London: (?) Bloomsbury Square: survey of two houses for John Pearse, 1793 (3)
John Pearse was Governor of the Bank of England 1810-12, MP for Devizes 1818-32 and associated with at least three estates in St Kitts. He is listed as receiving compensation on the abolition of slavery.
Soane's office Journal shows that on 1 March 1794 '2 houses in Bloomsbury Square' (quoted by P.Dean, op.cit below) were surveyed. Drawing 1 is dated 10 May 1793 and is not inscribed for Bloomsbury Square. Another house in Great Queen Street was surveyed for Pearse in December 1794 (for which no drawings survive). In the event, Soane found a house for Mr Pearse at 51 Lincoln Inn Fields (q.v.).
Bloomsbury Square, formerly Southampton Square, is said to be the oldest square in London. Building began from 1661 and, for example, Henry Flitcroft (1697-1769) built Nos 5-6 (in 1744) while John Nash (1752-1835) reconstructed Nos 16-17 (in 1777-8). It is not know which pair of houses in Bloomsbury Square was surveyed by Soane. The drawings show them to be three bays wide while, for example, a 1787 print published in J.Summerson, Georgian London, 2003, H.Colvin ed., p.23, shows four-bay houses on the east side and three-, five- and seven-bay houses on the west side of the Square.
Literature. P.Dean, Sir John Soane and London, 2006, p.152 (and see also op.cit. p.239 for Pearse); Legacies of British Slavery database, UCL: www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs