XXIII—HIGHGATE ROAD AND KENTISH TOWN ROAD, EAST SIDE
The topographical descriptions that follow of Highgate Road,
Kentish Town Road, and King's Road are amplified and illustrated in a
remarkable manner by the drawings made by James Frederick King, about
the middle of last century, and now preserved in the St. Pancras Public
Library in Chester Road, Highgate. From information obtained by the late
Mr. Preece, librarian of St. Pancras Public Library, it appears that Mr.
J. F. King, born in 1781, was the son of Thomas King, born about 1750,
descended from a Huguenot family named Le Roy. J. F. King was an official
at Somerset House from 1820 to 1830.
These drawings, mounted on rolls, form a continuous picture of the
houses (including those of both Mr. King and his father), and the physical
appearance of both sides of the first two roads from Swain's Lane to The
Mother Redcap, approximately opposite to the existing Britannia, Camden
Town, and of the north-east side of King's Road, called by Mr. King the
Back Road, as far as the old Parish Church. The drawings are reproduced
here in sections on Plates 104 to 117. Beneath the drawings is a running
commentary which is reprinted in the subsequent historical notes and is
shown in italics for the reader's convenience. (fn. *) The making of this record
must have extended over a number of years and its historical value is difficult
The Kentish Town House estate, covering some nineteen acres, formerly extended from Swain's Lane on the north to the Bull and Last (at the
corner of Woodsome Road) on the south, and belonged to John Draper, citizen
and brewer of London, whose family had migrated from Melton Mowbray to
London in Elizabethan times. He died in 1576, leaving a widow Margery,
and an infant son Henry. Margery Draper (whose sister was Dame Alice
Owen) died in 1601 and her son Henry Draper, citizen and beer-brewer of
London, died in 1615, leaving this estate to his eldest son John Draper, who
died without issue. After the death of John Draper his brothers Henry and
Thomas, with their mother Sara, then the wife of William Iremonger, conveyed it, in 1635, to Roger Draper, their cousin, grandson of the firstmentioned John Draper. Roger Draper, of Islington, citizen and merchant
tailor of London, who left a sum of money for apprenticing poor boys in
Hornsey, died in 1659, and was succeeded by his nephew Thomas (afterwards Sir Thomas Draper, bart.) son of his brother Robert Draper of Remenham, Berks (d. 1642). Sir Thomas Draper (1625–1703) was the last of his
family to own the estate, which he sold in 1662 to Peter Sambrooke of London,
Peter Sambrooke, then of St. Anne, Blackfriars, died in 1692 leaving
an only son, John Sambrooke, and a widow Sara. Their descendant Thomas
Sambrooke, citizen and embroiderer of London, died in 1777, and his widow
and daughter sold the estate to Gregory Bateman of Maiden Lane, Covent
Garden, gentleman. In the words of Mr. King:
No. 1: The mansion here represented [Plate 104] was built from the
Model of Wanstead House by direction of an eminent Solicitor named "Bateman,"
who was ruined by the undertaking, and henceforth became designated as "Bateman's folly." It continued unoccupied for many years, when it was purchased by
Philip Hurd, esquire, who made many picturesque improvements and suppl[i]ed
the Lawn with Deer. He afterwards pulled down the park paling and built a
Brick Wall instead; also altered the carriage entrance and built a lodge at the
side in Swaines Lane. In the year 1850 the whole of the property was Sold and
splendid Villas built on its site.
The manorial records show that in 1783, Gregory Bateman of Kentish
Town surrendered the land and "a new erected messuage or mansion house
lately built by Gregory Bateman" (Plate 2b) to Francis Biddulph, James
Cocks and Thomas Somers Cocks of Charing Cross, bankers, by whom it
was sold in 1819 to Philip Hurd of the Inner Temple and of Kentish Town.
He is entered in Holden's Triennial Directory for 1808 as "Commissioner
for taking Affidavits in the county palatine of Lancaster, 7, King's Bench
Walk, Temple." He died on 28th June, 1831, aged 55, and his widow, Ann
Hurd, died on 26th March, 1847, in her 70th year. (ref. 102) The house was
demolished in 1850 and the Hurd trustees laid out St. Alban's Road,
granting building leases of Nos. 1–11, St. Alban's Road, Nos. 1–14, St.
Alban's Villas and Nos. 1–4, Holly Lodge Villas in the years 1850–2. (ref. 103)
In 1864 they sold the whole estate consisting of 22a 1r 17p, to Angela
Georgina Burdett Coutts. (ref. 104)
Four houses (described by Mr. King, Nos. 2, 3 and 4 below), which
formerly fronted the road between Bateman's house and the Bull and Last,
were built about 1771. Of these houses, Mr. King writes:
No. 2: The family residence of —. Grob, esquire, of very long standing, a
German Sugar Merchant in the City, whose descendants continue in occupation.
No. Adjoining thereto lived the Browell family for many years.
The Convent of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
now occupies the site of these houses, the frontage of which, enclosed from
the waste, was owned by John Burchett at the time of his death in 1723.
His wife Catherine conveyed it in the following year to Richard Hartwell of
St. Ann, Westminster, oilman, who was a Quaker. After his death in 1769
his son and granddaughter sold to Matthew Clark of Holborn, pawnbroker
and salesman, "a parcel of waste in Green Street" which was immediately
sold by Clark to Gregory Bateman, "except the part on which three houses
have been erected." These three houses were acquired by Bateman in 1773
and 1776. He leased "a messuage, lately two messuages and six acres" to
Gilbert Parke in 1778.
At the sale of Bateman's property in 1820 Henry Browell bought
"a messuage late two messuages in the occupation of Henry Browell and 5a
1r 13p of land," while Charles Greenwood bought "a messuage in the
occupation of Mrs. Grob," which he sold to Henry Browell in 1829. In
Holden's Triennial Directory for 1808 appear "Mr. Henry Browell, Grove,
Kentish Town" and "John Ernest Grob, esquire, Kentish Town," the
relative sizes of the houses being indicated by the Land Tax Assessments,
viz., Philip Hurd, £200, Mr. "Grubb" £42 and H. Browell £80. Miss
Browell had a boarding school in Kentish Town in 1808 (Holden) but it
does not appear whether this was in the "messuage late two messuages"
adjoining Mr. Grob's house. In later times Henry Bessemer (later Sir Henry)
the inventor of Bessemer steel lived here and named the house "Charlton
House" from the name of his birthplace in Hertfordshire. The two houses
were sold by Herbert Browell, son of Henry Browell, to Meaburn Tatham
in 1850, and by him to the convent in 1864.
