Dr Johnson's House

Dr Johnson's House Quirky historic house tucked away in the City with 18th-century interiors & a healthy supply of dictionaries. Once home to Dr Johnson & his pet cat, Hodge.
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Operating as usual

Happy Birthday Dr Johnson! On this day in 1709, Samuel Johnson was born in Lichfield. The son of a book seller, he went ...
18/09/2020

Happy Birthday Dr Johnson!
On this day in 1709, Samuel Johnson was born in Lichfield. The son of a book seller, he went on to become the second most quoted English writer in the world.
Johnson also championed women’s education and female writers, supported the abolition of slavery and was well known for his generosity and unique understanding of the human condition.

Dr Johnson’s House is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  We are working hard to reopen as soon as possible ...
08/09/2020
Support Us

Dr Johnson’s House is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are working hard to reopen as soon as possible but since March we have lost almost all of our income which is hitting hard and will continue to impact us in the months ahead.

We would be very grateful for any support you would like to give us during this time. Find out more and donate:

Dr Johnson#39;s House - Supporting the House

02/09/2020
Blue Circle Of Dissent - HACKNEY DISSENT

Last year Unity Arts joined us for the culmination of their week of art and heritage workshops, called Hackney Dissent. The organisation is a not for profit community association who open up theatre, arts, heritage and training access to those often excluded from such resources.

You can see some of their amazing spoken word artists here performing at Dr Johnson's House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFoRxMDTM60

Filmed at Dr Johnson's House off Fleet Street, by Edwin Louis Fear Films (edited by Neil Webster) and the Digital Outputs Team led by James Warren of Meddle ...

Don't forget to say hello to Hodge when you're back in the square - he'll be there to welcome everyone back to the House...
24/08/2020

Don't forget to say hello to Hodge when you're back in the square - he'll be there to welcome everyone back to the House.

Hello there, we've missed you all! We're FINALLY back in the House, working on reopening as soon as we can safely do so....
18/08/2020

Hello there, we've missed you all! We're FINALLY back in the House, working on reopening as soon as we can safely do so. Hope to see you soon, but we'll keep you up to date with our plans as and when they're made.

From the collection today: Hannah More - born near Bristol in 1745, More first met Johnson on one of her annual trips to...
02/04/2020

From the collection today: Hannah More - born near Bristol in 1745, More first met Johnson on one of her annual trips to London. She was a playwright, Bluestocking Society member, opened schools for poorer children to learn to read, and was a key figure in the abolition movement.

Our beautiful library has over 2000 books, amassed since the House first opened in 1912. We love any excuse to spend an ...
01/04/2020

Our beautiful library has over 2000 books, amassed since the House first opened in 1912. We love any excuse to spend an afternoon browsing through them...
Our own shelves look a little different but at least we can read ours with a cuppa! What's your current read?

If you're in need of seeing a little countryside today, here is the beautiful Brynbella, built by Hester Piozzi (previou...
31/03/2020

If you're in need of seeing a little countryside today, here is the beautiful Brynbella, built by Hester Piozzi (previously Thrale) and her husband Gabriel Piozzi in Denbighshire, at the site of her family's ancestral home.

In honour of World Theatre Day, here is our print of Hannah Pritchard and David Garrick - two celebrities of the 18th ce...
27/03/2020

In honour of World Theatre Day, here is our print of Hannah Pritchard and David Garrick - two celebrities of the 18th century stage - as Lord and Lady Macbeth. Garrick was a friend and former student of Johnson, whilst Pritchard took the lead role in Johnson's play, Irene.

Three months after Johnson's death, almost all of his library was auctioned off, in line with his wishes, by James Chris...
26/03/2020

Three months after Johnson's death, almost all of his library was auctioned off, in line with his wishes, by James Christie. This is one of the original sale catalogues, from the day, first used by General James Oglethorpe, who is depicted in this print at the sale.

Morning all, thought you might like to see Johnson's very own #WFH space, the Garret where he worked on the 1755 diction...
25/03/2020

Morning all, thought you might like to see Johnson's very own #WFH space, the Garret where he worked on the 1755 dictionary, among the numerous other works he published during his 11 years living at Gough Square.

