Chapter VII
The Impact of Inigo Jones


There can be little doubt that to those decorative plasterers who were working in the royal palaces and courtier houses in the early seventeenth century the appointment of Inigo Jones as Surveyor to the Royal Works in 1615 must soon have taken on the appearance of a catastrophe. Just as they had acquired the skills to exploit to the full the potential of their material and were demonstrating their expertise with wonderfully imaginative flair, the Surveyor decreed an entirely new mode of interior decoration, affecting both ceiling design and construction. Ceilings were once again created with timber and paint and plasterers reduced to preparing the ground for their colleagues, and whitewashing the results of the labours of the woodworkers. In time, Jones's innovations were to be of great importance for the subsequent development of plasterwork, but initially the involvement of plasterers in the creation of Jones's interiors was minimal and their skills were largely underused. Before detailing the subsequent phase in the history of decorative plasterwork, however, some consideration needs to be given to the possible reasons for Jones's total abandonment of plaster as a decorative medium.

Inigo Jones’s experience of plaster in Italy

During his visit to Italy with Lord Arundel from1613-14 Jones had had the opportunity of seeing both antique and contemporary Italian forms of ceiling decoration.  Moreover, he was well aware that at both periods lime plaster (stucco in Italian) was widely used in the decoration of ceilings. In his copy of Palladio he made an annotation referring to the coffering of the Pantheon being made of plaster: 'I Do thinke that all this volt was Ciuered [Covered] with Stuc[blot]o for one may yt Perceaue ytt in Som places'.[1]

Jones must equally have been aware that excavations in the early sixteenth century had uncovered antique Roman interiors decorated with stucchi, which had led to the recovery by Giovanni da Udine of a formula for producing a stucco duro which was as white and smooth as that of the antique originals. This was deployed by Raphael for the low-relief decorative elements in such prominent Roman buildings as the papal apartments in the Vatican and the Villa Madama.

A more three-dimensional approach to the use of the material was developed at Fontainebleau in the 1530s and 1540s. This style was briefly imported into England with Nicholas Bellin of Modena, who worked on the decoration of Nonsuch in the 1540s. In Italy the use of plaster decoration continued to be widespread and was prominent in many interiors of the Veneto in the later sixteenth century. Following the fire of 1574 Palladio had supervised the decoration of several halls in the Palazzo Ducale, including the Sala delle Quattro Porte and the Anticollegio, where plaster was used to create some of the grand and elaborate ceilings as well as overmantels.[2] Jones was surely familiar with these, as well as the interiors of some of the villas he visited.

Jones’s approach to interior decoration and designs for ceilings

Inigo Jones thus returned to England having seen examples of interiors decorated with plasterwork from both those periods of architecture which he admired most - antique Roman and contemporary Venetian. Reflecting on his Italian experiences back in London in January 1615, Jones made the well-known annotation in his Roman Sketchbook concerning the need for ornament to be appropriate to its situation:

            '.... all thes Composed ornamentes the wch Proceed out of the
            aboundance of dessignes, and wear brought in by Mihill Angell
            and his followers, in my oppignion do not well in sollid Architecture
            and the facciati of houses, but in gardens loggis, stucco or ornamentes
            of chimnie piecces, or the innerparts of hoases thes composisiones are
            of necesety to be youced, for as outwardly euery wyse ma[n] carrieth a
            grauiti in Publicke Places, whear ther is nothing els looked for, & yt
            inwardly hath his Immaginacy set free, and sumetimes licenciously
            flying out, as nature hirsealf doeth often tymes Strauagantly, to dellight,
            amase us sumtimes moufe us to laughter, Sumtimes to Contemplatio[n]
            and horror, So in architecture the outward ornamentes oft to be Sollid,
            proporsionable according to the rulles, masculine and unaffected.....'[3]

In his designs for chimneypieces and overmantels Jones seems to have adhered to his principles; but looking at his surviving ceiling designs it is apparent that the contrast between the exteriors and interiors of his buildings is not so marked as the extract quoted above might lead one to expect. Nor is Jones's greater sobriety simply a question of public as opposed to domestic interiors. Rich they certainly were, but the attempt to recreate the 'gravitas' of ancient Rome seems to have outweighed any desire to import the more flamboyant decoration of contemporary Italy. In this, Jones was following Palladio in the latter’s attempts to recreate the ceilings of the ancient Roman house, exemplified in the illustrations of Book II, pp. 24-29.[4]

Jones's innovatory ceiling designs followed Palladian models, such as the Palazzo Barbaran, Vicenza (1570-75), where the ceiling is divided into simple geometric compartments by large, hollow timber beams. This marked a dramatic departure from the contemporary English fashion for fretwork plaster ceilings of great elaboration. Jones's unexecuted designs for the ceilings of the Star Chamber (1617-18) and, possibly, the Prince's Lodging, Newmarket (1618-19)[5] are the earliest examples of what was to become an influential new style, to be realised in three dimensions in the Banqueting House, Whitehall (1619-22, Fig. 159), the Somerset House chapel (1630-35)[6] and the Queen's House at Greenwich (1630-35, Figs. 160-2). As a major public building used for ceremonial purposes the Banqueting House was especially important in marking a break with contemporary fashions. 

Fig. 159. The ceiling of the Banqueting House, Whitehall (1619-22).

Fig. 160. Plan of the hall ceiling, Queen’s House, Greenwich (late 1630s).

Fig. 161. Plan of the ceiling of the Queen’s New Cabinet or Withdrawing Room, Queen’s House, Greenwich (late 1630s).

Fig. 162. Plan of the ceiling of the Queen’s Cabinet, Queen’s House, Greenwich (late 1630s).

Ceilings drawing on antique coffering for their inspiration were equally unknown in England before Jones. The earliest example appears in a drawing for square coffering for a ceiling designed for the Marquess (as he then was) of Buckingham (1619-20).[7]  The first surviving example is the fully-documented barrel vault of the Queen's Chapel, St James's Palace (1623).[8] Despite Jones's awareness of the Roman use of plaster in the coffering of the Pantheon, at St James's the ceiling (including all its detailing) was constructed in timber.

