, always pains-
taking, and if his style is sometimes dry, his is, at
all events, the groundwork and foundation on
which all subsequent histories of Chelsea have
been reared. Later on he moved into Smith
Street, where he died in 1855. He is buried
in the Brompton Road
The continuation of St Leonard’s Terrace is
Redesdale Street; we pass down this and up
Radnor Street, into which the narrow little Smith
Terrace opens out. Smith Street
Terrace are named after their builder. Radnor
House stood at the south-eastern comer of Flood
Street, but the land owned by the Radnors gave
its name to the adjacent street. At the northern
comer of Radnor Street stands a small Welsh
chapel built of brick. In the King’s Road
Smith and Radnor Streets, formerly stood another
manor-house. Down Shawfield Street
back into Redesdale Street, out of which opens Ted-
worth Square. Robinson’s Street is a remnant of
Robinson’s Lane, the former name of Flood Street
a corruption of ’’Robins his street," from Mr.
Robins - whose house is marked on Hamilton’s map.
Christ Church is in Christchurch Street
- and is
built of brick in a modem style. It holds 1 -000
people. The organ and the dark oak pulpit came
from an old church at Queenhithe, and were pre-
sented by the late Bishop of London - and the
carving on the latter is attributed to Grinling
Gibbons. At the back of the church are National
Schools. Christchurch Street
, which opens into
Queen’s Road West (old Paradise Row), was made
by the demolition of some old houses fronting the
At the extreme comer of Flood Street
Queen’s Road West stood Radnor House, called
by Hamilton " Lady Radnor’s House." In 166O,
when still only Lord Robartes, the future Earl of
Radnor entertained Charles II. here to supper.
Pepys, the indefatigable, has left it on record that
he " found it to be the prettiest contrived house "
that he ever saw. Lord Cheyne (Viscount New-
haven) married the Dowager Duchess of Radnor,
who was at that time living in Radnor House.
After the death of the first Earl, the family name
is recorded as Roberts in the registers, an instance
of the etymological carelessness of the time. In
Radnor House was one of the pillared arcades
fashionable in the Jacobean period, of which a
specimen is still to be seen over the doorway of
the dining-room in the Queen’s House. On the
first floor was a remarkably fine fireplace, which
has been transferred bodily to one of the Modern
houses in Cheyne Walk
. At the back of Radnor
House were large nursery - gardens known as
" Mr. Watt’s gardens *’ from the time of Hamilton
(1717) until far into the present century. An old
hostel adjoining Radnor House was called the
Duke’s Head, after the Duke of Cumberland, of
whom a large oil-painting hung in the principal
From this comer to the west gates of the
Hospital was formerly Paradise Row. Here lived
the Duchess of Mazarin, sister to the famous
Cardinal. She was married to the Duke de la
Meilleraie, who adopted her name. It is said
that Charles II. when in exile had wished to
marry her, but was prevented by her brother, who
saw at the time no prospect of a Stuart restora-
tion. The Duchess, after four years of unhappy
married life with the husband of her brother -s
choice, fled to England. Charles, by this time
restored to his throne, received her, and settled
jB4,000 on her from the secret service funds. She
lived in Chelsea in Paradise Row. Tradition as-
serts very positively that the house was at one end
of the row, but at which remains a disputed point.
L’Estrange and others have inclined to the belief
that it was at the east end, the last of a row of
low creeper-covered houses still standing, fronted
by gardens and high iron gates. The objection
to this is that these are not the last houses in the
line - but are followed by one or two of a different
The end of all - now a public-house, is on the
site of Faulkner’s house, and it is probable that if
the Duchess had lived there, he, coming after so
comparatively short an interval, would have men-
tioned the fact ; as it is, he never alludes to the
exact locality. Even £4f,000 a year was quite
inadequate to keep up this lady’s extravagant
style of living. The gaming at her house ran
high ; it is reported that the guests left money
under their plates to pay for what they had eaten.
St Evremond, poet and man of the world, was
frequently there, and he seems to have constituted
himself " guide, philosopher, and friend " to the
wayward lady. She was only fifty-two when she
died in 1699, and the chief records of her life
are found in St. Evremond’s writings. He, her
faithful admirer to the end, was buried in West-
A near neighbour of the Duchess’s was Mrs.
Mary Astell, one of the early pioneers in the
movement for the education for women. She
published several volumes iii defence of her sex,
and proposed to found a ladies’ college. She
gave up the project, however, when it was- con-
demned by Bishop Burnet. She was ridiculed by
the wits of her time - Swift, Steele, and Addison
- -but she was undoubtedly a very able woman.
The Duke of St. Albiuis, Nell Gwynne’s son,
also had a house in Paradise Row. The Duke of
Ormond lived in Ormond House, two or three
doors from the east comer. In 1805 the comedian
Suett died in this row. Further down towards
the river are enormous new red-brick mansions.
runs right through from Tedworth
Square to the Embankment, being cut almost in
half by Queen’s Road West. It is named after
Sir W. Tite, M.P. The houses are modem, built
in the Queen Anne style, and are mostly of red
brick. To this the white house built for Mr.
Whistler is an exception; it is a square, unpre-
tentious building faced with white bricks.
At different times the names of many artists
have been associated with this street, which is
still a favourite one with men of the brush. The
great block of studios - the Tower House - arises
up to an immense height on the right, almost
opposite to the Victoria Hospital for Children.
The nucleus of this hospital is ancient Gough
House, one of the few old houses still remaining
in Chelsea. John Vaughan, third and last Earl of
Carbery, built it in the beginning of the eighteenth
century. He had been Governor of Jamaica under
Charles II., and had left behind him a bad reputa-
tion. He did not live long to enjoy his Chelsea
home - for Faulkner tells us he died in his coach
going to it in 1713. Sir Robert Walpole, whose
land adjoined - bought some of the grounds to add
to his own.
