London

Henry Jermyn, West End visionary, in green plaque honour

Green plaque for Henry Jermyn
Image caption Henry Jermyn was a courtier to the royal House of Stuart

A 17th Century courtier who laid the foundations of the present West End has been honoured with a plaque.

Henry Jermyn, a friend of the Royal family, was given land north of St James's Palace, up to Pall Mall and Piccadilly, in the 1660s by the King.

He built St James's Square and developed the area including St James's Church and the current Regent Street.

A green plaque, given by Westminster Council to honour famous residents, was unveiled at 10 St James's Square.

The plaque was put up on the house where Jermyn died.

Between 1660s and 1680s Jermyn - who was made the 1st Earl of St Albans - built up the area by widening the narrow streets, laying pavements and building brick houses.

The vision of the courtier - who was close to Henrietta Maria of France, Queen of Charles I - helped to inspire the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666, which happened during the reign of Charles II.

Councillor Robert Davis, deputy leader of the council, said: "Henry Jermyn's legacy extends from the 17th Century to the present day and will continue into the future.

"Many people will know Jermyn Street, which is named after him, but are less aware that it was his vision that has created so much of what we now consider as the West End.

"What he created, the architecture and designs, also heavily influenced the further extension of central London, particularly following the Great Fire in 1666."

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