Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Which end of Davies Street did Henry Fleming live at? The one with the smallpox? And what about the 12-year-old bride?

Henry Fleming, crossed my path by living at #2, Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London in 1871.

Read more about the Charles Street project here, if you're wondering what's up with that.


In the 1841 census, Henry and his brother James were living on Davies Street, with no house number given. I don't know which end, though I suppose a diligent examination of the census records might unearth that.

In 1839, the north end of Davies Street, where it meets Oxford Street, was an unhealthy place because of smallpox. Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population of Great Britain, by Edwin Chadwick of the home Office. (1843) pp 256-257.

The text here is rather small, but it talks about the disease cases of the day.

A map of Davies Street today. It still runs from Berkeley Square to Oxford Street, in London. Here is a link in case the map doesn't show up for you.

View Larger Map

This next has nothing to do with Henry Fleming, but a little bit of trivia about Davies Street may interest you.

According to that wonderful book, the London Encyclopedia, edited by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert:

"Davies Street, W1. Takes its name from Mary Davies, by whose marriage to Sir Thomas Grosvenor in 1677 the Grosvenor Estate in London, of which it forms part, was established. It extends from Berkeley Square to Oxford Street, and was laid out in the 1720s. The sole survivor of this original work is Bourdon House, but most of the other houses were small and narrow and occupied by tradesmen. … No. 53 Davies Street, now the Grosvenor Office, was erected in about 1836, probably to designs by the estate surveyor, Thomas Cundy the Younger. Opposite is an agreeable public house, the Running Horse, rebuilt in 1839-40. …"

Google Street View photo of the Running Horse on Davies Street (link)

View Larger Map

Oh, and the 12-year-old bride? That was Mary Davies, for whom Davies Street was named. Thomas Grosvenor was 21 when they married, though she remained living with an aunt until the age of 14.

British History Online has more of her story.

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