In 1866 the Victoria Hospital for Children was
founded by a number of medical men, chief of
whom were Edward Ellis, M.D., and Sydney Hay-
ward, M.D. There was a dispute about the site,
which ended in the foundation of two hospitals -
this Mid the Belgrave one. This one was opened
first, and consequently earned the distinction of
being the first children’s hospital opened after that
in Ormond Street. At first only six beds were pro-
vided; but there are now seventy-five, and an
additional fifty at the convalescent home at Broad-
stairs, where a branch was established in 1875.
The establishment is without any endowment, and
is entirely dependent on voluntary subscriptions.
From time to time the building has been added
to and adapted, so that there is little left to tell
that it was once an old house. Only the thick-
ness of the walls between the wards and the old-
fashioned contrivances of some of the windows
betray the fact that the building is not modem.
Children are received at any age up to sixteen ;
some are mere babies. Across Tite Street
opposite, is a building containing six beds for
paying patients in connection with the Victoria
, a very dirty, narrow little pas-
sage, runs parallel to Tite Street
. In it is a
theatre built by the poet Shelley, and now closed.
At one time private theatricals were held here,
but when money was taken at the door, even
though it was in behalf of a charity, the perform-
ances were suppressed. Paradise Row opens into
, behind the pseudo-ancient block of
houses on the Embankment. Some of these are
extremely fine. Shelley House is said to have
been designed by Lady Shelley. Wentworth
House is the last before Swan Walk
, in which the
name of the Swan Tavern is kept alive. This
tavern was well known as a resort by all the gay
and thoughtless men who visited Chelsea in the
seventeenth century. It is mentioned by Pepys
and Dibdin, and is described as standing close to
the water’s edge and having overhanging wooden
balconies. In 1715 Thomas Doggett, a comedian,
instituted a yearly festival, in which the great
feature was a race by watermen on the river from
" the old Swan near London Bridge to the White
Swan at Chelsea." The prize was a coat, in every
pocket of which was a guinea, and also a badge.
This race is still rowed annually, Doggett’s Coat
and Badge being a well-known river institution.
Adjoining Swan Walk
is the Apothecaries’
Garden, the oldest garden of its kind in London.
Sir Hans Sloane, whose name is revered in Chelsea
and perpetuated in one of the principal streets - is
so intimately associated with this garden that it is
necessary at this point to give a short account of
him. Sir Hans Sloane was bom in Ireland - 166O.
He began his career undistinguished by any title
and without any special advantages. Very early
he evinced an ardent love of natural history - and
he came over while still a youth to study in
London. From this time his career was one long
success. When he was only twenty-seven he was
selected by the Duke of Albemarle - who had been
appointed Governor of Jamaica - to accompany him
as his physician. About a year and a half later
he returned, bringing with him a wonderful col-
lection of dried plants.
Mr. Sloane was appointed Court physician, and
after the accession of George I. he was created a
Baronet. He was appointed President of the
Royal Society on the death of Sir Isaac Newton
in 1727. He will be remembered, however, more
especially as being the founder of the British
Museum. During the course of a long life he had
collected a very valuable assortment of curiosities,
and this he left to the nation on the payment by
the executors of a sum of JB20,000-" less than half
of what it had cost him. In 1712 he purchased
the Manor of Chelsea, and when the lease of the
Apothecaries’ Garden ran out in 1734, he granted
it to the Society perpetually on certain conditions,
one of which was that they should deliver fifty
dried samples of plants every year to the Royal
Society until the number reached 2 -000. This
condition was fulfilled in 1774. Sir Hans Sloane
died in 1753.
A marble statue by Rysbach in the centre of
the garden commemorates him. It was erected
in 1737 at a cost of nearly £300. Mr. Miller, son
of a gardener employed by the Apothecaries, wrote
a valuable horticultural dictionary, and a new genus
of plants was named after him.
Linnaeus visited the garden in 1736. Of the
four cedars - the first ever brought to England -
planted here in 1683, one alone survives.
Returning to the Embankment, we see a few
more fine houses in the pseudo-ancient style.
Clock House and Old Swan House were built
from designs by Norman Shaw, R.A. Standing
near is a large monument, with an inscription to
the effect: ’ - Chelsea Embankment
, opened 1874
by Lt-Col. Sir J. Macnaghten Hogg, K.C.B. Sir
Joseph W. Bazalgette, C.B., engineer." The
Embankment is a magnificent piece of work, ex-
tending for nearly a mile, and made of Portland
cement concrete, faced with dressed blocks of
granite. Somewhere on the site of the row of
houses in Che3aie Walk stood what was known as
the New Manor House, built by King Henry VIH.
as part of the jointure of Queen Catherine Parr,
who afterwards lived here with her fourth husband -
Thomas Seymour - Lord High Admiral. Here the
young Princess Elizabeth came to stay with her
stepmother - and also poor little Lady Jane Grey
at the age of eleven. The history of the Manor
House - of course - coincides with the history of the
manor - which has been given at length elsewhere.
Lysons - writing in 1795, states that the building
was pulled down " many years ago. " It was built
in 1536 - and thus was probably in existence about
250 years. More than a century after - some
time prior to l663, James - Duke of Hamilton - had
built a house adjoining the Manor House on the
western side. The palace of the Bii -hops of Win-
chester at Southwark had become dilapidated - and
the Bishop of that time - George Morley - purchased
Hamilton’s new house for £4f,250 to be the epis-
copal residence. From that time until the invest-
ment of Bishop Tomline - 1820 - eight Bishops
lived in the house successively. Of these - Bishop
Hoadley - one of the best-known names among them -
was the sixtL He was bom in l676, the son of a
master of Norwich Grammar School. He was a
Fellow of Catherine’s Hall at Cambridge - and
wrote several political works which brought him
into notice. He passed successively through the
sees of Bangor - Hereford, Salisbury, and Win-
chester. He was succeeded by the Hon. Brown-
low North, to whom Faulkner dedicated his first
edition of " Chelsea." Lady Tomlinei the wife of
the Bishop of that name, took a dislike to the
house at Chelsea and refused to live there. The
great hall was forty feet long by twenty wide, and
the three drawing-rooms extended the whole
length of the south front. The front stood rather
further back than the Manor House, not on a line
with it. The palace stood just where Oakley
Street now opens into Cheyne Walk
. The houses
standing on the sites of these palaces are mostly
modem. No. 1 has a fine doorway which came
from an old house at the other end of the row.
