18th Century

People of the Strand: Jonathan Sisson (1692 – 1749)

Jonathan Sisson established a scientific instrument making business at the corner of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand, London. The attic rooms included an observatory, the exterior visible in a drawing by the freemason, Thomas Sandby.[1] Sandby was the architect of the first Freemasons’ Hall on Great Queen Street, which was completed in 1766. For many…

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Lost buildings of the Strand

Editor’s note: below you can find teasers of Aisha Brady’s research for her Layers of London collection ‘Lost Buildings of the Strand‘. Aisha researched this collection (and many more!) as a Layers of London and Strandlines collaborative volunteer. We are currently recruiting for more volunteers, apply by 7 February 2019! Find out more here. Lost…

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Can you volunteer for Strandlines and Layers of London?

If you’re reading this on our website, we hope that you already know that Strandlines collects and shares histories and stories of this most central of London’s streets. Why not browse some of our existing ‘strands’ to see what our contributors have preserved so far? Layers of London is a huge collaborative effort to map…

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Twinings and Lloyds Intertwined

Twinings portico ©Heather Tweed

Part One Twinings has long been associated with fine teas but the company actually sprang from Tom’s Coffee House. This blog explores a little of that early history and links to Tweed family members who lie within my own ancestral tree. Walking along the Strand in 1706 a waft of aromatic coffee and stimulating chit…

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A Wind of Tingling Fullness on the Strand

Top image: Detail of George II and The River Thames, by John Bacon.

A Wind of Tingling Fullness on the Strand: Sir William Chambers’ Sculptural Design and Somerset House as ‘the object of national splendor’ An Interview with Professor Michael Trapp, Department of Classics, King’s College London By Freya Zhang In her essay ‘The external sculptural decoration of Somerset House: And the documentary sources’, Susan Jenkins writes: “It…

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Eighteenth-century lives in Devereux Court

Micah Anne Neale is a 3rd-year PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London, and volunteered for Layers of London in Summer 2019. Her thesis topic is the musical lives of eighteenth-century domestic servants in Britain, and her research interests include early modern social and cultural history, the history of work and the history of…

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Layers of the Strand

Today, I have been time travelling. I explored the farm around Trafalgar Square. I squeezed into a tiny top room in Devereaux Court to hear Isaac Newton speak. I paid a ferryman tuppence to take me to the floating coffee house on the Thames to look over the water at Somerset House. This is all…

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Mrs Holt’s Italian Warehouse

In the 1720s, Mrs Holt’s Italian Warehouse (a warehouse was a sort of 18th-century department store) in the Strand opposite Exeter Change. According to the trade card that William Hogarth engraved for her, she stocked ‘all sort of Italian silks as Lustrings, Sattins, Padesois, Velvets, Damasks, &c, Fans, Leghorne Hats, Flowers, Lute and Violin Strings,…

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St Mary Le Strand

In 1147 the site of St Mary le Strand was occupied by the church of The Nativity Of Our Lady and the Innocents. This was demolished in 1549 to make way for Somerset House, Protector Somerset promised to rebuild it but never did so and for nearly 200 years the parishioners had used the Savoy…

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