Mr. King continues: No. 3. The premises were formerly occupied by
the Kemble family, the well known Tragedian, afterwards by— Armstrong
esquire, who enlarged the building in the rear and made it a splendid mansion which
is now in possession of Jas. Wells Taylor, esqr.
The Records show that in 1781 Gregory Bateman leased to Richard
Christmas for 57 years an acre of land abutting north on the premises of
Gilbert Parke and south on premises of Gabriel Wirgman. (ref. 104) In 1802 Richard
Stringer of the Strand, St. Martin's in the Fields, druggist, leased to Joseph
Shepherd Munden of Kentish Town, esquire, a messuage at the upper end of
Green Street and land containing one acre abutting west on the highway,
north on a garden late in the occupation of Gilbert Parke, esquire, and south
on a messuage late in the occupation of Mr. Gabriel Wirgman. (ref. 105) This lease
was assigned by Mr. Munden in 1814 to Richard Armstrong of Kentish
Town, esquire, who bought the copyhold at the Bateman sale in 1819 viz. "two
messuages erected on the waste abutting south on the "Bull and Last,"
north on premises of Henry Browell, west on the road, and east on a close
heretofore in the occupation of Joseph Shepherd Munden and Gabriel
Wirgman, now of Richard Armstrong and Samuel Block," in all 4a 3r 4p.
This property, Croft Lodge, was conveyed in 1861 by George Armstrong
of Betchworth, Surrey, esquire, to Henry Jenkin Gotto of Oxford Street,
stationer, the tenant then being Wells Taylor. (ref. 106) The houses in Croftdown
Road now occupy the site. The interesting statement by Mr. King regarding
the Kemble family is not corroborated by the records of the property, but,
in view of the general accuracy of his notes is doubtless correct.
No. 4: This pretty villa was formerly tenanted by Joseph Munden, the
Comedian of known celebrity, afterwards by the Wright family and is now in the
occupation of an Old Lady of the name of Steele.
As shown above, this house when bought by Mr. Armstrong in 1819
was mentioned as formerly in the occupation of Joseph Shepherd Munden.
It was leased by Armstrong to Thomas Steele in 1823 for 21 years.
No. 5: The Bull and Last Inn (Plate 3a) as it appeared in "Olden
Times" before it was pulled down and rebuilt; so called because it was the last
Inn for Travellers in the Village this side of Highgate. It was a general house of
call for Waggons and heavy goods packages, large and small coming from the North
of England as a Depot, before they reached London, which gave rest to Man and
Beast, as Waggons contained many Sleeping Passengers in those days as well as
The earliest mention of this inn which can be identified is in 1728
when George Holder inherited from his father George Holder of Kentish
Town, cordwainer, "a parcel of waste in Green Street and a cottage." After
the death of George Holder the son, without issue, it came to his second
cousin Jane, wife of Charles Wood of Heybridge, Essex, gentleman, formerly
Jane Cornish daughter of Thomas and Jane Cornish of Tyborn Rockswell,
Essex, yeoman, cousin of George Holder of St. Pancras, victualler. In 1777
Charles Wood and his wife leased it to John Oliver, and on 22nd December,
1786, sold it to John Cheeke of White Hart Yard, Drury Lane, carpenter.
The present building is modern but retains the old name.
The site of Nos. 29 and 30, Grove Terrace, was enclosed from the waste
in 1764 when it was granted to Peter Clarke of the Bull and Last as "a parcel of
waste south of his garden." In 1777 Peter Clarke, victualler, then of Sutton
in Yorkshire, yeoman, conveyed to Richard Kelsall of the Society of Cliffords
Inn the same piece of waste, by that time converted into a garden 110 feet
in length and 60 feet wide. From him it was acquired in 1783 by John
Cheeke, junior, of White Hart Lane, Drury Lane, carpenter. In 1794
Hannah Fox Cheeke succeeded to this as well as to the Bull and Last on the
death of her brother, intestate. She died on 7th October, 1833, the wife of
Richard Cooke, esquire. Her will shows (ref. 107) that she was living then at No. 50,
Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, in the house of George Lee, tailor,
to whom she left £25 and the like amount to his wife Martha, as well as all
her furniture. She mentions that she was living separate and apart from her
husband "by virtue of a sentence of the Ecclesiastical Court". Her marriage
settlement was dated 22nd August, 1795, and Richard Cooke was then
described as of Norton Street and Portland Road "statuary and mason".
In 1822, when the Earl of Dartmouth (ref. 108) leased to him a site 112 feet in
length from the south end of the Terrace, he was described as "of Caldecot
Lodge, Aldenham, esquire", and similarly when he himself leased No. 5,
South Terrace to Thomas Gardiner in the following year. (ref. 109)
No. 6: In the year 1788 an eccentrick character named Cheeke, a Builder,
purchased a large peice of Ground for building purposes which, being elevated
above the road, was of sufficient length to erect 27 Houses, which were not completed
in his life time. Among the many persons he employed was a young man named
Richard Cooke, a Stonemason, living in the New Road (i.e. Euston Road), who
paid great attention to Mr. Cheek's only daughter and, against the consent of her
father, married her; which proved a most unhappy marriage, and soon seperated.
Cheeke did not survive to see his plans finished, which devolved upon his son in law
to complete, who lived on the property til he died in the year 1850.
The whole terrace of houses appears on J. Thompson's map of 1804,
showing 22 houses. From the rate books it appears that numbers 18 to 27
were built about the year 1780 and the rest in 1793. The open ground in
front of Grove Terrace was enclosed from the common in the year 1772 by
Frances Catherine, wife of William [Legge] 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, and
daughter of Sir Charles Gunter-Nicholl (d. 1733), from whom she inherited
what was later called the Dartmouth Park Estate, amounting to 37a 2r 20p.,
in 1669, when her great-grandfather Richard Nicoll came into possession on
the death of his brother Basil Nicoll. It was on the frontage of this estate
that Grove Terrace was built.