Jonesian ceilings in timber or paint, rather than plaster

Jones's ceilings with their three-dimensional decoration were expensive to produce, whether inspired by antique or Palladian models, and it is not therefore surprising to find less costly examples of both varieties in two dimensions, with trompe l'oeil paintwork applied to the plaster base to create the desired effect. The ceiling of the remodelled House of Lords (1623) was painted with octagons and crosses after the antique model of Santa Costanza, Rome.[9] The account of Matthew Goodrich's painting of the ceiling of the Queen's cabinet room at Somerset House (1628-30) is not entirely unambiguous but the description of his 'pryming in oyle the flatt round in the same frett being wrought with foliage all guilt with fine gold' and the further reference to his 'shadowing' of the foliage enrichment, does sound as though he, too, was creating a trompe l'oeil effect on flat plaster.[10]

When he came to emulate his preferred models in an English context, therefore, Jones chose to rely on timber and paint to achieve his desired effects; but would it have been impossible for the ceilings to have been decorated by plasterers? There are numerous possible explanations for this dramatic abandonment of plaster and perhaps a combination of several of these, rather than a single motive, should be ascribed to the Surveyor.

This preference on Jones’s part may reflect his early training, which, according to tradition, was as a joiner.[11] In Ben Jonson’s A Tale of a Tub (1633) it is said of the character In-and-in [ie Inigo Jones], ‘He will joyne with no man, Though he be a Joyner’.[12]

In his annotations Jones referred to stucco rather than lime or plaster and it is possible that he was aware of the addition of ground marble to the Italian material, something not readily available in England; and he might have felt that English lime plaster would not produce the same aesthetic effect.

Despite the difference in composition between Italian stucco and English lime plaster, English plasterers had gradually overcome the apparent technical limitations of their material and work in increasingly high relief, built up on wooden or metal armatures, was being executed in England by this time. It would have been entirely feasible for the guilloche decoration of the beams of the Banqueting House, for example, to have been produced in plaster. It was not unusual for the soffits and sides of large timber beams to be decorated in plaster with stylised, repetitive patterns, such as the hearts and hops of the Lumley Chapel, Cheam (1592, Fig. 61 in Chapter V). The classical decorative vocabulary may have been unfamiliar to plasterers but a mould would in any case have been provided by carvers; and the latter had to familiarise themselves with the new patterns required by Jones, which clearly did not present an insuperable obstacle. Perhaps the twelve gilded 'boys' who hung in the ceiling before Rubens's paintings were installed would have taxed the sculptural abilities of the plasterers,[13] but the architectural mouldings such as the egg-and-dart surrounding the geometric compartments could have been produced much more quickly and cheaply by plasterers using moulds.

It is possible that the Master Plasterer in the King's Works, James Leigh, was unwilling to respond to Jones's demands, for a variety of reasons. He was probably middle-aged at least, and reluctant to alter his style of plasterwork, which was still hugely popular with everyone else who was decorating the interior of a house, where he may have been fully and profitably employed. On the other hand, Leigh's health may have been failing; or the two men may have found it difficult to work together on a personal level. These factors seem to have been behind Jones's dispute with the royal Master Mason, William Cure II, who was replaced by Nicholas Stone at the Banqueting House; although, as Mrs Esdaile has pointed out, Cure was a marble carver rather than a mason.[14]  Nevertheless, Cure was replaced; if Jones did not find Leigh a satisfactory plasterer, he could surely have found a substitute with whom he was more in sympathy? 

A further possibility is a prevailing cultural snobbery related to the use of plaster as a decorative medium which is detectable in contemporary literature. Despite its widespread popularity, from royal palaces downwards, or perhaps because of it, Ben Jonson was moved to declare such decoration typical of the shams with which his mercenary contemporaries attempted to delude themselves:

            'They [children] are pleas'd with Cockleshels,
            Whistles, Hobby-horses, and such-like: wee with
            Statues, Marble Pillars, Pictures, guilded
            Roofes, where under-neath is Lath, and Lyme;
            perhaps Lome. Yet wee take pleasure in the lye,
            and are glad, wee  can cosen our selves. Nor is
            it onely in our wals, and seelings; but all that
            wee call happinesse, is meere painting, and
            guilt: and all for money:...'[15]

Sir Henry Wotton is more ambivalent in his comments; but having declared:

            'Now as I haue before subordinated Picture, and
            Sculpture to Architecture, as their Mistresse;
            so there are certaine inferiour ARTS likewise
            subordinate to them: As vnder Picture, Mosaique;
            vnder Sculpture, Plastique; which two, I onely
            nominate, as the fittest to garnish Fabriques',

he contrasted the use of plaster for decorative purposes in Italy and England. He concluded his discussion with an uncomplimentary phrase, describing English plasterwork as 'A cheape piece of Magnificence,...' [16] This view was echoed later in the century by John Evelyn, in the diary he kept of his travels in Italy. After visiting the  Palazzo Farnese in 1644 he remarked of one of the ceilings that it was of carved cedar, 'and not in poore plaster as ours are,...'[17]  It is difficult to know whether Jones, himself, or his royal patrons, would have been influenced by views like these, but it must be a possibility.

London plasterers in the 1620s

For whatever reason, or combination of reasons, there is no record of any decorative plasterwork in the Jonesian manner in the Royal Works' accounts until the late 1630s.  A period of almost twenty years seems a long time for the plasterers of the day to have taken to come to terms with the changes in fashion which some of them must have witnessed at first-hand during their more mundane employment in the royal palaces during Jones's Surveyorship. However, it must be significant that of the plasterers employed on task-work up to the time of the death of Richard Talbott (the last royal Master Plasterer) in 1627, only one of them certainly, and another possibly, outlived him by more than a few years (see Table 9 below). This dismal survival rate must, in the main, be attributed to the severe outbreak of plague in London in 1625, which took a very heavy toll of the membership of the London company. The men who might have been best placed to translate Jonesian ceilings from timber to plaster were thus removed from the scene before the experiment could be attempted and another decade passed before a plasterer was paid for a ceiling in a royal palace indubitably in the Jonesian manner. 

Perhaps, too, one should not underestimate the conservatism of the London plasterers; especially in view of the age of those who were employed before 1627, who would all have been well into middle-age by that date, according to the life expectancy of the period. The group of plasterers who obtained task-work in the 1630s consists of men who were significantly younger and probably more open to Jones's new ideas (see Table 10 below). Furthermore, if one looks at the network of relationships that exists between the members of each group, it becomes clear that personal connections were a significant factor in determining who obtained employment on lucrative task-work in the King's Works. With the exception of James and Abraham Leigh, it was only plasterers who were members of the London Company who were able to obtain this kind of work.

Table 9. Plasterers engaged on task-work in the Royal Works during the first half of Inigo Jones’s Surveyorship, 1615-27.