In the next Mr. Beerbohm Tree and his wife lived
for a short time after their marriage.
No. 4 has had a series of notable inmates.
William Dyce, R.A., was the occupant in 1846,
and later on Daniel Maclise, R.A. Then came
George Eliot, with Mr. Cross, intending to stay
in Chelsea for the winter, but three weeks after
she caught cold and died in this house. Local
historians have mentioned a strange shoot which
ran from the top to the bottom of this house ; this
has disappeared, but on the front-staircase still
remain some fresco paintings executed by Sir J.
Thomhill, and altered by Maclise. In 179 - a
retired jeweller named Neild came to No. 5.
The condition of prisoners incarcerated for small
debts occupied his thoughts and energies, and
he worked to ameliorate it. He left his son
James Neild an immense fortmie. This eccentric
individual - however - was a miser - who scrimped
and scraped all his life> and at his death left all
his money to Queen Victoria. The gate-piers
before this house are very fine - tall, and square,
of mellowed red brick, surmounted by vases.
These vases superseded the stone balls in fashion
at the end of the Jacobean period. Hogarth is
said to have been a frequent visitor to this house.
In the sixth house Dr. Weedon Butler, father of
the Headmaster of Harrow, kept a school, which
was very well known for about thirty years. In
the next block we have the famous Queen’s House,
marked by the little statuette of Mercury on the
parapet. It is supposed to have been named after
Catherine of Braganza, but beyond some initials -
C. R. (Catherine Regina) - in the ironwork of the
gate, there seems no fact in support of this. The
two Rossettis, Meredith, and Swinburne came
here in 1862, but soon parted company, and D. G.
Rossetti alone remained. He decorated some of
the fireplaces with tiles himself; that in the
drawing-room is still inlaid with glazed blue and
white Persian tiles of old design. In his time it
was called Tudor House, but when the Rev. H. R.
Haweis (d. 1901) came to live here, he resumed
the older name of Queen’s House. It is supposed to
have been built by Wren, and the rooms are beauti-
fully proportioned, panelled, and of great height.
The next house to this on the eastern side was
occupied for many years by the artistic family of
the Lawsons. Thomas Attwood - a pupil of Mozart
and himself a great composer, died there in 1838.
The house had formerly a magnificent garden, to
the mulberries of which Hazlitt makes allusion in
one of his essays. No. 18 was the home of the
famous Don Saltero’s museum. This man, cor-
rectly Salter, was a servant of Sir Hans Sloane,
and his collection was formed from the overflow-
ings of his master’s. Some of the curiosities
dispersed by the sale in 1799 are still to be seen
in the houses of Chelsea families in the form of
petrified seaweed and shells. The museum was
to attract people to the building, which was also
a coffee-house ; this was at that time something
of a novelty. It was first opened in l695. Sir
Richard Steele, in the Tatler, says : " When I
came into the coffee-house I had not time to
salute the company before my eye was diverted
by ten thousand gimcracks round the room and
on the ceiling." Catalogues of the curiosities are
still extant, and one of them is preserved in the
Chelsea Public Library.
Of the remaining houses none have associations.
The originals were too small for the requirements
of those who wished to live in such an expensive
situation, and within the last score of years they
have been pulled down and others built on their
sites. One of these so destroyed was called the
Grothic House ; in it lived Count D’Orsay, and it
was most beautifully finished both inside and out.
The decorative work was executed by Pugin, and
has been described by those who remember it as
gorgeous. In another there was a beautiful
Chippendale staircase, which, it is to be feared,
was ruthlessly chopped up. In the last house of
all was an elaborate ceiling after the style of
Wedgwood. The doorway of this house is now
at No. 1.
The garden which lies in front of these houses
adds much to their picturesqueness in summer
by showing the glimpses of old walls and red
brick through curtains of green leaves. In it,
opposite to the house where he used to live, there
is a gray granite fountain to the memory of
Rossetti. It is surmounted by a bronze alto-
relievo bust modelled by Mr. F. Madox Brown.
A district old enough to be squalid, but not old
enough to be interesting, is enclosed by Smith
and Manor Streets, running at right angles to the
Embankment. New red-brick mansions at the end
of Flood Street
indicate that the miserable plaster-
fronted houses will not be allowed to have their
own way much longer. No street has changed its
name so frequently as Flood Street
. It was first
called Pound Lane, from the parish pound that
stood at the south end ; it then became Robinson’s
Lane ; in 1 838 it is marked as Queen Street ; and
in 1865 it was finally turned into Flood Street
from L. T. Floods a parish benefactor - in whose
memory a service is still held every year in
St. Luke’s Church.
is very modem. In a map of
1838 there is no trace of it, but only a great open
space where Winchester House formerly stood.
In No. 32 lives Dr. Phen6, who was the first to
plant trees in the streets of London. Phen6
Street - leading into Oakley Crescent, is named
after him. The line of houses on the west side
of Oakley Street
is broken by a garden thickly
set with trees. This belongs to Cheyne House,
the property of Dr. Phen6 ; the house cannot be
seen from the street in summer-time. The oldest
part is perhaps Tudor, and the latest in the style
of Wren. One wall is decorated with fleurs-de-lys.
