7 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

Wallingford House

Home of the son of the second Marquis of Hamilton, located even closer to Whitehall Palace than Buckingham's York House on the Strand. Housed collection of paintings by Rubens and others. After the execution of CI in 1649 the collection was seized by the Commonwealth and sold to Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in 1651.

(Consuming Spendour by Peck)

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Wallingford House stood on the site of the present Admiralty. It originally belonged to the Knollys family, and during the Protectorate, the office for granting passes to persons going abroad was kept there.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The present Old Admiralty Building (sorry, it's not Admiralty Arch -- click through to see it) has a couple of plaques which read:

In the mid 16th century this site was the timber yard for the nearby Whitehall Palace. In 1560 Sir Francis Knollys, Treasurer of the Royal Household, leased the land to "buylde a convenient house", which later passed to his son, Viscount Wallingford, becoming known as Wallingford House.

In 1622 George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, the Lord High Admiral, purchased Wallingford House and so began an association between the site and the direction of the Royal Navy that lasted for some 350 years. Sir Christopher Wren recommended this site for the first planned Admiralty Office, which opened in 1695. The builder, John Evans, became Navy Board Purveyor but his building soon failed to meet the Admiralty's growing needs.

The present building was designed by the Master Carpenter, Thomas Ripley, and completed in 1726 (at an "Expence that hath very much exceeded the Estimate"), becoming known as Ripley Block.

The screen wall facing Whitehall was designed in 1760 by the great Scottish architect, Robert Adam. In 1826 "in" and "out" side entrances were added to allow easier access for the carriage of the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV, but the screen was restored to its original condition in 1923.

The building contains the room where Nelson's body lay overnight 8th/9th January 1806, before his funeral. It also contains the Admiralty Board Room, a survivor from Evans' building of 1695, with its finely carved overmantel, attributed to Grinling Gibbons' workshop, depicting ancient nautical instruments.

The Board Room boasts an imposing table, with a cut out portion to accommodate the Secretary and his papers. The wind dial, controlled by a vane on the roof , and the carving have survived from the 1695 building. The room was expertly repaired after being damaged by a bomb in World War II.

From here the worldwide affairs of the Royal Navy were run for centuries by " the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty" until they were replaced, on the formation of the Ministry of Defence in 1964, by the "Admiralty Board of the Defence Council". The board still occasionally meets in the Old Admiralty Board Room.

Site: Old Admiralty Building (2 memorials)

The plaques are on the southern end wall of the colonnade. From their position and style, including the rope borders, these two plaques were probably erected together.


San Diego Sarah  •  Link

... and on the other side it faces onto Horseguards -- you know it from Trooping the Colours. It faces onto Horseguards …

During the 16th century a timber yard for the Whitehall Palace used to be situated on this site. In 1560 the Royal Treasurer purchased this land and built a house here. It passed on to his son, Viscount Wallingford, who named it Wallingford House. In 1622 the Duke of Buckingham, who was the High Admiral, bought this house and started using it for Royal Navy management. When Christopher Wren was redesigning London after the Great Fire, he came up with the idea of a planned building for the Navy. Thus the first Admiralty Building came into being in 1695, but it soon grew short of space. So in 1726, Thomas Ripley designed the present building to meet the growing needs of the Admiralty. It is a beautiful historical building with a Robert Adam Screen wall on its face and grand entry and exit gateways. The likes of Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming and Nelson worked here. ...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

At the end of the Commonwealth we know Gen. Charles Fleetwood's residence, Wallingford House, was the site of an Army Plot.

A somewhat confusing account of this property is in
'Admiralty House', in Survey of London: Volume 16, St Martin-in-The-Fields I: Charing Cross, (London, 1935) pp. 28-44. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk… [accessed 22 May 2024].

Note: I’ve modernized the spelling and simplified the Victorian writing.

There's a map showing Pickering House (built by Gilbert Pickering during the Commonwealth), https://www.pepysdiary.com/encycl…
Wallingford House and Walshingham House before 1670. Apparently the lands were combined when what we call Old Admiralty House was built.

On 17 April, 1612, King James, in consideration of Lady Walsigham spending "One Thousand Marks & more of currant English money" in building, and "for … the good and acceptable Service to our most entirely beloved wife Queen Anne by … the said Lady Walsingham done," granted to her nominee, Arthur Proger, a lease of the premises for 40 years at a rent of 5 shillings.

