Plaque: William Petty
Erection date: 28/10/2003
William Petty, Earl of Shelburne, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, 1737 - 1805, supporter of American Independence, lived here.
Site: Petty & Selfridge at the Lansdowne Club (2 memorials)
W1, Fitzmaurice Place, 9
Built as Lansdowne House in 1763, designed by Robert Adam, later altered by George Dance the Younger and then by Robert Smirke, and then by T. H. Wyatt. Harry Selfridge took over the lease in 1921. In the 1930s it was remodelled by Charles Fox for use as a private club and the front of the house was removed to enable the creation of Fitzmaurice Place. The First Drawing Room was re-erected in the Museum of Arts in Philadelphia and the Dining Room in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The building (what's left of it) was restored in 2000.
The wide passageway opposite this house, now lined with shops and restaurants and known as Lansdowne Row, was once a narrow alley with high walls on either side, separating the grounds of Lansdowne House from those of Devonshire House. It was owned by Lord Lansdowne but open to the public. Once a year he had the doors at each end locked so as to prevent it becoming a legal right of way. Amazon have an excellent 1926 photo. Shutterstock have a 1951 photo but by this date the passageway is already barely recognisable.