Hogarth House, Richmond – [Local History Notes: 13]
Abraham Cropp, a man of considerable wealth, died at his home in Paradise Row in 1744 (1). He owned two adjoining houses, a coach house and stables. His widow, Susanna Cropp, inherited the property and, in the latter part of 1747 or the spring of 1748, she moved to a house in West Sheen, having commissioned the rebuilding of the Paradise Row property. Her name appears in the 1748 and 1749 rate books under Paradise Row – the property being unrated – and under West Sheen. In 1750 the Paradise Row property is rated as a single building, but at twice the original sum and her name is missing from the West Sheen list. This evidence ties in with the date 1748 which is inscribed on the outside of Hogarth House at first floor level.
Mrs Cropp remained at her new home until her death in 1760 when the copyhold passed to Sarah Long (2), her daughter and wife of Beeston Long of Carshalton, Surrey, who was a member of the firm of West Indian merchants Drake and Long (3). Beeston Long is listed as the ratepayer in 1760. Their son Charles Long (3) was born in 1761 and he entered politics, eventually being created Baron Farnborough of Bromley Hill Place.
By the time the rates were collected in 1761, Henry Charles, 3rd Viscount Hatton, had taken up residence and he died there the following year (4). Although Sarah Long retained the copyhold until after 1773, the property was let out to a succession of tenants. After Hatton came Thomas Matthews and then a Lord M… . Sometime between 1765 and 1769 Lady Margaret Compton took up residence.
Lady Margaret Compton (1703-1786) was the daughter of George, 4th Earl of Northampton (5). She was a noted eccentric and gambler – sometimes losing as much as £150 in an evening – and a friend of Horace Walpole – there are a number of references to her in his letters. There are also numerous references to her in the letters of Lady Mary Coke. Lady Margaret was followed at Paradise Row by the Crewe family – Richard Crewe, his wife and daughter. Walpole comments that Miss Crewe had decorated a room in her mother’s house in 1787 (6). Although Richard Crewe appears in the 1791 directory as living at Paradise Row, the rate book for 1790 gives the name of the Hon. Edward Bouverie. This could be one of two people; either the Hon. Edward Bouverie M.P. (1738-1810) who married Harriet Fawkener, the stepdaughter of Governor Thomas Pownall – a resident of Richmond Hill – in1764; or Edward Bouverie, 3rd son of William Bouverie, Earl of Radnor. The first Edward was the uncle of the second.
Less is known about the residents of the house in the next decades. The rate book for 1800 lists William Corbett, for 1810 the Rev. Dr. Symons and for 1820 William Robertson. In 1824, according to John Evans, it was occupied by Lord George Quin.
This may have been Richard George Quin (1789-1843), the 2nd son of the Earl of Dunraven; whether this is the case or not, he had no right to a title. In 1830 the rate book lists Col. Murphy, in 1838 Edward Hobhouse, in 1840 Dr. Thomas Downey and in 1850 John Hurdis Ravenshaw who is remembered for his part in establishing the mission hall and St. John’s Boys’ School which adjoined the footbridge at the bottom of Sheendale Road (7).
In the 1851 directory, Ravenshaw is listed in Suffield House. This is the first time, as far as can be traced, that this name appears.
Leonard Woolf wrote in the third volume of his autobiography Beginning again 1911 to 1918 (1964) that ‘Lord Suffield had built a large country house [in Paradise Road].’ In the fourth volume Downhill all the way 1919 to 1939 (1967) he admits that this statement is incorrect
“We were told that the whole house had been originally built in 1720 as a country house for Lord Suffield. But had it ever been Suffield House? Had it ever belonged to Lord Suffield? It is impossible to know. But was is certain is that no Lord Suffield built it in 1720, because the barony of Suffield was created in 1786.”
There is no evidence to connect Lord Suffield with this house. Harbord Morden, who changed his name to Harbord Harbord, became M.P. for Norwich in 1756, married in 1760 and was advanced to the peerage on 8th August 1786 with the title of Baron Suffield of Suffield, Co. Norfolk. He died in 1810 at Gunton, Norfolk. His widow was the former Mary Assheton, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Ralph Assheton, Bart. She died on 1st June 1823 at the age of 81 ‘at Richmond’ (8) and was buried at Gunton. There is no evidence to suggest that she died at Suffield House. Her second daughter, the Hon. Louise Harbord, lived at Harbord Houase, Richmond Hill from sometime after 1820. (John Evans lists her as resident there in 1824 and her name appears there in the 1830 rate book). It is therefore possible that Lady Suffield died at Harbord House.
There is no mention of Suffield House, or Lord and Lady Suffield in any book on Richmond, as far as can be traced, before 1896 when Mrs M.E. Braddon wrote a story entitled The Winning Sequence, which was published in the issue of Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper for 27th December 1896. This is a fictitious tale about a Lady Suffield who was said to haunt Suffield House following the death of her lover, who had lost his life in a duel having taken the blame when she cheated at cards. Leonard Woolf’s story was told to him by “a lady living at Bushey” who had owned the house in 1914. Since then the story of the link with the Suffields has been repeated elsewhere.
