Monday 24 July 2023

Roubiliac and St Martin's Lane. 1.

 Roubiliac and the St Martin's Lane Environment.

Part 1.

Some rough notes and images.

This post is a sort of stream of consciousness creation and will inevitably be edited and rearranged as I progress.

For me the subject of 18th century sculpture that I 'blog' about is as much about the providing the visual as about the background information. 

I believe that one of the mistakes made by art historians writing about sculpture is that they forget that the subject is about three dimensional objects. Currently my efforts are given over to providing more images of the subjects than it is possible to make available in a printed work. I make no pretence to be an expert. but hopefully I am providing a fresh approach of looking at the subject.

The blog also allows me an excuse to roam through the streets of 18th and early 19th century London.

The blog, whilst for all its imperfections is a better medium for providing comprehensive information and whilst my ego would like this work to be published at some point, the truth of the matter is that it would end up costing me money because 18th century sculpture is very much a minority interest.

This and following essays is an attempt to locate and to give a feel of the area around St Martin's Lane, Leicester Fields (Square), Covent Garden, the Strand, the area where Roubiliac had his studio/workshop and the artistic community in London had its base with the St Martin's Lane Academy in Peter's Court in the mid 18th Century.

In previous attempts to bring an area into some sort of focus I looked at the Warwick Lane, Faringdon, London area. The Oxford Arms and the Royal College of Surgeons.


Note House Numbers.

House numbering seems to have started in earnest after the postage act of 1765 - although there are no references on the act. I think that the numbering of houses in the west end commenced around 1765


Mid Georgian London, Hugh Phillips, Pub Collins 1964.

This is an invaluable publication for the study of Westminster in the Mid 18th Century.

Not available on line and long out of print. It has its faults and some of the information is out of date but highly recommended.

The Story of Charing Cross and its immediate neighbourhood by Macmichael, J. Holden. Pub.1906 Chatto & Windus, London.


St Martin's Lane ran North from Charing Cross to St Giles in the Field in the parish of St Martin in the Fields.

see -


The Salisbury Estate.

The third of the three closes comprising the Salisbury estate was bounded on the north by the backs of the houses on the north side of Cecil Court, on the east by St. Martin's Lane and on the south by Hemmings Row (previously Dirty Lane). It was part of the five acres formerly called Beaumont's lands, and was purchased in 1609 by Lord Salisbury from Sir Henry Maynard, who had been secretary to Lord Salisbury's father, William Cecil, Lord Burghley. It was then described as the Two Acres Close and is marked on the plan of 1609 as containing 2 acres, 2 roods and 12 perches.

The east side seems to have been developed piecemeal in the 17th century but the west side from Peters Court to Newport Street from 73 to 110 and usually described as the Pavement was a development of high end residences,  enclosed basement areas with railings at the front and with long back gardens accessed from Castle Street behind.


Thomas Sandby (1721 - 98).

View from a back window in St Martin's Lane into St Martin's Court.

which dog legged between Castle Street to the west and St Martin's Lane.

John Noble's Circulating Library at the Drydens Head.

with a bust of Dryden above the door.

The bust of Dryden was probably based on the bust in Westminster Abbey by Peter Scheemakers and reproduced in plaster by John Cheere and subsequent manufacturers.

This was formerly Francis Nobles shop/library the Ottway Head later taken over by his brother John

The sign over the court reads "Books Lent at three shillings per Quarter - Ten shillings and sixpence per year.

Books Bought Sold and Exchanged".

17.8 x 21 cms.

This image from -


Francis Noble's Trade Card.

British Museum.

Engraved by Simon François Ravenet (1721 – 1774) (came to London in 1743).

Bookshop in King Street Covent Garden.

There were three Noble brothers involved in the book business mostly popular fiction in mid 18th Century London;

Francis Noble, d.1792 of the Otway's Head, No.325, King Street, Covent Garden, London, formerly of the Ottways head in St Martin's Court.

John Noble, d.1797 of  the Dryden's Head, in St. Martin's Court, near Cranbourn Alley, London, prior to 1749.

Samuel Noble, at Pope's Head, Carnaby Street, near Carnaby Market, London.

The earliest Francis Noble imprint discovered of  that of Daniel Defoe's 'Fortunes of Moll Flanders' which was published at Otway's Head in St. Martin's Court, near Leicester Fields in 1741.                

The second edition of Defoe's 'Journal of the Plague', which was re-titled 'History of the Great Plague in London' (1754) was 'printed and sold by F. and J. Noble, at their Circulating Libraries in King Street, Covent Garden and in St. Martin's Court near Leicester Square.

see also -

This paragraph adapted from their website -

John Noble is listed as the retailer of Joshua Kirby’s Dr Brook Taylor’s Method of Perspective Made Easy a book published in 1754, with a frontispiece by William Hogarth, which pre-empted a publication on perspective by Thomas Sandby himself. 

It has been suggested that it was the anticipated appearance of Kirby’s book which partly explains Paul Sandby’s vicious satirical attacks on Hogarth which were published in 1753.

St Martin’s Lane and its surrounding streets and courts housed a large number of studios and workshops, along with the eponymous academy the first St Martin's Lane Academy which had been established in 1720 by Cheron and Vanderbank, and was disbanded in 1724 and recommenced by Hogarth in the autumn of  1735 using the fittings from his father in law Sir James Thornhill's Academy in the Piazza at Covent Garden.


Hogarth married Jane Thornhill his masters daughter clandestinely, at Old Paddington church on 23 March 1729.

Thornhill died 13 May 1734.

Situated in Russell’s Meeting House, a former Presbyterian chapel in St Peter’s Court, the St Martin’s Lane Academy flourished from 1735 firstly under the leadership of Hogarth and Ellys, offering a place for artists and craftsman to study from life models. 

