King Street, WC2E

Place Name

A popular street name with its implications of patriotism and regality, it was also, says Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names, a convenient label for streets with no name. There are three in Central London alone. This one commemorates Charles I (November 19, 1600 – January 30, 1649), king when it was being laid out in 1631 by Inigo Jones as part of the development for the Covent Garden landowner, the 4th Earl of Bedford. The name is somewhat ironic given it was the unpopular Charles I who as soon as he came to the throne prohibited new building. The earl, however, managed to get special dispensation to develop his Soho estate upon which he tactfully dedicated King Street to the reigning monarch, nearby Henrietta Street to the Queen, and Charles (today’s Wellington Street)  and James Streets to the infant princes, who both later ascended the throne.



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