Hoare’s Bank have commissioned writer and curator Gill Hedley to write a book on the architect Henry Flitcroft (1697-1769), who hitherto has been without a monograph. Here, Gill shares details of her research project and welcomes hearing from Georgian Group members who may be able to help:
HENRY FLITCROFT 1697-1769
While Henry Flitcroft occurs in many scholarly books and articles, no publication has brought together the various approaches taken by architectural historians to this English neo-Palladian. Nor has his life been studied in any detail.
His nickname ‘Burlington Harry’ overshadows any serious view of his life and work. It was almost certainly never used in his lifetime and he might just as well have been called The Hoare Family Architect as he worked for them off and on for over forty years. He was also associated with the Royal family, the Earls of Hardwicke and the Dukes of Montagu over many decades. There was always a balance of work undertaken for families, across the generations; his own speculative work; the churches he was asked (or not) to design; a wide range of London townhouses and his freer imaginative works in the landscape from Windsor to Stourhead. Added to that are the posts he held in the Office of the King’s Works, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s.
Research trips to Flitcroft’s houses and churches, as well as archives and libraries, are obviously suspended at present except in virtual mode. In late February, Hoares Bank and the Hoare family, who suggested this research project, hosted an event at which I introduced my research in the form of a PowerPoint followed by a series of questions, comments and answers. The presentation ends with a series of queries about specific buildings, Flitcroft’s work in the Gothic style and his furniture. I am delighted to make this available to Georgian Group members and to seek comments and advice. To view the PowerPoint presentation please click here.
I am also trying to establish exactly how George Edmund Street inherited (supposedly through Flitcroft’s granddaughter, a person who never existed) Flitcroft’s own house in Hampstead.
Please do contact me and, if you wish, I can send you a list of all the patrons, clients and building projects (with Flitcroft as designer, draughtsman, surveyor, assistant, etc) of which I am currently aware. My contact details can be found on the presentation and at my website below.
Your help will be much appreciated.
(Image: Detail of portrait of Henry Flitcroft, attributed to Bartholomew Dandridge, c. 1735. RIBA Collections)
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