The field next shown by our artist with two houses adjoining Mr.
Wetherall's house northward, belonged to the Earl of Dartmouth, and
Dartmouth Park Road, which traverses the earl's estate, now joins Highgate
Road between these two houses and the barn and hayrick pictured. It
remained in the ownership of the descendants of Richard Nicoll, as shown in
the genealogical table on p. 38, where the names of the actual owners are
shown in heavy type.
No. 7: This Mansion was the property of — Wetherall, esquire,
Printer and Publisher. It had many Acres of Land attached to it, which made it a
most desirable aristrocratic residence. It was afterwards purchased by Griffinhooffe,
esquire, and when he died it was sold by auction and purchased by Joseph Taylor,
esquire, who built an additional Story to it, and is now occupied on lease by Thomas
Spalding, esquire. Attached thereto is a very substantial dwelling, formerly
occupied by two families, but has since been converted into one, then tenanted by
Oridge, esquire, now by Rogers, an eminent gold and silver Lace Man.
No. 8 was a French Academy kept by a gentleman of the name of Jollie,
who, on the breaking out of the French Revolution in the year 1789 introduced the
manual exercise and had his pupils regularly drilled and dressed in uniform, all
conducted in military order according to French nationality.
In 1601 the site of these houses belonged to Sir Hugh Cholmeley or
Cholmondeley of Cholmondeley in Cheshire, who died on 23rd July in that
year, seised of a messuage, garden and three closes of land containing 14 acres.
His wife was Mary, only daughter of Christopher Holford. She was born at
Nether Peover, Cheshire, on 20th January, 1563, and died 15th August,
1625. They had four sons and the estate descended firstly to the eldest son
Robert and then to his nephew Robert. This land is now occupied by Chetwynd Road, Twisden Road, Spencer Road and Churchill Road.
Sir Hugh Cholmondeley was born in 1552, was M.P. for Cheshire in
1585, was knighted 1588, and became sheriff of Cheshire in 1589. His father
Sir Hugh Cholmondeley died in 1597 when he was 46 years of age. Robert
Cholmondeley, eldest son of Sir Hugh the second, was born at Crouch End in
Hornsey on 26th June, 1584, was created a baronet 29th June, 1611, was
sheriff of Cheshire in 1620–1, and M.P. for Cheshire in 1625. He was
created Viscount Cholmondeley in 1628 and Earl of Leinster on 5th March,
1646. He married Catherine, daughter of John, Lord Stanhope of Harrington (she died 15th June, 1657). He died without issue on 8th October, 1659,
and was succeeded by Robert, son of his deceased brother Hugh Cholmondeley, esquire. This Robert Cholmondeley, who married Elizabeth, daughter
of George Craddock, was created Viscount Cholmondeley of Cholmondeley
on 29th March, 1661, and died in 1681.
There is no evidence that the Cholmondeleys lived here, although
"Lord Cholmly" in 1656 was found to have enclosed with the "pales before
his house" a strip of land 50 feet long by 3 feet wide and filled in a pond,
part of it being within and part without the said pales. He had licence in
1658 to lease the estate for 7 years. When his nephew Robert came into the
property the three closes comprising it had increased to four and the acreage
from 14 acres to 19 acres.
[Pedigree of the owners of Dartmouth Park Estate]
In 1663 Robert Viscount Cholmondeley conveyed the land to John
Haling of London, haberdasher, and Katherine his wife. He was granted a
piece of the waste lying before his dwelling house 52 feet long and 10 feet
wide, in 1689. John Haling evidently married twice, since he conveyed to
a lawyer in trust for himself and Anne his wife a capital messuage in Kentish
Town in his own occupation and 19 acres, in 1697, presumably a marriage
settlement. He died in 1699 and by his will dated 20th, proved 23rd September, 1699, (ref. 110) left the property to his wife who appears in 1700 as Anne
Smith, wife of Nicholas Smith of London, gentleman. When they settled
the property in 1701 the acreage was given as 20 instead of 19.
"Anne Smith of Green Street, widow" made her will on 16th March,
1719 and it was proved on 25th May following. (ref. 111) She directed that the house
in which she lived and 22 acres of meadow in the manor of "Cantling" should
be sold. To her brothers James Harris and Robert Harris she left a lease
from St. John's College, Cambridge, which she had from John Haling of a
messuage in Green Street in the occupation of Hatton, barber, and a messuage
adjoining in the tenure of her brother Robert Harris, and a messuage adjoining
in the occupation of Crooke and a barn adjoining the messuage in the occupation of Hatton, and 24 acres of meadow. The College land lay southward of
the estate with which we are now dealing, as will appear.
The purchaser of Mrs. Smith's estate was John Haddon of Kentish
Town, who was admitted 17th December, 1719, although the entry is missing
on the rolls. In 1761 he sold the estate to Henry Woodfall, citizen and
stationer of London, having leased it the previous year to Thomas Basnett of
Green Street for 40 years. Henry Woodfall, who was the proprietor of the
Morning Advertiser, has been noticed in Part I (Highgate Village, p. 75) of this
survey in connection with a house that he owned at the top of West Hill.
At his death in 1769 it passed to his wife Mary Woodfall, and after her death,
in 1784, to her son William Woodfall. In 1823 the trustee leased the house
and land to Benjamin Cooke Griffenhoofe, an attorney, of No. 9, Gray's Inn
Square, for 21 years. The ownership remained in the possession of the Woodfall family until 6th July, 1874, when William Henry Junius Woodfall of
Brentford and Francis Edward Tidd Woodfall of Haddenham, Thame,
Oxfordshire, sold it to William Francis Webb of Court Villa, Broxbourne,
esquire, Arthur William Webb of the Elms, Boreham Wood, and Montague
William Webb of No. 6, Park Lane, Stoke Newington. It was then described
as Grove End House, Grove End Villa and Grove End Lodge, on the east
side of Highgate Road, at Kentish Town, with land containing 6a. or. 38 p.
The frontage then extended from Dartmouth Park Road on the north nearly
to the Tottenham and Hampstead Junction Railway (which was opened in
1868) on the south, and the grounds of Grove End House were bounded on
the east by York Rise. (ref. 112) The original extent of the estate is shown on
No. 9: St. John's Farm in the occupation of — Minshull, esquire, a
county magistrate of high respectability until he died. It is surrounded by 
acres of land in the rear, which are very tastefully cultivated.
