Grosvenor Square, number 5, London: executed designs for two chimneypieces for the 5th Duke of Beaufort, 1768 (2)
Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort (1744-1833) succeeded to his father's dukedom in 1756. He served as Master of the Horse in 1768-70, and Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire in 1771-1803, Brecknockshire in 1787-1803, and Leicestershire in 1787-99. In 1766 he married Elizabeth (d 1828), the daughter of the Rt Hon. Admiral Edward Boscawen, Adam’s patron at Hatchlands, Surrey, and his wife, Fanny Boscawen, Adam's patron at St Michael Penkevil, Cornwall, for the Admiral's funerary monument. It was presumably through this family connection that Adam was known to Beaufort. Beaufort died in 1803, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Henry Charles Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort.
Although his principal seat was Badminton House, Gloucestershire, Beaufort's town house was 5 Grosvenor Square. Grosvenor Square is the second largest square in London, and at the centre of the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair. Its fifty-one houses were built in 1725-31, and later Robert and James Adam are known to have worked on five of these houses. Number 5 had been built to designs by John Simmons in c1728. Both of Adam's chimneypiece designs for the 5th Duke of Beaufort were executed by Thomas Carter junior (d 1795) at a cost of £29 and £38, and installed in the drawing room and dining room (possibly back drawing room).
Alterations and repairs were made to the house in 1810 for the 6th Duke of Beaufort, to designs by Sir Jeffry Wyatville (1744-1840). The house was demolished in 1961, and numbers 4-7 were rebuilt to designs by Charles Peczenik and T.H.F. Burditt in 1961-64.
Literature: A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 37, 62; F.H.W. Sheppard (ed.)., The survey of London, Volume 40, 1980, pp. 112-17, 121-22; B. Weinreb, and C. Hibbert, The London encyclopaedia, 1983, p. 350; S. Bradley, and N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: London 6: Westminster, 2003, p. 529-31; C. Mosley (ed.), Burke's peerage, baronetage & knightage, 2003, p. 302; I. Roscoe, A biographical dictionary of sculptors in Britain: 1660-1851, 2009, p. 217