Agar Street, WC2N

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George James Welbore Agar-Ellis (January 14, 1797 – July 10, 1833), 1st Baron Dover, who for a short while – before his untimely death aged 36 – was the Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests, the government department that oversaw the area’s redevelopment following the Strand Improvement Act of 1829, a slum clearance project that swept away the old congested alleys and improved access around Charing Cross. Londoners – and indeed the nation – has another cause for remembering the man. In 1824 Agar-Ellis was the leading promoter of the grant of £57,000 for the purchase of John Julius Angerstein’s collection of pictures, which formed the foundation of the National Gallery.

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