The Fashionable World

October 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm (british royalty, estates, history, london's landscape, news, people, research) (, , , , , , , )

Today, I came across this mention of a glittering party at truly sumptuous-sounding residence, the home of Sir Drummond and Lady Smith:

LADY DRUMMOND SMITH’S ASSEMBLY.

     Decidedly is the residence of the above fashionable Lady, on the Terrace, in Piccadilly, one of the most elegant mansions in the metropolis. There are four drawing-rooms of ample dimensions on each floor, superbly furnished, enriched with sculpture, &c. On Tuesday evening the house was opened with singular eclat; the company exceeded 500 persons. In the great gallery a band of chosen musicians were stationed during the night; the latter was illuminated by radiant arches and festoons of variegated lamps; glasses of wonderful magnitude and beauty, some of them exceeding 10 feet in height, were placed in appropriate situations to reflect every object (particularly the Grecian chandeliers) ad infinitum.

The write-up was published in The Morning Post on 18 May 1810.

It has been suggested, in a history of the Comptons, that the turnpike played a role in the marriage of Mamma and Papa Smith: Drummond Smith “built No. 144 Piccadilly, next to his brother’s house, and just beyond the two houses was the turnpike gate which was the entrance to London. One night he was helped home by a Mr. Charles Smith, no relation, … who [later] married Augusta, daughter of Joshua Smith.”

Just had to find a map, showing the probable location (for the area was bombed in World War II and the building does not exist). 144-145 Piccadilly were located between (present-day) Apsley House and Hamilton Place. This is a map from 1795.

piccadilly

I’ve written before about the residence of Drummond’s brother Sir John and Lady Smith-Burgess, at 145 Piccadilly; Queen Elizabeth lived there as a child. You can find a superb exterior shot, and some interiors of the Royal Residence at English Heritage.

piccadilly2

Strolling through some other newspaper mentions, I am intrigued to begin copying some of these DE-LIGHT-FUL writings under the heading of “The Fashionable World“. So announcing two *new* items you’ll see come on the blog: Under the Smith & Gosling Timeline I’ll post some of these (typically one or two lines) short newspaper mentions of the family. And on its own, I’ll post some – with a desire to do all – elements of early “Fashionable World” mentions (say, 1800-1810 or so).

Useful links:

lady drummond smith3

LADY SMITH
second wife of Sir Drummond Smith, bart
née Elizabeth Monckton,
daughter of the 2nd Viscount Galway;
widow of Sir Francis Sykes, bart, of Basildon

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Where the Duke of York Lived

May 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm (estates) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

As mentioned in an early post <fit for a queen> the family of the Duke of York (the future George VI, his wife Elizabeth and daughters Elizabeth and Margaret Rose) inhabited No 145 Piccadilly. The release of THE KING’S SPEECH (with Colin Firth as the Duke and Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue) on DVD gives the opportunity of “revisiting” this house (although it no longer exists). Here it is, as depicted in the film:

While the Drummond Smiths lived at No 144 Piccadilly, Drummond’s brother and sister-in-law, the Smith-Burgesses, lived at No 145!

Here are a couple images I’ve managed to unearth of the real “royal residence” at No 145. This first is young little Princess Elizabeth: 

This link is to news reel footage, where the King and Queen are entering then exiting the premises.

Obviously, though, the film crew used some building. And guess which they happened to choose? No. 33 PORTLAND PLACE! The Very Street upon which the Smiths & Goslings once lived! The film has more to show than JUST in the exterior: the Georgian interior AS WELL AS the fabulous consultation rooms of Lionel Logue were filmed at No. 33!

 

When you see a shot like this, looking down all levels of the staircase, you no longer have to imagine how Charlotte Gosling could fit hundreds of people in for an evening’s party (see this post).

Kate in Norfolk forwarded me a couple of highly interesting links: This first one, an interview with production designer Eve Stewart, discusses the film THE KING’S SPEECH. The second also discusses Logue’s consultation room — and obsesses on that wall (I love the windows!). It also links up the Guardian’s article.

Just search for “33 Portland Place” I had already come across the website for the building. Just marvel at the interiors, as you read about the history of the place. A 2nd website provides a few more photos and info.

Have to wonder: Did anyone realize the 19th century inhabitants of 145 Piccadilly may have visited No. 33 Portland Place??

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