Originally called Riley Street, it had been given its present name by 1916. In 1891, the East End Dwellings Company, founded seven years before by the clergyman and social reformer Samuel Barnett to provide housing for the poor, purchased the slum properties on the north side of Cromer Street. Four parallel streets intersected the dwellings, namely modern Loxham Street, Whidborne Street, Midhope Street and Tankerton Street. Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names suggests this may have been named after one of the company directors. The street was built in the 1810s and appears on Horwood’s revised plan of London dating to 1819. The area was developed from 1801 by landowner and tin-plate worker, Joseph Lucas, who held a seven-acre plot of pastureland between Gray’s Inn Road and the ancient Boot pub, which still exists, on the corner of Cromer Street and Judd Street. The East End Dwellings Company’s “improved industrial dwellings” can still be seen on the street today.
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