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Curzon Street, number 30, Westminster: designs for interior decoration, furniture and plate for the Hon. Henry Frederick Thynne, 1771-73 (18)

1771-73
The Hon. Henry Frederick Thynne (1735-1826) was the second son of Thomas, 2nd Viscount Weymouth, by his second wife, the Hon. Louisa Carteret, daughter of the 2nd Earl of Granville. He served as MP for Staffordshire in 1757-61, and Woebley in 1761-70, as well as clerk comptroller of the Board of Green Cloth in 1762-65, master of the Household in 1768-70, and joint postmaster general in 1770-89. In 1776 Thynne succeeded to the estates of his maternal uncle, the 3rd Earl of Granville, took the name Carteret, and was created Baron Carteret in 1784. In 1810 he married Eleanor Smart, who had previously been his mistress for 43 years. Together they had one illegitimate son and Thynne was succeeded by his nephew.

Thynne lived at 30 Curzon Street. From 1715 the land formerly known at Great Brookfield came into the possession of Sir Nathaniel Curzon of Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire. Curzon Street was developed between the early 1720s and the 1790s. Number 30 was built in 1750-55 by an unknown architect. It is a six-bay house, being four storeys over a sunk basement, with a rusticated ground storey, alternating triangular and segmental pediments over the first-storey windows, and with a single-bay Doric porch over the ground-storey front door, which is off centre in the fifth bay. Thynne gave the house new interior decoration in 1771-73 to designs by Robert Adam. Thynne’s brother, the 3rd Viscount Weymouth was married to Lady Elizabeth Cavendish-Bentinck, the eldest daughter of the 2nd Duke of Portland, Adam’s patron for the unexecuted designs for Portland House, New Cavendish Street, London in c1770. It may have been through this connection with his sister-in-law’s family that Thynne came to be acquainted with Adam.

At 30 Curzon Street, Adam made designs for interior decoration, plate and furniture, including his magnificent segmentally vaulted drawing room, with plasterwork by Joseph Rose, which survives on the first storey at the front of the house. Adam’s interior decoration to the entrance hall also survives, and there are other twentieth-century Adam-imitation interiors within the house. 30 Curzon Street has been the location of the private members’ gaming club, Crockford’s, since 1983.

Literature:
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, index pp. 36, 89; E. Harris, The furniture of Robert Adam, 1963, Index pp. 54, 98; B. Weinreb, and C. Hibbert, The London encyclopaedia, 1983, p. 224; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume I, pp. 307, 315-317; S. Bradley, and N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: London 6: Westminster, 2003, pp. 517-519; ‘City of Westminster, Curzon Street’, British listed buildings online; ‘Thynne, Hon. Henry Frederick (1735-1826), of Compsford, Glos.’ History of Parliament online

Frances Sands, 2014
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