The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.500967, -0.193588

8 Annotations

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The manor of Kensington, Middlesex, was granted by William I of England to Geoffrey de Montbray or Mowbray, bishop of Coutances, one of his inner circle of advisors and one of the wealthiest men in post-Conquest England. He in turn granted the tenancy of Kensington to his vassal Aubrey de Vere I, who was holding the manor in 1086, according to Domesday Book. The bishop's heir, Robert de Mowbray, rebelled against William Rufus and his vast barony was declared forfeit. Aubrey de Vere I had his tenure converted to a tenancy in-chief, holding Kensington after 1095 directly of the crown. He granted land and church there to Abingdon Abbey at the deathbed request of his young eldest son, Geoffrey. As the Veres became the earls of Oxford, their estate at Kensington came to be known as Earls Court, while the Abingdon lands were called Abbots Kensington and the church St Mary Abbots.…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Kensington Gardens
Thomas Tickell (1685–1740)…

WHERE Kensington high o’er the neighboring lands
Midst greens and sweets a regal fabric stands,
And sees each spring, luxuriant in her bowers,
A snow of blossoms and a wild of flowers,
The dames of Britain oft in crowds repair 5
To groves and lawns and unpolluted air.
Here, while the town in damps and darkness lies,
They breathe in sunshine, and see azure skies;
Each walk, with robes of various dyes bespread,
Seems from afar a moving tulip-bed, 10
Where rich brocades and glossy damasks glow,
And chintz, the rival of the showery bow.
Here England’s daughter, darling of the land,
Sometimes, surrounded with her virgin band,
Gleams through the shades. She, towering o’er the rest, 15
Stands fairest of the fairer kind confessed,
Formed to gain hearts, that Brunswick’s cause denied,
And charm a people to her father’s side.
Long have these groves to royal guests been known,
Nor Nassau first preferred them to a throne. 20
Ere Norman banners waved in British air,
Ere lordly Hubba with the golden hair
Poured in his Danes, ere elder Julius came,
Or Dardan Brutus gave our isle a name,
A prince of Albion’s lineage graced the wood, 25
The scene of wars, and stained with lovers’ blood.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Kensington and Chelsea were not part of London in the 17th century but rather separate villages on the Thames, albeit within easy reach of the city. Both were very fashionable. "…... -- which sadly seems no longer leads you to this information. Sorry!

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

The magnificent Kensington Palace was once a two-story mansion built by Sir George Coppin in 1605. It was purchased by Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham in 1619 and it then became known as Nottingham House. Joint monarch William and Mary began to search for a new residence, and they purchased Nottingham House from the 2nd Earl of Nottingham in 1689. They ordered an expansion, and the original structure was kept intact, but a three-story pavilion was added at each of the four corners. They took up residence shortly before Christmas 1689. It remained a favourite royal residence for the next 70 years.

Mary II died at Kensington Palace of smallpox in 1694, and William III also died there in 1702. He was succeeded by Queen Anne, and she had Christopher Wren complete the extensions. She also contributed to the gardens. Queen Anne’s husband died at Kensington Palace in 1708, and she also died there on 1 August 1714.

For more information and photos, see https://www.historyofroyalwomen.c…

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

L&M Companion:
Kensington - a village in Middlesex on the Bristol road, some 1-1/2 miles due west of Piccadilly. It was then on the outer edge of the built-up area of London, and a place of resort for Londoners.
The tavern Pepys visited was probably The Talbot, in the gravel pits.
With the increase in coaches as opposed to river travel, it came to house a growing number of the well-to-do, either in the main village or the hamlets or big houses lying in the parish, such as Knightsbridge, Little Chelsea, Earl's Court or Holland House.
In 1664 it had some 200 houses.

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

1612 was a busy year for Baptist Hicks MP, who was, simultaneously, building Campden House in Kensington and Hickes Hall for the Middlesex magistrates, as well as an estate at Chipping Campden.

In 1628, Sir Baptist Hickes MP was elevated to the peerage as Baron Hicks of Ilmington, Warwickshire and 1st Viscount Campden of Campden, Gloucestershire.

Lord Hickes named both his Kensington home and his Chipping Campden estate "Campden House".
The Sessions House for the Middlesex Magistrates was called Hickes Hall in his honor.

The Sunday Times “Richest of the Rich: 250 wealthiest people in Britain since 1066” lists Sir Baptist Hickes MP as the 2nd wealthiest man in England during his lifetime, worth the equivalent of £9.2 billion today.

You can see pictures of both the Chipping Campton estate and the Kensington Campton House at

For a bio of how Sir Baptist made his billions, see

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Apr