Sandby’s view above shows a series of well-lit attics and top-lit room.

In the window on the right a man can, perhaps, be seen at work. This building, with the two bay windows, seems to be on the North Eastern corner of St Martin’s Court and St Martin’s Lane, at approximately no.89 St Martin’s Lane. 

It is possible that this was the house occupied by the engraver John Pine until his death in 1756, and then by his son, the painter Robert Edge Pine. John Pine and Sandby had collaborated on a print of the East prospect of Nottingham published in 1751. The Pine’s house was next door on the Pavement at St Martins Lane to no 75 - Old Slaughter’s the famous coffee house.

Is that Mr Pine working in the bay window?


Locating St Martin's Court.

South of and parallel with Newport Street.

Between Castle Street on the West and St Martin's Lane on the East.

Castle Street appears in the parish rate books in 1676.

 Strype's Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, in the 1720 edition, Newport street, a very good Place, with well built Houses on the North Side, which is in St. Annes' Parish; the other Side being but ordinary, and inhabited by Tradesmen, several of which are French: It butts upon Long Acre, from which it is parted by St. Martin's Lane.

Strype  says Castle street lyeth on the Backside of Leicester Fields and St. Martin's Lane, and runneth down unto the Back Gate of the Mewse; near unto which is Duke's Court, which leadeth into St. Martin's Lane, against the Church; a large well built Court, with a Free-stone Pavement, inhabited by several French Families

Strype describes St Martin's Court (17 on the map below) as "a large handsome Court, with good new built Houses, and a Free-stone Pavement, having a Passage into Castle-street; and in the Midst it hath an open Square, at the End of which there is another Passage into Castle-street". Cecil Court (16 below), also a new built Court, with very good Houses, fit for good Inhabitants, and hath a large Passage, with a Freestone Pavement, into Castle-street, and out of this Court is a Passage into St. Martin's Court.

Suggesting that these two courts were relatively recently built.

For a very useful searchable resource see -


Crop from Stow's revised Map of 1755.

St Martin's Court is No. 17 on this map.


North End of St Martin's Lane.

Horwood's Map of London 1799.


Ordnance Survey 1871.

National Libraries of Scotland.

From 1843 - 46 Cranbourn Street was widened and extended from Castle Street through to Long Acre after the land was purchased by the Commissioners of Woods and Forest.


Goad's Insurance Map 1888.

The two images above from -

Castle Street was entirely demolished in the 1880s to enable the creation of Charing Cross Road.


Cecil Court.

Built in the 1670's.

John Strype, in his Survey of the Cities of London & Westminster from 1720, described it as “a new built Court, with very good Houses, fit for good Inhabitants”.

Three houses on the North side were burnt down in a suspected arson in 1735.

As well as reaching Cranbourn-Alley, the fire spread into St Martin’s Court, taking with it a further fifteen houses. The Daily Journal, on June 11, 1735, noted how the fire “continued with great Fury for the Space of two Hours before water could be got to supply the Engines”. The then Prince of Wales, Prince Frederick, was involved directing engines and encouraging the firemen from a house in St Martin’s Court.

"His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Lord James Cavendish, Sir Thomas Hobby, and Mr Cornwallis were present; a detachment of Foot Guards also assisted: His Royal Highness went of top of a house in St Martin’s-Court to take a View of it, and the came down to direct the Engines, and animate the Firemen & c.”

see -


Cecil Court North side, 1892.

Looking rather down at heel.

After a prolonged period of neglect by the landlord, the then current Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury and just prior to demolition and rebuilding.

Watercolour by Frederick Calvert.

Image from Westminster Archives.

The child prodigy Mozart and his family lodged at no. 9? (21 on Horwood's Map) in 1764 with barber John Couzin.

June 1764 advertisement in the London Gazette for a concert at Spring Garden (St James’s Park) informs the reader as follows: “tickets at half a guinea each; to be had of Mr Mozart, Mr Couzin’s, Hair Cutter, in Cecil Court”.

see the excellent -

from the above website - Charles Booth, in the 1880's  preparing his famous ‘poverty maps’ - large-scale surveys in which the wealthy were differentiated from the ‘very poor’ and ‘semi-criminal’ by careful colour coding. His original notebooks are held by the LSE, and he describes the two neighbouring Courts (in B354 p. 185) as follows: St Martin’s Court had “residential chambers inhabited by all sorts. Respectable otherwise. Shops below. The same with Cecil Court all red rather than the purple …” Red was the colour Booth used for ‘comfortable’ whereas purple denoted ‘poor & comfortable’.


For a very useful article recently published on the artistic community in the area in and around St Martin's Lane in the 18th Century see -

I will expand on the subject in due course.


So called Agas view of London c. 1651 from an original c.1561.

In 1608–9 the Earl of Salisbury bought four acres of ground the original "Swan Close, on the west side of the lane, which included the whole of the frontage from the parish boundary, i.e. Newport Street, down to what is now the south-west corner of St. Martin's Lane.

Newport Street appears in The St Martins Parish rate books in 1654


Hollar's Engraving of the Birds Eye View crop.
1660 - 66.

Showing the newly built houses on the Pavement on the west side of St Martin's Lane.
with their original gardens, some with stables and coach houses and yet to be built over.

The maze of buildings and courts on the East side.

The houses on the Pavement were high status. This engraving seems to show the houses on the West side with railings.

Unique Impression

British Museum.


William Morgan's Map of London 1682 Crop.

Key to Morgan's Map.

Crop from Roque's map of London 1746.


Very good website with an overview and with excellent images of both of Roques Maps of London easily accessed. 

Horwood Map of London 1799 - the South end of St Martin's Lane.

White Hart Court between 31 and 32 Castle Street backs onto the Quaker Meeting House, the rebuilt St Martins Lane Academy building in Peters Court accessed from under arches between 9 and 10 Hemmings Row or St Martins Lane. The south leg of Peters Court is referred to as Peters Place in the 19th century.

