D’Artagnan’s trip to London: London, April 1625

D’Artagnan did not know London; he did not know a word of English; but he wrote the name of Buckingham on a piece of paper, and everyone pointed out to him the way to the duke’s hotel.

Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers, 1844

October 1621, Francis Bacon alienates the duke of Buckingham by refusing to sell York House. A month later he consents to part with York House to a man called Cranfield, a creature of Buckingham’s. The duke’s hotel as mentioned by Alexandre Dumas, was most likely York House and one of a string of aristocratic mansions that once stood on the Stand, the route from the City of London to the royal court at Westminster.

According to the London Compendium, only the Water Gate remains of York House, and Villiers Street covers the ground of parts of it. The streets surrounding were renamed after the Duke, using all parts of his name, thereby leading to the creation of George Court, Villiers Street (the duke’s name was George Villiers), Duke Street, Of Alley, and Buckingham Street.


York Water Gate, built in 1626. The gateway marks the position of the north bank of the Thames before the construction of the Victoria Embankment in 1862.


York House engraved after an original drawing by Hollar, published by W. Herbert and Robert Wilkinson, London, 1808.


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