Camdens

 Camdens

Charles Pratt, the first Lord Camden, inherited, through his wife Elizabeth Jeffreys, the land that became Camden Town.  His son and grandson, the second and third Earls, oversaw most of the development.

Charles Pratt’s father had been a Chief Justice, and titled Sir John Pratt, but Charles was his third son (in a second marriage) and did not inherit.

Charles Pratt himself was also successful (after a slow start) as a lawyer and politician. He was taken up by William Pitt, becoming Lord Chancellor. He was made a baron, for which he chose the title  Camden after his house in Chislehurst, Kent, which previously belonged to the noted Elizabethan historian William Camden.

Charles Pratt died in 1794 and John Jeffreys Pratt became the second Earl. He had a political career (although not as successful as his half-nephew, Lord Castlereagh) and was made Marquis Camden in 1812. He died in 1840.

His only son was George Pratt, who was titled Lord Brecknock and, in 1835, Earl Brecknock before taking the title of Earl Camden in 1840.  George died in 1856 and was succeeded by his son, John, who became the fourth earl. John, however, died at the young age of 32 when his son was still a minor, in 1872.

These pages will usually refer to Charles Pratt as Lord Camden, John Jeffreys Pratt as the second Earl, and George Pratt as the third Earl (rather than first and second Marquis for these latter two, or Brecknocks, which confuses).

Henry Eeles’ Lord Chancellor Camden and his family (London, Allan, 1934) remains the only book-length biography.