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. Though this street may also have been named 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'”. A Francis Rufford, a Churchwarden in 1717 and 1718, also features in records. At various times this was also James Street, Junction Road, and Stroud’s Vale, before assuming its present name. Ordnance Survey maps show the road was straightened and broadened between 1871 and 1894.