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Zouche, Edward Earl of

Zouche, Edward Earl of

 

By the end of the 16th century there were more people paying church rates in both parts of Homerton than in any of the five divisions of Hackney. These divisions covered quite broad areas, but most of the inhabitants would have had houses fronting on to Urswick Road, Homerton High Street and Marsh Lane. High Street residents included wealthy London merchants, who wanted a home in the country close enough for them to retain their ties with the City, while Upper Homerton also had some noble residents.

One of these was Edward, Lord Zouche, resident at the time of the Daniells, who lived in a house on the north side of Homerton High Street, probably on the site of the present Dean Close. He had bought a freehold house “upon the corner of Humberton Street” in 1595. Zouche’s grounds included a physic garden and he employed Matthias L’Obel as his gardener. L’Obel gave his name to the lobelia.

The herbalist, John Gerard, visited Hackney and was given foreign seeds from Zouche’s garden. Gerard also commented on the quality of the locally grown small turnips! Zouche ceased to be a Hackney resident before his death in 1625 and it is likely his house was sold in 1620 to Sir Julius Caesar, Master of the Rolls. It may have been the seat of Sir Thomas Cooke from 1672 and if so, after his death in 1695 the estate was bought by Joseph Brooksbank, who was a Hackney resident by 1712. The house may have been retained until Joseph’s son, Stamp Brooksbank, had completed the grand Palladian Hackney House in 1732. Thereafter it was demolished and the site used for the stables of the new house. (The cellars of the old house came to light during site clearance of Victorian houses in the 1970s).

Zouche’s house was approached from Homerton High Street by a long drive.

 

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