In the 1850s a considerable amount of redevelopment was being carried out in this area. Eton Street was cut through from Lower George Street and St. Mary’s School was built at the top of the road. Suffield House must have become an uncomfortable place to live for it remained empty for many years, In the issue of Richmond Notes for December 1865, the following reference shows that it was by then in a near derelict state:
‘I was contemplating the new Star and Garter…when one of the oldest inhabitants came up and said, “Ah! I remember it when it was in the state that Suffield House is now in, with all the windows broken.” ‘
Suffield House is not listed again until 1870 when it appears as two properties – Nos. 1 and 2 Suffield House, in the occupancy of Richard Brewer and Frederick Ellis respectively. Richard Brewer, an architect, served on the Richmond Vestry and was a friend of Charles Dickens. He was responsible for several buildings erected in the town during his lifetime, including the Richmond Vestry Hall, the Baths, the Fire Station, the British Schools and Holy Trinity Schools and Vicarage. He died at Suffield House in February 1880 aged 69 (9). His son, Frank Brewer, was a keen antiquarian and a member of the Surrey Archaeological Society and, for a time, acted as Chairman of the Jury of the Court Leert of Richmond. His designs for local buildings included those for Messrs. Wrights and the London and Provincial Bank – both in George Street – for additions to the Royal Hospital and to Richmond Library and for the Avenue Baptist Church, St. Margarets. He also died at Suffield House on 25th December 1907 aged 57 (10).
Resident at No. 2 Suffield House in 1876 was the Rev. John Hunt Cooke, the minister at Richmond Baptist Church (11). Whilst at Richmond the church in Duke Street was built and he undertook the editorship of the Baptist paper The Freeman. On retiring from his post in Richmond in 1884, he devoted himself to work connected with this periodical and to writing books and articles. In all he spent about eight years in the town, but left Suffield House sometime between 1878 and 1879. His death occurred at Boscombe, near Bournemouth in May 1908 aged 80 (12).
From 1878 to 1907, the names of the occupants of No. 2 Suffield House as given in directories are as follows:
1878-1904 Mrs Cookson
1904/5-1907 Evelyn Gwydry Jones
Apart from the period 1884-85, the names of Richard and later Frank Brewer are entered at No. 1 from 1876-1908. In the 1909 directory, Suffield House is omitted altogether.
It is in the 1910 directory that the name Hogarth House first appears. The resident is listed in this instance a Charles Crombie. In the following year’s directory the names of both houses (Hogarth and Suffield) are listed together. The entries from this date until 1933 are as follows:
Hogarth House Suffield House
1911-15 Charles Crombie Edward Lebreton Martin
1916-20 Leonard Sidney Woolf
1921 NO DIRECTORIES HELD
1922 Arthur Anstee Turner
1923 (no entry)
1924 (no entry) Clifford Green Turner
1925 Edward William Mason
1926 Mrs S.
1927-28 (no entry)
1929-33 George Hart Aylmore-Aylmore
The period from 1915 to 1924 is one of the most notable in the house’s history, for it was during this time the Leonard and Virginia Woolf came to live at Hogarth House and with very modest equipment – a small handpress and some old-face type, plus the necessary implements and materials – laid the foundations of the Hogarth Press. The first publication from the Press appeared in July 1917 and was Two Stories, written and printed by Virginia and L.S. Woolf in an edition of 150 copies. Each copy sold for 1/6d and the net profit made was £7.1.0d. In the years immediately following, the business of the Press expanded rapidly and some of the printing work was handled by outside firms. However, 16 of the 32 books published during the years the Press was in Richmond were printed by the Woolfs’ own hands. These 16 included Virginia’s Kew Gardens, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Robert Graves’ The Feather Bed.
The period from 1934 onwards marks the end of the house’s services as an exclusively private residence and the beginnings of its use as business premises and as the headquarters of certain associations and clubs – chiefly political bodies and particularly, of course, the local branch of the Conservative and Constitutional Association and of the Richmond Junior Imperial League. Next door, Hogarth House was an office of the British Union of Fascists from 1934 to 1935. In the 1937 directory the properties first receive the numbers 32 and 34 (Suffield House and Hogarth House respectively) which the building has retained up to the present day. Hogarth House (No. 34) was the section of the original house which was situated furthest away form Eton Street.
Until quite recently, Suffield House retained its two separate front doors. Now, however, there is one front door, bringing the building closer to its original appearance. In 1971, the Richmond and Barnes Conservative Association sold the property and moved across Paradise Road to a new block of offices. The name, Suffield House, went with them and once again the old house is known by a single name – Hogarth House. In May 1976 a blue plague was unveiled to commemorate the Woolf’s time there between 1915-24.
1 Court Rolls
2 Rental Survey of the Manor of Richmond, 1773
3 Dictionary of National Biography, under Charles Long
4 Complete Peerage
6 Letters of Horace Walpole, edited by Peter Cunningham
7 Richmond Notes, 1864
9 Richmond and Twickenham Times, 4.2.1880
10 Richmond Herald, 28.12.1907 / Richmond and Twickenham Times, 28.12.1907
11 Post Office London Directory (Suburban) 1876
12 The Times, 3.6.1908
More information on other places and people of interest in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is available from the Local Studies Library & Archive.