Named after one of the many titles of the Russell family, the dukes of Bedford, who were already major landowners in London and Devon when they inherited Bloomsbury in 1669. They were given the title the Barons Howland of Streatham to commemorate the marriage of Wriothesley Russell (November 1, 1680 – May 26, 1711), 2nd Duke of Bedford, to the wealthy heiress Elizabeth Howland, daughter of John Howland of Streatham, on May 23, 1695. In 1746, it was known as Nottingham Street, after the home town of its builder, Henry Plumbtree, and ran east from Dyott Street (then Dyot Street) and ended just short of Stedham Place (then called Vine Street). By the time of Horwood’s plan of 1792 – 1799, it had taken its present name, and its course extended east to Coptic Street (then called Duke Street). However, this eastern section was called Wooburn Street, as was still the case in 1868. By the time the 1934 Ordnance Survey map was published its entire course was called Streatham Street. According to Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names, of all the family’s properties, the Bloomsbury estate, which covered an area from Euston Road to High Holborn and east to west, Southampton Row to Tottenham Court Road, would go on to yield the most profit to the dukes. It hasn’t all remained in the family though, parcels of land were being sold off before the First World War. The family name lives on in over 70 London streets.
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