St James’s Square, laid out in the 1670s, was one of London’s earliest squares. It was lined by exclusive houses for those people whose business made it essential to live near St James’s Palace. For 50 years St James’s Square was the most fashionable address in London, with seven dukes and seven earls in residence by the 1720s. Many of the buildings seen now date from the 18th and 19th centuries and have had many famous residents. During World War II both Generals Eisenhower and de Gaulle had headquarters here. No private houses now survive on the square. No.10 on the north side is Chatham House, dating from 1736, home of the Royal Institute for International Affairs. In the north-west corner is the London Library, dating from 1896, a private lending library founded by the historian Thomas Carlyle and others in 1841 in disgust at the inefficiency of the British Library. The private gardens in the middle of St James’s Square are dominated by an imposing statue of William III astride a horse, which was erected in 1808.