17 Hertford St Grand beginnings for Georgian home

17 Hertford Street dates back to the Georgian period. It was built in the 1760s by Henry Holland and his father Henry, and indications are that the family lived here when it was first built.

In 1813 the house was occupied by Lord Lawrence Dundas, 1st Earl of Zetland (now known as Shetland). He was a Whig MP, Lord Lieutenant of Orkney and Shetland and created Earl of Zetland for financially assisting Queen Victoria’s parents in the years before her accession to the throne.

Sir William Clay, a Liberal politician and son of prominent London merchant and ship builder George Clay moved into the house in 1841. He held the seat for Tower Hamlets for 25 years. Other prominent MPs and physicians occupied the property until the turn of the 19th Century.
It was the home of a Countess and Viscount in the early 1900s, followed by a brewer and prominent Military officers.

In the 1930s 17 Hertford Street was converted to apartments, and in the years of World War II it was used as business premises by a company manufacturing radios. Several restaurants were located here between 1950 and 1980 with names like The Balsam Restaurant, Sir Harry’s Bar Restaurant, Sovereign Restaurant and Wheeler’s Sovereign Restaurant.