Tulse Hill, SE27

Place Name

Sir Henry Tulse (died 1689) has been described as a grocer and an alderman, and in 1684 became Lord Mayor of London. He was a major landholder in the area having bought the manors of Bodley, Upgrove and Scarletts, which formed part of the parish of Lambeth, during the Commonwealth. His daughter married the first Lord Onslow, who drowned herself in a pond in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s palace at Croydon. More controversially, Sir Henry was a company director of the Royal African Company, the most prolific institution of the entire Atlantic slave trade, at various times between 1675 and 1687. In September 2020 Lambeth Council announced it would like to change the name of the area in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which highlighted that many roads and statues were named after families that had benefited from the slave trade. They said: “We would prefer that the name of the ward were changed. The area most identified with Tulse Hill around the station, is not within the ward and causes confusion. Further, Sir Henry Tulse, the original landowner who gave his name to the area, made his fortune from the slave trade and it would be desirable to end that connection. However, given the prominence of the Tulse Hill name, we believe that the public should be involved in any name change, and this should be coordinated with any change to the name of the Tulse Hill Estate, Tulse Hill and Upper Tulse Hill roads, Tulse Hill railway station and, if at all possible, the name of the neighbourhood.” The area began to be developed from the 1820s and the name recorded soon afterwards in 1823 with more rapid growth following the arrival of the railway in 1869.

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