The Twickenham Museum
People : Architects and Scientists

Henry Flitcroft
Architect known as 'Burlington Harry'
1697 - 1769

Henry Flitcroft

Apprenticed to a joiner
Henry Flitcroft was born the son of Jeffrey Flitcroft, and perhaps baptised at St Andrew, Holborn on 2 September 1697. His father was later employed in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace by William III. The family came from Lancashire. Henry was apprenticed to Thomas Morris, a joiner of London and father of Robert Morris (1703-1754) born in Twickenham. Robert was related to Roger Morris for whom he had worked. It is possible that Henry Flitcroft and Roger Morris were together associated with work for the Column of Victory at Blenheim where Henry Herbert, Earl of Pembroke was also involved. Herbert was connected with the design of Marble Hill House in Twickenham.
Acquires a nickname

Henry came to the notice of Lord Burlington through suffering an accident while working at Burlington House. Burlington effectively became his patron so ensuring a successful architectural career and securing his nickname: "Burlington Harry". He was, between 1746 and 1748 Master Carpenter and then until 1758, Deputy Surveyor and Master Mason when he was promoted Comptroller of the Works. In this post he replaced Thomas Ripley and stayed from time to time in the former Master Mason's House, at Hampton Court, later named Faraday House.

Local connections

He married, on 3 June, 1724, Sarah Minns, daughter of Richard and apparently living in St James's Westminster.

Henry does appear to have owned property in Teddington, possibly living there at some stage. In 1725 William Lloyd, a bricklayer, and Catherine his wife conditionally surrendered, to, or raised a mortgage from, Henry Flitcroft. The property then consisted of two cottages which were on the south side of the High Street next to Faversham House which was on the corner of Langham Road. Catherine died in 1731 and her brother and husband are said to have redeemed the mortgage. However Henry's son, also Henry, still appears to have had an interest in the house when he surrendered the property to Thomas Setree, a capmaker of the Parish of Saint Paul, Covent Garden in 1770, after the death of his father. Although there is no firm evidence that Henry lived here, twin daughters of Henry and Sarah Flitcroft, born in Hampton, were buried at Teddington on 3 Feb 1740 aged 9 days.

Flitcroft is not otherwise recorded as undertaking work in or near Teddington. However, when he died, in his Hampstead house, he was brought for burial at St Mary's Church, as recorded by a tablet in the church and a tombstone outside. When his only son, Henry, died in 1826 he too was brought, from Stamford, to be buried at St Mary's. It seems that the respective wives of father and son were buried at Teddington: Sarah from Petersham on 11 March 1784 and Elizabeth, aged 25 on 19 May 1778.

Further reading:

Howard Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, Yale, 1995
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Gerald Heath (ed Kathy White & Joan Heath), Hampton Court - the story of a village, The Hampton Court Association, 2001
Manor Court Records
Parish Registers

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