Cosmo Place, WC1N

Place Name

This early street has gone through several variations before finally becoming Cosmo Place in the 20thCentury. When it was first built, the UCL Bloomsbury Projects says, probably in the early 18thCentury around about the same time as St George’s, it was Fox Court. Indeed, it appears on John Rocque’s 1746 map as such. By the time Horwood’s 1819 map was published it had been renamed Little Ormond Street running into Southampton Court. This was the edge of the Duke of Bedford’s estate, local landowners since 1669. The dukes were largely responsible for the residential development of Bloomsbury hence numerous squares and streets in the district are named after family members or connections. And this street is no exception. However there are two contenders. The first is the Cosmo George Gordon (April 27, 1720 – August 5, 1752), 3rd Duke of Gordon, grandfather of Lady Georgiana, wife of local landowner John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford. Gordon sat in the House of Lords as a Scottish Representative Peer from 1747 to 1752 and in 1748, was made a Knight of the Thistle, an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The Camden History Society suggests it could be their son, Lord Cosmo George Russell. The name itself was inspired by Cosimo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, a friend of the 2nd duke’s father.

 

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