The Court of Requests accessed from between 27 and 28 Castle Street was a sort of and I believe rather ineffective "Small Claims Court".

Horwood Map of London 1799 - the South end of St Martin's Lane.

The Horwood Map, updated 1829.

Showing more detail of Peters Court with the Quaker Meeting House and the anticipated areas of demolition of the East and West side of St Martins Lane around St Martins in the Field.
 and the Royal Mews. 


White Hart Court - to the West behind Peters Court looking rather tired.

Difficult to tell in which direction the artist is looking

Just prior to demolition.

J.P. Emslie 1886.


Printed 1766 - 79 when the Darleys were in the Strand.

British Museum.


The St Martin's Lane Academy in Peter's Court which doglegged between Hemming's Row /Rents, (formerly Dirty Lane) and St Martin's Lane.

Some notes.

(First draught).

Strype's Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, in the 1720 edition,

"Peters Court, a very handsome and gentile Place, with good Houses, well contrived, with little Gardens to them. 

Heming's Rents, opposite to Shandois-street, hath a great Passage into Leicester Fields, both for Foot and Horse: Its Buildings are on the North Side, the other Side having the Wall of St. Martin's Church Yard; and the Trouble that the Carts and Coaches make in their frequent Passage occasions it not to be over well inhabited. 

Duke's Court, already treated of, between which and this Heming's Rents are three small and ordinary Courts, viz. Ellis Court, Grant's Court, and Red Lyon Court. Then near unto the Strand is the Checker Inn, or Court, having a Passage into the Strand; in which Part there are some Houses, the best of which is a Tavern.

St. Martin's Lane, a very long Street, which butteth on Northumberland House in the Strand, and runneth Northwards beyond Long Acre, unto the new Buildings in Cook and Pye Fields. This Street is a very great Through-fare both for Foot and Horse, and is well inhabited, having good built Houses, especially the Western Side, from Hemming's Row unto Newport-street; and since the pulling down of the Brick Wall before the Houses, and the Courts laid open, with a fine Free- stone Pavement, secured from Carts and Coaches by handsome Posts set up, it hath much added to the Beauty of the Street, and the Conveniency of the Inhabitants. In this Street are a great many Courts and Alleys.


Vanderbank and Cheron - The first St Martin's Lane Academy.1720 - 24.

John Vanderbank (1694 - 1739).

Louis Cheron (1660 - 1725). Huguenot working in London from 1693.

The first St Martin's Lane Academy was a successor to the school founded in 1711 by Sir James Thornhill in Great Queen Street, it was organized in Peters Court by Louis Chéron and John Vanderbank from October 1720. 

This drawing school had attracted many of the leading figures in British art and design, including Joseph Highmore, William Kent, Arthur Pond, and William Hogarth, but it didn’t last long. Hogarth recalled that 'this lasted a few years but the treasurer sinking the subscription money the lamp stove etc, were seized for rent and the whole affair put a stop to' (Kitson, 93). 

This academy became defunct with the death of Cheron and the departure of Vanderbank briefly for France to escape his creditors in 1724.


At the entrance to Peters Court between 110 and 111 St Martin's Lane was Tom's Coffee House established before 1696.

The Hand-in-Hand or Amiable Contributors for Insuring from Loss by Fire, was formed in 1696 at Tom’s Coffee House, St Martin’s Lane, Westminster, with about a hundred initial investors. The business quickly grew so that in 1704, for instance, the Hand-in-Hand issued 7,300 policies insuring premises


Image from Royal Academy. attrib. William Sandby. (fl 1862).

Drawing from History of the Royal Academy by William Sandby Pub. 1862.

available on line at


Peter's Court. between 110 and 111St Martin's Lane.

Mid 19th century woodcut.

Presumably looking out to St Martin's Lane.

 Also called Peters Place, running north off Hemmings Row, sometimes Peters Yard and Peters Place.

Described as at no. 111 about 6 doors North from Hemmings Row in John Lockie’s  Topography of London (1810). 

see -

Hemmings Rents/Row - John Hemming, Apothecary, died 1701.


Mr Marie's Dancing School, Peters Court c 1710..

Peter's Court, ST. MARTIN'S LANE, west side, between Nos. 110 and 111. In 1710 the goods of Mrs. Selby, sword cutler, were advertised to be sold "at the Dancing School in Peter's Court, against Tom's Coffee-house in S. Martin's Lane." 

This dancing school was afterwards the first studio of Roubiliac the sculptor. Hogarth recounts the story of its foundation :—

"Sir James (Thornhill] dying (1734) I became possessed of his neglected apparatus and thinking that an academy, if conducted on moderate principles would be useful, I proposed that a number of artists should enter into a subscription for the hire of a place large enough to admit of thirty or forty persons drawing after a naked figure.

This proposition having been agreed to, a room was taken in [Peter's Court] St. Martin's Lane. I lent to the society the furniture that had belonged to Sir James's Academy, and attributing the failure of the previous academies to the leading members having assumed a superiority which their fellow students could not brook, I proposed that every member should contribute an equal sum towards the support the establishment, and have an equal right to vote on every question relative to its affairs. By these regulations the Academy has now existed nearly thirty years, and is, for every useful purpose, equal to that in France, or any other".—Hogarth. 

Situated in Russell’s Meeting House, a former Presbyterian chapel in Peter’s Court, the St Martin’s Lane Academy flourished from 1735 under Hogarth’s leadership, offering a place for artists and craftsman to study from life models. 

There are no confirmed images of this building which was demolished in about 1776. The drawing and painting below possibly show the interior - I suggest that it probably had two main floors and further residential accommodation.


The Friend's Meeting House in Peter's Court.

