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date: 13 November 2019

Flitcroft, Henrylocked

(b Aug 30, 1697; d Hampstead, London, Feb 25, 1769).
  • Juliet West

Extract

(b Aug 30, 1697; d Hampstead, London, Feb 25, 1769).

English architect. He grew up in the Office of Works community at Hampton Court, where his father was a labourer, and from 1711 he trained as a joiner. The turning-point in his career came when Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, noticed his drawing ability and employed him as a draughtsman and surveyor during the early 1720s. Many of the finished copies of the Earl’s designs as well as the publication drawings for William Kent’s Designs of Inigo Jones (1727) are in Flitcroft’s elegant hand. Through Burlington’s patronage Flitcroft entered the Office of Works in 1726. For 20 years he held the key post of Clerk of Works at Whitehall, Westminster and St James’s before being promoted to the posts of Master Carpenter (1746–9), Master Mason (1748–58) and finally Comptroller (1758–69). Although overshadowed as a designer by Kent and later by Chambers, he proved a conscientious administrator with a sound practical knowledge of building. A colleague wrote that ‘in our Office such a man is very necessary upon almost every occasion’. These qualities must have commended him to his private clients for whom almost all his architectural work was undertaken. Most were leading members of the political establishment whom he probably met through his official duties; they included Prince ...

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H. M. Colvin: A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600–1840 (London, 1954, rev. 2/1978)