Frederick North (April 13, 1732 – August 5, 1792), 2nd Earl of Guilford, was British Prime Minister between 1770 – 1782, and from 1771 up until his death, President of the nearby Foundling Hospital. During his time as Prime Minister Lord North, as he was styled, led the country through most of the American War of Independence. This street was laid out the year he died by the Foundling Estate Surveyor Samuel Cockerell and was completed by James Burton by 1797. It was originally known as Upper Guilford Street, though had actually originated as a footpath called Powis Wells on the outskirts of Lambs Conduit Fields, as shown on John Rocque’s 1746 map. The Survey of London, 1952 says that “the original plan was for the street to contain first-rate houses at the west end, then houses of diminishing quality right down to fourth-rate houses at the east end.” By the time the 1898 Ordnance Survey Map was produced, the prefix Upper had been dropped. There was a pub called the Guilford Arms on the corner with Grenville Street which was destroyed during World War Two.
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