Little slices of London's history

Streets that link Samuel Pepys, a hymn, and a comedian

Eleanor Farjeon
Eleanor Farjeon

On 13 February 1881 the writer Eleanor Farjeon, best remembered for writing children’s books, was born at 12 Buckingham Street in London. Perhaps her most famous work was the hymn ‘Morning has broken’, popularized in the 70s by the singer known then as Cat Stevens.

Buckingham Street takes its name from George Villiers, the second Duke of Buckingham, who also gave his name to Of Alley (now York Place). The duke’s father was the original owner of York House (once the palace of the Archbishop of York) and the surrounding land; the son was forced to sell his inheritance after he ran up debts. In 1674 a property developer acquired it on the condition that the streets built on the land were given Villers’ full name. That meant five streets, called George Street, Villiers Street, Duke Street (now gone), Of Alley, and Buckingham Street.

Samuel Pepys lived first at number 12, where Farjeon was born, and then at the grander number 14, which was a newly rebuilt house facing the river.

Eleanor Farjeon later lived, and died, in Perrins Walk in Hampstead; the walk takes its name from John Perrin, a local tavern owner whose descendants owned land in the area until 1882. The comedian Peter Cook also had his final home in Perrins Walk.

One response to “Streets that link Samuel Pepys, a hymn, and a comedian”

  1. […] on March 11, 2014 | Leave a comment Update to the posts on Of Alley and George Villiers (both of them). Regarding the recent post on Cock Lane, someone asked if that was related to the […]

About Me (and my Obsession)

My obsession with London street names began in the early 90s when I worked in the Smithfield area and happened upon Bleeding Heart Yard. In my wanderings around London, I kept adding to my store of weird and wonderful street names. Eventually it was time to share – hence my blog. I hope you enjoy these names as much as I do.
– Elizabeth


%d bloggers like this: