How your street got its name

First published in News by

The largest single group of street names in Chiswick is related to Chiswick House, its owners and the people who lived there.

The house was built by Richard Boyle, 4th Earl of Cork and 3rd Earl of Burlington in the 1750s and passed through his daughter to William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire.

When a duke is also a marquis the second title is given by courtesy to his eldest son, therefore the Duke of Devonshire' s heir is the Marquis of Hartington.

The Cavendish family held a good deal of property in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, giving us Chatsworth and Bolton Abbey near Harrogate, Chesterfield, Staveley (a town near Chesterfield) and Edensor (a village moved outside the park around Chatsworth). Eastbourne, the seaside resort, was largely developed by the Dukes of Devonshire.

Hardwicke Road, another of the Duke’s estates, was renamed before 1914 because of possible confusion with Hardwick Road in Acton, also in the W4 postal district.

Its name was changed to Lawford Road after the Rev Lawford W T Dale, vicar of St Nicholas in the 19th century.

The 6th Duke's gardener was Sir Joseph Paxton, the designer of the Crystal Palace. Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, was the 6th Duke's sister and lived in Chiswick House in the 19th century.

Over the name Spencer there is some ambiguity. In 1774 the 5th Duke married Lady Georgiana Spencer, about whom so much has been written. Alternatively the name could be derived from Sir Spencer Compton, 4th Earl of Wilmington, who bought Sir Stephen Fox's house in Chiswick; the Wilmington estates came later into the Devonshire's hands by marriage. The other Compton in Chiswick was W J Compton who bought Sutton Court in 1887; Compton Crescent is on the site of the demolished house. In 1676 Sutton Court had been bought by Thomas Belasyse, Viscount Fauconberg, who married one of Oliver Cromwell's daughters in 1657. The last connection with the Devonshire estate lies in Lady Elizabeth Foster, the 5th Duke's mistress who became his wife after the death of Georgiana.

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