The Gascoyne family were major Essex landowners during the 18th and 19th centuries. They lived nearby at a house called Bifrons whose estate stretched as far southwards Fisher Street (now Abbey Road South) and Vineyard Lane (now Ripple Road and King Edward’s Road). The property had been built for Dr John Bamber, a wealthy physician of Mincing Lane, who following the marriage of his daughter Margaret was the father-in-law of Sir Crisp Gascoyne. Sir Crisp was a Houndsditch brewer who progressed through the ranks to become Master of the Brewers’ Company, Sheriff of London and, in 1752, Lord Mayor of London. It was as Lord Mayor that he became the first resident of the newly built Mansion House (the mayor’s official City residence). Dr Bamber built up the family estate in the early 18thCentury, adding the neighbouring Westbury estate in 1717 and the ancient Wyfields estate, Ilford, in 1731. Upon his death in 1753, his grandson Bamber Gascoyne (1725 – 1791), a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn and MP, inherited it. In turn it passed to his son, also Bamber, who demolished the original house and sold the site and park, though retained part for his daughter and heiress, Frances who married the second Marquis of Salisbury. Their son was Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, three times prime minister. The street was laid out in the late 19thCentury. Bamber Gascoigne, the original quizmaster on University Challenge, is a direct descendant of Sir Crisp Gascoyne.
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