People

LB Camden created its conservation areas in the two recent periods of Labour government. There are 40 across the borough. Camden Square, Kentish Town and Regents Canal were created several larger areas created in the 1970s, but the newer ones from the 200s were much smaller and selective: and much of older Camden Town remains unprotected:

Brick fields around Camden Town 1801
Brick fields around Camden Town 1801

 

People were born, grew up or lived in Camden Town for a period – and may be broadly distinguished as arts and sciences, humanities and commerce.

 

Thomas William Allen (1862–1950), Greek scholar and palaeographer, was born 103 Camden Road Villas, Camden New Town, He went up to University College, London, for one year, but in 1881 was elected to a scholarship at the Queen’s College, Oxford, and read classics there. His best-known scholarly work was the large edition of the Iliad prepared for the Clarendon Press (1931).

Walter Bagehot lived, in his first year as a student at University College, with a Unitarian minister, Dr Hoppus.

Shirley Baker (1836-1903), was born in Camden Town and in 1852 stowed away to Australia. He became the King of Tonga’s loyal and capable servant. ‘Tonga for the Tongans’ was not just his slogan; it became his enduring achievement. N Rutherford, Shirley Baker and the king of Tonga (1971)

Christoph Bialloblotsky lived and taught languages in the 1830s at the Hebrew Institute, 12 Great Randolph Street. He was later a missionary in Africa.

Eugenius Birch, living at 6 Rochester Terrace in the 1850s, specialised in seaside piers, including at Hastings, where the mechanical system he created was still to be seen under the pier when it was rebuilt in 2016.

Muzio Clementi was a celebrated composer, music publisher and piano manufacturer. The London firm of Clementi and Co. was established in 1802 and was known as Clementi, Collard and Collard from 1823 until 1831, when Muzio Clementi retired.  It had premises at 6 High Street, Camden Town.

Lucy Clifford [nee Lane, pseud. John Inglis] (1846-1929), writer, was born in Camden Town, married William  Clifford, professor of mathematics at UCL, in 1875. Early death of her husband led to a writing career with strong autobiographical aspects. M. Chisholm, Such silver currents: the story of William and Lucy Clifford, 1845–1929 (2002)

Alexander Dalziel Davison, Baron Dalziel of Wooler (1852–1928), newspaper proprietor and financier, was born in Camden Town, London, on 17 October 1852. After several years in the United States, he founded Dalziel’s News Agency, later buying a controlling interest in The Standard and the Evening Standard newspapers.  In 1906 he formed the General Motor Cab Company Ltd, which was chiefly responsible for the introduction of motor cabs in London. Always putting his newspapers at the service of the Tory party, he was elected as a Conservative MP for Brixton in January 1910 to 1927, and was created a baronet in 1919.

Rev’d Alexander Charles Louis d’Arblay (1794-1837) was the first vicar at the new All Saints Church in Camden Street.  A mathematician and a Fellow of Christ College Cambridge.  He is remembered by chess experts for writing a poem about an exceptional match, to which he added his own challenging chess problem as cover illustration.[1] Through his mother, diarist Fanny D’Arblay, he was friends with the royal family and also with Clara Bolton – a very close friend of Benjamin Disraeli. His attendance at the church was perhaps insufficiently infrequent.

[1] http://www.vukutu.com/blog/2011/03/the-matherati-alexander-darblay/

 

Robert Benson Dockray (1811-1871) was 1840 resident engineer London and Birmingham railway. In 1849, he received a Telford medal for his ‘Description and Drawings of the Camden Station, London and North-Western Railway.’

Sir John Ambrose Fleming FRS (1849–1945), 4, The Terrace, Camden Square, an English electrical engineer and physicist, invented the first thermionic valve or vacuum tube and also established the left-hand rule for electric motors. He was professor at University College from 1884-1927

 

Eugene Goosens, composer and conductor, was born in Rochester Square on 26 May 1893, [ONDB] Marie and Sidonie Goosens were harpists and Leon Goosens an oboist

Arthur Hacker (1858-1919) was born at 9 Rochester Road, studied at the Royal Academy Schools and with Léon Bonnat in Paris. .   He painted female nudes and intense religious subjects, fashionable in the French art world, but considered un-English.  To contemporary eyes, some of Hacker’s work seems overblown—The Temptation of Sir Percival (1894, Leeds City Art Galleries) borders almost on the ridiculous.  He became RA in 1910..

