This like all the streets on the Woodgrange Estate are named after royal residences. Albany, in Piccadilly, was the residence of Prince Frederick, Duke of York (1791–1802). Melbourne House, as it was originally called, was built for the first Viscount Melbourne in 1770 but not long after completion he exchanged it with the prince for his property in Whitehall. In 1802 it was sold to Alexander Copland who converted the grand house into flats for bachelors. In the late 1870s Thomas Corbett, a Scottish businessman who had moved to London, bought 110 acres of market garden land just to the east of Forest Gate train station in what was then Essex. The land was part of Wood Grange farm which cultivated peas, pasnips and rhuburb. Work on the new 700 property housing estate began in 1877, with Thomas aided by his son Archibald.