Keppel Street, WC1E

Place Name

Elizabeth Keppel (November 15, 1739 – November 2, 1768) was the wife of local landowner Francis Russell, Marquess of Tavistock, whose family, also titled Dukes of Bedford, had owned Bloomsbury since 1669. Keppel was the daughter of soldier and diplomat, William Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle, and Anne Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond, an illegitimate son of Charles II. She was reputedly one of 15 children, of whom only six survived into adulthood. She died of consumption, aged 29, in Lisbon, Portugal. According to Donald Olsen in London Town Planning, development of the street was started by Thomas Lewis in 1807, who built small houses in the hope of a quick profit; its remaining houses were mostly built in the 1840s, also to a low specification in defiance of the Bedford Estate standards. It originally ran from Gower Street right through to Russell Square which had been laid out by Keppel’s son, Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford, in 1804. At first the street was called New Store Street, it was renamed sometime around 1800. Most of it was demolished to make way for the development of the University of London’s Senate House in the 1930s.


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