Year of


Age in


Barrett, Matthew






Cocke, Romane

d. 1624




Eastbourne, Martin

d. 1666




Effe, Page

d. 1625




Lee/Leigh, Abraham





Leigh, James

d. 1626




Roades, Kelham

d. 1632




Talbott, Richard

d. 1627




* This is calculated on the assumption that apprentices were 14 years old when they were presented, which was the normal practice for Londoners.

 Table 10. Plasterers engaged on task-work in the Royal Works during the 1630s.



Year of


Age in


Jackson, Amos




Kinsman, Joseph




Kipling, James




Morley, Roger




Phelps, Raphe




Willingham, William




In the first group, two of the apprentices of the man who was Master Plasterer until 1609, Richard Dungan, make an appearance - Page Effe and Richard Talbott. Talbott also obtained the reversion of the office of Master Plasterer and during the period of James Leigh's tenure of that office, he not only worked on his own but also in partnership with Leigh, with Leigh's (presumed) son, Abraham, and with Martin Eastbourne. Eastbourne was also employed singly, but these connections, as much as his age, may be why Eastbourne, the only plasterer who survived Richard Talbott by a significant length of time, was not listed again in the royal accounts. This did not adversely affect his career, which was thenceforward centred on the London Company, where he was elected Master for 1634-35 and 1651-52.

Matthew Barrett's name occurs frequently among the task-work entries, probably as the result of having been apprenticed to Edmund Essex, a senior member of the London Company who was employed in the Royal Works, but not on task-work.  When Barrett needed a partner for work at Newmarket in 1619-20, it was Romayne Cocke who accompanied him, who had shared the same master.[18] 

Kelham Roades (or Rhodes) may have owed his introduction to James Leigh, as they had both worked at the Charterhouse in 1613-14.[19]  Roades, together with James Kipling, also provides a link with the second list of names in Table 10, demonstrating that the two groups were not entirely self-contained. Roades inherited an apprentice from Raphe Phelps in 1631,[20] while Kipling was freed as the apprentice of Richard Dungan, deceased, in 1622.[21]

From 1630 until the outbreak of the Civil War (which ended Jones's Surveyorship in 1643) an entirely different group of younger plasterers was recruited for task-work in the Royal Works. Again, it is possible to establish a series of interconnections between most of them in their professional careers. In addition to their independent task-work, James Kipling and Amos Jackson worked together on one occasion, and Jackson also partnered Roger Morley on another. This was Morley's only appearance in the Royal Works' accounts but he was paid by the Plasterers' Company for several weeks' work which was donated to Sir Edward Barkham.[22] William Willingham was his partner in that enterprise; and both men took apprentices from the same village of Anstie, Hertfordshire. Willingham had himself been apprenticed to Edward Stanyon, the master of Joseph Kinsman. Kinsman inherited one of his apprentices from Edward Stanyon's son, Abraham, who followed his father into the plastering profession.

It is, perhaps, worth stressing in this connection the pivotal role played by Richard Dungan and Edward Stanyon respectively in these networks, both plasterers of outstanding ability (although Stanyon was never himself employed on task-work in the Royal Works), who were responsible for passing on their expertise to the succeeding generation of craftsmen.

The significance of obtaining this kind of patronage within the Royal Works extended beyond the immediate benefits of well-paid task-work. Some of those plasterers who were employed by leading courtiers, in London or at their country seats, may have come to the notice of their patrons while they were in royal employment. After Dungan's death Page Effe worked for Robert Cecil at Salisbury House and Rutland House; and Joseph Kinsman's work for William Murray, 1st Earl of Dysart, at Ham House, Surrey, is the only surviving evidence of the skill and artistry which he must also have exercised within the Royal Works.

The key figures within the second group are Joseph Kinsman and William Willingham - the only two men who were paid for fretwork rather than general plastering tasks; and it is in their careers that one might hope to locate the emergence of Jonesian decoration in plaster rather than timber. The question of whether the experiment was conducted inside or outside the Royal Works is more difficult to determine. As Willingham's name appears earlier in the accounts, his role in these developments will be discussed first.

(i) William Willingham

William Willingham was employed on routine plastering work at Somerset House between 1630 and 1637. In the accounts for 1636-37 he was also paid for ‘making twoe frette Ceelings’ at 6s per yard and one at 8s per yard.[23] Unfortunately the entries provide no indication of the style or appearance of these ceilings and no location is mentioned for them. They may well have been provided for areas of the palace which were still decorated in Jacobean style so that the clerk making the entries felt no need to elaborate further.

Like Kinsman, Willingham had been an apprentice of Edward Stanyon; and master and apprentice appear to have shared a common birthplace in Nassington, a Northamptonshire village.[24] Willingham was eighteen when he came to London and twenty-five when he completed his apprenticeship. That he was more than competent as a plasterer is suggested by his secondment in 1624 to work, at the company's expense, for Sir Edward Barkham, in partnership with Roger Morley, which has already been mentioned.

Willingham's career was thereafter uneventful until 1632, a year in which the company experienced great difficulty in filling the role of Junior (or Renter) Warden.  Willingham was the fourth of the elected candidates who successively turned down the post, whereupon the company lost patience and dismissed Willingham from the livery on 30 September. By 13 October the company was willing to compromise and the recalcitrant Willingham was received once more into the Livery and appointed an Assistant on payment of a whopping fine of £12.  A memorandum was added to the effect that this exceptional arrangement should not be repeated. From other examples of similar concessions by the company it would seem that men who were pursuing successful careers as plasterers were, on occasion and at a price, able to circumvent the rules and regulations of the company's ordinances to suit themselves. Perhaps it was in recognition of this complaisance that Willingham made a voluntary donation of £1 10s towards rebuilding the company's Corner House the following year. 

Despite this altercation, in 1635 Willingham was the company member selected to provide the new fret ceiling following the refurbishment of the company hall, suggesting that he was a plasterer of outstanding skill in the estimation of his peers.  No record of the appearance of this ceiling has survived, for which

Willingham was paid £6 1s 8d for his workmanship alone.[25] It is difficult to decide whether the balance of probability lies in favour of the company, as a conservative body, preferring a traditional 'Jacobean' fret; or, as a professional body, demonstrating their prowess, choosing to follow the latest fashion to emanate from Court circles.  Willingham was almost a generation older than Kinsman and therefore perhaps rather less likely to experiment with the new style of decoration. However, the years he spent working at Somerset House must have provided him with many opportunities of observing the interiors created by Jones for Henrietta Maria, such as the new Cabinet Room.[26]

A difference in style between the ceilings of Willingham and Kinsman may be reflected in the way their task-work is recorded in the accounts. For all three ceilings at Somerset House, Willingham's work was measured and paid for by the yard, as one would expect for repetitive Jacobean work; whereas Kinsman was paid 'by great' for his Whitehall ceiling (described below) for which no measurements are given. he very fact that a detailed description of the appearance of this ceiling is provided seems to suggest that it was exceptional and struck the clerk making up the accounts as a novelty. However, in the absence of any surviving examples of decorative work by Willingham the question of his role in the translation of Jonesian ceilings into plaster must remain open, although the balance would appear to be tilted slightly against his having played a significant part in such innovations.

