Hamilton Terrace was named after Charles Hamilton, one of the governors of Harrow School. The west side of St John’s Wood was owned by Harrow School who wanted the road to Harrow to be kept in good order.
The numbering of the houses in the Terrace changed as more houses were built. No 36 was being built in 1835 and was finished a year later. The first occupants were probably the Oliphants who were certainly in the house in 1838. The 1841 Census shows that a man of ‘independent means’ called James Oliphant, aged 40, lived at no 15 with his wife Ann and two servants. By 1861 a widow called Catherine Delta with her two sons were being looked after by a cook, a housemaid and a footman.
The 1871 Census records the house being occupied by Henry Stacy Marks, aged 41, with his wife, two daughters and three sons, a cook and a housemaid. Henry Stacy Marks ARA (1828-1898) was an English artist who took a particular interest in Shakespearean and medieval themes in his early career whilst later in decorative art depicting birds and ornithology subjects apart from landscapes. He and the family moved later in the 1870s to no19, now no.40.
By 1881 the house was lived in by a cabinet maker named Robert Christie, aged 47, with his wife and two sons, two sisters-in-law plus one servant and an elderly “caretaker for the studio”. They were still there in 1891 and the two sons were then described as artists. By 1901 the sons had left home and the couple lived there with just one housemaid.
In 1911 the Census records that William Shakespeare, then aged 61, his wife and a cook, a parlourmaid and a housemaid were in the house and continued to live there until 1914. (There were no records kept during the Great War).
William Shakespeare FRAM (1849-1931) was an English singer, pianist, teacher and composer. From 1866-1871 he studied with Sterndale Bennett then had a career as concert and oratorio singer before becoming singing professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
From 1920 to 1931 a senior barrister, George H Morgan, his wife and daughter lived at no 36 and were then followed by a couple and their daughter plus two staff up until WW2.
After the end of the war Rudolph and Babine Lion moved in and stayed until 1957 when they moved out of London, leaving their daughter Liane who moved into what is now 22 Hamilton Close. This is a “cottage” which was the studio of Henry Stacy Marks in the 1870s at the bottom of the garden and which has a north-facing window. At some date the bottom third of the garden was walled off, creating a separate garden for 22 Hamilton Close.