In 1553, Sir Andrew Judd, City Merchant and former Lord Mayor of London, purchased 30 acres of pastureland in the vicinity of St Pancras. The rents from the land were to provide funds for a new school he had recently established in his hometown of Tonbridge, Kent. When he died, only a few years later, management of the estate was taken over by the Skinners’ Company, which ran the London fur trade, and with whom Judd had been apprenticed when he first moved to London as a young man. By the early 19thCentury, urbanisation had meant the area was now bordering the city, and to maximise the land’s value they decided to develop their estate in conjunction with James Burton, the man largely responsible for laying out the district. In remembering their benefactor they chose to name many of the streets in connection with Judd, his interests or home county. This street, laid out between 1810 – 1813, being no exception. Leigh is a village near Tonbridge. The name itself derives from the Old English word leah, meaning a forest glade or clearing.
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