Mr Soane is Summoned


The Marquess of Buckingham who was living at Stowe came straight to Wotton and dispatched a messenger, by the 5.30 Express Mail Coach referred to by Lady Williams Wynne to the then plain Mr Soane in London. “I beg to see you immediately” he wrote “without a moment’s loss of time- poor Wotton is burned down- get one of your foremen ready to set off immediately – Monday”.

James Cook was the foreman sent down and wrote the following immediate account:

“The roof, floors and all the bond timbers are completely destroyed by the fire, and some of the party walls are in shattered state. The workmen are busily employed in clearing away the rubbish over the groins and different parts of the building. There is fire breaking out in different parts of the basement at present. According to your wish, I am getting all the dimensions I can against your arrival. Earl of Temple is busily employed with the workpeople”.