In the garden was grown the original moss-rose,
a freak of Nature, from which all other moss-roses
have sprung. In the grounds was discovered a
subterranean passage, which Dr. Phen6 claims
fixes the site of Shrewsbury or Alston House. It
runs due south, and indicates the site as adjacent
to Winchester House on the west side. Faulkner,
writing in 1810, says: ’’The most ancient house
now remaining in this parish is situated on the
banks of the river, not far from the site of the
Manor House built by King Henry VIII., and
appears to have been erected about that period.
It was for many years the residence of the Shrews-
bury family, but little of its ancient splendour
now remains." He describes it as an irregular
brick building, forming three sides of a quad-
rangle. The principal room, which was wains-
cotted with oak, was 120 feet long, and one of
the rooms, supposed to have been an oratory,
was painted in imitation of marble. Faulkner
mentions the subterranean passage ’ - leading
towards Kensington," which Dr. Phene has
Shrewsbury House was built in the reign of
Henry VHI. by George, Earl of Shrewsbury, who
was succeeded in 1538 by his son Francis. The
son of Francis, George, sixth Earl of Shrewsbury,
who succeeded in his turn, was a very wealthy
and powerful nobleman. He was high in Queen
Elizabeth’s favour, and it was to his care that the
captive Mary, Queen of Scots, was entrusted.
Though Elizabeth considered he treated the royal
prisoner with too much consideration, she after-
wards forgave him, and appointed him to see the
execution of the death-warrant. He married for
his second wife a lady who had already had three
husbands, each more wealthy than the last. By
the second of these. Sir William Cavendish, she
had a large family. Her husband left his house
at Chelsea wholly to her. She outlived him
seventeen years, and with her immense wealth
built the three magnificent mansions of Chats-
worth, Oldcotes, and Hardwick, and all these
she left to her son William Cavendish, afterwards
created Baron Cavendish and Earl of Devonshire.
A son of a younger brother was created Marquis
of Newcastle, and his daughter and coheiress was
Lady Jane, who brought her husband, Charles
Che3aie, such a large dower that he was enabled
to buy the Manor of Chelsea.
After the death of the Earl of Devonshire,
Shrewsbury House became the residence of his
widow until her death in l643. It then was held
by the Alstons, from whom it took its secondary
name, and was finally in the possession of the
Tates, and was the seat of a celebrated wall-paper
manufactory. "The manufacture of porcelain
acquired great celebrity. It was established near
the water-side. . . . Upon the same premises was
afterwards established a manufactory of stained
paper." This seems to point to Shrewsbury
House as the original home of the celebrated
Chelsea china. But, on the other hand, all later
writers point authoritatively to Lawrence Street
at the comer of Justice Walk, as the seat of the
china manufacture. There seems to be some
confusion as to the exact site of the original
works, for in " Nollekens and his Times " it is
indicated as being at Cremome House, further
westward. One Martin Lister mentions a china
manufactory in Chelsea as early as 1698 - but the
renowned manufactory seems to have been started
about fifty years later. The great Dr. Johnson
was fired with ambition to try his hand at this
delicate art - and he went again and again to the
place to master the secret ; but he failed - and one
can hardly imagine anyone less likely to have
succeeded. The china service in the possession
of Lord Holland - known as Johnson’s service - was
not made by him, but presented to him by the
proprietors as a testimony to his painstaking
effort The first proprietor was a Mr. Nicholas
Sprimont, and a jug in the British Museum,
bearing date ’ - 1745 Chelsea/’ is supposed to be
one of the earliest productions.
The first sale by auction took place in the Hay-
market in 1754, when table sets and services,
dishes, plates, tureens, and 6pergnes were sold.
These annual sales continued for many years. In
1763 Sprimont attempted to dispose of the busi-
ness and retire owing to lameness, but it was not
until 1769 that he sold out to one Duesbury,
who already owned the Derby China Works, and
eventually acquired those at Bow also.
The Chelsea china was very beautiful and
costly. An old tradition is mentioned in the
’’Life of NoUekens" that the clay was at first
brought as ballast in ships from China, and when
the Orientals discovered what use was being made
of it - they forbade its exportation - and the English-
men had to be content with their own native clay.
NoUekens says that his father worked at the
pottery - and that Sir James Thomhill had fur-
nished designs. The distinctive mark on the
china was an anchor - which was slightly varied -
and at times entwined with one or two swords.
Walpole in 1763 says that he saw a service which
was to be given to the Duke of Mecklenburg by
the King and Queen - and that it was very beauti-
ful and cost £1,200.
From the comer of Oakley Street
to the church,
faces a second garden, in which
there is a statue of Carlyle in bronze, executed by
the late Sir Edgar Boehm and unveiled in 1882.
This locality is associated with many famous men,
though the exact sites of their houses are not
known. Here lived Sir Richard Steele and Sir
James Northcote, R.A. Somewhere near the
spot Woodfall, the printer of the famous " Letters
of Junius," lived and died. A stone at the north-
east comer of the church (exterior) commemorates
him. In the Chelsea Public Library is preserved
the original ledger of the Public Advertiser,
showing how immensely the sales increased with
the publication of these famous letters.
In this part there was a very old inn bearing
the name The Magpie and Stump. It was a
quaint old structure, and the court -leet and
court-baron held sittings in it. In 1886 it was
destroyed by a fire, and is now replaced by a very
modem structure of the same name. Further
on there are immense red-brick mansions called
Carlyle Mansions, and then, at right angles,
there is Chejme Row, the home for many years
of one of England’s deepest and sincerest
thinkers. Carlyle was the loadstar who drew
men of renown from all quarters of the civilized
globe to this somewhat narrow, dark little street
in Chelsea. The houses are extraordinarily dull,
of dark brick, monotonously alike ; they face
a row of small trees on the west side, and
Carlyle’s house is about the middle, numbered 24
(formerly 5). A medallion portrait was put up by
his admirers on the wall ; inscribed beneath it is :
"Thomas Carlyle lived at 24, Che3me Row,
1834-81." The house has been acquired by
trustees, and is open to anyone on the payment
of a shilling. It contains various Carlylean relics :
letters, scraps of manuscript, furniture, pictures,
etc., and attracts visitors from all parts of the
world. There is no need to expatiate on the life
of the philosopher ; it belongs not to Chelsea, but
to the English-speaking peoples of all countries.
