Henry Fielding(1707-54) wintered in Twickenham in 1747/8 pending the birth of his son William who was duly baptised at St Mary's church on 25 February 1748. The stables of Fielding's house survive as a house, just across what was a lane at the top of Pope's garden. Fielding tried to buy the property but it went to another: John Wynde, and so he moved away. Pope and Fielding had met at Bath. Fielding was a second cousin of Lady Mary Wortley Montague, Pope's former friend. Fielding may have been completing his novel Tom Jones during this winter at Twickenham.
Samuel Scott(c1702-1772) had an address in Twickenham from 1748. This may have been a riverside cottage near Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill. In 1758 he built a house on land formerly a part of the tannery by the riverside and rented it out to Thomas Pitt, Walpole's friend. Scott recorded a number of views of Twickenham riverside, one of them, an incomplete pencil drawing of his own house. There are three known versions of his view of Pope's villa painted in about 1759. Across the road was a house built by a local carpenter and tenanted for a time by a slave-trader.
Thomas Hudson(1701-79) came to the riverside in 1754 and lived in a house probably designed by Roger Morris who had earlier bought the land it occupied. Morris died in 1748.
William Hickey(1749-1830) was the son of Joseph Hickey (1712-94), Walpole's "impudent lawyer". Joseph bought the tannery, sold a piece to Samuel Scott and they both built adjoining houses on the land. William Hickey's Memoirs relate some of his early adventures here, nearly drowning, upsetting Thomas Hudson and trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid inoculation (unsuccessful) against smallpox.
All these people, and many others bathed in the literary glow emanating from Pope's Villa.
back to Alexander Pope