(ii) Joseph Kinsman at Goldsmiths’ Hall, Ham House and the Royal Works

Joseph Kinsman is one of the best documented plasterers of this period. The circumstances of his apprenticeship to Edward Stanyon are obscure, as his name first appears in a company memorandum of 1626, to the effect that Stanyon is to be allowed to keep his apprentice, according to his indenture (of which no details are given).[27] As Kinsman was subsequently freed on 23 April 1628 he must have been apprenticed to Stanyon much earlier, but never presented as the company ordinances required.  If he was apprenticed for the usual seven years, Stanyon may well have taken him on while he was working in Norfolk at Blickling Hall and Felbrigg from 1620-23. 

Kinsman's progress through the company hierarchy of beadleship (1629) and into the Livery (1633) was rapid; but he made no further progress until 1645, when he was

elected Junior Warden. That this reflects his preoccupation with the Royal Works during the 1630s rather than a lack of status among fellow members (a pattern that has been observed in the careers of other leading plasterers) is suggested by the appearance of his name in a memorandum of 1640, enjoining several leading members, including Mr (Abraham) Stanyon and Mr Kinsman, to 'joyne with the now Mr and Wardens with ayds, assistances and counsells for the forwarding and expediting of the Companys busines in the high Court of Parliament.'[28] During the 1640s and 50s his role in company affairs was more prominent but not entirely straightforward to interpret. When he was elected Junior Warden in 1645 he paid a fine of £3 rather than fulfil his duties, and a further £12 to become an Assistant; he was excused service on the grounds of 'inhability of body and other extraordinary urgent and presente occasions.'[29] He was subsequently elected Senior Warden in 1649 and Master in 1655, but was absent from the December court meeting, when Edward Lucas acted as Master 'in loco Mr Joseph Kinsman.'  In 1661 he was one of the Assistants called upon to serve on a committee to consider what was necessary in renewing the company's charter. In the parish register of St Peter-le-Poor his name appears among the deaths listed on 23 September 1662.[30] 

Although none of Kinsman's decoration survives at Somerset House or Whitehall, the documentary account of his work makes it clear that by 1638-39 he was working in the Jonesian idiom,rather than the Jacobean style of the master who had trained him in the 1620s. He would have been about thirty years old when he was entrusted with the task of 'making a Cornice of Plaister in the new roome under the Quenes Closett conteyning xxxiij yards di one foote at xxjd the yard' at Somerset House in 1637-38.[31]  More significantly, in the following year at Whitehall he made 'a frett Ceelinge in the Queenes old Bedchamber wroughte withe Ovalls and squares garnished with Garlandes Festoones and other enrichmentes,' costing £24 10s 6d.[32] This was one of several alterations to the queen's apartments in the late 1630s when the old bedchamber was completely refurbished in the Jonesian style, a chimneypiece by Nicholas Stone accompanying Kinsman's ceiling. 

In the queen's new bedchamber at Whitehall a less thoroughgoing modernisation took place in 1639-40, with the addition of a new chimneypiece by Stone and a new

frieze by Kinsman, of 'foliage & flowers de lis of lyme & hair xiijen [13] inches deepe' costing 4s the yard for the workmanship only.[33] These were combined with a pre-existing fret ceiling, which was redecorated by John de Critz, who gilded 414 knobs with their leaves and painted 'Cedar cullor in destemper the battens of wainscott of the frett Ceeling'.[34] If the new bedchamber ceiling was indeed a Tudor survival it is possible that Kinsman's frieze was made in a traditional style to match it.  His early training under Edward Stanyon would certainly have enabled him to carry out such a task, but the description in the accounts provides too little information to be certain on that point.

What is certain is that Kinsman was translating Jonesian ceiling decoration into plaster not only at Court but, almost simultaneously, in the City and in a courtier house in Surrey. When the Goldsmiths' Company rebuilt their hall under the direction of Nicholas Stone from 1635 onwards, Kinsman and Walters (or Waters) were the plasterers employed.[35]  When Kinsman's name makes its first appearance in the Royal Works, at Somerset House in 1637-38, he was making the cornice in the new room beneath the queen's closet, while Nicholas Stone was carving a marble chimney-piece for the closet itself, as mentioned above. The two men were thus used to working together in the late 1630s.[36] Stone acknowledged his indebtedness to Inigo Jones for advice during the designing of the Goldsmiths' Hall and there are pointers in the records of the company to suggest that, when Stone provided the designs for such internal features as the plaster ceiling for the hall (on 16th January 1636/7), his drawings were in the Jonesian manner.[37] Stone recommended a plasterer who would carry out the plaster fret according to his 'draught now shewed' for 3s per yard, workmanship only. Mr Hooke offered to obtain alternative estimates by showing the drawings to other plasterers, but Stone objected to this on the grounds that they would thereby 'bee Comon', and persuaded the committee that the drawings should remain with Mr Parker, the overseer of the building works, to be viewed by plasterers wanting to quote for the work. This certainly seems to suggest that Stone had provided a design in the most up-to-date fashion, which he was unwilling to see become common currency. There is further support for this view in an agreement made with Joseph Kinsman on 15th November 1639, in connection with the fret ceilings in the great parlour and above the staircase, for which he was to 'doe all the Carpenters worke vpon the Ceelinge & the staires'.[38] This must refer to the large square beams which would mark out the fret design and provide the base for the plaster decoration, which would only have been necessary if a Jonesian ceiling was in question.

It was in 1637 also that William Murray, 1st Earl of Dysart, acquired outright Ham House in Surrey and began a refurbishment of the Jacobean house. Murray had been a childhood friend of King Charles and had grown up to be one of the connoisseurs among the circle of courtiers intimate with the king. He was, therefore, entirely au courant with the trends in taste at Court and would have wanted Ham House's new interiors to reflect this. What is more, his position at Court gave him access to those craftsmen in royal employment who were capable of effecting this for him; Joseph Kinsman was the plasterer chosen for the task.  

