The Trevor Square development was clearly designed to
attract residents of moderately prosperous middle-class
character, a working-class contingent being provided for
by cottages on the fringes of the estate.
Early Victorian census returns show that the square was
by no means solidly middle-class, some houses being occupied by artisans and other workpeople. There was a tendency for later middle-class residents to be lodgers rather
than householders, and by 1861 most houses were lodginghouses or otherwise in multiple occupation. The most
striking social phenomenon, redolent of lower-middleclass gentility, was the colonization of Trevor Square by the
drapery trade. In 1861 the census recorded seven houses in
the occupation of drapers, all of them young or youngish
Scotsmen. Taking into account lodgers and assistants living with them, there were about two dozen Scottish drapers in the square in that year. Scottish drapers remained a
substantial proportion of the population of the square and
near by into the 1890s.
Trevor Square did not really begin to lose the ambiguous social position typical of a lodging-house district until
the twentieth century, long after neighbouring Montpelier
Square had begun to attract a number of fashionable or
well-to-do residents. There was, however, at least one aristocrat living in the square as early as the 1890s. This was
Earl Cowley, who occupied No. 1 for several years from
about 1896 (shortly before his first divorce).
Ostensibly a dull street mostly of lodging-houses,
Trevor Place (then Hill Street) had a moment of particular
notoriety in 1886 when No. 9 was revealed as a house of illrepute in the celebrated Crawford divorce proceedings,
which blighted the political career of Sir Charles Dilke.
Dilke himself does not seem to have made use of the house,
but it was visited by both Mrs Crawford, who claimed to
have had an adulterous relationship with him, and her sister Helen (sister-in-law of the writer Frederic Harrison), to
pursue their affairs with one Captain Forster. (ref. 52)
||Roy Jenkins, Sir Charles Dilke: A Victorian Tragedy, 1958, pp.316,
333–6, 340–1: David Nicholls, The Lost Prime Minister: A Life of Sir
Charles Dilke, 1995, pp. 189, 192.