Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A desirable residence

Today we will see him move out of 10 Downing Street ...

while she moves in ...

but someone much closer to home had a very close connection with this most famous of London residences.
Unfortunately there are no depictions of Sir Walter St John walking through this very same door, but there is some paperwork to prove that he probably did.
So what is the connection between the St John family, Lydiard House and 10 Downing Street?
Edward Lee 1st Earl of Lichfield was the grandson of Anne St John, the daughter of Sir John St John 1st Baronet and his wife Anne Leighton who owned Lydiard House and Park in the 17th century. Charlotte Fitzroy, Edward's wife, was the illegitimate daughter of Charles II and Barbara, Countess of Castlemaine, the granddaughter of Barbara St John, Sir John's sister. This brother and sister are represented on the St John polyptych in St Mary's Church.
Young Edward Lee was created Earl of Lichfield, Viscount Quarrendon and Baron Spelsbury upon his betrothal to the King's much loved illegitimate daughter Charlotte. The couple were married in February 1677 when Charlotte was just 12 years old.
When in London the newly weds home was a property granted by the King to Sir Walter St. John (Edward’s great uncle), Sir Ralph Verney, Sir Richard Howe and John Cary on a 99 year lease.  Described as “all that peice …of Ground with the Buildings thereupon Within our Parke called St James Parke – bounded Eastward with the Buildings of the Cockpitt, Southward with the Wall of Hampden Garden, Northward one hundred and forty foote in length to the said Parke, Westward eighty five foote in length to the Parke.”
Today the property is the impressive building on Horse Guards Parade designed by Sir Christopher Wren and fronted by an undistinguished row of terraced houses called Downing Street.
You might like to read the full story on Good Gentlewoman.
Lydiard House and Park

Barbara, Countess of Castlemaine

Charlotte Fitzroy

Charles II

Barbara St John

Anne St John

Sir John St John, 1st Baronet


St John Polyptych


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