While he was still with Roberts, Sir George Gilbert Scott embarked on his second job. This was a large house in the centre of Chesham,for his friend Henry Rumsey, who in 1833 had succeeded to his father’s medical practice. The connections between the Scott and Rumsey families seem to have been particularly close and Scott’s older brother, John, was articled to Henry Rumsey’s father. Henry’s new house is a much bigger building and more complicated than the Wappenham parsonage. It is three stories high, four bays wide with a three storey back extension on a tight town-centre site, and built in an attractive deep red brick, with a slate roof. It has some architectural pretentions with recessed arches containing round-headed windows on the ground floor, and the whole street facade is elegantly proportioned with delicate Georgian-style windows on the upper floors. Scott however, writing thirty years later, said ‘My taste seemed under a cold spell, & the design, though convenient enough was wholly devoid of any attempt at Architectural character’. Rumsey ‘wanted to employ several local tradesmen’, so Scott asked his friend from his Edmeston days, William Moffatt, to be the Clerk of Works, with Moffatt’s father in London supplying much of the joinery. ‘Moffatt performed his duties most efficiently and cleverly’ but his tactlessness upset Rumsey, and poor Scott was left to explain to Rumsey that Moffatt was really acting in his best interests. As Scott ruefully remarks, ‘A state of things very typical of many subsequent experiences’. The Chesham house seems to have been completed with a stone inside the front door which proudly announces that ‘HENRY RUMSEY SENR’ LAID THIS STONE IN HIS SON’S HOUSE AUG 31 1834’.
Scott’s Recollections, I 260-1.