The developers
Noble landlords and greedy speculators
in The birth of modern London
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In Georgian London John Summerson outlined what he saw to be the classic development process in the late seventeenth century. He described the prime developer of the time as being 'the noble landlord with a greedy purse' and he gave as his two examples, the fourth Earl of Southampton and the first Earl of St Albans. This chapter sets out to discover whether Summerson's analysis is still sustainable or whether the new wealth of the City played a significant role in the reshaping of the capital. It looks at the types of landholdings upon which development is known to have occurred, the extent to which this took place upon noblemen's estates and the role they played within the development process. The land market was more fluid and hence smaller plots of land were developed, usually by speculators, sometimes with the involvement of the landowner but more often without it.

The birth of modern London

The development and design of the city 1660–1720


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