We hope you're all doing ok today. We've of course been getting through the day with lots of cups of tea, sadly not from...
24/03/2020

We hope you're all doing ok today. We've of course been getting through the day with lots of cups of tea, sadly not from Hester Thrale's beautiful Meissen teapot here, but still...tea always helps 😊☕️ #museumsfromhome

18/03/2020

Dr Johnson’s House will be closing to the public from Wednesday 18 March 2020 until further notice.

Unfortunately we have decided to temporarily close the House from Wednesday 18th March until further notice following Public Health England and Government advice on COVID-19. The safety and well-being of our visitors, staff and volunteers has always been our number one priority. We will monitor developments closely and
re-open as soon as it is viable to do so. We will continue to share aspects of our collection and Johnson’s story via social media.

'The chief glory of every people arises from its authors' Samuel Johnson, 1755. Taken from the Preface to the Dictionary...
05/03/2020

'The chief glory of every people arises from its authors' Samuel Johnson, 1755. Taken from the Preface to the Dictionary of the English Language. #WorldBookDay2020

03/03/2020

Word of the day: RHABA'RBARATE. adj. [from rhabarbara, Lat.] Impregnated or tinctured with rhubarb.

Word of the day: To CONFA’BULATE. v.n. [confa-bulo-, lat.] To talk easily or carelessly together; to chat; to prattle.
28/02/2020

Word of the day: To CONFA’BULATE. v.n. [confa-bulo-, lat.]
To talk easily or carelessly together; to chat; to prattle.

Word of the day: TERRI’FICK. Adj. [terrificus, Latin] Dreadful; causing terrour‘The serpent, subtlest beast of all the f...
27/02/2020

Word of the day: TERRI’FICK. Adj. [terrificus, Latin]
Dreadful; causing terrour
‘The serpent, subtlest beast of all the field,
Of huge extent sometimes, with brazen eyes,
And hairy mane terrifick.
MILTON’S PARADISE LOST, B. VII

Word of the day: REFOCILLA’TION. n.s. [refocillo, Lat.] Restoration of strength by refreshment.
26/02/2020

Word of the day: REFOCILLA’TION. n.s. [refocillo, Lat.]
Restoration of strength by refreshment.

Word of the day: QUI’BBLER. n.s. [from quibble]A punster.
25/02/2020

Word of the day: QUI’BBLER. n.s. [from quibble]
A punster.

Word of the day: PA’RAMOUR. n.s. [par and amour, Fr]A lover or a woer. ‘Upon the floorA lovely bevy of fair ladies sat,C...
24/02/2020

Word of the day: PA’RAMOUR. n.s. [par and amour, Fr]
A lover or a woer.
‘Upon the floor
A lovely bevy of fair ladies sat,
Courted by many a jolly paramour-‘ FAIRY QUEEN

Word of the day: OUTVI’E. v.a. [out and vie] To exceed; to surpass.‘for folded flocks on fruitful plains, Fair Britain a...
23/02/2020

Word of the day: OUTVI’E. v.a. [out and vie]
To exceed; to surpass.
‘for folded flocks on fruitful plains,
Fair Britain all the world outvies.’ DRYDEN

Word of the day: NI’NNYHAMMER. n.s. [from ninny] A simpleton.‘Another vents her passion in scurrilous terms; an old ninn...
22/02/2020

Word of the day: NI’NNYHAMMER. n.s. [from ninny]
A simpleton.
‘Another vents her passion in scurrilous terms; an old ninny-hammer. A dotard, a nincompoop, is the best language she can afford me.’ ADDISON’S GUARDIAN, NO.109.

Word of the day: MU’CKENDER. n.s. [mouchoir, French; macadero, Spanish.] A handkerchief. ‘For thy full fancy a muckender...
21/02/2020

Word of the day: MU’CKENDER. n.s. [mouchoir, French; macadero, Spanish.]
A handkerchief.
‘For thy full fancy a muckender is fit,
To wipe the slabberings of thy snotty wit.’ DORSET

Word of the day: LA. Interject [corrupted by an effeminate pronunciation from lo.] ‘LA you! If you speak ill of the devi...
20/02/2020

Word of the day: LA. Interject [corrupted by an effeminate pronunciation from lo.]
‘LA you! If you speak ill of the devil,
How he takes it to heart.’
SHAKESPEARE’S TWELFTH NIGHT

