original diary cover

Soane kept a notebook during the building of Number 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields, now his Museum. We will be publishing the entries day by day to mark the 200th anniversary of this build - follow this link for more details.

October 12th 1812

Transcription & Scan

12 Oct[ober] 1812. Boarded up the window and doors on the Ground floor and Basement story

scan of sir john soane diary entry on October 12th 1812


Although the building of the house was nearly completed, there was still much about No.13 to occupy Soane's thoughts.  On 12 October, according to his diary, Soane Attended at Bow Street on Kinnard's information - unanswerably decided against him. The Morning Chronicle on 13 October carried an extensive article covering the hearing, reporting that the lawyers Wetherall and Const had appeared for Soane, after which Read and Nare the magistrates decided in Soane's favour. The Sun newspaper of 15th October 1812 reported that during the case Soane's lawyer had stated that, so far from Mr. Soane's building (of which he exhibited a model) being an injury, it was an ornament to the square, and he produced models of two other buildings, namely Mr. Pearce's and Surgeon's Hall, of far greater projection, the one which had received the sanction of the Magistrates upon a similar information having been laid, and the other had never been complained of at all. It seems certain that the model of the facade mentioned is that still in the collection, M1242, a small model shown in the sketch of the Upper Drawing Office (Vol.83/15), dated 1812, flanked by two other models on the same small scale which clearly show the projecting portico of the College of Surgeons and the semi-circular first floor bay, supported on columns of No. 51 Lincoln's Inn Fields, at that time occupied by a Mr. Pearce. Unfortunately neither of these other two models survive in the Museum.

Section of a drawing showing a drawing table, and architectural fragments on the walls


Volume 83/15. Detail of view of the Upper Drawing Office. The three small models Soane produced in the court case are on the shelf to the left







On 29 October Soane's diary records At Sessions on Kinnard's appeal. This appeal failed, but Kinnard's opposition was still not halted by this setback and he applied for a mandamus at the Court of King's Bench before Lord Ellenborough on 18 November, which was refused. On 7 November, according to his diary, Soane was At home all day, writing Statement Kin: and he spent the 24 November Writing account of Kinnard. On December 17th 1812 Soane's old friend Rowland Burdon wrote to him saying ‘I have more than once had a strong desire to have a peep at Your castle in Linc's Inn Fields.... to see by what extraordinary outworks you have fortified Yourself, so as to provoke the attacks of an angry Surveyor / I was glad to see however that you had defended Yourself and castle strenuously and successfully. You have, in martial language 'Covered Yourself with glory'. I now enclose something to help to pay your lawyer's bills....'
On 21 December according to Soane’s diary Kinnard sent another summons to attend in Marlboro' Street on Wednesday, signed P. Neave & Baker and on 23 December Soane Attended Mag: at Marlboro' Street on Kinnard's Information. Kinnaird failed again in this final attempt to have Soane’s building, now complete, condemned. The case was widely reported and the newspaper cuttings kept by Soane still remain in the Archive.