Willoughby Street, WC1A

Place Name

George Philip Willoughby (December 28, 1840 – 1911) was the Mayor of Holborn in the 1910s who lived at 4 Bedford Square. He was the third and youngest son of Janette Ann (Carlile) and Benjamin Edward Willoughby, and was educated at King’s College School, London. On September 4, 1890, he married Flora Mary, eldest daughter of Major-General James Price Clarkson, and they had five children. In 1869 he became a solicitor and later, in 1894, Justice of the Peace for the County of London. The street was originally laid out as part of the first phase of the development around Bloomsbury Square (then, called Southampton Square) by Thomas Wriothesley, 4th Earl of Southampton (March 10, 1607 – May 16, 1667) in the late 17thCentury. Wriothesley’s ancestor, also Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton acquired the estate from Henry VIII at the dissolution of the monasteries in 1545. Development continued under its later owners, the dukes of Bedford in the 18th and 19th centuries. On John Rocque’s map of 1746 this was known as Vine Street, after the vineyards attached to the former St Giles’s leper hospital which had been established here from the 12thCentury up until the time of the dissolution. By the time Horwood produced his maps of 1799-1819 it is shown as Wooburn Street. It remained a quiet street in the 20thCentury with few buildings. Willoughby Road, NW3 is also named after the family.

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