Here Mr. King is dealing with property on the estate of St. John's
College, Cambridge, held on lease from the College, and consequently not
individually mentioned on the court rolls of Cantlowes manor. This estate
was bequeathed to the College by William Platt (pp. 77 and 78) of Highgate Hill, who seems to have lived in a leasehold house on the Hornsey side
of the road, near Cromwell House. The St. John's College estate came to
him from his grandfather Richard Platt, citizen and brewer of London who
granted leases of portions of it in 1598 and 1599 to Richard Balthropp,
citizen and brewer of London, Valentine Cutts and Thomas Anderson.
Richard Platt died on 28th November, 1600, aged 76, and a portrait of
him may be seen at Brewers' Hall. He was buried at St. James Garlickhithe,
and Strype gives the inscription, which says he was chosen Sheriff (though he
did not serve) and founded a free school in Aldenham (fn. †) . One of his sons
was Hugh Platt, who was knighted on 22nd May, 1605, and wrote many
works on scientific subjects. Perhaps his best known work is "The Jewell
House of Art and Nature" (1613). He was a governor of Sir Roger Cholmeley's Grammar School at Highgate from 1592 until his death in 1608,
but resided at Bethnal Green. (ref. 113) His widow, Dame Judith Platt, was buried
at Highgate on 28th January, 1635–6.
William Platt, son of Sir Hugh and grandson of Richard Platt,
married Mary, daughter of Sir John Hungerford of Down Ampney,
Gloucestershire, and died on 7th November, 1637, aged 45. In his will (ref. 114) he
mentions that he had assured to his wife his lands at Kentish Town late in the
several tenures of Sir William Plomer, (fn. *) Thomas Anderson and Valentine Cutts.
His will recites many facts of biographical interest. Regarding his brother
Robert he says, "I now perceive to my great grief that my said brother is so
wedded to gaming as that if I should permit my estate to descend to him he
were very likely to consume it all away to nothing in satisfying of his pleasures
in gaming and so to make no good use thereof, but sinfully to spend the same,
he being so addicted to gaming for these many years together now last past
as that I find no persuasions can prevail with him to dissuade him therefrom
until it shall please God wonderfully to change his heart, for which I heartily
pray Him who is only able that to do; yet because he is my only brother both
by father and mother and albeit I have already paid divers debts for him I am not
willing to exclude him wholly from the benefit of my estate." He then proceeds
with similar verbosity to bequeath to the thriftless Robert an annuity of £80.
To St. John's College, Cambridge he bequeathed his wife's jointure
lands in Cow Cross Street, St. Sepulchre's and in Cantlowes, St. Pancras,
mentioning that the yearly income was about £214 and likely to amount to
£600 yearly when the leases fell in. He gave the College all the deeds and
"my two mappes of survey (fn. *) expressing the boundaries of the same and also the
table of my late dear sister Judith Plattes monument with the silk curtains
thereto hanging in the winter gallery in my dwelling house at Highgate, but
the same College not to have the same table until after my said wife's death if
she shall desire to keep the same for her life time." In the event of his brother
Robert selling his annuity and being in want the College was to provide for
him after his mother's death. He afterwards revoked the bequest of the
drawing of his sister's monument and substituted one of his own monument.
(Plates 36 and 37.) His widow was to have a monument made for him and
herself "according to the pattern by me already made of the same." This
monument, interesting as having been designed by William Platt himself, was
fixed on the north wall of Highgate Chapel, near the east end, between the
two windows of the chancel, and was removed in 1833 (when the Chapel was
rebuilt) to Old St. Pancras Church, where it remains (see p. 78). As stated
on this monument his widow Mary afterwards married Edward Tucker of
Maddingley. A comparison of the phrasing of his will with the publications
of his father shows that their mentality was similar. The will was dated
21st August, 1632, but before Platt died in 1637 he added no less than five
codicils, including lengthy dissertations on his lawsuits and on the subject of
trial by battle. The final codicil was made on the day of his death.
St. John's College Cambridge.
After the death of Mrs. Tucker in 1686 the College came into possession, subject to the yearly payment of £10 to ten poor persons living at
Highgate Green, £4 to four poor persons at Kentish Town and £ 6 for the
relief of the poor of Hornsey, which money was to be spent in fuel and
William Minshull, esquire, was the second son of William Minshull
of Aston Clinton, Bucks, esquire, and died on 26th March, 1836, aged 72
years, having lived here upwards of 30 years. (ref. 116) The occupier in 1859 was
William Watson Poole.
No. 10: A litigated property until recently, when a plot of houses were built
thereon called Fitzroy Terrace.
Three detached houses, occupied by a baker, builder and carpenter,
separated from the next site by a lane called Little Green Street stand on a
site granted to John Perryman in 1723. After his death it was conveyed
to Dorothy Ambler, widow, in 1731, and on her death in 1738 passed to her
daughter Mary, wife of John Butcher. Mrs. Butcher's son Samuel sold it in
1747 to John James, carpenter, by whom it was sold to John West of Holborn,
baker, in 1761. An empty house, formerly occupied by Mr. Smith, carpenter,
was then standing on the site. John West died in 1763 and his son William
West of Green Street, gentleman, conveyed the premises to John Foothead of
Gilbert Street, Bloomsbury, bricklayer, in 1775, as "a messuage in Green
Street late in the occupation of William West and now of William Tratt,
baker." In the following year it was conveyed to Isaac Peat of Peters Street,
Bloomsbury, wine merchant, being then occupied by widow Dorsett. In 1779
Joseph Clarke, builder, leased from Isaac Peat two houses occupied by Widow
Dorsett and John Turpin, baker, which took the place of the house formerly
occupied by William Tratt. After the death of Elizabeth Peat, widow of
Isaac Peat, Richard Morgan of Kentish Town, farmer, acquired the premises
from her executors, in 1795. In 1815 Fitzroy Terrace consisted of 6 houses,
two being occupied and four unfinished. The Hampstead and Tottenham
Junction Railway, opened in 1868, crosses the site. (ref. 117)
No. 11: These premises were the property of a Mr. McDonald, who carried
on the business of a wax chandler, when in the course of melting his wax it boiled
over and the factory caught fire, which, being of wood, soon ignited and burnt everything within its destructive element. A great portion of the Wax was saved by its
running into the ditch which still remains at the back of the premises in College
Lane, and which appeared like a clear stream of milk on the surface.
