A Golden Windham Moment, 2014
London was the principle home to William Windham II (d 1761) from 1743 to 1750 until he inherited the family home of Felbrigg in 1749. Around 1743-4, upon his return home from his Grand Tour of Europe, he purchased no 6 Golden Square. I know that Elizabeth Windham (aka Morgan) was born the 9th of December in 1743, but I am not sure if it was at this house. Her half brother William Windham III was, according to some biographers, born here. (Others say he was born at Felbrigg)
So, more about the square itself. Golden Square lies just off Regent Street, and was built around 1700, and was “a significant social and political centre” with a number of well-connected people living in the Square. It was a place of action too, with a riot here in 1780, when the Bavarian envoy was living in the Square (at nos 23 and 24).
The charming park in the middle of the Square was fenced in in 1750, and a really odd statue of George II was erected. I am sure he was flattered, but the resemblance is not that evident. No 6 as Elizabeth and William would have known it, no longer exists. In its spot, along with no 5 and no 7 is a modern office block. It was done sympathetically, to the area’s architecture, but it cannot be more than 10 years old.
Across the Square, at nos 23 and 24, the original style buildings can be seen, along with a blue plaque to mark the riot. They are typical of the early 18C townhouse with a slightly elevated front door, tall windows, etc. This would have been the kind of house that Elizabeth and her family: father, step-mother, half-brother, 2 step-brothers, and one step-sister would have lived. After 1750, they would have lived also at Felbrigg, but this was her earliest home.