Petty France, London
Petty France is a road in the City of Westminster in central London which in the 18th century was described by John Stow as "a considerable street between Tathill Street, E., and James Street, W." The name is generally thought to refer to the settlement of Huguenot refugees in the area.
It was the original location in 1720 of the Westminster Public Infirmary. Among the buildings there today is 102 Petty France, which houses the Ministry of Justice. The street was also the home for 50 years until 2002 of the London passport office at Clive House; it is now located at Globe House in Eccleston Square, Victoria.
According to one source, Mackenzie Walcott's Memorials of Westminster, at one time "the name was changed to York Street from Frederick Duke of York, son of George II., who had made a temporary residence amongst them.".
The name is also used to refer to the area in the vicinity of the street, the 7th Ward of Westminster. It is also similar to the name of a street in Billingsgate in the City of London called Petty Wales.
- Stow, New View of London 1708 v. 1, p.63 as cited in N&Q
- Notes & Queries p.254
- Walcott's Memorials of Westminster, p. 289., cited in N&Q.