The Belgravia Society
HISTORICAL NOTES ..
The original word for Ebury was “Eia” which is mentioned in the Doomsday Book.
Mozart lived there in 1764. Other notable residents of the street included Ian Fleming, Vita Sackville West, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Dame Edith Evans, George Moore and Lord Halifax.
In the 16th and 17th centuries the Manor of Ebury or Five Fields was divided up and leased by the Crown to servants or favourites. In 1623 James 1 sold the freehold of Ebury for £1,151 and 15 shillings until it came into the hands of heiress Mary Davies in 1666. In retrospect not a good deal for the Crown. At that time if you had an income of £1,000 pa or more, the King would ask you for £1,000 and in return you would receive a “ Baronetcy”. A number of families did this being the first rung on the aristocratic ladder.
Sir Richard Grosvenor the first baronet was created in 1622.
The origins of "Bend Or"
This was the nickname of the second Duke of Westminster and also the name of the first Duke of Westminster's horse that won the 1880 Epsom Derby.
The name however, has a more intriguing history. In the 14th century three families bore the same arms, Azure Bend Or. Richard Scrope, Baron Scrope of Bolton, a favourite of Richard 2nd, Sir Richard Grosvenor, and Thomas Carminow, a Cornish knight.
In 1385 the case of who should possess the coat of arms, was brought before the Constable of England and in 1390 it was decided in favour of Richard Scrope. Grosvenor eventually adopted the arms Azure a Garb Or which they still retain today. Somewhat bizarrely the judgement allowed the Scrope and Caminow families to use the same arms because Cornwall for heraldic purposes was deemed to be a another country. In any event the Grosvenors have certainly won out in the end.
Another possible explanation stemmed from a rumour that the name Bendor eventuated from a Housemaster at Eton who pronounced it Bendor meaning bend over when he was about to beat the boy!
As he was frequently in trouble he was then nicknamed Bendor.