In 1776, The Society of Friends acquired the site on a 99-year lease from the Earl of Salisbury. Their  previous dilapidated meeting house was at Little Almonary, Westminster.

This Meeting House was built on the site of the building that had previously been occupied by the St Martin's Lane Academy in Peter’s Court and could be accessed either from St Martin's Lane or Hemming’s Row. The construction of the  meeting house required the demolition of a number of properties, including what had been the former home/studio of the sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac. 

Costing £2,634, with a Dr Fothergill the principal benefactor, this meeting house, with its commodious galleried interior, was considered one of the best in London. Butler gives the architect as John Bevan (probably John Bevans of Plaistow, see Colvin, p. 123).

In 1845 the remainder of the plot which had been let on a building lease was filled with four dwelling houses let to members of the Society.

For details of the lease of the Meeting house and three dwellings houses given by the Earl of Salisbury to the representatives of the Quakers David Barclay and Daniel Mildred with the restrictions that an agreement "made between the late Earl of Salisbury of the one part and one David Barclay and others of the other part the said David Barclay and the several other persons therein mentioned agreed that they would at their Costs and Charges build one New Erection or Building in manner therein mentioned for the purpose of being used as a Meeting house or place of Worship by the Society of People called Quakers in consideration of a Lease being made to them of two Messages or Tenements with their Appurtenances thereunto belonging then in the Occupation of Thomas Northaw and Danl.Magrath situate in Peters Court near Saint Martins Lane"

"That the Basement Story of the said Meeting house in the said Rate mentioned is divided into a Number of Small Rooms one of which is occupied by a Person called a Door keeper whose Business is to attend the Door when necessary and keep the said Meeting house clean for which service [..] he has a Small Yearly Salary - That the remaining Apartments are either not occupied or appropriated to the use of Poor Persons maintained by the Donations of the People called Quakers That the said Meeting house is solely appropriated to Religious and Charitable Purposes ......."

see -


and the next page of this document -


The images of the artists drawing at the Academy.

Height: Height: 478 millimetres -Width: Width: 744 millimetres.

This drawing as far as I can tell does not show the drawing room at the R.A. in Somerset House and is more likely to be either the building in Pall Mall or the Peters Court Building.


This painting was purchased by the Royal Academy in 1885 as possibly by Hogarth. I think they would like to have believed that the dog was perhaps Hogarth's pug Trump. 

There has been suggestions made that it is a 19th century pastiche copied from the British Museum Drawing above.

I don't feel qualified enough to judge whether it is 19th century but the two works would seem to be related!

The large open fireplace / chimneypiece appears in both drawings as do the two  shuttered windows.

The brick floor shows that it was on the lower floor of the building.


Life Class at St Martin's Lane Academy, 1761-62.

Johann Zoffany, RA (1733 - 1810).

Royal Academy.

505 mm x 660 mm x 17 mm.


The Second St Martin's Lane Academy.

A few notes.

The St Martin’s Lane Academy was set up in the Autumn of 1735 under the guidance of William Hogarth (1697–1764) and John Ellys and continued to operate until 1767, when its furnishings and materials were removed to Pall Mall for use in the new Royal Academy Schools.

The Academy offered life drawing sessions from male and female nude models. Members joined for a fee of two guineas for the first season, 1.5 for subsequent seasons. 

Sessions were offered nightly during the week from October to March or April, beginning at 5:30 in the evening. Both George Vertue and Hogarth claim that thirty to forty members enrolled each season.

see -


In the centre foreground is George Michael Moser (1704–1783) who by 1760 was director of this academy. He had been organising life classes in London since the 1730s and went on to be the first Keeper of the RA Schools. Other identified figures include John Malin who is shown reaching into the cupboard, and who later became the porter and occasional model at the RA Schools. To his right is Giuseppe Marchi who travelled from Italy in 1752 to be the studio assistant of Sir Joshua Reynolds. At the back of the room are casts of antique busts including a Caracalla and framed life drawings in chalk, both of which would have been present to act as fine exemplars for artists attending this academy.

In the Apology for Painters (c. 1760). Hogarth referred (at Peters Court?) to a room big enough for thirty or forty people to draw the naked figure, equipped with 'a proper table', 'a large lamp', 'iron stove' and 'benches in a circular form'.


St Martin's Lane looking South.

Hosmer Shepherd.

St Martins Lane looking south 1846 - the view from Long Acre. New Street on the left.

The block on the left was the location of the Roubiliac and Chippendale workshops.

Thomas Hosmer Shepherd.

A fairly rough watercolour sketch.

British Museum.


Old Slaughter's Coffee House.

On the Pavement on the West side of St Martin's Lane.

Old Slaughter's Coffee House at Nos. 75 and 74, on the west side of St. Martin's Lane was founded in 1692 by Thomas Slaughter. 

The house on the right was previously occupied by the actor Beard.

It was demolished circa 1843 when Cranborne Street was cut through from Castle Street to Long Acre

In 1754 the architect James Paine rebuilt numbers 76 and 77 St. Martin’s Lane (the house on the left above) and rented, the houses he had built in Little Court (accessed from Castle Street) behind, to the book illustrator and engraver Samuel Wale and the architect and writer John Gwynn. Paine’s rebuilt the  house immediately next door to Old Slaughter’s Coffeehouse.

Wale and Gwynn were both members of the St Martin's Lane Academy.


Harris's List 1788. Little Court.

Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies: or, Man of Pleasure’s Kalender, For the YEAR, 1788. Containing the Histories and some curious Anecdotes of the most celebrated Ladies now on the Town, and also many of their Keepers

Another later occupant of Little Court,

Miss W—ls—n, No 1, Little-court, Castle-street, Leicester fields.

Nature for meat and drink provides a place,

And when receiv'd they fill their certain space;

Hence thirst and hunger may be satisfy'd,

But this repletion is to love deny'd.

