Sunday, 29 May 2011

History of Albury Street. Part 5.

Thomas Lucas had several different ways of raising money open to him. He had a small income from the rents of the plots, whether he had built on them himself or, as in the case of Reyalls and Pearce, assigned them undeveloped. The price of 8 pence per feet frontage charged by Lucas as annual ground rent has already been described as low compared with prices in the metropolis, but while each plot only brought in ten to fifteen shillings annually, the whole street could be expected to yield about £30.00. To increase this income, and it would be at the expense of his capital, he could let off the house as well as the plot rather than sell it.
‘The Swan’ (King of Prussia) for instance was leased in this manner rather than sold, but that was probably because Lucas wished to control its activities, not because he preferred to get an income from the building itself instead of a capital sum. At the time he drew up his will, he had an income from the ground rent of thirty plots, but in addition, he still owned 9 of the houses built on them and consequently may have had an income from their rents as well. The facts are obscured because some of these houses had been mortgaged.

The sale of each house which he himself built provided Thomas Lucas with a capital sum. No.4 Union Street on the south side was demised on the 10th August 1711, for £125. This is the only example of a house sold directly by Lucas of which a record has been found. The low sum of money suggests that Lucas was only selling the carcass, roofed, but still to be fitted out inside. How much the dancing master, Mr Rowbotham, and the other people for whom Lucas built houses paid is not recorded, but it clearly was not enough. Lucas headed more capital still to continue the development of the street. It was not provided even by selling the houses freehold; although Lucas had sold the freehold of seventeen sites by the time he wrote his will. Raising money was a hazardous business both for Thomas Lucas and the other builders of Union Street. The earliest known deeds relating to Union Street, the recited ones of 1704, contain significantly, a mortgage. In 1710, Lucas mortgaged his own house together with its malt-house to Jon Goodwin of Chiswick for £200. Both Lucas and Goodwin were long dead before the mortgage was finally paid off in 1748. Then, the Bricklayer, John Bone, who took a lease of a site on the north side of Union Street, some 36 feet wide, on the 20th February 1707/8 was obliged to mortgage the house he was building to John Frost of Deptford, a waterman, first for £53 on the 12th March 1708/9, to be paid within a year, and then ‘having occasion for further money he borrowed a further sum of £50’ from Frost on the 11th May 1708. By the end of September, Bone was in a position to sell one of the houses and its contents so not only was its carcass complete but it would have been panelled. 

Example of original panelling 29 Albury Street.
Originally No 19 now No. 34 Albury St.
 The other house was then described as complete and it alone had to bear security for the complete mortgage. The two houses have not been exactly identified but it seems from the frontage of the plots that they were No. 11 and 12 Union Street on the North side. Reyalls and Pearce who built No. 19 Union Street, South side now No. 34 did not need to raise money on it after they took a lease of the site on the 25th July 1709. On the 23rd February 1712/13, Pearce disposed of his share in the property to Reyalls for £240 and on the 4th November 1715, Reyalls, doing rather badly out of the deal, sold the entire house to Thomas Leving, senior, for £210. 

Part 5 extract from A Quiney's paper on Albury Street 1979.    

Short Film on the Stratton Brothers Murder of the Farrows in Deptford High St 1905

Narrated by Shaw Taylor.
My thanks to the Guilfordghost for posting on Youtube.