The ceilings created by Kinsman survived the alterations and redecoration carried out by Murray's daughter and son-in-law in the second half of the seventeenth century and these provide the best evidence of the way in which Inigo Jones's influence transformed the appearance of 'fret' ceilings in the late 1630s, paving the way for the subsequent blossoming of plasterwork decoration after the Civil War.[39] Kinsman's work is recorded in 'A note of plastering done at Ham by Mr Kinsman in the yeares 1637 and 1638'.[40] Existing ceilings in the dining chamber, the withdrawing room and the gallery were first 'beaten down' and the rooms cleansed. The dining chamber and withdrawing room were then redecorated with a 'frite sealing... with the freese' costing 7s 6d and 8s 6d a yard respectively. The plastering 'on the head of the new great staires' was priced at 7s a yard, while the simpler 'frite under the said staires' cost only 3s 6d a yard. The gallery ceiling was left undecorated and was included with the other plain plastering for which Kinsman charged 12d a yard. The costing of Kinsman’s work at Whitehall and Somerset House does not permit direct comparisons to be made between the two royal sites and Ham, as the totals in the Royal Works’ accounts are arrived at without reference to unit cost.

A close examination of the three rooms decorated by Kinsman reveals not only the plasterer's total dependance on Jonesian models for overall design and detail but also his early grasp of what plaster could achieve in terms of high-relief decoration. The ceilings at Ham demonstrate the emergence of Jones's Italianate beamed style as the preferred model for domestic interiors, rather than more classically-inspired coffering.  At the Queen's House Jones had developed variations on the layout of the Banqueting House ceiling, combining squares, circles and octagons with its rectangles and ovals (see Figs. 159-62 above). He had also modified the grandeur of the decoration, requisite for a ceremonial state room, but overwhelming in the more domestic context of the Queen's House; the beams continued to be decorated with guilloche of various kinds and rosettes, but plain dentils were substituted for the elaborate modillions in the mouldings within the panels. More light-hearted, too, is the fruit and foliage decoration, strung between mask-heads along the beams of the Queen's New Cabinet or withdrawing room.

Above the new staircase at Ham Kinsman provided a ceiling modelled very closely on that of the Hall in the Queen's House. The same division of a square into smaller squares and rectangles around a central circle is decorated with an identical guilloche moulding, with four rosettes at the intersections (Fig. 163).

Fig. 163. View of the ceiling of the Great Stairs at Ham House.

These last are in the same high relief at Ham, with the central 'fir cones' protruding very fully. Around the edge is a band of laurel garland bound with ribbon, which is repeated in lower relief around each of the square or rectangular panels which comprise the ceilings above each flight of stairs (Fig. 164).

Fig. 164. View of the soffits of the Great Stairs at Ham House.

Within each of these panels is a garland of ribbon-tied laurel, circular or oval depending on the shape of the panel, with the ends of each half cupped in a delicate foliate 'calix.' What is remarkable about these garlands is that not only the depth of the garland, but the relief of the separate leaves, increases as one rises up the flights towards the state rooms (Fig. 165).

Fig. 165. A high-relief bay garland on a soffit of the Great Stairs at Ham House.

In the dining chamber the decoration of the layout of rectangles and ovals combines a complex guilloche and large rosettes for the straight beams, with swags of fruit for the ovals, strung between ribbons and lion masks (Figs. 166-7). The architectural mouldings within the panels are made up of the same selection of egg-and-dart, a small ogee leaf and a half-quatrefoil, as in the Queen's House.

Fig. 166. View of the ceiling of the Great Dining Room at Ham House.

Fig. 167. Detail of the fruit and foliage garland in the Great Dining Room.

The 'freese' is more elaborate at Ham than those at Greenwich, consisting of an almost complete, and correct, entablature with modillion cornice (but no dentils), architrave and an arabesque frieze very similar to the one in the Queen's Withdrawing Room, and likewise painted blue and gold (Fig. 168).

Fig. 168. The frieze in the Great Dining Room at Ham House.

Moving into the withdrawing room the burgeoning skill of the plasterer working in the new mode is fully apparent. All the beams providing the rectilinear framework for the elongated central octagon are bursting with luscious strings of fruit and flowers, held between ribbons attached not to rosettes but to charming, hemispherical posies (Figs. 169-70). 


Fig. 169. View of the ceiling of the North Drawing Room at Ham House.


Fig. 170. Detail of the garlands in the North Drawing Room at Ham House.

The entablature is simpler, with dentils but no modillions, and the frieze takes up the theme of the rest of the ceiling, with an astonishing array of fruit and flowers clustered around a simple undulating stem. Kinsman's final contribution was the 'whytening four great Roomes together with the staircase, the Hall, the Pantrie, Entries and other Roomes' and Dr Ian Bristow's research has confirmed that the ceilings were indeed left white.[41] This produces a very different effect from the ceilings of the Banqueting House and the Queen's House, where the white (and occasionally blue) grounds were not only gilded but also painted with arabesques and other decorative motifs. Their colourfulness was further dramatically increased by the insertion of paintings commissioned for the purpose. Such regal sumptuousness was presumably grander than was appropriate to a courtier's villa like Ham. Nevertheless, it is clear that the decorative plasterwork at Ham was designed by someone with a grasp of overall design and an awareness of the gradations in room hierarchy, which could be reflected by such nuances as an increase in the relief of the staircase garlands, or variations in the combination of elements in the entablature of a room. It seems unlikely that a plasterer, however skilled, would have been capable of such discrimination.

Kinsman's ceiling at Whitehall (1638-39) was the first plaster fret ceiling for which the accounts provide a description of the appearance of the work carried out, which may indicate that this was a novel and exceptional occurrence. If, on the strength of this, one accepts the basic premise, that Kinsman was the first plasterer to work in a Jonesian idiom, two questions remain: how was Inigo Jones finally persuaded to entrust work to Kinsman? and where did Kinsman develop the expertise to accomplish plasterwork of such consummate artistry in the Jonesian manner?  The answers to both questions are clearly interlinked, but an answer to the second question is particularly difficult to arrive at when the examples of Kinsman's work were fitted into such a tight schedule in the years 1637-39. This makes it difficult to detect in which direction the flow of influence might have been running, but on the basis of the limited evidence available several hypotheses suggest themselves as plausible.

