Reference NumberB/STR
TitleRecords of Stocker and Roberts, Agents for the Cubitt Town Estate
DescriptionRecords of the Cubitt Town Estate Company Limited
Extent1 box and 8 volumes
AdminHistoryCubitt Town, the south-eastern part of the Isle of Dogs, was not developed until the mid-nineteenth century. It takes its name from William Cubitt (1791-1863), its developer, who embanked the river front and laid out the principal streets during the 1840s and 1850s. Between about 1814 and 1827 William Cubitt was in a building firm with his elder brother Thomas and younger brother, Lewis. From 1827 Thomas went into business independently, building on a large scale, notably in Pimlico and Belgravia. William and Lewis continued to manage the firm which became one of the largest building concerns in early Victorian London. he retired in 1854. He was M.P. for Andover from 1847-1861 and 1862-1863, and Lord Mayor of the City of London, 1860-1862.

By four agreements made between 1842 and 1853, Cubitt was responsible for the development of much of the district. Three of these were with the Trustees of Margaret Lauretta, Countess of Glengall, daughter and co-heir of William Mellish who had inherited her father's estate on the Isle of Dogs in 1834. The value of the land was diminishing mainly because it was low-lying and badly needed draining and embanking. For details of the development undertaken by Cubitt see "Survey of London" Vol. XLIV, "Poplar, Blackwall and the Isle of Dogs" chapter XVII.

On his death in 1863, William Cubitt had no male heir (his only son having died in 1841). The estate was therefore divided up between his sons-in-law, John Humphery, William Humphery and Sir Joseph Olliffe and his daughter, Rosa Cubitt. The Cubitt Town Estate Company was certainly in existence by 1867 (evidence from Post Office Directories). In 1899 when it purchased the Olliffe estate and seems to have eventually taken control of most, if not all, of the property originally leased to William Cubitt.

The connection between the firm of Stocker and Roberts, Estate Agents and Surveyors, and the Cubitt Town Estate would appear to go back to at least 1854 when John William and William George Stocker leased property from William Cubitt in Manchester Road. In the Post Office Directory for 1867, John William Stocker is described as Agent to the Cubitt Town Estate Company, at the Estate Office, Manchester Road. In directories for the 1890s and early twentieth century the firm appears as F. and W. Stocker with offices at Queen Street, EC as well as at Cubitt Town. By 1923 the firm was known as Stocker and Roberts and the 1928 directory names Albert, John M. and Stuart M. as the partners. The firm of Stocker and Roberts, latterly based in Lewisham, still survives in Chislehurst, Kent.

The records were deposited by Stocker and Roberts in 1974 (the lease books) and in 1978 (miscellaneous records). The lease books were formerly catalogued as part of the Deeds Collection with each lease within each volume being given its own reference number (deeds 4231-4526); the miscellaneous papers were mainly catalogued in the Poplar Manuscripts Series (POP/889) though some were also treated as deeds (deeds 6213-6216) and one item was placed in the Local History Library's Cuttings Collection. This new catalogue, prepared by Malcolm Barr-Hamilton, brings all these elements together.
RelatedMaterialOther lease books of the Cubitt Town Estate Company are held at the London Metropolitan Archives.
SubjectLand and estates
Estate agents
Urban development
Wharves and piers
Cubitt Town Estate, Isle of Dogs
Access StatusOpen
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