Richmond Terrace, Whitehall
Coloured engravingpublished 1 December 1827
About the work
This view of Richmond Terrace, directly opposite Downing Street, off Whitehall, is taken from James Elmes’s ‘Metropolitan Improvements: London in the Nineteenth Century’, published between 1827 and 1830. Elmes, a prolific writer on architecture, wrote a biography of Sir Christopher Wren and was a friend of both Haydon and Keats. He worked as surveyor to the Port of London and also accepted private commissions.
Lettering on the print dedicates it to Sir Robert John Wilmot- Horton, third baronet (1784-1841), a politician and colonial governor.
Richmond Terrace is now a gated road, inaccessible to the public. It looks much the same today as it did when this work was drawn and the stone balustrade, which curves around the green island in the centre of the road, still survives. The Greek-revival style terrace was previously thought to have been built by architect Thomas Chawne, Surveyor to H. M. Woods and Forests. However, a lease on the site was granted for 99 years to builder-developer George Harrison, from 10 October 1822. George built the terrace of eight houses, using architect Henry Harrison (c.1785-c.1865), his brother, who adapted a design by Chawner. Construction seems to have been complete by 13 January 1824.
About the artist
Thomas Hosmer Shepherd was born in London; the son of a watchcase maker. His elder brother was watercolourist George Sidney Shepherd, with whom he collaborated in 1813 on street views for Ackermann’s ‘Repository of the Arts’. He went on to build his reputation on depictions of fashionable cities. He made numerous sketching tours and, in 1818, visited France. He worked for Jones & Co. (1826-31), producing some 450 plates for the firm in total. He also worked as a drawing master. After 1842 he received regular commissions from the ‘Illustrated London News’ but still struggled financially. Collector Frederick Crace commissioned numerous watercolours of London sites from the artist (now in the British Museum). He died in Islington, aged c. 71.