The lane shown on the left of Mr. Macdonald's house in Mr. King's
view still exists as Little Green Street (Green Street being the ancient name
of Highgate Road), running into College Lane. The site was first enclosed in
1723 when Thomas Fulker of St. Paul's Covent Garden, wheelwright, was
granted a piece of the waste abutting east on the land of St. John's College,
Cambridge, in the possession of Richard Hicks, and north on the Church
Way. In 1725 he conveyed it to John Shorter of Rotherhithe, gentleman. In
1741 it was occupied by a Charles Davenant and was conveyed in 1757 to
John Gregory, esquire, who leased it in 1777 to Isaac Hedges of Holborn,
stone mason, and James Walker of Kentish Town, carpenter, for 61 years. (ref. 118)
When John Gregory died it passed to his only son George Gregory, Ensign in
the 46th Foot, and was sold in 1790 by him and his mother, Mary Gregory
of Corsham, Wilts, to James Christie of Pall Mall, who leased it in that year
to Michael McDonogh of Kentish Town, wax manufacturer. (ref. 119) By him the
lease was assigned to Thomas Davison of Poland Street, victualler.
Below Little Green Street No. 124 has been refronted but may be the
little house shown by Mr. King. Next to it is a much larger house double
fronted but with three windows only, whereas Mr. King shows one with
five. Then comes an early row numbered 98 to 110.
No. 12: An old established inn called the Vine, from the side of which
the first coaches in the village started when two only were on the road, by W. Horton.
One went in the Morning to London and returned at Noon, the other at Noon and
returned in the Evening. (This was in the year 1788.) It was afterward conducted by his successor named Odams who, being civil and obliging, did very well
and saved money.
This site was enclosed from the waste in 1724 by John Wiblin,
carpenter, and sold by his son Henry Wiblin, mariner, to James Horton of
Clerkenwell, gentleman, in 1748. He died on 5th June, 1759, aged 68
years, when it passed to his daughter Mary Cugnoni, widow of Ignatius
Cugnoni, who in 1772, when she was described as of Duke Street, Lincoln's
Inn Fields, obtained from Mary, wife of Thomas Sanders, the daughter of
John Wiblin, a portion of the original site not sold to James Horton, on which
stables were built.
In 1787 it was found that John Jater of the Vine Alehouse had encroached on the road leading to the Race Field, and he was ordered to restore
the same on pain of forfeiting £20. In 1795 Mary Cugnoni of Upper Charlotte Street, St. Pancras, widow, leased to William Odams of Kentish Town,
victualler, for 60 years the Vine Alehouse, garden and skittle ground in Green
Street, with a room or chamber over certain stables late in the occupation of
John Parker and then of William Odams: also a tenement, stables and coachhouses formerly in the occupation of Thomas Horton and then of John Bedford. (fn. *) By this time another house had been built on the land, which Mr. King
describes as follows. (ref. 120)
No. 13: A gentleman's Seat tenanted by Captain Peyton, a retired officer
in His Majesty's Service (George III). Since then it has been occupied at various
times as a School Establishment alternately for Ladies and Young Gentlemen, it
being roomy and very pleasantly situate back and front and well suited for that
particular purpose, and is so engaged up to the present day, known as Woodland
Until the year 1838 this site, forming part of the waste granted to
John Wiblin in 1724, remained in the same ownership as the Vine. James
Cugnoni, M.D., died on 17th February, 1827, aged 73, and his executors
sold it eleven years later to Sarah Brown, the occupier then being one Cradon.
In 1843 Edward Rawles and his wife (evidently Sarah Brown) conveyed it
to W. A. Moulting and another, with the playground, schoolrooms and
garden as well as a messuage shop, etc. Mr. Moulting conveyed it in 1845
to C. A. Hackett and he to Isaac Ward in 1848, by whom it was conveyed
to John Orchart in 1855. In 1858 the schoolmaster was Mr. Tuff.
No. 14: An old substantial cottage known as "the Bridge House" having
an extensive Garden extending to the verge of the old river Fleet, which crosses the
Road, meandering thro Mansfield Place. . . . No. — where the water carts
stand was a pond, and cattle used to drink therefrom, and water carts were supplied
by being backed and filled in the old fashioned way to water the roads.
The opening shown by Mr. King on the left of Bridge House is
College Lane, and the garden of Bridge House extended by the roadside
behind the paling fence shown, as far as the pond, which is bounded by the
open rail fence. This site was enclosed in 1723 by William Bownus, farrier.
The land behind, belonging to St. John's College, was tenanted at that time
by Richard Hicks, apothecary, who farmed five acres from the College and
objected to this diminution of his rights of common. He lost his case. The
successive owners were Sir Thomas Mackworth of Kentish Town, bt. (1734),
Alexander Hewett of Paternoster Row, watch engraver (1746), John James
of Kentish Town, carpenter (1753), and John Lee of Bedfordbury, carpenter,
1761. At this time the garden did not extend as far as the pond, but in 1764
John Lee was granted a plot 65 feet from the end of his garden towards the
bridge, 30 feet wide, on condition that he and his successors cleansed the pond
adjoining. Numbers 44 to 58 Highgate Road now stand on the site and
Burghley Road joins Highgate Road where the pond lay. The stream which
Mr. King called the Fleet drained a large pond at the bottom of the garden
attached to Kentish Town House, where Brookfield Park is now. The
stream now runs in a sewer under York Rise and Burghley Road.
John Lee was followed in 1769 by George Booth of the Middle
Temple, gentleman, two houses on the site being then occupied by John Lee
and Sarah Jones. In 1779 Mr. Booth mortgaged the property to Richard
Jones of Middle Temple Lane, law stationer, who foreclosed and took possession in 1787. In 1789 it was presented in the manor court that the
stoppage of the footpath called the Back Alley and that part of it down from
the Vine public house to the Bridge House enclosed by Mr. Layton was an
encroachment on public convenience and that the obstruction ought forthwith
to be removed "so that the passage of Back Alley be rendered passable as
heretofore." Mr. Layton was ordered to remove it within ten days under
penalty of £20. This mandate was evidently enforced and the passage yet
remains. Richard Jones died in 1791 leaving a son William aged 15 and two
daughters, Elizabeth Louisa (who afterwards married Charles Russell of
Barbican, clock-case maker) and Martha. (ref. 121) On the death of William Jones
unmarried, his sister Mrs. Russell came into possession in 1815. In 1827
Charles Russell was granted "waste near the bridge between the south end
of the garden and the pond, including part of the pond as now filled up."
