Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1733-1869 - Leicester Square (Westminster)

William Hogarth’s success as an artist enabled him to purchase the Golden Head, a house at the south-eastern corner of Leicester Square where he added a studio and workshops for a team of engravers. He made one attempt at sculpture. He carved a bust of Anthony van Dyck which he placed over his house door. When the sign decayed, it was succeeded by a head in plaster, which also perished. After his demise, his widow remained at the house until her death in 1789. The property was sold and became known as the Sablonière Hôtel which was described as a house for lovers of French cookery and French conversation’. Ratebooks record that the owner, Antoinetta La Sablonière, went bankrupt in January 1796. At a later date the hotel was acquired by John Baptist Pagliano who made it popular with native Italians and visitors from the Continent until the site was required for urban development in 1869. It was here that political refugee Giuseppe Mazzini hired a room on his arrival in London from Switzerland.

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