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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Streets, Squares, and Buildings

Doughty Estate

Estates in Bloomsbury

1 Duke of Bedford
2 City of London Corporation
3 Capper Mortimer
4 Fitzroy (Duke of Grafton)
5 Somers
6 Skinners' (Tonbridge)
7 Battle Bridge
8 Lucas
9 Harrison
10 Foundling Hospital
11 Rugby
12 Bedford Charity (Harpur)
13 Doughty
14 Gray's Inn
15 Bainbridge–Dyott (Rookeries)

Area between the Foundling and Harrison estates: Church land

Grey areas: fragmented ownership and haphazard development; already built up by 1800

About the Doughty Estate

The Doughty estate in the south-east of Bloomsbury was part of extensive lands owned by the Doughty and Tichborne families, mainly outside London (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

Its proximity to the Foundling Estate meant that in the late eighteenth century it was involved in exchanges of land to enable the Foundling Estate to connect its new residential developments with the rest of London (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

This also prompted the Doughty estate owners to begin developing their land (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

The estate is sometimes also known as the Brownlow–Doughty estate, after William Brownlow, who built the streets in the late seventeenth century, and Elizabeth Brownlow, who had married into the Doughty family

In 1867 the estate was embroiled in the celebrated Tichborne case, when a claimant came forward asserting his identity as Sir Roger Charles Doughty-Tichborne, which would have entitled him to the Doughty estate in Bloomsbury along with other property (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, entry for Tichborne claimant)

Sir Edward Doughty, né Tichborne, came into possession of the Doughty estate in 1826 from his cousin, Mrs Elizabeth Doughty, daughter of George Brownlow-Doughty and granddaughter of the fourth Baronet Tichborne; he changed his name to Doughty as a condition of the settlement (Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 193, May 1853)

Prior to this, it was Henry Doughty who had been negotiating land deals with the Foundling Estate on behalf of the Doughty Estate (Survey of London, vol. 24, 1952)

The entire estate was sold off in 1921; Joseph Henry Bernard Doughty Tichborne, The Doughty Estate, Holborn (1921) has details and plans of the property included in the sale

Little James Street

Also known as Cold Harbour/Dennis’s Passage/Northington Street

It is in the south-east of Bloomsbury, running east from the top of Great James Street to Gray’s Inn Road, on the Doughty estate

It appears (with its western end only named as Dennis’s Passage) on Rocque’s map of 1746

Horwood’s map of 1799 names it as Little James Street and shows scattered buildings along its extent; it appears fully developed on his map of 1819

It seems to have developed naturally along the site of an old trackway between the gardens above Gray’s Inn

It was presumably named after Great James Street, to which it gave access, or after James Burgess, co-developer of the Doughty estate

The only numbered building on Horwood’s map of 1819 is a no. 10 in the middle of the north side

In the early nineteenth century it was occupied by a surveyor, Mr Garling (The Times, 2 November 1824); there was also a fishmonger (The Times, 17 February 1831)

Later in the century, no. 4 (now no. 8 Northington Street) the purpose-built concertina and harmonium factory Lachenal’s; in 1862 Madame Lachenal wrote to The Times to point out that the damage caused by a recent fire there was not as severe as the newspaper had alleged (The Times, 3 September 1862)

By the end of the nineteenth century it had become increasingly occupied by factories

The Maternity Nursing Mission had its headquarters at no. 5 Little James Street in 1901 (The Times, 27 November 1901)

Brewery stables were built for Henry Finch on the south east corner with John’s Mews in 1903; the buildings were later listed

The street was renamed Northington Street in the 1930s

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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