Brownlow Street, WC1N

Place Name

Local landowner William Brownlow (died 1675) built this street in the 17thCentury and named it after his daughter and heiress Elizabeth Brownlow. The land had been in the family since the 16thCentury and following Elizabeth’s marriage to Philip Doughty, the son of another local landowning family, it would become part of the Doughty estate. The Brownlows, a dynasty of lawyers hailing from Lincolnshire, had begun accumulating land in the Belton area from approximately 1598. From 1617 for several centuries Belton House near Grantham was the family seat though they didn’t actually occupy it, preferring their properties elsewhere. John Brownlow and Alice Sherard, first cousins who had married in 1676, inherited the estate from their great uncle in about 1679, along with an income of £9000 per annum and £20,000 in cash. They immediately bought a townhouse in the newly fashionable Southampton Square in Bloomsbury. Horwood’s map of 1819 shows on the east side consecutive numbers from 1 to 11, running from south to north, and on the west side, consecutive numbers from 12 to 22, running from north to south. John Strype in Stow’s Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster describes it as follows: “Brownlow street also cometh out of Holbourn, and runneth up into the Fields; from which it is severed by a pair of handsome Gates, shut up a Nights, for the Security of the Inhabitants, and built at their Charge. The Street is indifferent broad, and hath good Brick Buildings, well inhabited”. The entire Doughty estate was sold off in 1921. Brownlow Mews is also named after Elizabeth, however was built much later, in the early 19thCentury.



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