Temple Road, TW9

Place Name

Sir William Temple (April 25, 1628 – January 27. 1699) was a statesman and author who lived in a house on part of the old Carthusian Monastery in West Sheen between 1663 and 1684. It was to here that he retired from public life after falling out with Charles II over Dutch policy, following his success in negotiating the marriage of the Prince of Orange (later William III) and Princess Mary of England. He spent his time cultivating his garden and wrote extensively on the subject becoming one of the foremost experts on the subject of fruit-growing in Europe. It was a result of his work that started the new fashion for “gardening”. He was called out of retirement to implement a plan of his design to reform government rule. He was the architect of the Privy Council Ministry, which, though it failed, was an early effort to establish an executive along the lines of what later came to be understood as Cabinet government. Charles II disapproved of the scheme, which he felt took away too much of the Royal Prerogative, although in the exceptional circumstances of the Exclusion Crisis he was willing to give it a brief trial. Temple later left Sheen and purchased Compton Hall, Farnham. This was one of the last roads to be developed on Selwyn family land. The name was chosen by librarian Alfred Barkas sometime around 1912.


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