Previously Chapel Alley. Sir William Slingsby (29 January 1563 – August 1634), was an adventurer and property speculator. He was credited with discovering the spa waters of Harrogate – a claim since disputed. He also fought at the Battle of Cadiz. In 1614 the Mercers’ Company had given a 30 year lease for an area north of Long Acre, then known as Elmfield, to Thomas, Earl of Exeter. But the following year Thomas sold his interest to Slingsby, who set about developing his purchase. This was a risky investment for at the time the King, James I, had imposed, like previous monarchs before him, a ban on development around London, for fear the city was growing too large to control. This early version of a Green Belt was largely ignored by the wealthy and those with influence and no doubt if Slingsby didn’t possess the right profile in court, his fellow developer, the Earl of Bedford, did. For the two began building on either side of their common boundary creating Long Acre. (Although the pair still faced complaints soon after work started “contrary to the King’s Proclamation”.) As for Slingsby he purchased the estate of Kippax, West Yorkshir, from Francis Bailden. In 1601 he was made the junior Member of Parliament for Knaresborough alongside his brother Sir Henry Slingsby, serving until 1611. He was knighted in 1603. After retiring from soldiering, he was made Deputy Lieutenant for Middlesex in 1617. He was elected MP for Appleby in 1626. He died leaving a son, Henry, who became Master of the Mint, and a daughter, and was buried in Knaresborough church.
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