Known as Night and Morning Row, apparently, because the eight cottages were put up by a workman in his spare time – before and after his day’s work. By 1869 however the heavy handed pen of officialdom had decided for the simpler Michels Row, named after Humphrey Michel who in 1695 founded Michel’s Almshouses for 10 single or married men in The Vineyard, in central Richmond. When Michel, who lived in the house at the corner of The Green and Duke Street, died in 1696, the building was finished by his nephew, John, who also increased the endowment. An inscription on the original building explained: “Glory to God in ye highest, on earth peace, good will towards men! This alms house was built for ten poor old men, in the year 1695, by Humphrey Michel, of Richmond, Gent., who dyed Nov. 16, 1696, in the 84th year of his age , leaving this monument of his piety, to be perfected by his nephew John Michel, Esq., who afterward regulated and endowed the same according to the intentions of the charitable founder. He have dispersed abroad, he giveth to the poor. His righteousness remainth forever!” In 1727 William Smithet endowed the charity with property in Kew Foot Road and land now including Michel’s Row and Rosedale Road. The name appears on official documentation of the Water Board plan of 1849 and the rate books of 1860 but by the end of the decade it had taken its present name featuring as Michels Row on the Shaftesbury estate plan of 1869 and the rate books the following year.
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