Buckingham House in St. James's Park
18 x 13.5 inches
A copper plate engraving by Sutton Nicholls published as part of Stowe's Survey of London published in 1754.
This early view depicts the first Buckingham House that was built in St. James's Park for John Sheffield, the first Duke of Buckingham in 1702-5. The house was built on what had once been a walled garden laid out by James I and attached to St. James's Palace. Upon completion it was widely acknowledged to be one of the smartest houses in London. The Duke himself described it thus when writing to a friend: The avenues to this house are along St. James's Park through rows of goodly elms on one hand and gay flourishing limes on the other... The duke died in 1721 and was eventually sold in 1762 by his illegitimate son, Sir Charles Sheffield, to George III. In 1775 the house was made over to Queen Charlotte in exchange for Somerset House which had been given to the newly founded Royal Academy of Arts.