The Ruffords were an important family in the parish of Islington throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. They had a number of buildings and this street named after them. It may have been after a Captain Nicholas Rufford, a churchwarden of St. Mary’s (in 1689) who died aged 72 on March 20, 1711. There was also a “long-lapsed charity, ‘Mr. Rufford’s Gift’ for a Sermon to be preached on St Thomas’s Day and ‘to the Ringers for Ringing on the same Day'”. There was also a Francis Rufford who was also a Churchwarden in 1717 and 1718. Eric Willats’s book Streets With A Story: The Book of Islington records that this at various times was also James Street, Junction Road, and Stroud’s Vale, before becoming Rufford Street. Ordnance Survey maps show the road was straightened and broadened between the 1871 and 1894.
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