Shaftesbury Road, TW9

Place Name

Cropley Ashley-Cooper (December 21, 1768 – June 2, 1851), was the 6th Earl of Shaftesbury who bought a local property, Rosedale Cottage, in 1805 shortly after his marriage to Lady Anne, daughter of George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough. It was to remain in the family until 1866 when the land was sold for development by his son the 7th Earl. The house itself became the Royal Hospital. The 7th Earl was a great reformer and philanthropist, but had no love of his parents. G F A Best in his biography Shaftesbury writes that: “Ashley grew up without any experience of parental love. He saw little of his parents, and when duty or necessity compelled them to take notice of him they were formal and frightening.” Indeed, the 6th Earl, an elected MP for Dorchester, a seat he held from 1790 until 1811, dominated his large family with unrestrained ferocity, so that it was reported that all his children “are shockingly bullied by the Earl (as they call him)”, and that “Lord Shaftesbury is so severe that the girls do not dare speak when he is in the room”. In 1825 the 7th Earl condemned his father’s cold neglect, and was equally critical of his mother, whom he avoided seeing once he came of age, writing ‘what a dreadful woman our mother is! … her whole pleasure is in finding fault’”. The 7th Earl named several roads after family members.



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