 This pretty piece of animation wants not the aid of art to make her shine one of the most conspicuous in the list of trading nymphs; altho' she cannot be called very handsome, still she is a fine girl, and nature has sufficiently furnish'd her with those beauties the nicest hand of art would only deface. Her want of pride (which is in this age a very rare perfection) sets off to superior advantage every feature; her goodness of temper and disposition acts as a security to her most valuable acquaintance, and her justness of principle gains her the esteem of all who have the happiness of knowing her. She is the daughter of a gentleman who holds a considerable place under government, has had a genteel education, and seems quite untainted with the vices of the town; her great attachment to Mr. J——n, of the theatre, is a bar to her seeing much company; with them that has the good fortune to sleep with her, will find she still enjoys the pleasure without the least satiety; no licenc'd fair during the honey moon can charm with more rapture, or feel the poignant bliss with more extacy; every inviting motion is us'd, every limb employ'd, to make the dying transports meet. Her own home is the place where she in general sees her company, and every visitor that passes the night in her arms, she expects will make her two guineas richer. (pp. 118-119)


Joshua Reynolds and later, Francis Hayman, lived /worked at 104, St. Martin’s Lane.

By 1754, Joshua Reynolds had left his lodgings adjacent to the St. Martin’s Lane Academy in the house of the “man midwife” and surgeon Christopher Kelly in St. Martin’s Lane.

John Channon (1711 - 83) cabinet maker was on the pavement at 109, St Martins Lane.

Daily Advertiser, 23 November 1742: ‘Mr Eade having left off his publick school in St. Martin's Lane, continues to teach (only abroad) some few Persons Writing, Arithmetic and Merchants’ Accounts, in a very short and easy Method. His Lodgings are at Mr. Channon's, a Cabinet-Warehouse, upon the Pavement in St. Martin's Lane’.


John Pine (1691 - 1756) kept a print shop in St Martin's Lane, later occupied by his son Robert Edge Pine.

John Pine 

Mezzotint after Hogarth.


Matthias Lock advertised in 1748 that he was offering evening drawing-classes for tradesmen and students in his premises "Facing Old Slaughter's Coffee House".

In 1744 he was at ‘Nottingham Court, Castle Street, near Long Acre’.


John Cobb (1715 - 78) the firm of Cobb and Vile furniture maker was at 72 St Martin's Lane.

William Hallet (1707 - 81) premises were on the corner of St Martins Lane and Longacre from 1752 previously occupied from 1740 by Thomas Harrache Jeweller Goldsmith and Toyman  (He was the sole executor of the will of Roubiliac).


Thomas Harrache (1717 - 85) moved to the Golden Ball and Pearl, in Pall Mall.

The Roubiliac bank account records with Drummonds for the years 1752 to 1757 survives. Huguenot names which recur in the ledgers include 'Mr. Minett, Mr. Andrew Regnier (possibly a relative of Roubiliac's fourth wife), Mr. Timberel and Mr. Harache.

Roubiliac's ledgers show that he paid Mr. Harrache 10 guineas on November 1st, 1753; £20 on March 4th, 1755, and received £20 from Tho. Harrache on May 9th, 1755. On December 10th, 1757, Roubiliac paid his friend a further £20.


Roubiliac's Home, Studio Workshop and Thomas Chippendales premises on the East side of St Martin's Lane.

In 1741 Roubiliac moved from Peter's Court on the west side to what became 63 St Martin's Lane on the East side and remained there until he died in 1762.

In 1747 John Trotter upholder and cabinet maker took out a Sun insurance policy on the contents of his apartments an timber workshops over the Roubiliac studio.

Trotter, John, ‘at Mr. Roubiliac Statuary on the East side of St. Martin's Lane in the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields’, London, upholder and cm (1746/47). Took out a Sun Insurance policy on 13 January 1746/47 for £300 on household goods and stock in trade in his apartments; and £400 on utensils and stock in his three timber workshops, partly over Roubiliac's workshop and partly over yard. [GL, Sun MS vol. 79, ref. 107286]

This must be the very successful John Trotter (c.1713 - 99), Cabinet maker to George II whose business was at 43 Frith Street, Soho. from 1748 - 99. Liveryman in the Joiners Company - originally came from Scotland.

Subscriber To Chippendales Gentlemans.. Cabinet Maker, 1754.

Bought Horton Place nr Epsom in 1768.

John and Coutts Trotter.

The Salisbury and Winchester Journal from 29 June 1752 reported:- ‘A few days since was married at Mordaunt [sic] College, Black-Heath, Mr John Trotter, an eminent Cabinetmaker and Upholder, in Frith Street, St Ann’s, Soho, to Miss Betts, an agreeable young lady with a Fortune of Five Thousand Pounds’


Roubiliac's assistant Nicholas Read took over the premises after the death of Roubiliac in 1762.

 No. 67.—This building (probably the workshop /studio of Roubiliac) is sited in a courtyard off the east side of St. Martin's Lane, behind No. 63, and is three-storeyed, of brick and timber construction. The ground floor has been adapted and remodelled as offices. The walls are of brick of modern work. The two upper floors appear to retain their original framing and fenestrations, and are now used as studios and workshops, by a firm of stage designers. They are timber framed, plastered on the exterior, with the roof tiled.

 According to a note in the ratebook these premises were "burnt out" in 1788. They were occupied in 1789–93 by Anne Tapp, who was succeeded by Francis Tapp (1794–1803), John Vernon (1804) and Alexander Copland (1805–13). The latter is described as a "builder" in Holden's Trade Directory for 1805–07.


Thomas Chippendale d. 1779, from December 1753 was at The Sign of the Chair" nos 61 and 62 with the workshops behind.

