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Purpose

Design with a reduced plan of John Henderson's rival scheme, 1778 (1)

Notes

Early in 1778, the Bishop of Derry, then resident in Rome, let it be known among the architects of that city that he proposed adding a dining room to Downhill. John Henderson, a Scottish architect (died 1786) who was in Rome from c.1774 to 1779, was probably the first to present an acceptable design. Supplanted by Soane's scheme, a quarrel ensued in which Soane was accused by Henderson of plagiarism. This drawing may have been used as part of Soane's 'evidence'.

See drawing 11 for a further comparative drawing and notes.

Literature

P. du Prey, John Soane's architectural education 1753-80, 1977, pp.52-3; P. du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, p.114 (account of the quarrel)

Level

Group

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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