The most colourful and infamous resident was the novelist John Cleland (1709-17899, who died there, in obscurity, at the age of 82. Cleland, who is said to have spent a fair amount of time in debtors’ prisons, made his mark and his money in 1750 when his Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (better known as Fanny Hill) was published. The book (of “pernicious tendency”) was a bestseller and brought the publishers £10,000 (according to some calculations, as much as £15,000,000 today) in profits. Cleland himself earned 20 guineas, or around £80,000).
Money notwithstanding, the privy council was not amused and summoned Cleland to explain himself. He pleaded poverty as his excuse for the scandalously indecent book, and the president of the council granted him an annuity of £100 (around £20,000) on the condition that he never again wrote that kind of book. If you want to support Walk the Walk and its efforts on behalf of breast cancer charities, you can sponsor me by visiting my fundraising page here.