Arlington Street, SW1A

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Sir Henry Bennet (January 30, 1618 – July 28, 1685), a loyal supporter and member of Charles II’s Cabal ministry who was made Lord Arlington. In 1650 Bennet followed the royal family into exile, something he was later rewarded for with the Earldom of Arlington. Following his return to England in 1661 he was made keeper of the privy purse and, the following year, Secretary of State, as which he had the unenviable task of procuring and managing the royal mistresses – a pretty full-time job under Charles II, one would imagine. He was a member of Charles II’s Cabal ministry – so named after the initials of the five ministers who were in it (The Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, The Earl of Arlington, The Duke of Buckingham, The Lord Ashley, and The Duke of Lauderdale) who formed the council’s Committee for Foreign Affairs. In 1681 the King gave him the Six Acre Close, previously part of Green Park, on which this and Bennet Street are built – although not by Arlington who flogged off the gift to a Mr Pym who developed the land in the late 1680s. But that wasn’t all, the king also gave Bennet the Manor of Tottenham Court, which in turn passed to his daughter who aged five married the king’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy.


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