Bentinck Mews, W1U

PLACE NAME

Bentinck is the family name of Soho landowners, the Dukes of Portland. The family, of Dutch origins, already owned land in the area by the time William Bentinck, the 2nd Duke of Portland, inherited the local estate after marrying Margaret, the daughter of Edward Harley, thereby acquiring the land on which this street is built. His grandfather, Hans Willem Bentinck, was the Dutch envoy responsible for arranging the marriage of Prince William of Orange to the Princess Mary, future Queen of England, and as a leading advisor to the king, had been given vast estates in England, including some former monastic lands known as Soho Fields, upon which nearby Soho Square was later developed, and Ireland. William and Margaret’s son, William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland served twice as the Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1783 and then of the United Kingdom between 1807–1809. The 24 years between his two terms as Prime Minister is the longest gap between terms of office of any British Prime Minister. The area was still fields in the mid-1750s, as seen on John Rocque’s 1746 map of London, though development encroached on its east and south sides. Within fifty years it had been built up and the mews was appearing on maps. 

 

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