Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

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My wife's ancestors - Orby - Contents


No. 3 Great Piazza, Covent Garden, London

Home of Sir Thomas Orby, 1st Baronet from 1677 to 1692.
  

  

The Great Piazza, Covent Garden, London, was laid out starting in 1630.
It was the first modern square in London. (And presumably the first modern square in the British Isles.)
No. 3 Great Piazza was on the N side (NW side) of the Great Piazza, in a row of Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Great Piazza.
The row was an 8 bay arcaded building designed by Inigo Jones and built 1635-36. No. 3 was the corner building at James Street. It had 3 bays facing the Piazza and a side on James Street.
No. 3 was home of Sir Thomas Orby, 1st Baronet from 1677 to his death 1692.
He died there in 1692.
No Orby found there after that.
John Closterman, portrait painter, lived at No.3 immediately after Orby, from 1692 until his death in 1711.
For list of people who lived at No.3 before and after Orby see:

The block of Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Great Piazza was demolished in 1877 and replaced with a rather good replica called Bedford Chambers.

  



Plan of Covent Garden about 1690.
N is approximately up. St.Paul's church is on W side (really SW).
The plan marks the house of Sir Thomas Orby, in the arcaded building on N side of the Piazza, at the corner of James St.
See full size. From here.



Covent Garden.
View by Wenceslaus Hollar c.1658.
Shows Orby's house on N side of Piazza.
From BM.



The Piazza in Covent Garden.
Engraved by Wenceslaus Hollar (died 1677).
Looking at St.Paul's church on W side.
Sir Thomas Orby, 1st Baronet, lived in the arcaded building on the far RHS here (the N side). Though his section of the building is just off the picture.
See full size. From here.



View of Covent Garden looking N, dated c.1720. Engraving pub 1731.
Sir Thomas Orby, 1st Baronet, lived in the arcaded building in the centre-left (to the left of James St).
See full size. From here.



Detail of above.
Sir Thomas Orby, 1st Baronet, lived in the 8 bay arcaded building here.
His house was the last 3 bays on the RHS.



Covent Garden c.1720.
Sir Thomas Orby, 1st Baronet, lived in the arcaded building in the centre-left here.
See full size. From here.



View of Covent Garden dated 1737.
Sir Thomas Orby, 1st Baronet, lived in the arcaded building on the far RHS here.
See full size. From the Tate.



Detail of above.
Sir Thomas Orby, 1st Baronet, lived in the 8 bay arcaded building here.
His house was the last 3 bays on the RHS.



View of Covent Garden.
Print made by Cluer Dicey ("C. Dicey and Co."), c.1750.
Church on LHS. The house of Sir Thomas Orby is straight ahead here, in the arcaded building in the centre-left.
From British Museum.



A View of Covent Garden.
By Samuel Scott. Late 1750s.
For sale at Philip Mould and Company.
Shows the Orby house on the corner on the RHS.



No. 3 Great Piazza, Covent Garden, is clearly marked on map of 1792-99.


  

Bedford Chambers

The block of Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Great Piazza was a rare early 17th century London building, designed by Inigo Jones and built 1635-36.
Sadly, this block fell into disrepair in the 19th century.
It was decided to replace it with a new building that would be similar to the old one.
Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Great Piazza were demolished in 1877.

The new building, Bedford Chambers, was built on the site in 1877-79.
Bedford Chambers is very similar to the old design (still arcade, still 8 bays) but on a bigger scale.
The occupant of Bedford Chambers is now Apple Store, Covent Garden (the biggest Apple store in the world).

  


Bedford Chambers. Corner of N side of the Piazza with James St.
From 3D satellite view.
It is a good replica, with the 8 bays.
We could say that Orby lived in the last 3 bays before the corner, except this is a replica.



Street view of Bedford Chambers.
Corner of N side of the Piazza with James St.
Drag to rotate.



Bedford Chambers.
Photo 2022. See larger and full size.
See close-up of corner.



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