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Bolton House, Southampton Row, London: designs for interior decoration for the 6th Duke of Bolton, June 1770 - August 1777, demolished 1913 (30)

1770-77
Harry Paulet (or Powlett), 6th Duke of Bolton, (1720-94), succeeded his brother Charles in 1765. He had a career in the Royal Navy, rising to the rank of Admiral of the Blue in 1770 and Admiral of the White in 1775. In 1770 he took a lease on 26 Southampton Row (later 66-67 Russell Square), which had been built in 1759-63 for Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore, probably by John Vardy (1718-1765), not by Henry Flitcroft as suggested by some authorities. Vardy had worked for Lord Baltimore at Woodcote Park, Surrey. The plan and north front of the original house are illustrated in Harris's article on Bolton House. In 1770 Baltimore House was leased to the 6th Duke of Bolton who promptly employed Robert Adam to make additions and internal alterations. The transformation of Vardy's conventional Palladian house into a stylish Neo-Classical one took seven years to complete.

After the Duke's death in 1794 the lease of the house was acquired by another Adam patron, Alexander Wedderburn, 1st Earl of Rosslyn (Mitcham Grove, Surrey). It was incorporated into the Imperial Hotel in 1910 and finally demolished in 1913. The Adam ceiling for the Duchess of Bolton's dressing room and the chimneypiece from the drawing room were purchased for Percy Pyne and installed in his Neo-Georgian mansion at 680 Park Avenue, New York, built by McKim, Mead and White.

Apart from the Adam drawings at Sir John Soane's Museum there is an engraving of a design of a Tripod published in The Works of Robert and James Adam, Volume I, part i, plate VIII (1773). This is described in the text a having been 'designed for the Earl of Coventry [...] executed in or moulu, for Sir Laurence Dundas, and afterwards for the Duke of Bolton'.

See also Hackwood Park, Hampshire

Literature:
R. & J. Adam, The works in architecture of Robert & James Adam, 1773, part i, plate VII; A. T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert & James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 48; E. Harris, The furniture of Robert Adam, 1963, pp. 74, 94, 101; D. Stillman, The decorative work of Robert Adam, 1966, pp. 25, 104; E. Harris, 'Robert Adam on Park Avenue - the interiors for Bolton House', Burlington Magazine, 137, February 1995, pp. 68-75; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume I, p. 315

Frances Sands, 2011
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