Addington Square, SE5

Place Name

Henry Addington (May 30, 1757 – February 15, 1844), 1st Viscount Sidmouth, was British Prime Minster between 1801 – 1804. Foreign policy was the centrepiece of his term in office. He is best known for obtaining the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, an unfavourable and short-lived peace with Napoleonic France during the French Revolutionary Wars. When that treaty broke down he resumed the war, but this time he was without allies and conducted relatively weak defensive hostilities, ahead of what would become the War of the Third Coalition. He was forced from office in favour of William Pitt the Younger. Addington is also known for his reactionary crackdown on advocates of democratic reforms during a ten-year spell as Home Secretary from 1812 to 1822. He is the longest continuously serving holder of that office since it was created in 1782. Construction of the square coincided with Addington’s premiership. It ran over some time, starting in the early 1800s with the coming of the former Grand Surrey Canal which terminated at Camberwell Wharf lying on the north side of the square, and finishing in 1844. In 1897, having become derelict, it was reopened for public use.


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