Berkeley Square

Berkeley Square by F. Hopkinson Smith. 1913. Photographic reproduction of charcoal on paper from In Thackeray's London, p. 95. Scanned image, formatting and text by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you credit and link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

It was laid out in the middle of the eighteenth century under Robert Walpole, then Prime Minister. At No. 11, so the records show, lived his son Horace—chiefly from 1779 to 1797; at No. 13 the Marquis of Hertford began to collect what is now the Wallace Collection; at No. 25 lived Charles James Fox; at No. 28 Lord Brougham entertained as Lord Chancellor; at No. 38 Lady Jersey's dinners and balls were the talk of the town; at No. 45 Lord Clive committed suicide in 1774, and in the corner house on Bruton Street Colly Gibber lived and died.

In fact, many houses of the period are still identified by these names, and some of them have the iron torch- extinguishers hanging at their doorposts. And even at this late day the carriage of his Majesty the King can be found outside the stoops of the great people whose doors open on the Square.

That which drew me to it was the fact that on this very square was set up one of the most brilliant booths in all Vanity Fair.

"All the world knows that Lord Steynes town palace stands in Gaunt Square, out of which Great Gaunt Street leads, whither we first conducted Rebecca in the time of the departed Sir Pitt Crawley." . . .

While there is some conflict over the exact location of this noble mansion, all authorities agree that Gaunt Square was really Berkeley Square. [93-94, 97. The author then proceeds for five pages to quote from Vanity Fair.]


Smith, F. Hopkinson. & In Thackeray's London. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1916.

Last modified 9 July 2012