Early years                  


Edward Linley Sambourne was born in London in 1844. As a young boy he spent hours drawing and model-making. 


At the age of 16 he enrolled in the Kensington School of Art but found the tuition - mostly copying plaster casts - very dull and left after a few months. He was then apprenticed to a marine engineer in Greenwich and was soon promoted to a well-paid job in the drawing office. He continued to sketch and amuse his friends with humorous drawings whenever he had an opportunity. 


Linley Sambourne started on his 43-year career with Punch magazine (see Linley Sambourne's career) 


At the age of 30, Sambourne married Marion Herapath, the daughter of a wealthy stockbroker.


Linley and Marion Sambourne

Family years


Helped by Marion's father, the couple paid £2,000 for a lease of 89 years on 18 Stafford Terrace and set about furnishing it in the fashionable artistic or 'aesthetic' style of the period. It was their home throughout their 36-year marriage. 


Maud Sambourne was born in 1875. She was a good little girl and grew up to be very pretty. She was devoted to her parents. 


Roy Sambourne was born in 1878. Roy, unlike his sister, was an active, naughty little boy with no interest in schooling. His parents often worried about him. 


The Sambournes undertook some major redecoration of the house in the mid 1880s. The greatest alterations were the design and installation of the southern bay window in the drawing room and the installation of a new fireplace in the principal bedroom (see House tour).

1898 Sambourne's daughter Maud married Leonard Messel in 1898. 


Maud's daughter Anne was born in 1902. 


At the end of his life, Sambourne's health gradually worsened. He died from emphysema on 4th August 1910. 


Marion died in 1914 and Roy inherited the house. Roy never made any alterations to the house or its furnishings.

Roy and Pobs


Later years


Maud's daughter Anne Messel married Ronald Armstrong-Jones. They were divorced in 1935 and Anne later married Michael, the sixth Earl of Rosse. (see History of the House) 


Roy died in 1946 and his elder sister Maud inherited the house. Maud did not need 18 Stafford Terrace but she persuaded her daughter Anne, Countess of Rosse to use it as a pied-à-terre on her visits to London.


Anne and her friends proposed founding a Victorian Society to promote the preservation and appreciation of Victorian architecture and the arts.


Anne sold 18 Stafford Terrace and its contents to the Greater London Council, who bought it with a grant from the Land Fund, and the house opened as a museum. Following the abolition of the Greater London Council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea took over the ownership of the house.


In October the house closed for refurbishment. 


On 19 April 2003 Linley Sambourne House re-opened with new and improved facilities for visitors (See Visiting the House).

Visits are by Guided Tours

Mid-September to Mid-June

18 Stafford Terrace, W8 7BH