1861 – The residents

The most obvious difference between now and then is that the houses backing on are, with one exception, occupied by one family, or one person, and his or her servants. The exception is 21 Ladbroke Gardens, which is a school for young ladies, with eight to twelve pupils aged 12 to 17, two governesses, one sometimes German, besides the head.

Some families are settled here for two decades or more, and two are still around in the 1930s The Parkers, people of independent means from Boston, MA, at are living at 3 Ladbroke Gardens in 1861 and their six year old daughter Mary goes on living there till 1931.  William Graham, An Art Furnisher by trade, and his family have moved into 12 Ladbroke Gardens by 1891. His daughter, Rose, is still active on the garden committee on the eve of the Second World War.

The residents are solid, middle class professionals, not people in “society”, to judge by the number of servants, which averages three, with very few menservants, and their titles, which rarely include a “footman” or “lady’s maid”. The fathers are in the middle ranks of commerce or the law, with a smattering of retired “Old India hands”. There is also a contingent of widows. The respectable mass is leavened by a slightly “raffish or bohemian” element.  In 1881, Samuel Bennett, “editor and leader writer” lives at 13 Arundel Gardens”. He is still there in 1891, now author/journalist with his family and brother-in-law, a sculptor and cattle painter. In 1871, Anthony Montalba, artist, is living at 19 Arundel Gardens with one daughter, an historical painter, and three other daughters, describing themselves as artists. There are always a number of European nationals, such as the Serenas, shipping brokers from Venice, who lived for two decades at number 20 Ladbroke Gardens, and the German families that frequently occupy number 19 Ladbroke Gardens.