Chippendale is shown by the rate books to have occupied or used the first house on the west side of Somerset (Northumberland) Court to the East of Northumberland House from Midsummer, 1752, until Lady Day, 1753. Matthias Darley lived at the same address.

See -

59, 60, 61, and 62 St Martin's Lane.

Plan of  Thomas Chippendale's Jr's premises on the East side of St Martins Lane, 1803. 

Taken from a Sun insurance policy.

1787 Haig and Chippendale at 60 St Martins Lane

Roubiliac house and workshop / studio until 1762 was next door at no. 63.

The image from the excellent -

no 66 in 1787 was occupied by coachmaker Charles Bigger.

On 5 April 1755 the Gentleman's Magazine reported a fire at the workshop which destroyed property including the tool chests of 22 workmen.

At Christmas 1749 Chippendale took a house in Conduit Court, a small court off Long Acre on the  At midsummer 1752 he moved to smarter premises in Somerset Court (Northumberland Court) adjoining Northumberland house Throughout 1753 he and Darly were collaborating on the Director plates.


Matthias Darley (1721 - 80) Engraver.

Collaborator with Chippendale for his Director.

1749: Duke's Court, St Martin's Lane (Worms and Baynton-Williams)

1753: Northumberland Court (ditto), 1754 Chippendale moved from this address to St Martin's Lane.

1750s: the Acorn, facing Hungerford, Strand (D,2.3238)

1756: At the Golden Acorn, opposite Hungerford Market, Strand (Worms and Baynton-Williams)

1757: facing Little Suffolk Street, Hedge Lane (1868,0808.4063 - this is likely to have been the address of a collaborator rather than of Darly himself)

1758: Acorn, Fleet Market, Ludgate Hill (1868,0808.4114; possibly a 'fake address')

1759: Cheapside (BM Satires 3687 and 3691)

1760: The Acorn, corner of Friday Street, Cheapside (according to Heal's note on mount of Heal,59.50, Darly published "A New Book of Cielings" from this address in 1760)

c.1760 The Golden Acorn, Long Acre, near St Martin's Lane (2011,7084.68; this address was given at the baptism of the Darlys' first child in 1761)

1762: The Acorn, Ryder's Court, Cranbourn Alley (Worms and Baynton-Williams)

1765: Corner of Ryder's Court, Cranbourne Alley, Leicester Fields (Worms and Baynton-Williams)

1766: Castle Street, Leicester Fields (Worms and Baynton-Williams)

1766: facing New Round Court the Strand (this refers to the same house as the two entries below. The Darly's announced their move in the Daily Advertiser for 24 June 1766)

late 1760s: 39 Opposite New Round Court in the Strand (Heal,100.27+)

1766-80: 39 Strand, on the corner of Buckingham Street, London (Worms and Baynton-Williams)


The Garrick Street Demolitions and Development 1861 Plan.

Plan of New Street  [ Covent Garden Approach (Garrick Street)] from Long acre to King street, Covent Garden - Metropolitan Board of Works. "Metropolitan Improvements"Edwards, Percy



Very interesting website with much information about Tallis' Views of London Streets.

Moseleys of New Street Covent Garden


Crop from Horwood's map of 1799.

Roubiliac at no 63, Chippendale at 59, 60, 61 and 62.

Old Slaughters coffee house is very conveniently opposite at 74 and 75.

Little Court off Castle Street, at the back of the house of James Paine (1717 - 89) (architect) in St Martin's Lane.

The two houses at the sign of the Golden Ball, Little Court were occupied by architects engravers and publishers Samuel Wale (1721 - 86) and John Gwynn (1713 -86) by 1755.


96 St Martin's Lane - Some notes etc.

This appears to have been a large early 18th Century house of four bays.

With a finely carved shell hood over the front door (see below).

Undated sketch by George Scharf

British Museum.

As far as I can gather apart from sketches etc of Old Slaughters this is the only sketch of a house on the pavement on St Martin's Lane.


Edward Powell Colourmen.

96 St Martins Lane.

The following paragraphs from

*Edward Powell senr (active 1724-1744), St Martin-in-the-Fields parish, London. Colourman.

 Edward Powell married Martha Vaughton at Lincoln’s Inn Chapel in 1724. They had six children christened in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, of whom three appear to have reached maturity, Edward (b.1727), John (b.1730) and Martha (christened 1734). Edward Powell, colourman of the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, died in 1744. In his will, made 13 July 1741 and proved 9 March 1744, he refers to his wife Martha and children John, Martha and Edward.

 He is presumably the Powell who supplied colours to Arthur Pond (qv) in 1734 (Lippincott 1983 p.92, Lippincott 1991 p.223). He may possibly have been the Mr Powel, Chandois St, who stocked W. Mayer’s Prussian Blue in 1730 (Country Journal or The Craftsmen 2 May 1730). The business may have been carried on over more than one generation and a link has been suggested to the later business of Edward Powell (see below) (Whitley 1928, vol.1, p.332).

 Edward Powell junr, St Martin's Lane, London 1763? 1774, 96 St Martin's Lane by 1776-1813. Colourman and oilman.

 Edward Powell (b.1727?) was presumably the son of the Edward Powell ‘Powel’ was listed as a colourman in St Martin’s Lane in Mortimer’s Universal Director, 1763.

 Edward Powell can first be identified with confidence in 1774 (Westminster election poll book, p.43).

An example of his billhead as oil and colourman, dated 1791, can be found in the British Museum (Heal coll. 89.117). 

By 1814 Powell’s premises had been taken over by Edward Allen (d.1854), sometimes listed as E.P. Allen, colourman, who remained in business until 1838. In 1828 his premises were described as 'one of the oldest colour-shops in London' (John Thomas Smith, Nollekens and his Times, 1828, vol.2, p.226); the shop front was drawn by several artists, including George Scharf senior in 1829 (British Museum, repr. Peter Jackson, George Scharf’s London, 1987, p.32, naming him as Edward Prascey Allen).

