Henry Scarth (February 16, 1802 – December 16, 1870), was a Putney-born landowner, solicitor, and developer who lived at Mill Hill. Among his developments was The Quill Hotel, that stood on the corner of Charlwood Road and Chelverton Road in Putney. Despite many mistaking him for a pauper in later years, he had amassed a huge portfolio of land and property and was responsible for Parkfields Road, Coalecroft Road, and Charlwood Road in Putney among several others. So when he died and was found to have left behind a small fortune – £100,000 in property and £16,000 in cash (a total of around £12m today), it was a major headache for his executors. Aside from a few small legacies, including one to his Lebanese man-servant, Yussuf Sirie (later Joseph Sirry) after whom he had named the Arab Boy public house on Upper Richmond Road, there was still much of it left over. With no will and no obvious relatives, his executors put out adverts in the papers asking for people to come forward. There were several challenges to the disposition of his estate including one which, bizarrely, involved the attempted exhumation of his father’s coffin in Putney Old Burial Ground. The mystery deepened when the grave was dug in March 1872, for although there were coffins for his wife and daughter, the father’s was never located. This road, which was laid out over land he had owned, was named after him two years after his death.
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