Perhaps Kinsman worked at another site altogether first, executing plasterwork in a Jonesian style, which has since been lost. The decoration of the Queen's House in the mid-1630s is likely to have been the major impetus in the dissemination of Jones's new mode of interior decoration beyond the royal palaces; and Kinsman may have been a plasterer of great imagination, who saw the possibility of reproducing Jones's fashionable ceilings in plaster on his own initiative, before 1637; but he would not have had very long in which to have done so. Moreover, Kinsman was still only thirty years old in 1637 (assuming he was freed at the usual age of twenty-one) and it is perhaps unlikely that he had reached full professional maturity before this age (Edward Stanyon was already forty when he began work at Blickling). 

On the other hand, the ceiling at the Goldsmiths' Hall might have been Kinsman's first Jonesian ceiling in 1637. Nicholas Stone must clearly be one of the key figures in Kinsman's career. He was the mason whom Inigo Jones found sufficiently skilled and sympathetic to his own ideas to work on the Banqueting House in 1619. He remained in royal employment from 1626 until the Civil War and his work, both as a sculptor and mason, continued in a classically-inspired idiom of which Jones must have approved. Stone chose the team of craftsmen to work with him at Goldsmiths' Hall (1635-39) and Kinsman must, therefore, already have demonstrated his skill to Stone's satisfaction. Stone was a prominent member of the London Masons' Company and it is not surprising to find him selecting a plasterer from the ranks of another London company. 

In the absence of any evidence of Kinsman's work before 1637 one cannot be certain that the ceiling in the Goldsmiths' Hall was his first Jonesian ceiling; but it is possible that it was Nicholas Stone who suggested to Kinsman the practicability of producing a Jonesian ceiling in plaster. This might have arisen from a desire on Stone's part for such a ceiling design, matched by a desire on the Goldsmiths' part to keep the costs of the new building down. The resulting ceiling could have been seen by Inigo Jones, who took a close interest in the building, and might well have convinced him that plaster was as appropriate as timber for this purpose and that Kinsman was capable of work of a sufficiently high standard to qualify him to work at Whitehall in 1638-39.

The final possibility is that it was at Ham House that Kinsman first produced a Jonesian plaster ceiling. At Ham, Murray was able to employ not only the plasterer, but also Matthew Goodrick (the painter) and Franz Cleyn (painter and decorator), all of whom were on the royal payroll. Whoever was the presiding genius in the co-ordination of the interiors at Ham, he must have been in close touch with Court fashions and craftsmen, and it could have been he who was responsible for suggesting the transition from wood to plaster in the ceiling decoration.[42] 

Whichever of these hypotheses appears most likely, the answers to the two questions posed above can, perhaps, now be answered with a greater degree of certainty, allowing for the sparsity of the available evidence. Inigo Jones would certainly have had the opportunity of seeing Kinsman's work in the City, and perhaps at Ham, which could have given him the necessary confidence in the plasterer's skill to employ Kinsman to decorate the new ceiling at Whitehall in 1638-39. Although the

inspiration for the design of the new ceilings clearly came from Inigo Jones, the initial experiment with plaster was not carried out inside the Royal Works, but either in Murray's courtier house in Surrey or in Goldsmiths' Hall in the City, under the auspices of the London mason/sculptor, Nicholas Stone. It is abundantly clear that, whoever was responsible for the initial breakthrough, plasterers had once again wrested from carvers the monopoly in fashionable ceiling decoration. Jonesian beamed ceilings could be decorated with plaster just as successfully as with carved timber. Plaster was the cheaper medium and it brought within range of the pockets of wealthy citizens the possibility of emulating the newest Court style. 

The spread of Jones’s influence: ‘transitional’ ceilings in London

Nicholas Stone's anxiety about the speed with which his designs for the Goldsmiths' Company might become 'comon' appears to have been justified, for it was not long before ceilings reflecting the influence of Inigo Jones began to appear in the suburban and country houses of City men. The examples which will be discussed all exhibit, in varying degrees, some uncertainty in the handling as the craftsmen attempted to come to terms with the new style, resulting in ceilings which can best be described as 'transitional'. Strapwork and floral sprays, for example, continued to appear on many ceilings. It seems that some patrons were willing to follow Jones’s exemplars in the basic layout of their ceilings but couldn’t bring themselves to abandon all the traditional ornament with which they were familiar. After the flamboyance of Jacobean plasterwork they may not have been entirely at ease with the relative austerity of the new model.

Not surprisingly, the ceilings that followed the Jonesian style most closely were those where the patron had court connections. Sir George Whitmore and Sir Edmund Wright fall into this category and although they were not as close to Charles I as William Murray at Ham, nevertheless their houses demonstrate an early awareness of the new fashion in ceiling decoration. Balmes House, Hackney was built from 1634 for the staunch royalist Sir George Whitmore (a Lord Mayor and Master of the Haberdashers' Company) and Charles I was entertained there in 1641.[43] Because there is only graphic evidence for the three ceilings at Balmes House, (recorded in 1852, before demolition) we cannot be certain whether they were constructed in timber or plaster (Figs. 171-3).[44]


Fig. 171. Drawing of a ceiling from Balmes House, Hackney by G W Toussaint (1852).

Fig. 172. Drawing of a ceiling from Balmes House, Hackney by G W Toussaint (1852).

Fig. 173. Drawing of a ceiling from Balmes House, Hackney from Illustrated London News, June 5th, 1852.

In either case, they are clearly important evidence for the transmission of Jonesian influence to the house of a City patron before the Civil War In their broad beams, laid out in rectilinear and oval patterns, and in the use of guilloche, scrolling arabesques interspersed with female masks and laurel garlands, the Balmes House ceilings display a desire to emulate Court fashions; but in the handling of the ceiling with the central oval the craftsman failed to achieve the balance and harmonious design of Jones's classicism. The layout is distinctly odd and the beam soffits are decorated with what appear to be flattened consoles, which would more usually be applied to the sides of the beams or the frieze as one of the architectural mouldings.

Slightly further afield, Sir Edmund Wright (Lord Mayor in 1640) was building Swakeleys, Middlesex, between 1629 and 1638.[45] In its close dependance on Court models, the ceiling of the great chamber (Fig. 174) is similar to those of Balmes House and it is likely that it was provided for the builder, Sir Edmund Wright, rather than his son-in-law, Sir James Harington, who inherited the house in 1642. That the plasterer was someone who had been trained in the Jacobean style of plasterwork is indicated by the ribbed groin vault of the entrance porch, with its pendant and (much over-painted) floral sprays.