The Westminster Poll Book, 1774 has Edward Powell, Colourman at St Martin's Lane. 

Contemplations on the Beauties of Creation, and on All the ..., Volume 3 By John Ryland. 1782 has Edward Powell, Colourman at 96 St Martin's Lane listed as a subscriber.

Kent's Directory 1803 still has Edward Powell, Oilman at 96 St Martin's Lane. His mother had a grape vine growing in the garden which provided a pipe of wine.

Post Office Annual Directory 1814 - Edward Allen is still at 96 St Martin's Lane.



Image used with kind permission of London Picture Archive.

I suspect this image has been adapted from the Wykeham watercolour drawing below.


The front door of 96 St Martin's Lane with a brass plate for St Martin's Commercial School.

On the door frame is another brass plate for the Provident Society of Dancers Hand in Hand ... Assurance

96 St Martins Lane, c.1850.

Watercolour by John Wykeham Archer (1806 - 64).

Image courtesy Water Colour World.


96 St Martin's Lane. Undated probably 1829.

Allen Colourman, 'Laydies' School Plate on the front door of the house.

George Scharf.

Image and passage below courtesy British Museum.

This house was previously the home of Huguenot 'Dr' John Misaubin (1673 -1734).

For much more on Misaubin see

"Allen’s Colourman, situated a few doors away from Scharf’s house, at No. 96, was run by one Edward Prascey Allen. The shop, which is recorded as an artists’ supply shop from the 1790s at least, was located in the converted ground floor of one of the fashionable residences that had developed along St Martin’s Lane in the late 1600s. 

Originally it had been the residence of the notorious French doctor John Misaubin (1673-1734) who made his living selling a quack cure for venereal disease. 

The ornate doorcase, to the right, in all probability dates to the period of residence by John (Jean) Misaubin ( 1673 - 1734) who had employed the French painter Andien de Clermont (active 1716-1783) to decorate the staircase of the impressive townhouse supposedly at a cost of 500 guineas. 

When Scharf painted this view, a mid / late eighteenth-century shop front had been inserted into the façade of the once fashionable residence with jars of colours and brushes clearly displayed in the window. 

A sign on the door of the house announces that the rest of the house has been taken over by a school for ladies, run by one Sarah Watts. It has been suggested that the figures of the adult man and boy might be Scharf and his son George.

see - P. Jackson, 'George Scharf’s London: Sketches and Watercolours of a Changing City. 1820-50' (London, 1987)".


John (Jean) Misaubin (1673 - 1734).

John Thomas Smith, states in -Nollekens And His Times: Comprehending A Life Of That Celebrated Sculptor; ......  that the house, No. 96, on the west side, " has a large staircase, curiously painted, of figures viewing a procession, which was executed for the famous Dr. Misaubin, about the year 1732, by a painter named Clermont, a Frenchman. 

Behind the house there is a large room, the inside of which is given by Hogarth in his 'Rake's Progress,' where he has introduced portraits of the doctor and his Irish wife."


James Bramston took a satirical swipe at Dr Misaubin in his poem The Man of Taste, published in London in 1733:

Should I perchance be fashionably ill,

I’d send for Misaubin, and take his pill.

I should abhor, though in the utmost need,

Arbuthnot, Hollins, Wigan, Lee, or Mead:

But if I found that I grew worse and worse,

I’d turn off Misaubin and take a Nurse.

How oft, when eminent physicians fail,

Do good old women’s remedies prevail?


John Misaubin (1673 - 1734) with his father and family.

John Misaubin and family.

His father was a minister and preached at the French Church in Spitalfields.

His son Edmond aged 23 was murdered in 1740.

Joseph Goupy.


Wellcome Collection.


John Misaubin.

Engraving by Arthur Pond after Watteau.


Misaubin was born in Mussidan, in the Dordogne in France in 1673. His father was a Protestant clergyman who later preached in the French Church in Spitalfields. John Misaubin qualified as a medical doctor in Cahors. 

Marthe Misaubin ne Angibaud.

 Martha (Marthe) Angibaud married  Huguenot apothecary John (Jean) Misaubin, in 1709.

Martha was the daughter of Charles Angibaud, formerly Louis XIV's apothecary and also a Huguenot who had left France in 1681, shortly before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Angibaud was later master of the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries in 1728.

Charles Angibaud (d.1733) left France in 1681, with his wife and three children, moving to London to avoid religious persecution, a few years before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

He became a naturalised British subject. He became a freeman of the Society of Apothecaries on 6 October 1685, enabling him to practice his profession in London. 

He established his business at the sign of the La Renommee (fame) in  St Martin's Lane, one strand of which was selling his Pectoral lozenges de Blois made from licorice. 


'The Troches, or Juyce of Liquorice of Blois, very good for Coughs and other Distempers of the Breast, as also for Consumptions. Prepared by Monsieur Angibaud late of Paris, Apothecary ... at his Shop in St. Martin's Lane . . . at the sign of the Fame. . .' (Lond. Gazette, 29 October 1683).

 "This is to acquaint the Publick that Charles Angibaud, Apothecary, who lately liv'd at the Angel the lower end of St. Martin's Ie ... has left off Business, applying himself entirely to Surgery, and lives at Mrs. Misaubin's, his Aunt, (Widow of the late Dr. Misaubin) near Slaughter's Coffee-House the upper end of St. Martin's Lane where he continues to sell the famous Pectoral Lozenges of Blois . . .' (Daily Advertiser, 1743. British Museum, Burney 279b).


The Rainbow Coffee House in Lancaster Court, off St Martin’s Lane, was in existence from 1702 to 1755. Until about 1730 it was known as a meeting place of French intellectuals. Old Slaughters at 84 St Martins Lane later became the venue of choice after the Rainbow.

