Previously called Brewer Street North until it changed in 1936. Honouring philanthropist George Friend, a scarlet-dyer to the East India Company and Quaker who in 1780 founded and acted as first treasurer to the Finsbury Dispensary for Administering Advice and Medicines to the Poor. This well-appointed clinic offered free medical treatment to locals until it closed in 1961. Many famous doctors worked there including Sir James Paget, who also has a street named after him. The street was renumbered in 1937. The Finsbury Dispensary operated from here between 1870 and 1936.
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