The Taviton estate in Tavistock, Devon, is one of the properties held by Bloomsbury landowners, the dukes of Bedford. The name comes from the River Tavy – from the British Celtic word Tam, widely believed to mean flow – on which the town is situated. John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, a royal minister under Henry VIII, was given the Devonshire Abbey and town, along with an area that is now Covent Garden for his role in negotiating the surrender of Boulogne. A little over a century later, in 1669, his descendants and heirs, the dukes of Bedford added Bloomsbury to their extensive property portfolio after the marriage of William, Lord Russell, Duke of Bedford and Rachel, Lady Russell, the daughter of the 4th Earl of Southampton, whose own family had been granted the manor of Bloomsbury by Henry VIII at the dissolution of the monasteries. The dukes set about developing the area. The UCL Bloomsbury Project says that when it was built, by the master builder Thomas Cubitt, it was originally called Georgiana Street, after Georgiana Byng, daughter of Lord Torrington and wife of the 6th Duke of Bedford. It appears laid out, but not named, on Horwood’s Map of 1819. It was renamed before 1897.
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