Here came to see him Leigh Hunt, who lived
only in the next street, and Emerson from across
the Atlantic; such diverse natures as Harriet
Martineau and Tennyson - Ruskin and Tyndall,
found pleasure in his society.
At the north end of Che3aie Row is a large
Roman Catholic church, built 1896. Upper
was for many years the home of
Leigh Hunt. A small passage from this leads
into Bramerton Street
. This was built in 1870
upon part of what were formerly the Rectory
grounds, which by a special Act the Rector was
empowered to let for the purpose. Parallel to
is Lawrence Street
, and at the
corner, facing the river, stands the Hospital for
Incurable Children. It is a large brick building,
with four fluted and carved pilasters running up
the front. The house is four stories high and
picturesquely built. In 1889 it was ready for use.
The charity was established by Mr. and Mrs. Wick-
ham Flower, and had been previously carried on
a few doors lower down in Cheyne Walk
tary subscriptions and donations form a large part
of the income, and besides this a small payment
is required from the parents and friends of the
little patients. The hospital inside is bright and
airy. The great wide windows run down to the
ground, and over one of the cots hangs a large
print of Holman Hunt’s " Light of the World,"
a gift from the artist himself, who formerly lived
in a house on this site and in it painted the
original. The ages at which patients are received
are between three and ten - and the cases are
frequently paralysis - spinal or hip disease.
Lawrence or Monmouth House stood on the
north side of Lordship Yard. Here Dr. Smollett
once lived and wrote many of his works ; one of
the scenes of "Humphrey Clinker" is actually
laid in Monmouth House. The old parish church
stands at the comer of Church Street. The
exterior is very quaint - with the ancient brick
turned almost purple by age ; and the monuments
on the walls are exposed to all the winds that sweep
up the river. The square tower was formerly
surmounted by a cupola - which was taken down
in 1808 because it had become unsafe. The
different parts of the church have been built and
rebuilt at different dates> which makes it difficult
to give an idea of its age. Faulkner says : " The
upper chancel appears to have been rebuilt in the
fifteenth century ; the chapel of the Lawrence
family at the end of the north aisle appears to
have been built early in the fourteenth century,
if we may judge from the form of the Gothic
windows, now nearly stopped up. The chapel at
the west end of the south aisle was built by Sir
T. More about the year 1522, soon after he came
to reside in Chelsea. The tower was built between
the years 1667 and 1679."
The interior is so filled up with tombs and a
great gallery, that the effect is most strange, and
the ghosts of the past seem to be whispering from
every comer. There are few churches remaining
so untouched and containing so miscellaneous a
record of the flying centuries as Chelsea Old
Church. A great gallery which hid Sir Thomas
More’s monument was removed in 1824. Soon
after the church was finished it was enlarged by
the addition of what is now known as the Law-
rence Chapel on the north side. This was built
by Robert Hyde, called by Faulkner ’ Robert de
Heyle/ who then owned the manor-house. In
1536 the manor was sold to King Henry VIII.,
who parted with the old manor-house and the
chapel to the family of Lawrence. There are
three monuments of the family still existing in
the chapel. The best known of these is that
against the north wall, representing Thomas Law-
rence, the father of Sir John, kneeling with folded
hands face to face with his wife in the same atti-
tude. Behind them are respectively their three
sons and six daughters. This is the monument
which Henry Kingsley refers to through the mouth
of Joe Burton in his novel ’* The Hillyars and the
Not far from this is a large and striking monu-
ment to the memory of Sarah Colvile, daughter of
Thomas Lawrence. She is represented as spring-
ing from the tomb clothed in a winding-sheet
The figure is larger than life and of white marble,
which is discoloured and stained by time. Over -
head there was once a dove - of which only the
wings remain - and the canopy is carved to repre-
sent clouds. The third Lawrence monument is a
large tablet of black marble set in a frame of white
marble - exquisitely and richly carved. This hangs
against the eastern wall - and is inscribed to the
memory of Sir John Lawrence. A hagioscope
opens from this chapel into the chancel - and
was discovered accidentally when an arch was
being cut on the north wall of the chancel to
contain the tomb of Lord Bray. This tomb
formerly stood in the "myddest of the hyghe
channcel/’ but being both inconvenient and un-
sightly - it was removed to its present position in
1857. It possessed formerly two or three brasses -
which have now disappeared. This is the oldest
tomb in the churchy dated 1539*
The Lawrence Chapel was private property - and
could be sold or given away independently of the
church. Between it and the nave - or - more
accurately - over the north aisle, at its entrance
into the nave - is a great arch which breaks the
continuity of line in the arch of the pillars. This
is the Gervoise monument, and may have origin-
ally enclosed a tomb. Of this, however, there is
no evidence. In the chancel opposite to the
Bray tomb stands the monument of Sir Thomas
More, prepared by himself before his death, and
memorable for the comieetion of the word
"heretics" with thieves and murderers, which
word Erasmus afterwards omitted from the inscrip-
tion. More’s crest, a Moor’s head, is in the centre
of the upper cornice, and the coats-of-arms of
himself and his two wives are below. The inscrip-
tion is on a slab of black marble, and is very fresh,
as it was restored in 1833. The question whether
the body of Sir Thomas More lies in the family
vault will probably never be definitely answered.
