Document ReferencePHH
TitleLetters of the 5th Duke of Portland to William Pierce, builder, concerning renovations to a house in London, 1855-1857
Extent35 letters
AbstractThe collection comprises 35 letters, written between 1855 and 1857, from the 5th Duke of Portland (1800-1879) to the builder William Pierce concerning renovations to 13 Hyde Park Gardens, London.
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers.
Admin HistoryWilliam John Cavendish Bentinck-Scott, 5th Duke of Portland (1800-1879), lived at Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire. Although he was Member of Parliament for King's Lynn from 1824-1826 he took no active part in politics, allowing three years to pass between his succession to the dukedom and first taking his seat in the House of Lords. The Duke had his London residence at Harcourt House, Cavendish Square, but he also bought the lease of 13 Hyde Park Gardens in 1855 and occupied 11 Hyde Park Gardens from 1855 to 1860. The Hyde Park Gardens properties were part of the Bishop of London's Paddington estate, developed for housing from the 1830s. The Duke appears to have purchased 13 Hyde Park Gardens for the storage of surplus family furniture and there is no record of habitation besides that of a housekeeper prior to its sale by the 6th Duke in 1890.

Nothing is known of William Pierce, the builder with whom the Duke corresponded in these letters and who was responsible for the renovation of 13 Hyde Park Gardens.
Custodial HistoryThe collection was acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections through the generosity of the Friends of the National Libraries in June 1988.
DescriptionThe collection comprises a series of letters from the 5th Duke of Portland to the builder William Pierce relating to the rebuilding of 13 Hyde Park Gardens, 1855-1857. The letters demonstrate the Duke's eccentricity and his direct involvement in details of the building work. Details under discussion included the design of windows, screens and light gauze veils, water closets, plunge baths and showers. The relationship between client and builder is also vividly revealed in the letters.
MgtGroupPersonal papers
ArrangementThe collection has been listed chronologically.
TermArchitecture - England - London
Building - England - London - 19th century
FindingAidsCopyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham. In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: Typescript catalogue, 12 pp. Online: Available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections.
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialPortland (London) Collection (Pl)
Papers of the 5th Duke of Portland (Pw K)
See also Pl E 10/11.
Related RecordPl

Click the links below to view related name indexes

Click the links below to view related place indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA1035Scott; William J. Cavendish-Bentinck- (1800-1879); 5th Duke of Portland1800-1879
NA1035Scott; William J. Cavendish-Bentinck- (1800-1879); 5th Duke of Portland1800-1879
NA1036Pierce; William (fl 1855-1857); builder Londonfl 1855-1857
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