The Fitzroy & Fitzrovia.

Fitzroy Tavern Charlotte St

Fitzroy Tavern Charlotte St

The Fitzroy Tavern was named after Charles FitzRoy 2nd Duke of Grafton, (whose father Henry FitzRoy was 1st Duke of Grafton and the bastard son of King Charles II), as he first developed the northern part of the area in the 18th century.

FitzRoy purchased the Manor of Tottenhall, including Tottenham Court, and built Fitzroy Square, to which he gave his name; nearby Fitzroy Street also bears his name. The square is the most distinguished of the original architectural features of the district, having been designed in part by Robert Adam. The south-western area was first developed by the Duke of Newcastle who established Oxford Market, now the area around Market Place. By the beginning of the 19th century, this part of London was heavily built upon, severing one of the main routes through it, Marylebone Passage, into the tiny remnant that remains today on Wells Street, opposite what would have been The Tiger public house — now a rubber clothing emporium.

In addition to Fitzroy Square and nearby Fitzroy Street, there are numerous locations named for the FitzRoy family and Devonshire/Portland family, both significant local landowners. Charles FitzRoy 2nd Duke of Grafton, hence Grafton Way. William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland and his wife Margaret Harley lend their names to Portland Place, Great Portland Street and Harley Street. Margaret Harley was daughter of Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, for whom Oxford Street (the southern boundary of Fitzrovia) and Mortimer Street are named.

The Marquessate of Titchfield is a subsidiary title to the Dukedom of Portland, hence Great Titchfield Street. William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland(Prime Minister) married Dorothy Cavendish, daughter of William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire (also Prime Minister), and they lend their names to New Cavendish Street, Cavendish Square and Devonshire Street.

But with all this noble and some ignoble ancestry, one mustn’t forget it was the Bohemians that first frequented The Fitzroy Tavern under the management of Juddah ‘Pop’ Kleinfeld from 1919 that coined the term ‘Fitzrovia in true creative style’. We thank Augustus John, Jacob Epstein, Betty May, Nina Hamnett and all those who followed.