Weever in his "Funeral Monuments" strongly
inclines to the belief that it is so. "Yet it is
certain," he says, "that Margaret, wife of Master
Roper and daughter of the said Sir Thomas More,
removed her father s corpse not long after to
Sir Thomas More’s chapel is on the south side
of the chancel. It was to his seat here that More
himself came after service, in place of his man-
servant, on the day when the King had taken his
high office from him, and, bowing to his wife,
remarked with double meaning, " Madam, the
Chancellor has gone." The chapel contains the
monuments and tombs of the Duchess of North-
umberland and Sir Robert Stanley. The latter is
at the east end, and stands Op against a window.
It is surmounted by three urns standing on
pedestals. The centre one of these has an eagle
on the summit, and is flanked by two female
figures representing Justice and Solitude in flow-
ing draperies. The one holds a shield and crown -
the other a shield. In the centre pedestal is a
man’s head in alto-relievo - with Puritan collar and
habit. On the side-pedestals are carved the heads
of children. The whole stands on a tomb of veined
marble with carved edges - and slabs of black
marble bear the inscriptions of Sir Robert Stanley
and two of his children. The tomb of the
Duchess of Northumberland which stands next -
against the south wsll, has been compared to that
of Chaucer in Westminster Abbey. This has
a Gothic canopy, and formerly contained two
brasses, representing her eight sons and five
daughters kneeling, one behind the other, in the
favourite style of the time. The brass com-
memorating the sons has disappeared.
A httle further south, in the aisle, formerly stood
the tomb of A. Gorges, son of Sir A. Gorges, who
was possessor of the chapel for many years. This
blocked up the aisle and was taken to pieces.
The black slab which was on the top is set in the
floor, and the brasses containing an epitaph in
doggerel rhyme, attributing all the merits in the
universe to the deceased, hang on the wall on the
north side. The date of the chapel, 1528, is on
the capital of one of the pillars supporting the
arch which divides the chapel from the nave.
The capitals are beautifully executed, though the
design is grotesque. In one of them the rough
end of stone is left unfinished - as if the builder
had been called hastily away and had never
been able to complete his task. The chapel was
recently bought by the church on the death of its
owner - and is now inalienably possessed by the
Just below the south aisle is the Dacre tomb -
the richest and most striking in the church. It
contains two life-size effigies of Lord and Lady
Dacre lying under a canopy which is supported
by two pillars with gilded capitals ; above is a
semicircular arch. The whole interior of the arch
and the background is most richly carved and
gildecL Above the arch are the Dacre coat-of-
arms and two shields - while two smaller pillars -
wedge-shaped like Cleopatra’s Needles - rise at each
comer. At the feet of the figures lie two dogs,
and the effigy of a small child lies on a marble slab
below the level of its parents. By Lady Dacre’s
will certain presentations to some almshouses in
Westminster are left to the parish on condition of
the tombs being kept in good repair. The tomb
was redecorated and restored in 1 868.
The south and west walls are covered with
monuments, and careless feet tread on inscribed
stones in the aisle. On the northern wall below
the north aisle is a monument which immediately
attracts attention from its great size and striking
design. It is that of Lady Jane Cheyne - daughter
of William, Duke of Newcastle. It is an effigy of
Lady Jane in white marble, larger than life-size ;
she lies in a half-raised position. Below is a
black marble tomb with lighter marble pillars.
Overhead is a canopy supported by two Corinthian
columns. The inscription, which states it was
with her money her husband bought the Manor
of Chelsea, is on a black marble slab at the back.
The monument is by Bernini.
All these tombs, with their wealth of carving
and bold design, give a rich and furnished look to
the dark old church, an effect enhanced by the
tattered colours hanging overhead. The principal
one of these colours was executed by Queen
Victoria and her daughters for the volunteers at
Chelsea when an invasion was expected. The
shelf of chained books by a southern window
is interesting. These formerly stood against the
west wall, but were removed here for better pre-
servation. They include a " Vinegar " Bible, date
1717, a desk Prayer-Book, and Foxe’s " Book of
Martyrs." The Communion-rails -nd pulpit are
of oak, and the font of white marble of a peculiarly
graceful design. Outside in the south-east comer
of the churchyard is Sir Hans Sloane’s monument.
It is a funeral urn of white marble, standing under
a canopy supported by pillars of Portland stone.
Four serpents twine round the urn, and the
whole forms a striking - though not a beautiful -
The church has been the scene of some magnifi-
cent ceremonies, of which the funeral of Lord
Bray was notable. It was in this church that
Henry VIII. married Jane Seymour the day after
the execution of Anne Boleyn.
Church Lane, near at hand, is very narrow.
Dean Swift, who lodged here, is perhaps one of
the best-known names, and his friend Atterbury,
who first had a house facing the Embankment,
afterwards came and lived opposite to him.
Thomas Shadwell, Poet Laureate, was associated
with the place, and also Bowack, whose ’* Anti-
quities of Middlesex," incomplete though it is,
remains a valuable book of reference. Bowack
lived near the Rectory, and not far from him was
the Old White Horse Inn, famous for the beauty
of its decorative carving.
Petyt’s school was next to the church. The
name was derived from its founder, who built it
at his own expense for the education of poor
children in the beginning of the eighteenth
century. William Petyt was a Bencher of the
Inner Temple, Keeper of the Records in the
Tower, and a prohfic author. A tablet inscribed
with quaint English, recording Petyt’s charity,
still stands on the dull little block building of the
present century, which replaced the old school.
Dr. Chamberlayne was another famous inhabi-
tant of Church Street. His epitaph is on the
exterior church wall beside those of his wife, three
sons, and daughter, the latter of whom fought on
board ship against the French disguised in male
attire. Chamberlayne wrote and translated many
historical tracts, and his best-known work is the
*’ Present State of England" (1669). He was
tutor to the Duke of Grafton, and later to Prince
George of Denmark, and was one of the original
members of the Royal Society.
