Our street was named after Elizabeth Jeffreys, the wife of Charles Pratt, 1st Earl of Camden. (Streets of Kentish Town by the Camden History Society).
Numbers one to nine were built as part of Molesworth Terrace, named after Lord Pratt's daughter-in-law, Frances Molesworth, who had married his son John in 1785.
Because Jeffreys St is named after Elizabeth Jeffreys, residents often choose to leave off the erroneous apostrophe marked on the street sign. This is why the apostrophe has been dropped on this website.
Gillian Tindall adds in The Fields Beneath, “Cantelowes manor, consisting of about 210 acres on the east side of town … passed about 1670 into the possession of the Jeffreys family, of Judge Jeffreys fame – the Judge is reputed to have owned a house in Kentish Town. In the following century a Jeffreys granddaughter married Charles Pratt, who was created Baron Camden in 1765 and Viscount Bayham and Earl of Camden in 1786.
One of the first streets in Camden Town
“When Lord Camden was empowered, by special Act of Parliament in 1788, to grant building leases on his lands near St Pancras Church, the bill was called 'The Kentish Town Act'. Yet the new town he built there was of course, Camden Town.”
Camden Town and the streets in it take their name from Lord Camden’s family connections. Gillian Tindall writes in The Fields Beneath: “There is a Jeffreys St in Kentish Town, one of the oldest and most architecturally attractive of the area.”
Charles Pratt, First Earl of Camden “took the title from his house Camden Place in Chislehurst, which had been so named by the distinguished Elizabethan historian William Camden, who moved there in 1609 ... Pratt decided to create a small new town on his estate and Camden Town was started in 1791, at first comprising just five streets to the east of what became the high street.”
Charles Pratt died in 1794 and would never have seen his plans for Jeffreys St realised.
Streets of Camden Town adds: Kentish Town Rd bisected two estates: “to the east ... was the northern part of Earl Camden’s property … and to the west was the southern portion of the Hawley-Buck estate on which development began in the mid 1830s”.
So Jeffreys Street is the link between Camden and Kentish Town - one of the first streets built to form the new Camden Town and also one of the first lateral extensions of the older Kentish Town Road.