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Reference number

SM (1) 38/10/7 (2) 38/10/8 (3) 38/10/9 (4) 38/10/10 (5) 38/10/11


Survey, design and working drawings, 1794 (5)


1 Survey ground and first floor Plans of Houses Lincolns Inn Fields / (Mr Macnamara's) for John Pearse Esqr 2 Survey plan of Ground Floor for John Pearse Esq 3 Plan of the One Pair Floor / with the proposed alterations / 11':9" high for John Pearse Esq 4 Ground Floor plan for John Pearse Esqr 5 One Pair Floor for John Pearse Esq


(1-2) bar scales of 1/8 inch to 1 foot (3) 1/8 inch to 1 foot (4-5) bar scales of 1/4 inch to 1 foot


1 as above, labelled: Entrance Court, Hall, Eating Room, Staircase, Butler, Water Closet (twice), Pump Cistern, Area (twice), Steps down to Basement, Court (twice), Passage, Library, Light (twice), Wood, Coal Shed, Stables, (first floor) Drawing Room, Water / Cistern and dimensions given (verso) Mr Pearse Lincolns Inn Fields / Plan of House as at present and (pencil, some illegible) Hight (sic) of Basement / from top of one floor ---- / ---- 9' 9" / Door 6 . 8 by 3 . 2 2 as above, labelled: Area, The Hall, Parlor, Mr Pearse's / Dressing Room, Store Room, Water Closet (twice), Pump / Cistern, Steps leading to Basement, Passage, Area (twice), Eating Room, Light (twice), door, Chimney, Court, Wood, Coal Shedand dimensions given 3 as above, Drawing Room (twice), Bed Room, Dressing Room, Water / Closet, Water / Cistern
and some dimensions given 4 as above, (pencil, of water closet) to be taken / away and some dimensions given (verso) Mr Pearse Linc[olns Inn Fields / Ground [floor] 5 as above, (pencil) Another Water / Closet / ---- --- (illegible) and some dimensions given (verso) Mr Pearse's Lincolns inn Fields / one pair floor

Signed and dated

  • (1) Lincolns Inn Fields April 29th 1794 (2-3) Lincolns Inn Fields May 7th 1794 (4-5) Lincolns Inn Fields May 19th 1794

Medium and dimensions

(1) Pen, sepia and blue washes on thin wove paper with three fold marks (550 x 327) (2) pen, black, sepia and blue washes, hatching, pricked for transfer with quadruple-ruled and sepia wash border on laid paper with an old repair (470 x 263) (3) pen, sepia, pink and blue washes with quadruple-ruled and sepia wash border on laid paper (470 x 264) (4) pen, sepia and pink washes on thin wove paper with three fold marks, old repair (531 x 390) (5) pen, sepia and pink washes, pricked for transfer on thin wove paper with three fold marks (531 x 319)


(1-5) Different Soane office hands (no Day Book for this period)


(2) fleur-de-lis above cartouche with bar and below, ornate W (3) J Whatman


In 1639 or 1640, three houses (Nos 51-53) were built on a plot of land 123 feet wide on the west side of Lincoln's Inn Fields. 'They were constructed chiefly of brick. The ground storeys formed a simple base for an Ionic order of pilasters extending the height of the first and second stories. The capitals were of stone with carved swags. The bases were also of stone and stood on brick plinths. The pilasters ... were enriched with Tudor roses and fleurs-de-lis....' (W.E.Riley and L.Gomme (editors), Survey of London: volume 3 : St Giles in-the-Fields, pt.1: Lincoln's Inn Fields, 1912, pp.69-73
Soane's survey shows a five-bay house with an outdoor assemblage of courts, areas, passage and two basement stairs. Leaving space for an entrance hall, dining room and two internal stairs while at the rear, there are a large top-lit library and two associated rooms that may have been the chambers of the previous owner of the house, Daniel Macnamara (1720-1800), lawyer and Roman Catholic activist (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).
The site is 39'.8" wide and about 163 feet from front to back with stables beyond the rear boundary line. A blue wash represents outdoor spaces (other than the entrance court), skylights and cistern.
The second of the survey drawings (2) includes suggested alterations and changes of use to the ground floor so that, for example, one (geometrical) stair replaces the two old ones and the library is re-shaped and labelled 'Eating Room'. Drawings 3-5 all deal with the front part of the house which is outlined in black wash on drawing 2. Essentially, they show the new stair and an enlarged bedroom where once was the old stair. All five drawings have a blue-washed projection sited behind the main stair and in the party wall, that must be a shared lightwell. Perhaps this dates from the time (1705 to 1732) when Nos 51 and 52 were the official joint residence of the Keeper of the Great Seal. No. 51, with Soane's alterations, was demolished in 1904.
John Pearse (1759-1836) was a director of the Bank of England from 1790 to 1828 and Member of Parliament for Devizes, 1818-32.
See also the catalogue entry for Chilton Lodge, Chilton Foliat, Berkshire, a house designed by Soane for William Morland, 1791 that was rebuilt by Soane for Pearse, from 1796.

Jill Lever, November 2012



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