Word of the day: KNA’CKER. N.s. [from knack]1. A maker of small work.‘one part for plow-wright, cartwright, knacker and ...
19/02/2020

Word of the day: KNA’CKER. N.s. [from knack]
1. A maker of small work.
‘one part for plow-wright, cartwright, knacker and smith.'
MORTIMER’S HUSBANDRY

Book your tickets for tomorrow night's illustrated reading from the great works of Poe and Coleridge. Sit back and enjoy...
18/02/2020

Book your tickets for tomorrow night's illustrated reading from the great works of Poe and Coleridge. Sit back and enjoy listening to poetry in Johnson's withdrawing room! For tickets and full details, click here: https://bit.ly/37qSKnu

Word of the day: JU’NCATE. n.s. [juncade, French; gioncata, Italian]1.Cheesecake; a kind of sweetmeat of curds and sugar...
18/02/2020

Word of the day: JU’NCATE. n.s. [juncade, French; gioncata, Italian]
1.Cheesecake; a kind of sweetmeat of curds and sugar
2. Any delicacy.
‘A goodly table of pure ivory,
All spread with juncates, fit to entertain
The greatest prince.’
SPENSER, SONNET 77.

Word of the day: HIGGLEDY-PIGGELDY. adv. A cant word, corrupted from higgle, which denotes any confused mass, as higgler...
17/02/2020

Word of the day: HIGGLEDY-PIGGELDY. adv. A cant word, corrupted from higgle, which denotes any confused mass, as higglers carry a huddle of provisions together.

Word of the day: FA’LDSTOOL. n.s. [fald or fold and stool.]A kind of stool placed at the south-side of the altar, at whi...
16/02/2020

Word of the day: FA’LDSTOOL. n.s. [fald or fold and stool.]
A kind of stool placed at the south-side of the altar, at which the kings of England kneel at their coronation.

Word of the day: EMPI’RICISM. n.s. [from empirick.]'Dependence on experience without knowledge or art; quackery.'
15/02/2020

Word of the day: EMPI’RICISM. n.s. [from empirick.]

'Dependence on experience without knowledge or art; quackery.'

Word of the day:  DREGS. n.s. [dreston, Saxon; dreggian, Islandick]1. The sediment of liqueurs; the lees; the grounds; t...
14/02/2020

Word of the day: DREGS. n.s. [dreston, Saxon; dreggian, Islandick]

1. The sediment of liqueurs; the lees; the grounds; the feculence

2. Anything by which purity is corrupted

3. Dross; Sweepings’ refuse

Word of the day: BUB. n.s [a cant word.] Strong malt liqueur.
13/02/2020

Word of the day: BUB. n.s [a cant word.]
Strong malt liqueur.

Word of the day: NI'GHTFARING. n.s. [night and fare.] Travelling in the night. 'Will-a-Wisp misleads night-faring clowns...
12/02/2020

Word of the day: NI'GHTFARING. n.s. [night and fare.] Travelling in the night.

'Will-a-Wisp misleads night-faring clowns, o'er hills, and sinking bogs, pathless downs.' John Gay

We're open until 8pm on Wednesday evening for you to explore Dr Johnson’s House at twilight, plus it's the last chance t...
10/02/2020

We're open until 8pm on Wednesday evening for you to explore Dr Johnson’s House at twilight, plus it's the last chance to see the London’s Theatre of The East exhibition before it closes. Entry is free after 6pm!

Join us on the monthly Dr Johnson walk at 3pm today - it's a sunny day here in the City, so the perfect time to find out...
05/02/2020

Join us on the monthly Dr Johnson walk at 3pm today - it's a sunny day here in the City, so the perfect time to find out more about what Dr Johnson's London would have looked like. Meet your guide at the front of the House - tickets are £5 (£4 concession price)

Address

17 Gough Square
London
EC4A 3DE

Tube: Chancery Lane/Holborn (Central Line) Temple (District Line/Circle Lines) *Please note that Blackfriars tube station is currently closed. Rail: City Thameslink, Blackfriars and Farringdon stations are all nearby. Bus: All routes to Aldwych, Chancery Lane, Fleet Street or St. Paul's. Bus numbers 4, 11, 15, 23, 26, 76 and 172 run along Fleet Street. Please check www.tfl.gov.uk to plan your journey.

Opening Hours

Monday 11:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00

Telephone

020 7353 3745

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