Brown’s Hotel

As I was walking past Brown’s Hotel at lunchtime today, I noticed, which I never had before, that there are mosaic plaques along the façade which announce that it is Brown’s and St. George’s Hotel.   Brown’s itself was opened by Lord Byron’s butler in 1837 (or was he his valet ?) and his ambitious wife Sarah, who had been Lady Byron’s maid.   In 1859, it was taken over by James Ford, who had owned stables in Oxford Street, before setting up Ford’s Hotel in Manchester Square.   In 1889 (at least this is the date given in The London Encyclopedia) his son, Henry Ford, who had been the recipient of the first telephone call ever made in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell from Brown’s, was able to buy St. George’s Hotel on Dover Street behind.   The plaques mark the moment of the opening of the new stucco front when the two hotels were combined:

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