As late as 1871 the house and garden remained unchanged, although Burghley
Road had then been made.
There is an old house to-day numbered 58 which corresponds in a
marked degree to the Old Bridge House on Mr. King's plan. It has a similar
wing to the south and borders a passageway on the north which only leads
into a yard. North of the way are two shops both probably early nineteenth
No. 15: This used to be a Methodist Chapel, the first and only one Established in the village, with no settled Minister, but left open for any itinerant who
came gratuitiously to do duty, which was usually well attended on every occasion.
This Chapel was built by Thomas Walton of Kentish Town, yeoman,
on a piece of waste land granted him in 1778, and in 1828, when it belonged
to Daniel Davies of Warwick Street, gentleman, had been converted to a
dwelling house in the possession of Thomas Jennings.
No. 16: Stand two noble houses which from their elevation command an
extended prospect back and front. The first was occupied by an eminent surgeon of
the firm of "Freaks and Fallowfield"; the front enclosure was his Paddock, on
the frontage of which stands the Police Station, with Houses right and left, back
and sides, leading to the Great North Road.
The houses to the right of the Chapel, front Willow Walk. This land
was owned in 1656 by Robert Bainbridge of London, brazier, who also
occupied three acres of land which Eleanor Palmer, who died on 29th
February, 1558, the widow of John Palmer of Kentish Town, and daughter of
Edward Cheeseman of Dormanswell, Hayes, had given for the benefit of the
poor of Kentish Town and Chipping Barnet. When John Dobey of Holborn,
haberdasher, died in 1795 his only son William Dobey of Lynall, Ombersley,
Worcester, came into possession of a group of houses here, occupied by
"Penelope Hite, Freake, Fallowfield, Doctor Rowley and Finney Sirdefield,
linendraper." Mr. King shows himself here, as in many other instances, to
have been exceedingly well informed as to the houses and their occupants.
Willow Walk remains with two early houses on the south side. It is a little
above the junction with Fortess Road.
No. 17: This row of small cottages have greatly altered its former
Character; half have been pulled down and brought forward and the whole
number converted into Shops of a respectable order. No. 18 was formerly called
"Village House" and occupied by Captain Finch, uncle to the respectable family
who reside in the Village and bear his name. It was very pleasantly situate, with a
commanding view to and fro.
It is evident that this is a view before Junction Road was made. A
plan of "The Intended Junction from Kentish Town to the Line of the Highgate Archway" prepared by Robert Vazie, surveyor, in September, 1810,
shows "T. Finch" as owner of a triangular block of houses, including one at
the apex, evidently "Village House." Junction Road runs across the site
of the farm buildings shown between Captain Finch's house and the Assembly
House. We now enter Kentish Town Road.
No. 19: The old Assembly House (Plate 3b) of very long standing and
was held in great repute, being a pleasant distance from London, when those
who sought a Country Walk could there meet with every enjoyment a Country
Inn could supply; besides which it was famed for Club dinners annually given,
called "Beanfeasts". There was also a reserved Parlor where none but the Members of a Society called "Social Villagers" were permitted to enter, which consisted
of the Aristocracy of the Village and where many cheerful evenings were spent as
far as the Glass and the Pipe could furnish, to pass a convivial hour, which often
cheered their buoyant spirits and sent them home "merry".
The manor courts of Cantlowes were frequently held at the Assembly
House; twenty-two courts are noted as having been held here between the
years 1810 and 1842.
Adjoining No. 20 to the Assembly House was a field, which is built upon,
extending up to Maiden Lane, known as Gloucester Place, situate on the Torianno
The estate, which included the "Bull" or "Assembly House",
consisted of five fields containing about 42 acres which, in 1793, belonged
to the descendants of John Cox the Elder of London, soap-maker, viz.,
Mary Comarque de Bavois formerly of Avignon, France, but then living
at Rome (daughter of Henrietta Comarque, desceased) and Joshua Prole
Torriano of Ruxley Place, Thames Ditton, esquire (surviving son of Hillary
Torriano, son of Elizabeth Torriano, heretofore Elizabeth Renou, one of
the grand-daughters of John Cox). (ref. 122) Mr. J. P. Torriano laid out Leighton
Road (formerly Gloucester Place), Leighton Grove and Torriano Avenue,
selling the adjoining land in building plots. Honoria, (ref. 123) sister of J. P.
Torriano, married Henry Thomas Williams and a half share of the estate in
1844 belonged to Sir David Leighton of Charlton Kings, Gloucester, K.C.K.,
Major General H.E.I.C., and Dame Isabella Constantia his wife, one of
the four daughters of Mrs. Williams. By that time, however, the greater
part had been sold. (ref. 124)
No. 21: On this very spot a respectable Cornchandler lived, of the name of
Sewel. To get to his parlour you ascended a Step Ladder. Which was tastefully
furnished in the old fashioned style. Under were deposited trusses of Hay and
Straw, Corn, etc., and when the premises fell to decay they were purchased by a
Mr. Evans [who built] thereon six houses. On the very scite of Mr. Sewel's house
the artist of this sketch has resided for more than 20 years.
This site was leased from Mr. Torriano by Thomas Evans, and the
houses built by him were called Montague Place. Actually the frontage had
formerly been waste land, enclosed some time before 1730, since a house
stood there in that year. It was acquired in 1790 from William Morgan,
yeoman, by Joshua Prole Torriano, and went to his sister Honoria after his
death, in 1825, when there were five houses on the site. For us, however, the
greatest interest lies in the fact that the accomplished artist with whose work
we are dealing lived here. In 1848 six houses stood here, called Montague
Place, James Frederick King being at No. 3, rated at £30. (ref. 117) The houses
were probably swept away when the Midland Railway Company built Kentish
No. 22: A house tenanted by a respectable private family, who allowed
it to be used as a dissenting place of Worship every Sabbath day, until another more
eligible was established at Trafalgar Place. About this time balooning became a
frequent occurrence. Montgolfier commenced, then Blanchard and Lunardi. The
above was exhibited by Lunardi in the year 1785, which has continued periodically,
some with more success than others, and has proved fatal to many from various
A full account of Vincenzo Lunardi will be found in the Dictionary of
No. 23 is A scetch of a very old house generally known as Morgan's Farm.