The Rectory was built by the Marquis of Win-
chester. It was first used as a Rectory in 1566.
It is picturesque, having been added to from
time to time, and has a large old garden. The
list of Rectors includes many well-known men.
Dr. Littleton, author of a Latin dictionary, was
presented to the living in l669> and held it for
twenty-five years. He was succeeded by Dr. John
King, whose manuscript account of Chelsea is still
extant. Reginald Heber, the father of the cele-
brated Bishop Heber, came in 1766. Later on
the Hon. and Rev. Dr. Wellesley, brother to the
first Duke of Wellington, was Rector from 1805,
and still more recently the Rev. Charles Kingsley,
father of the two brothers who have made the
name of Kingsley a household word by the power
of their literary talent.
The next turning out of the Embankment after
Church Street is Danvers Street, and an inscribed
stone on the comer house tells that it was begun
in 1696. Danvers House, occupied, (some authori-
ties say built,) by Sir John Danvers in the first
half of the seventeenth century, seems, with its
grounds, to have occupied almost the whole space
from the King’s Road
to the Embankment. Thus
Paulton’s Square and Danvers Street must both
be partly on its site. The gardens were laid out
in the Italian style, and attracted much notice.
Sir John Danvers was knighted by James I. After
he had been left a widower twice and was past
middle age, he began to take an active part in the
afiairs of his time. He several times protested
against Stuart exactions, and during the Civil War
took the side of the Parliament. He was one of
those who signed Charles I.’s death-warrant. He
married a third time at Chelsea, and died there in
April, 1655. His house was demolished in 1696.
The house has gained some additional celebrity
from its having been one of the four supposed by
different writers to have been the dwelling of Sir
Thomas More. This idea, however, has been
repeatedly shown to be erroneous. More’s house
was near Beaufort Street.
The next opening from the Embankment to the
is Beaufort Street There is no view
of More’s house known to be in existence, and, as
stated above, four houses have contended for the
honour - Danvers - Beaufort - Alston, and that once
belonging to Sir Reginald Bray. Dr. King went
very carefully into the subject, and one of his
manuscripts preserved at the British Museum is " A
letter designed for Mr. Heam respecting Sir
Thos. More’s House at Chelsea" His reasons
cannot be given better than in his own words :
" First, his grandson, Mr. Thomas More, who
wrote his life . . . says that Sir Thomas More’s
house in Chelsea was the same which my lord of
Lincoln bought of Sir Robert Cecil. Now, it
appears pretty plainly that Sir Robert Cecil’s
house was the same which is now the Duke of
Beaufort’s, for in divers places
He goes on to add that More built the south
chancel (otherwise the chapel) in the churchy and
that this belonged to Beaufort House until Sir
Arthur Gorges sold the house but retained the
chapel. When Sir Thomas More came to Chelsea
he was already a famous man - high in the King’s
favour. The house he lived in is supposed to have
stood right across the site of Beaufort Street, not
very far from the river. It is unnecessary here to
sketch that life, already so well known and so
often written, but we can picture that numerous
and united household which even the second
Lady More’s mean and acrid temper was unable
to disturb. Here royal and notable visitors fre-
quently came. The King himself, strolling in the
well-kept garden with his arm round his Chan-
cellor’s neck, would jest pleasantly, and Holbein,
in the dawn of his fame, would work fLicence:
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Added: 19 Apr 2018 13:26 GMT
|Post by Ann Fraser: Broughton Street, SW8|
I have been doing some family research and have found 4 plus addresses family lived in from 1901 onwards, 43 Broughton Street 1901 census, Edward P Pritchard, Wife Harriet and children Helen, Frederick, Alice & Albert. Also in 1920 Edward & Harriet Pritchard also registered Alfred & Alice Mantell. 60 Broughton St 1920 Helen Harriet and Alfred De La Porte (Helen Pritchard). Also Alice Pritchard shown born 1888 in Montifore Street and later at No. 40 Broughton Street. Plus 1A Emu Road Emily & Frederick Pritchard and daughter Peggy (Margaret Helen Pritchard). Emily was there until 1977 when she died. The area was known as Park Town. I used to live in North Street, SW4 in the 1980s, now over in Wandsworth.
Gerry m lee
Added: 10 Feb 2018 17:39 GMT
|Post by Gerry m lee: Stormont Road, SW4|
I lived iin 6 Stormont Road Lavender Hill Battersea from 1939 to 1964. My mother was a widow. I have one brother. The rent in 1939 would have been ten shillings a week. If ant one reads this, I now live in Vancouver Canada and my e-mail address is email@example.com and I went on line to try and find out what 6 Stormont sold for when it was built. The houses Nos. 6 4 8 12 etc to the corner where Marney Road starts were in my opinion protected during the war years, by a very large spiral church next door but one to number 4 and I am no religious. I went to school from five years old to Wix?s Lane. If this is read, please send a reply, and thank you.
Added: 23 Jan 2018 15:07 GMT
|Post by KC Alexander: Priory Grove, SW8|
Lived in a two up two down until the age of 13.
Played on the bombsites (no health and safety then)
A Coal man Mr Bells lived in the road and kept his horse in a stable across the road from where he lived.
Fibre glass factory which made large figures etc for fairgrounds was down a mews which no longer exists.
Prefabs on the bend where Doreen, a friend of my mums lived with her two daughters.
Alan and Alex who?s mum and dad were also friends of my parents lived near the priory pub. the pub is now residential flats.
Alex was another boy who lived just a couple of doors along from me as was Colin.
The house was knocked down in 1964 and the site is now an adventure playground.
The only thing left I recognise is my old sycamore tree which grew in my garden which I could often be found climbing.
Never fell out of it !
