John Constable: Sir Richard Steele's Cottage, Hampstead
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John Constable (1776-1837) courtesy Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
From 1821 on, John and Maria Constable lived with their growing family in the village of Hampstead, which was situated on high ground overlooking London from the northwest. The present view southeast, along what was then known as Hampstead Road (now Haverstock Hill), is not far from the present Chalk Farm underground railway station. St. Paul’s Cathedral and the city of London are clearly visible on the horizon.
The eponymous cottage on the right was so named because the improvident early eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish essayist and playwright Richard Steele - his real name was Isaac Bickerstaff - for a time took refuge there from his creditors. It had previously been the residence of the dramatist and wit Sir Charles Sedley. The cottage was demolished in 1867. The site is commemorated not by the pub called the Sir Richard Steele, which is farther up the hill, but by Steele’s Road, for which the site made way.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-1005: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)