The layout of the great chamber ceiling is an extended version of the staircase ceiling at Ham (Fig. 174). The same guilloche pattern decorates the beams but the flat Tudor ‘rosette’ which is found at the intersections does not have its counterpart elsewhere (Fig. 175).

Fig. 174. Plan of the layout of the great chamber ceiling at Swakeleys, Middlesex, taken from Monograph 13, London Survey Committee (see n. 45 above).

Fig. 175. Guilloche and Tudor rosette on the beams of the great chamber ceiling at Swakeleys.

Rather chunky garlands of bay are held in leafy clasps in the squares flanking the central circle (B on the plan) and four winged cherub heads surround the octagonal panels (A on the plan and Fig. 176).

Fig. 176. Winged cherub head on the great chamber ceiling at Swakeleys.

Fig. 177. Panel in the window bay of the great chamber at Swakeleys.

The plasterer here was less skilled than Kinsman in creating a high-relief garland of foliage for the window-bay (C on the plan and Fig. 177) but the wind which is blown by the cherubs is fully detached from the surface of the ceiling. This does not, unfortunately, prevent it from looking more like spouts of water issuing from the cherubs' mouths.[46]

Like Whitmore and Wright, Richard Sprignell was a successful City man who built Cromwell House, Highgate, a suburban house within easy reach of London, in 1637-8. He, too, was a royalist, son-in-law to Anne of Denmark’s Apothecary, and was made a baronet by Charles I in 1641.[47] Two of the ceilings of Cromwell House are entirely Elizabethan/Jacobean in character (see Fig. 79 in Chapter V) but in the great chamber a Jonesian beamed ceiling makes its appearance (Fig. 178). The overall

Fig. 178. Measured drawing of the great chamber ceiling at Cromwell House, Highgate, with enlarged details. (P Norman, Cromwell House, Highgate, Monograph 12, London Survey Committee, London (1926).

design echoes that of Jones’s Banqueting House but despite extensive use of classical architectural mouldings, garlands and rosettes, the overall effect is compromised by the display of heraldry, the strapwork and even floral sprays, that fill every compartment. This may reflect the whim of the patron or perhaps the plasterer had no direct experience of Jones's work at Court. Either way, this hybrid was not to become the dominant model for subsequent plaster ceilings.

Nevertheless, it is possible that Joseph Kinsman may have been a key figure in this further dissemination of Jonesian ceilings in plaster. It has already been argued that the plasterer working for Richard Sprignell in c1639 was Abraham Stanyon, and it seems quite possible that it was his erstwhile fellow-apprentice, Joseph Kinsman, who shared with him the rudiments of Jones's style which are manifested in the ceiling of the great chamber. The two craftsmen certainly seem to have maintained professional contacts, since one of Kinsman's apprentices was turned over to Abraham Stanyon in 1641 and the two men worked together at the Royal Exchange in 1654.[48] The beams which divide the ceiling into rectangles with a central oval are decorated with the same pattern of guilloche as in the Ham House staircase ceiling, punctuated by large floral rosettes at the intersections. The floral garland at the centre of the oval is also reminiscent of Kinsman's work at Ham, but the persistence of Jacobean elements suggests that the designer had not absorbed the underlying classicism of the Jonesian model.


These three examples of plasterwork executed for City patrons illustrate how London plasterers, after being ignored by Inigo Jones in the 1620s, had the resources to respond to the challenge of the fashionable new style by the later 1630s. The ceilings of the Queen’s House provided the starting-point for designers of plasterwork for the remainder of the seventeenth century. For most domestic interiors it was not the hall or the Queen’s Withdrawing Room, with their inset painted canvases, that were the prime model but the plain white ceiling of the Queen’s Cabinet (Fig. 164) which provided the basis for more elaborate decoration in plaster. Initially the adoption of the language of classical architectural ornament by plasterers was not necessarily underpinned by a complete grasp of the ways in which it was intended to be deployed. Nevertheless, it is clear that, just as they had learned to emulate the Court styles of the mid-sixteenth century by following the example of the joiners, so now the plasterers followed once again where the woodworkers led. By the late 1630s London’s plasterers were once again in a position to reassert and retain their dominance in the decoration of ceilings for the rest of the century.


[1] Jones’s own copy of Palladio is held in the Library of Worcester College, Oxford. The annotation occurs on p. 81, Book IV.

[2] In The Elements of Architecture (1624), 108, Sir Henry Wotton draws a distinction between English and Italian uses of plaster: ‘the chiefe vse with vs is in the gracefull fretting of roofes; but the Italians applie it, to the manteling of Chimneys, with great Figures’. Wotton was ambassador to Venice three times between 1604 and 1624 and must have been aware of the numerous exceptions to this generalisation.

[3] Transcription taken from J Harris & G Higgott, Inigo Jones Complete Architectural Drawings, London (1989), 56.

[4] I am indebted to Dr Gordon Higgott for generously sharing his research into Jones’s ceilings with me. See also his article, ‘Inigo Jones’s designs for the Queen’s House in 1616’ in M Airs & G Tyack, The Renaissance Villa in Britain 1500-1700, Reading (2007), 164-5.

[5] See J Harris & G Higgott, Inigo Jones Complete Architectural Drawings, London (1989), 100 & 107. The accounts refer to ‘haunst’ ceilings in the presence, withdrawing and privy chambers at Newmarket, which Summerson assumes to mean coved ceilings (HKW IV, 178) and no additional decoration is described.

[6] Henry Flitcroft’s drawing of this lost ceiling is illustrated in J Harris & G Higgott, Inigo Jones Complete Architectural Drawings, London (1989), 198.

[7] This ceiling is illustrated in colour in J Harris & G Higgott, Inigo Jones Complete Architectural Drawings, London (1989), 159.

[8] TNA E 351/3260, St James’s Palace, Task-work entries. For all his plain plastering work on walls and

ceilings Martin Eastbourne was paid £57 17s 4d; the task-work of the carvers working on the wooden coffering alone amounted to £141 3s 4d. The ceiling is illustrated in J Summerson, Inigo Jones, Harmondsworth (11966, reprinted 1983), 65.

[9] The decorative painting of this ceiling is discussed in Chapter I, Plasterers and painters.

[10] TNA E 351/3262., Denmark [Somerset] House, Task-work: Mathew Goodericke Painter.

[11] I am indebted to John Newman for this suggestion.

[12] C H Herford & P and E Simpson (eds), Ben Jonson, Complete Works, Oxford (1947-52), Vol III, 78. Jonson’s hostility to Jones does, however, make him an unreliable witness where his opponent is concerned.

