At St Clere you are following in some fascinating footsteps. Some sources are sound, some are delicious suppositions, but we choose to believe every tale…
The house that stood on St Clere site was owned for a time by the father of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s ill fated second wife at the time of their prolonged courtship. Surely they visited?
Bank of England
Not one but two former owners of St Clere were governors of the Bank of England. Sir Mark Wilks Collet and Montagu Collet Norman both did their bit to keep St Clere’s books balanced, and England’s.
Oh, the shame. To think of some of the sticky fingers banging out chopsticks on our incredible piano in recent centuries, you would never believe the great man had also touched those keys as it is claimed he did during his tour of England in 1764.
Austen was friends with William Evelyn, a single man in possession of a good fortune, who lived here. She regularly visited family locally and must have called on her friend to share truths, universally acknowledged.
Forced out of London during the plagues, Shakespeare’s company toured England and his friend, William Lambarde, would have provided his father-in-law’s estate at St Clere as a prime setting. We’re still searching for the programme