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Historic Queen Anne Street

Queen Anne Street, first rated in 1723, recalls Queen Anne the patron of Robert Harley, whose son, Edward Harley, the ground landlord of this part of Marylebone, named this street in her honour.

Queen Anne Street is an elegant cross-street which unites the northern end of Chandos Street with Welbeck Street. The painter JMW Turner moved to 47 Queen Anne Street in 1812 (now number 23), and he owned the house until his death in 1851.

The first occupant of No. 40 was a widow-lady named Tarrent, here until 1745. The house then passed to a Miss Pringle who sold it before 1760 to Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke and 7th Earl of Montgomery (1734-1794), who seems to have used it as a London town-house only during the season.

Lord Pembroke’s entry in the Dictionary of National Biography states that he commanded a cavalry brigade in Germany, 1760-61, published Method of Breaking Horses in 1762, was appointed a Lord of the Bedchamber to George III in 1769, and was advanced to the rank of General in 1782.

What the entry does not tell us is that in 1762 Lord Pembroke donned a black wig, disguised himself as a sailor and - threatening to murder the servants if they betrayed him to his wife - eloped with a Missy Kitty Hunter. The couple fled in a packet-boat to France but were forcibly repatriated by a privateer who was under an obligation to Miss Hunter’s father. According to the momoirist, Horace Walpole, “as the father desired no such recovery,” the couple were soon “gone again on their adventured” - but not before the Earl had vainly attempted to persuade his wife to accompany them.

In the course of time, Kitty bore the Earl a son, christened Augustus Retnuh Reebkomp (the last two names being his mother’s name reversed and an anagram of “Pembroke”) but the relationship did not last.