Its early history is not correctly known; some record it as being built in the reign of
Henry the 8th, others that it was a hunting seat of Nell Gwynn and Charles the
2nd; also that it became a Lodge belonging to the Earl of Essex where he kept his
Harriers. Be that as it may, it seems to have been in times gone by a very Aristocratic residence until it fell into the possession of a wealthy farmer.
The notes by Mr. King show that, as is usual, popular legends had
developed to supply the place of history regarding this ancient house, probably
an Elizabethan structure (Plate 4). The estate belonged to Christ Church,
Oxford, to which it was given by Dr. South in 1717. The earlier story is as
follows. Sir William Hewett, clothworker, was a governor of Highgate
School from 1565 until his death on 25th January, 1566–7. He was elected
alderman in 1550, sheriff, 1553–4, Lord Mayor, 1559–60, and was knighted
on 21st January, 1560. He married Alice, 3rd daughter of Nicholas Levison
of Halling, Kent, and she died 8th April, 1561. A portrait of him is at Hornby
In 1610 Sir Thomas Hewett leased this land to Peter Benson for
21 years. He died in 1623 and the estate descended successively to his
brother Sir William Hewett, who died in 1636, and Sir George Hewett,
aged 11, son of Sir Thomas and grandson of Sir William, who was created
Viscount Hewett of Gowran, co. Kilkenny, on 9th April, 1689, and died in
the following December, aged 37.
On 13th April, 1689, Lord Hewett surrendered to the Rev. Robert
South, D.D., a capital messuage and a barn of 9 bays, an orchard, a garden
and the conigree, Great Field or Tanhouse Field and Carters Close, containing
31 acres, with a messuage then divided into two cottages and ten acres of
land, in the occupation of Richard Penner. Dr. South was the son of Robert
South, a London merchant, and was born at Hackney on 4th September,
1634. Among his various preferments were prebendary of Westminster,
30th March, 1663, chaplain to the Duke of York (afterwards James II)
1667, canon of Christ Church, 29th December, 1670, and rector of Islip,
1678. He lived on his estate at Caversham and died on 8th July, 1716. In
his will (ref. 125) he bequeathed his estate at Caversham and this estate at Kentish
Town to his housekeeper Mrs. Margaret Hammond during her life, and
immediately after her death to the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral and
Collegiate Church of Christ in Oxford. Margaret Hammond married Henry
Smith of Caversham, esquire, and died in 1735, when the church came into
On this estate are now Caversham Road, Islip Road, Gaisford Street,
and Oseney Crescent, evidently so called from Oxford associations. On the
triangular piece of waste ground southward of the house the manor pound
used to stand. It was still there in 1832 when the site was granted to the
Christ Church Oxford
The Morgan family farmed extensively in St. Pancras. The will of
William Morgan of Kentish Town, farmer, dated 6th February and proved
11th February, 1782, refers to the "leasehold messuage in Kentish Town
where I now dwell and the several fields adjoining," which he left to his son
James Morgan for life, and after to Richard Morgan, eldest son of James.
This was the farm pictured by Mr. King. The testator willed with it his hay,
corn, straw, carts, horses, cows and farming utensils, household furniture,
plate, china, linen, coals, firewood, liquors of all sorts "in my dwelling house
and farm." He also had three cottages and a smith's shop adjoining, occupied
by John Penn, — Heath, Withy and John Joyce. (ref. 126)
No. 24: Very Old Cottages, tenanted by the labouring poor, pulled down
in the year 184—. The path on the side was a short cut into Maiden Lane.
No. 25: On this spot two or three Cottages are erected on the side of the
Cart Road leading to the Meadow, also 10 houses with Garden frontages, besides
an Independent Chapel known as Trafalgar Chapel. The appointed minister was
the Rev. John Haslock who performed his ministerial duties for upwards of 30
years. On the same site Joseph Rickards, a youth 18 years of age was executed
Feby 27, 1786, for the Wilful Murder of Walter Horseman, a dairyman, with
whom he lived Servant. He was hanged opposite the House where the deed was
perpetrated, in Mrs Tew's lair, Kentish Town. The body of the Malefactor was
conveyed to Surgeons Hall for dissection. Before being turned off he desired to see
the widow of the deceased; she was sent for, but was gone to London.
The houses mentioned above formed Trafalgar Place. The Chapel
stood at the southern end.
No. 26: Adjoining thereto was a Nursery Ground and Orchard occupied
by a Man named Allan, a Gardener, fruiterer and florist, on its Site 18 houses are
built known as Bartholomew Place with neat Garden frontages and gardens behind
with an unobstructed view over Holloway and Islington.
Bartholomew Place was built on the frontage of an estate bequeathed
to St. Bartholomew's Hospital by William Cleave, esquire, haberdasher of
London, in 1667, viz., "freehold lands in Kentish Town which Mr. Kettle
holdeth of me by lease". (ref. 127) It was left to him by his uncle Thomas Cleave,
citizen and haberdasher of London, whose will dated 4th August, 1647, was
proved 4th March, 1648. (ref. 128)
No. 27 is a dairyman's cottage, named Waters. On the roadside stood
his cowshed where the refuse used to run into a puddling ditch, into which an
unlucky Horse one dark night stumbled and so fixed himself as to become immoveable.
Ropes were used, but proved useless, when the proprietor had the animal killed and
then drawn out by horses. Four large houses are built thereon called Camden Row.
No. 28: Chesnut Row, so called from two splendid chesnut Trees growing
in front of the road.
We have now arrived at the point where King's Road forks to the
left, an ancient route which, continued as Pancras Road and King's Cross
Road, leads to Clerkenwell. Two wash drawings in the Council's collection
of prints and drawings show the appearance in 1878 (Plate 6). For King's
Road see later (pp. 60–62).
