A reference to Bloomsbury landowners, the Russell family, who from the early 17thCentury, were also titled Barons of Thornhaugh. The title was created for William Russell (died August 9, 1613), 1st Baron of Thornhaugh, the younger son of the 2nd Earl of Bedford by James I in 1603, after a lifetime of military service, serving in both the Netherlands and Ireland. Thornhaugh Hall, near Peterborough, was William’s home at the time. In 1599, Russell was named as leader of the forces defending western England in anticipation of a Spanish invasion, which never happened. The Russells came into ownership of the Bloomsbury estate in 1669, when William, son of William Russell, 1st Duke and 5th Earl of Bedford, married Lady Rachel, one of the daughters of Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton. Lady Rachel had recently inherited the land from her father. While the Russell family immediately set about developing their new property, this area which formed part of the estate’s northern boundary, remained undeveloped fields and marsh land until the early 19thCentury – about the time this road was laid out. It was developed as a continuation of Montague Street, it appears only sketched out on Horwood’s map of 1819. Its extent was curtailed by the development of Woburn Square along most of its length in the late 1820s. When the 1950 Ordnance Survey Map was published the street was called Upper Montague Street. It was renamed sometime after that.
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