From a comparison of the description with that given in 1606, it is evident that Lady Walsingham's building had been extensive. ...

The plan of 1670 shows between the north end of the Horse Guards building and "the Passage into ye Park," a block of property marked R, i.e. "Mrs. Kirke."

The southernmost portion of this property, extending along the eastern end as far as the kink in the frontage, was that part of the Kirke property which was acquired by Sir Robert Holmes.
The remainder of the R block, together with a small house on the other side of the passage into the Park, was in 1606 held by Audrey, Lady Walsingham.

Two undated plans, made later than the grant to Lady Walsingham, are reproduced. One is obviously earlier than the sale of the adjoining premises to Sir Robert Holmes in 1670; the other subsequent to that transaction, and probably drawn in connection with the lease to Anne, Countess Dowager Marischal in 1675.

The building on the right side of the passage, which in 1606 included Lady Walsingham's kitchen, has apparently become "part of the Duke of Buckingham's kitchen," has been added to Wallingford House after the duke acquired the lease of Walsingham House.

Walsingham House, adjacent to the Tiltyard, afforded an excellent view (no doubt from a gallery at its southern end) of the jousting, and in 1620 arrangements were made for preparing "Sr Thomas Walsingham’s house against the Tilting day for the king of Bohemia his Ambassador, and other Ambassadors."

In the time of the Commonwealth the house was sequestered "as the Duchess of Buckingham's, for the delinquency of the Earl of Antrim, her husband."

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


From various orders for sequestrations it appears that Mr. Fines was in residence in 1644, and Lady "Cawfield" in 1646.

In 1650 Sir Gilbert Pickering was there. On 13 March, 1650 the Committee for Middlesex and Westminster were asked to certify whether in valuing the 2 houses of Pickering the little passage which he wished to lay to his house had been considered. The Committee on 21 March replied that they were of opinion that he should have the passage as desired.

One of those houses was Walsingham House; the other was Pickering House, which now emerges. It was built by Gilbert Pickering on the east side of Walsingham House, fronting the street.

In 1658 John Embree petitioned Cromwell, stating he had purchased from the trustees for the sale of the late King's lands "a little, old and ruinous house adjoining to Wallingford House." This was presumably Walsingham House. "Forasmuch as some pretence hath been made that the premises are or were formerly reputed part of Whitehall," Embree found it advisable to obtain a more secure title, and asked for a lease for 99 years at a peppercorn rent.

Whether either John Embree or Gilbert Pickering obtained their respective leases has not been ascertained, but on the Restoration both Pickering and Walshingham came under the custody of George Kirke as "housekeeper" of Whitehall.

The "Duchess of Richmond" appears in the ratebooks for 1661 and 1664 next to that of the Duke of Buckingham suggesting she was resident at Walsingham House, and confirmation of this is given by the following item under the date of January, 1664–5: "for paving the yard between the Duchess of Richmond’s and Wallingford House going into ye Park."

About 1670 Joseph Williamson petitioned for a reversionary grant of Walsingham House to take effect on George Kirke's death, but nothing seems to have come of this, and on 10 August, 1675, the 2 houses called Little Wallingford House (the new name for Walsingham House) and Pickering House were granted to Anne, Countess Dowager Marischal, for life.

The "passage into the Park," which the plan of 1670 shows was then still open, had apparently now been closed, for the plan shows it blocked at the western end by "the new parlor."

From a document of 1669 it appears Anne, Countess Dowager Marischal already possessed the property, described as "severall Lodgings being built upon the Wall of Our Park of St. James next to Our Horse Guards, wch at her own Charges She hath fitted & beautified."

The 1686 parish ratebooks show "Lady Marshall" in occupation. About this time Queen Catherine claimed the property, as well as the house built by Sir Robert Holmes, as belonging to the Manor of Westminster which had been assigned to her as part of her dower, and in 1689 went so far as to make a lease of the houses, under the title of "Little Walsingham Houses … now or late in the Severall tenures of the Countess Dowager Marshall and Mr. Blathwaite." ...

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

L&M are definitive. In George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham's Companion bio., they state that he lived in Wallingford House during the 1660's.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.