This grand mansion, which once stood on the south side of Soho Square (then called King’s Square), was built for James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth (and ill-fated illegitimate son of King Charles II) in the early 1680s during the early development of the square.
The duke only lived in the property briefly before he headed off to the Netherlands (and was later, in 1685, was executed on Tower Hill for his failed rebellion against the king).
The three storey brick house stood around three sides of a courtyard (some suggest it was designed by Sir Christopher Wren).
The house, which was left unfinished, stood empty for some time after the duke’s death before, in 1689, part of it was briefly turned into a chapel for Huguenot refugees, known as the L’Église du Quarré (they located in 1694).
The house was sold by the Duchess of Monmouth to Sir James Bateman, Lord Mayor of London and a Sub-Governor of the South Sea Company, in 1716, and subsequently remodelled, apparently to the designs of architect Thomas Archer.
Bateman died in 1718 and his eldest son, William (later 1st Viscount Bateman), lived here until 1739. The property was late let to a succession of dignitaries – including the French and Russian ambassadors – and briefly was under consideration for use as a boy’s school.
It was eventually demolished in 1773 and Bateman’s Buildings now occupy the site. A plaque identifies the site as the former location of the mansion.
PICTURE: An 18th century engraving of Monmouth House.