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image Adam vol.7/110

Reference number

Adam vol.7/110


London: Palace of Westminster. Plan of the Palace of Westminster as existing in 1762 with a numbered key for the buildings.




1 inch to 40 ft


Inscribed in ink on separate sheet and in a contemporary hand A Reference to Upper Plan, A-N and Explanation to General Plan, 1-37 verso (separate sheet) Inscribed in ink in William Adam's hand The reasons why I have given him these orders somewhat/ contradictory to what I last wrote you is from learning/ that the Levant in the Winter Season is not less liable/ to storms than any other sea, I should therefor think/ it advisable for you to make all the dispatch you/ can if you are resolved to go this Season. I suspect the Pictures in the Mercurey had been / hurt before they were put on board of that ship/ perhaps in the carriage to Covetta Vechia or/ from that to Leghorn as the case seemed in/ perfect good order when delivered here & the Capt./ assures me that it was absolutely impossible for/ them to have rec'd any wett in his ship. I have receiv'd by last post a further remittance/ from Johnie on Cooper for L900 on your Acct./ as you will see by the state of your Draft/ that all the former supply is exhausted. The Ordnance have been very long of paying/ him his money this year which amounts/ to above 8 thousand. I am alwise most sincerely/ & unalterably your's WA ./ We have been in/ expectation of a letter from you by the days Mail/ but it brought none

Signed and dated

  • Undated, 1761/2

Medium and dimensions

Pen, grey wash on brown tracing paper 388 x 538; separate sheet: 187 x 236


Robert Adam, Office of
verso William Adam [letter]


verso of separate sheet of notes: Part of a letter from William Adam to James Adam, which deals with the latter's plan to go to the Aegean and Turkey in 1761 and his idea of settling '. . . proper correspondents for Willy in the Levant' (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.271).


These are the plan and notes that James Adam asked his brother Robert to send him in August 1760, which arrived in Rome in 1762. James wrote in March 1762 that his brother 'has got the plan, I have long wish'd for: now that my own plan is made out my curiosity to see the old is greater than ever, to see it from the lights I have been able to pick up here' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4927). This drawing was certainly used for the unfinished copy plan in Adam volume 28 (Adam vol.28/3); it follows the existing general arrangement but incorporates only a remodelled Westminster Hall and probably the King's Bench Records, built in 1760 (see H. Colvin, The History of the King's Works, Volume 5, London, 1976, pp.427-28). As Architect of the King's Works after 1761, Robert Adam would have access to the original drawings of which this and Adam vol.7/111 are tracings. In a letter of 1762, he refers to getting a 'Memorandum concerning Both Houses of Parliament' from Robinson [William Robinson, see H. Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, 3rd Edn., London, 1995, p.832] of the Board' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4926).



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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