John Johnson (1732 – 1814) architect and County surveyor for Essex for 30 years. He built and lived in houses in Berner Street, moving to Camden Town after bankruptcy of his bank in 1803. Architect Lewes County Hall 1812.

A SECOND John Johnson (1807 – 1878) was one of the architects for St Paul’s Camden Square and of the church of St. Luke, Euston Road (1856-1861) – which was deconstructed shortly afterwards for the site of Euston Station.

Thomas Joyce (1878-1942), anthropologist and archaeologist, was born at 19 North Villas, the son of Thomas Heath Joyce (1850-1925), first editor of the Daily Graphic from 1890 to 1906. At the British Museum from 1902 he became a leading authority in Mayan archaeology.

Henry Lavis (1856-1914), vulcanologist and physician, was born at 107 Bayham Street,  the son of Frances Lavis (1827-1880), an artist.

Leslie Lazell (1903–1982) was born at 9 Canal Terrace. Educated at a London county council elementary school until he was thirteen, and evening classes for accountants and company secretaries. He became company secretary at Macleans (toothpaste, Lucozade) and then Beechams, promoting applied research (in 1959 Beechams had developed its first semi-synthetic penicillin). , Broxil. Almost uniquely among heads of British industry, he was a self-made man who did not join the establishment and received no honours. H G. Lazell, From pills to penicillin: the Beecham story (1975).

Augustus De Morgan, 7 Camden Street, was appointed first professor of mathematics at Univerity College London. The headquarters of the London Mathematical Society is called De Morgan House and the crater De Morgan on the Moon is named after him.

Thomas Page (1803-   ) of Camden Town,  was a civil engineer. His most memorable design that was completed is Westminster Bridge.

Henry Alfed Pegram (1862-1937), sculptor, was born at 72 King Street, Camden Town … On 9 February 1884 he married, at Camden Town parish church, Alice Lambert (b. 1863/4). Two of his early works were bought by the Tate Gallery, London. He made reliefs for the entrance to the Imperial Institute (1891–2); friezes at 20 Buckingham Gate, Westminster (1895), and at the United University Club, Suffolk Street (1906). He frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy, showing over 160 works between 1884 and 1936.

Peter Pindar, an ‘English eccentric’, lodged at the house of Mr Knight in Camden High Street in 1807.

Joseph Bishop Pratt (1854–1910), engraver, was born at 4 College Terrace, Camden New Town. He was known particularly for his engravings of animal and landscape pictures and from the mid-1890s mezzotint after the portraits of Reynolds, Gainsborough, etc. A large collection of his prints is held by the British Museum.

Catherine Raisin (1855–1945), geologist and educationist, was born at 13 Camden Terrace, the daughter of Francis Raisin, pannierman.  She was educated at North London Collegiate School and at University College, London.  After serving as demonstrator in botany at Bedford College forrose to become the first head of a geology department at a British university.

Henry (Newson-)Smith (1854-1898) was educated at the North London Collegiate School, Camden Town. He controlled the finances of the most influential and successful theatres of the music-hall boom of the 1890s. but died from cirrhosis of the liver  at age 43.

George Snelus FRS (1837-1906) was born at Camden Town, London. He trained at the Institute of Mines and became a works manager in Cumberland. He was the first to make pure steel from phosphoric pig iron in a Bessemer Converter lined with basic materials; a discovery of national importance. The Iron and Steel Institute awarded him, jointly with Sidney Thomas, their Bessemer medal in 1883.Obituary; Proc Roy Soc Series A 1906-1907 vol 78 pp lx-lxi.

James De Carle Sowerby

Samuel Wesley (1766-1837) was founding organist at All Saints Church, living nearby in Arlington Street.  http://www.musicandhistory.com/composers/8413