[13] The carved and gilded ‘boys’ of the previous Banqueting House ceiling at Whitehall had also been provided by woodworkers to decorate Richard Dungan’s fretwork in plaster (TNA E 351/3243, 1607-9).

[14] K A Esdaile, ‘William Cure II and his work at Trinity College, Cambridge’, Burlington Magazine, 80 (1942), 21-3.

[15] From ‘Timber: or Discoveries’ in C H Herford & P and E Simpson (eds), Ben Jonson, Complete Works, Oxford (1947-52), Vol VIII, 607-8, cited by W A McClung, The Country House in English Renaissance Poetry, Berkeley, Los Angeles & London (1977), 67-8.

[16] Sir Henry Wotton, The Elements of Archtitecture, London (1624), 107-8.

[17] E S de Beer (ed), The Diary of John Evelyn, Oxford (1955), Vol II, 308-9, cited by J Stoye, English Travellers Abroad, London (revised edn, 1989), 139.

[18] TNA E 351/3253.

[19] Their respective roles at the Charterhouse are discussed in Chapters II and III.

[20] GL MS 6122/1: 26th May 1631.

[21] GL MS 6122/1: 29th March 1622. There is no record of his presentation.

[22] GL MS 6122/1: 19th March 1623/4, 30th July 1624, 22nd June 1625, 15th October 1625, 25th January 1625/6. Sir Edward Barkham was Lord Mayor in 1621-2 but it is not clear whether the Company was trying to curry favour or repay some obligation by the provision of free plastering on so many occasions.

[23] TNA E 351/3270, Somerset House, Task-work: William Willingham.

[24] Northampton CRO: Nassington 217P/1 (Nassington Parish Register).

[25] GL MS 6122/2: 10th December 1635.

[26] TNA AO 1/2490/383 – Sir Richard Wynne’s account.

[27] GL MS 6122/1: 3rd July 1626.

[28] GL MS 6122/1: 5th November 1640.

[29] GL MS 6122/2: 3rd [or 4th] September 1645.

[30] GL Typescript: ‘St Peter-le-Poor Parish Registers – Transcripts 1561-1840’.

[31] TNA E 351/3271.

[32] TNA E 351/3272.

[33] TNA AO 1/2429/71. In this same account Edward Peirce was paid £5 for ‘drawing patternes in paper for diverse workes for his Majestie’. As Peirce published designs for friezes in 1640 (BM  Department of Prints & Drawings: 161.c.19(8) and Etchings c5*) it is possible that he was the artist behind Kinsman’s work on this occasion.

[34] The original creation of this ceiling is not recorded in the few surviving works’ accounts, so cannot be certainly dated. However, its decoration sounds very similar to that of two galleries and the Cockpit at Whitehall where, in the 1530s, Andrew Wright, Sergeant Painter to Henry VIII, painted and gilded ‘flatt battons tymbre fawcon fretwise’ and gilded the ‘buddis of tymbre’ with ‘their leavis of leade sette up in the saide battons’ (BL Add MS 20030, f 150r-v).

[35] J Newman, ‘Nicholas Stone’s Goldsmiths’ Hall’, Architectural History, 14 (1971), 30-39. Footnote 18 contains a list of the principal craftsmen engaged and their employment by Stone or Inigo Jones at other sites. Waters (or Walters), probably John, was a senior member of the London company, chosen together with Mr Kinsman to audit the company accounts in 1651. During the Civil War he carried out repairs to the Earl of Pmbroke’s lodgings at the Cockpit, Whitehall in 1646-47 (TNA AO 1/2430/76).

[36] It seems probable that Joseph was related to Edmund Kinsman, a London mason frequently employed by Inigo Jones and a long-time associate of Nicholas Stone. It may have been through Edmund’s influence that Joseph entered the Royal Works. For a summary of Edmund Kinsman’s career, see H Colvin (ed), A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, London (1978), 474-5.

[37] I am indebted to the Archivist of the Goldsmiths’ Company for allowing me access to the company records. The first reference to the new ceiling occurs in Goldsmiths’ Company Wardens’ Accounts and Court Minutes: Vol 19, S, Part 2 (26 September 1635 - 7 June 1637), 474-5.

[38] Goldsmiths’ Company Court Book, Vol 21, V (1639-42), 25.

[39] See also Chapter 5, ‘The Caroline Plasterwork’ by this author in C Rowell (ed), Ham House: Four Hundred Years  of Collecting and Patronage, New Haven & London, 2013.

[40] The whereabouts of the original manuscript is, at present, unknown as it cannot be traced either in the Tollemache archives at Buckminster Park Estate Office or at the Victorian & Albert Museum. A typewritten transcript of the original, which is available in the file ‘Ham House X’ in the Department of Furniture and Interior Design at the V & A, has therefore had to be used.

[41] I C Bristow, Architectural Colour in British Interiors 1615-1840, New Haven & London (1996), 18-19.

[42] That it was Cleyn himself who was the master-mind behind the decorative schemes at Ham House was suggested by P Thornton & M Tomlin, ‘Franz Cleyn at Ham House’, National Trust Studies 1980, London (1979), 21-34. This attribution was disputed by T Campbell, ‘A Consideration of the Career and Work of Francis Clein’, Unpublished MA Report, Courtauld Institute of Art (1987).

[43] P Metcalf, ‘Balmes House’, Architectural Review, June 1957, 445-6 and C Knight, London’s Country Houses, Chichester  (2009), 159-60.

[44] Drawings of two ceilings by G W Toussaint (1852) are held by Hackney Public Library; another version of one of these was drawn by J W Archer in 1852 (BM, Department of Prints & Drawings: Case 261, Vol XVI, no 2); part of a third ceiling is shown in an illustration which appeared in the Illustrated London News, June 5th 1852 (Guildhall Library).

[45] W H Godfrey, Swakeleys, Ickenham, Monograph 13, London Survey Committee, London (1933).

[46] According to M Puloy, ‘Decorative Plasterwork in Hertfordshire’, Herts Archaeology, 8 (1980-82), 185, winged cherub heads blowing the four winds were depicted in George Wither’s A Collection of Emblemes, which appeared in 1635. They also appeared frequently on maps of the period.

[47] C Knight, London’s Country Houses, Chichester  (2009), 194-6.

[48] GL MS 6122/2: 11th August 1641 and Ann Saunders (ed), The Royal Exchange, London Topographical Society Publication No. 152, London (1997), 97.

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