No. 29: This plot of Building divided the two roads the one leading through
Battle Bridge to the City the other through Tottenham Ct Road and all parts Westward. These houses are of wood and of very long standing and are still occupied
by the labouring poor. The Corner House having a garden frontage was converted
into a Shop and was also the post office of the Village.
Both sides of these weather boarded houses are shown on the Plates
referred to above.
No. 30: The public house known as the Nags Head of no particular
In 1699 Nicholas Perryn came into possession of this cottage on the
death of his brother Henry, and was succeeded in 1717 by a third brother
David Perryn, who conveyed it immediately to his son John Peryn and his
wife Helena. From 1719 to 1747 it belonged to John Prater, who left two
sons, from the survivor of whom it was acquired in 1753 by John James of
Kentish Town, carpenter, (ref. 129) whose widow leased it in 1794 to William Wood.
It came to Elizabeth, daughter of John James, who married Robert Morgan.
No. 31 are Some wooden cottages which from decay were pulled down
partially and a brick frontage substituted. When old Bedlam was about to be pulled
down in Moorfields the cottages were engaged by the Directors of that Institution for
some of the more quiet patients until that in St. George's Fields were ready to receive
To-day at the corner of Jeffreys Street and Kentish Town Road, a
little to the north of the Railway, there is a pleasant group of plaster-fronted
houses (Plate 26) numbered 46, 48 and 50 in the main road, and 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
in Jeffreys Street. Nos. 52 to 64 are also fair examples of the brick fronted
type common in London at that period. The site of the old cottages is now
a block of tenements.
No. 32: Opposite to the canal Railway Arches were built which extend
from Chalk farm to Blackwall. When the ground was lett for Building the water
course of the fleet ditch was turned into a drain which ran under the canal and was
filled in with Brick rubbish, and several houses were then built upon the Spot on a
level with the Grass, called Exeter Street. After which the Railway Compy
bought the Property with the Houses, which they pulled down, and planted their
archways on the very spot they should have avoided, on the very site where the
Fleet ditch formerly ran. The heavy mass of Brickwork on so sodden a foundation
suddenly gave way on Sunday morning, which brought down seven beautiful arches
to the ground. Fortunately had it been on another day great loss of life must have
ensued; had the Surveyor studied the map this Event might have been avoided
and great expence spared to the Company.
The canal here shown is, of course, the Regent's Canal where it crosses
Kentish Town Road and the railway is the London Midland and Scottish
branch line from Hampstead to Broad Street, now crossing the road slightly
north of the canal.
No. 33: the end house Camden Row was most delightfully situate with a
commanding view in front and was at that time a gentleman's residence, but is now,
with the front gardens, turned into shops. The small Cottages attached were
respectably tena[n]ted by small families, the garden frontages of each are now
converted into Shops attached to which was the Old Redcap Gardens.
The place where High Street Camden Town, Chalk Farm Road and
Kentish Town Road now meet was formerly called Holts Green and Edward
Drake and Hanna his wife in 1662 possessed a cottage and piece of ground
here previously waste which was the site of these houses. The successive owners
were John Batch, 1662, Andrew Bunion of Holloway, yeoman, 1674, John
Boone of Amersham, draper, 1697, Robert Erick of London, draper, 1699,
John Davison of St. Dunstan's in the West, blacksmith, 1705. He died on
24th June, 1706, and his son sold the property in 1710 to Edward Raven of
St. Bride's, grocer. In 1723 Mr. Raven was permitted to enclose a further
piece of the waste on the north of his garden. When he conveyed his property
in 1757 to Thomas Raven of Threadneedle Street, gunpowder merchant,
there were two houses on the land, which had increased to three when his
daughter Mary, wife of Nicholas Chester of Stepney, ship joiner, succeeded
him in 1764. Her son Nicholas Chester followed her in 1784. In 1805 the
owner was John Joyce, of Kentish Town, smith, who in that year conveyed to
William Weston of Weston Street, St. Pancras, and Edmund James of Kingston, Surrey, this estate, described as Ivy House heretofore occupied by Bayley, afterwards by Allen, late by Holley Spearing and then by Wilson, butcher.
A messuage adjoining the above some time since converted from a stable to a
dwelling house and formerly occupied by Thomas Payne and late by Thomas
Bastin, which was formerly a butcher's shop. A messuage adjoining was
occupied by the Churchwardens and Overseers of St. Pancras. (ref. 130) In Holden's
Directory for 1808 appears John Joyce, smith and farrier at No. 1, Camden
Place, Kentish Town.
HOUSES IN CAMDEN STREET
No. 34: The Old Redcap Gardens (Plate 109) as they appeared in
the year 1790, usually called the Half Way House, it being half way between
London and Highgate. It was the resort for all Country Carts and Waggons who
came to and fro from the north. On Sundays the Londoners used to visit the gardens
as a recreation, which were extensive and were provided with every accommodation
for Tea Parties, it being considered at that period quite "out of Town". The house
from age became dilapidated and a Modern one was built on its scite. The gardens
were disposed of for Building improvements, through which a new road and
Bayham Terrace was formed.
The Mother Red Cap (Plate 7a and 7b) stood on the demesne land of
the manor of Cantlowes the western boundary of which ran along Kentish
Town Road and High Street Camden Town from Bartholomew Road in the
north to Crowndale Road in the south. In 1745 it was found that about half a
rood of land near the Halfway House leading from Hampstead to London
in the possession of George Bird had been at some time taken out of the waste,
being part of the highway. George Bird, victualler, of St. Paul's Covent Garden (who was evidently the owner of the Mother Red Cap at that time) was
granted this piece of waste, abutting west on the London Road, south on his
house and east on land of Nicholas Jeffreys. Peter Bird, who succeeded his
father George in 1764, sold it to David Jones, victualler, in 1771. The latter
leased the land in 1773 to Charles Roberts of South Moulton Row, plasterer,
for 99 years. When Ann Jones followed her husband, in 1795, seven houses
stood on the site, doubtless erected by the lessee Roberts. Three of these
houses were sold in 1825 by William White to John Jackson in trust for the
Camden Road Trustees. Camden Road was then in course of construction
from the Mother Red Cap at Camden Town to Holloway Road.
This completes the Panorama of the east side of Highgate and Kentish