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In this age of Improvement and increasing population, a situation which, notwithstanding
the advantages above spoken of, possesses the advantage of vicinity to the River as well as to the seat
of Government, could not escape the observation of that Class of Builders to whom every uncovered
spot presents itself as a field for Speculation. __

The fate of the few Buildings that were got up, out of a considerable number that had
been intended to be erected, in the form of a Square encompassing Deans-Yard (a situation possessed)
of one of the above advantages, viz: vicinity to the River in an equal degree, and of the other in a
much superior degree) has been registered for these forty Years in the ruins that have been the melancholy
result of it. The ill success of this great project (of which more will come to be said a little farther on)
did not quench the busy spirit of the Adams's who in 1760 or within a year or two afterwards, while
the new built Houses were seeking in vain for Tenants, came forward with a much greater project, according
to which the whole of Tothill Fields (excepting a small area reserved for the recreation of the Westminster
Scholars) was to have been divided into Streets lined with Capital Houses. This plan, pregnant with
magnificent Ideas, and emblazoned in brilliant colours, so far engaged the attention of the Dean and
Chapter of that Day, that in the Year 1764, an advertisement appeared in several of the Public Papers,
inviting Builders and others to take the Ground in Tothill Fields upon Building Leases. The
advertisement had not long been in print, before it gave birth to a counter advertisement from the
Vestries of the United Parishes, warning the Persons invited against listening to the invitation. In the
case of an ordinary proprietor, the natural result of so adverse a proceeding would have been an application
to a Court of Justice for the purpose of substantiating the right which is disputed. The value of Subject
matter, were the quantum of rent obtainable in the event of successful adoption of the Plan, to have been
taken for the measure of that value could not have been regarded as being inadequate to the expence
of a law-suit, even of the most expensive kind. But whatever was the cause a doubt with regard to
the existence of so extensive a right, a doubt with regard to the eventual success of the Plan,
confirmed perhaps by the silence of the Class of Persons to whom the advertisement was addressed;
such has been the operation of these causes, or some of them, upon a body pacific by profession, and in
practise so it is, that from that time to the present no Leases have been granted in pursuance of that
advertisement, nor have any legal steps been taken to establish the right of making such grants. —

That in that instance the insuperable and one may almost say radical unfitness of the
Spot for the species of improvement in question was at least among the causes of failure, will
appear the more probable, the more fully the history of the attempt of a similar kind that has
been made in that vicinity comes to be understood. If the Plan presented by the Adams's about
the year 1760 met with so little encouragement, it was because at that early period (it may be said)
the Country and the Metropolis were not as yet ripe for it. But an attempt made at a much
more recent Period, at the most favourable period known, and in a situation which though contiguous,
presents the same advantages in a much superior degree, has been equally unsuccessful — Parallel
to the Course of the Thames between Tothill Fields and the River, runs a tract of Land, stretching
from Grosvenor House to the Wharf called the Thames Wharf, in a line running (without any
interruption worth noticing) through a length of from 700 to 800 Yards along the River Wall,
and extending in depth from about 400 to about 250 Yards as far as Tothill Fields by which


Identifier: | JB/123/203/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 123.


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