Herbrand Street, WC1N

Place Name

Originally Woburn Place. Herbrand Arthur Russell (February 19, 1858 – August 27, 1940), was the 11th Duke of Bedford. As the younger son the 9th Duke, he was not expected to inherit very much and started a career in the military as a Grenadier Guard where he saw service in the Egyptian Campaign in 1882. He was Aide-de-Camp to the Viceroy of India between 1885 and 1886, during which time he met his future wife, the adventurous Mary Du Caurroy. The pair married on January 31, 1888, at Barrackpore, India, and settled into life in the Raj. All that changed following the death of his older brother, George, who in 1893 died aged 40 without an heir following complications resulting from his diabetes. Herbrand inherited his brother’s titles and with it Woburn Abbey, seat of the dukes of Bedford for over 300 years. The 11th Duke became president of the Zoological Society of London from 1899 to 1936, and was concerned with animal preservation throughout his life. The Russell family acquired Bloomsbury in 1669 following the marriage of William, Lord Russell, the Duke of Bedford to Rachel Wriothesley. The Wriothesley family had held the estate since 1545 when it was given to them by Henry VIII at the dissolution of the monasteries. This was originally the course of a ditch that divided the dukes’ land from that of the Foundling Hospital. The street name was changed in the 1930s as the London County Council set about its plan to tidy up the city’s street names getting rid of duplication and unnecessary prefixes.





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