Added: 16 Oct 2017 19:04 GMT
|Post by Pauline jones: Bessborough Place, SW1V|
I grew up in bessborough place at the back of our house and Grosvenor road and bessborough gardens was a fantastic playground called trinity mews it had a paddling pool sandpit football area and various things to climb on, such as a train , slide also as Wendy house. There were plants surrounding this wonderful play area, two playground attendants ,also a shelter for when it rained. The children were constantly told off by the playground keepers for touching the plants or kicking the ball out of the permitted area, there was hopscotch as well, all these play items were brick apart from the slide. Pollock was the centre of my universe and I felt sorry and still do for anyone not being born there. To this day I miss it and constantly look for images of the streets around there, my sister and me often go back to take a clumped of our beloved L
Message truncated Show whole message
Added: 31 Jul 2017 18:02 GMT
|Post by Alec donaldson: North Wharf Road, W2|
Was there a Wellington street there
Added: 20 Apr 2018 12:40 GMT
|Post by LDNnews: Clapham North|
Added: 20 Apr 2018 12:40 GMT
|Post by LDNnews: Clapham Common|
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Next Arsenal manager odds: The favourites to succeed Arsene Wenger
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|Post by LDNnews: Bond Street|
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Added: 20 Apr 2018 04:00 GMT
|Post by LDNnews: Bayswater|
Graham Norton leads tributes to TV star Dale Winton
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Added: 20 Apr 2018 01:20 GMT
|Post by LDNnews: Piccadilly Circus|
Murder investigation launched in London’s Hatton Garden
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Added: 20 Apr 2018 01:20 GMT
|Post by LDNnews: Sloane Square|
Accused killer tells court how girlfriend killed French nanny
Accused killer tells court how girlfriend killed French nanny
Added: 20 Apr 2018 01:20 GMT
|Post by LDNnews: Royal Oak|
The Queen and Charles welcome world leaders for state dinner
The Queen welcomed world leaders to feast at Buckingham Palace for a State Dinner on Thursday. Several members of the royal family were in attendance, but Prince Harry was absent.
Added: 19 Apr 2018 23:40 GMT
|Post by LDNnews: Royal Oak|
The Guardian view on Stephen Lawrence: we owe his parents better | Editorial
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|Post by LDNnews: Edgware Road|
Lords defeat EU Withdrawal Bill as peers vote in favour of customs union amendment
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|VIEW THE BATTERSEA AREA IN THE 1750s|
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|VIEW THE BATTERSEA AREA IN THE 1800s|
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|VIEW THE BATTERSEA AREA IN THE 1830s|
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|VIEW THE BATTERSEA AREA IN THE 1860s|
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|VIEW THE BATTERSEA AREA IN THE 1900s|
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Battersea covers quite a wide area - it spans from Fairfield in the west to Queenstown in the east. Battersea is mentioned in Anglo-Saxon times as Badrices ieg =
Although in modern times it is known mostly for its wealth, Battersea remains characterised by economic inequality, with council estates being surrounded by more prosperous areas.
Battersea was an island settlement established in the river delta of the Falconbrook; a river that rises in Tooting Bec Common and flowed through south London to the River Thames.
As with many former Thames island settlements, Battersea was reclaimed by draining marshland and building culverts for streams.
Before the Industrial Revolution, much of the area was farmland, providing food for the City of London and surrounding population centres; and with particular specialisms, such as growing lavender on
, asparagus (sold as 'Battersea Bundles') or pig breeding on Pig Hill (later the site of the Shaftesbury Park Estate).
At the end of the 18th century, above 300 acres of land in the parish of Battersea were occupied by some 20 market gardeners, who rented from five to near 60 acres each.
Villages in the wider area - Battersea, Wandsworth, Earlsfield (hamlet of Garratt), Tooting, Balham - were isolated one from another; and throughout the second half of the second millennium, the wealthy built their country retreats in Battersea and neighbouring areas.
Industry developed eastwards along the bank of the Thames during the industrial revolution from 1750s onwards; the Thames provided water for transport, for steam engines and for water-intensive industrial processes. Bridges erected across the Thames encouraged growth;
was built in 1771. Inland from the river, the rural agricultural community persisted.
Battersea was radically altered by the coming of railways. The London and Southampton Railway Company was the first to drive a railway line from east to west through Battersea, in 1838, terminating at Nine Elms at the north west tip of the area. Over the next 22 years five other lines were built, across which all trains from Waterloo Station and Victoria Station ran. An interchange station was built in 1863 towards the north west of the area, at a junction of the railway. Taking the name of a fashionable village a mile and more away, the station was named Clapham Junction.
During the latter decades of the nineteenth century Battersea had developed into a major town railway centre with two locomotive works at Nine Elms and Longhedge and three important motive power depots (Nine Elms, Stewarts Lane and Battersea) all situated within a relatively small area in the north of the district.
A population of 6000 people in 1840 was increased to 168 000 by 1910; and save for the green spaces of
, Clapham Common, Wandsworth Common and some smaller isolated pockets, all other farmland was built over, with, from north to south, industrial buildings and vast railway sheds and sidings (much of which remain), slum housing for workers, especially north of the main east–west railway, and gradually more genteel residential terraced housing further south.
The railway station encouraged local government to site its buildings - the town hall, library, police station, court and post office in the area surrounding Clapham Junction.
: Battersea is an area of the London Borough of Wandsworth, England. It is an inner-city district on the south side of the River Thames.
: The bridge over the Westbourne at Sloane Square was called Blandel Bridge and was later renamed Grosvenor Bridge.
: Battersea was a civil parish and metropolitan borough in the County of London.
: The River Westbourne flowed into the Thames at this point.
- widely seen as demonstrating a credible solution to the urban housing problem.
: Sloane Square station was opened on 24 December 1868 by the Metropolitan District Railway when the company opened the first section of its line.
: The former Surrey Lane School is a three storey former London Board School by architect E. R. Robson which was completed in March 1885.