Lancaster Court was on the South side of St Martin's Church.

For the Rainbow Coffee House Group see -


Charles Peters and Peters Court.

Dr Charles Peter died in 1714 at his Bathing House at the sign of the Castle, St Martin's Lane.

Hugh Philips - says no. 77 St Martin's Lane.

From C. J. S. Thompson's Quacks of Old London, published by Brentanos, 1928, and from Louis Trenchard More's Life of Isaac Newton, published by Scribners, 1934.

Charles Peter  - Engraving of 1705.

In The Library of the Royal College of Physicians, Pall Mall East, is a copy of one of Charles Peter's books - the title page as follows: The Cordial Tincture prepared by Charles Peter Chyrurgeon at his Bathing House in St. Martin's Lane near Long Acre Jan. 5. 1686. This may be printed. R.M. London Printed for the Author MDCXXXVI."

Image and info above from the British Museum -

The book available on line at


A DESCRIPTION OF THE VENEREAL DISEASE: DECLARING THE CAUSES, SIGNS, EFFECTS, And CURE thereof. With a DISCOURSE of the most Wonderful ANTIVENEREAL PILL.Prepared onely by CHARLES PETER, Chyrurgeon, and Practitioner in Physick. And are to be sold at his House in St. Mar­tins-lane, near Long-acre, over against the Sign of the Castle.

 LONDON, Printed for the Author, 1678


"Lucatellu's or Lucatelli's Balsam " contained Venice Turpentine, Olive oil and Spanish wine washed in Rosewater, Red Sandal-wood or Dragon's blood " (this is not a mythical ingredient, but Calamus draco, still used for colouring medicines), " and Balsam of Peru. It was taken internally in wine and used externally for burns and wounds. Originated by an Italian, it was much in demand in London in the XVIIth century, and was sold by Charles Peter who lived in St. Martin's Lane, over against the sign of the Castle." Its uses were legion. " For the measell, plague or small-pox a half an ounce in a little broth ; . . . and against poison and the biting of a mad dog ; for the last you must dip lint and lay it upon the wounds beside taking it internally. There are other virtues of it; for wind, cholic, anoint the stomach, and so for bruises."


    A search with A2A produced -  Metropolitan archives -ACC/0401/070-085

16 leases of premises on east side of Castle Street, on west side (1710) and in passage leading to Red Lyon Inn (1717).

Principal Parties: Earl of Leicester, Viscount Lisle, Moore, Egerton, Olmiers and others, Samuel Gunn, John Roos, Richard Bealing, Collins, Bromwich, Charles Peter, George Walter and others, Sir Robert Chaplin, Thomas Pembroke, Richard Greener, junior, Thomas Tindall, John Norbonne, John Forster.

 This almost certainly refers to his properties in Hemmings Row, St Martins Lane and Peters Court.

In his will, PROB 11/548/318 dated 4 August 1714 he mentions 7 houses, four in Hemmings Row and three in St Martins Lane, but he also mentions property in Castle Street and Cecil Court.

Second wife Frances, son in law Samuel, daughter Beata, daughter Elizabeth.


George Vertue lived at Belton Street, Drury Lane, London (in 1715), then Brownlow Street, Drury Lane, London (in 1719, 1744, 1750).


George Vertue (1684 - 1756) was born in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. His parents served in the court of James II and his father may have later become a tailor. 

He was first apprenticed to a silver engraver and later to Flemish engraver Michael Vandergucht. 

His early work includes plates after Kneller, whose academy he attended from 1711. Vertue served as official engraver to the Society of Antiquaries (1717-56). In the 1720s he concentrated on portrait frontispieces, producing over 120 in total. From 1727 he was engraver to Oxford University. Vertue was also a publisher and ran a print shop near Drury Lane. In 1712 he began gathering information for a publication on the history of art in Britain, which remained unfinished at his death.


Thomas Major - the Golden Head, Chandois Street, Upper end of St Martins Lane 1759 see self portrait engraving Royal Coll.


By 1754, Joshua Reynolds had left his lodgings adjacent to the St. Martin’s Lane Academy in the house of the “man midwife” and surgeon Christopher Kelly in St. Martin’s Lane to establish his own house and studio around the corner on Great Newport Street.

Christopher Kelly lived here in 1749.

Kelly, Christopher, d 1791, surgeon-turned-physician, man-midwife. Served as navy surgeon before being disenfranchised in 1758 to become licentiate of the College of Physicians. Taught midwifery at his house in St Martin’s Lane using ‘a complete Sett of artificial women and children’, ‘necessary preparations’ and ‘real labours’ (Whitehall Evening Post, 30 September 1760).


43 St Martin's Lane.

This house still exists.

Image above used with the kind permission of the London Picture Archive.

Possibly the house of Henry May who built Mays Buildings, (previously Feathers Court) the court was between 40 and 42 St Martins Lane.

Passages above adapted from

The house on the left late17th/early 18th century.

Another image used with permission of the London Picture archive.


Mays Buildings in 1870.

Image above from

The Title deeds and leases for May's Buildings in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are in Hampshire Record Office.


St. Martin's Workhouse, in Castle Street, south of Hemmings Row, was erected in 1772 on the old St Martins burial ground.


I will come back to this later.


Some more watercolour drawings by the Sandby brothers.

The Piazza, Covent Garden.

Royal Collection.


The Piazza, Covent Garden.
North Side.

British Museum.


Sold by Waddingtons. 2018.

Beaufort Buildings looking North to the Strand.

Thomas Sandby with figures perhaps by his brother Paul Sandby.

This wonderful drawing although not relevant is included here for the sheer pleasure of it.

Image from the British Museum.

456 x 618 mms.

for the Sandby's see -