Latimer Close

Among the street names of a relatively new development off Glen Road, Chaddlewood, are several that appear to have been named after Mayors of Plymouth. Certainly Joseph Lavington, Isaac Tillard and Isaac Latimer, whose surnames are by no means commonplace, all served the town in that capacity – in 1705, 1684 and 1871 respectively.

The most recent of them, Isaac Latimer, was a prominent figure in Victorian Plymouth. Born in London in 1813 when that city was “almost without gas and when steamboats were unknown”, he was educated privately and from a young age was personally acquainted with the leading literary figures of the early nineteenth century. He knew the father and family of Charles Dickens in later years he would help initiate a system “for the simultaneous publication of serial stories in provincial newspapers” – syndication.

Latimer came to Plymouth from the West Briton in 1844 to edit The Journal, which he later developed into the Western Daily Mercury (1860) and which in turn evolved into the Evening Herald (1895). A prominent Liberal, magistrate, and mayor, Latimer’s name as well as being preserved in Plympton is retained in the Estover-based printing firm, Latimer Trend, which he had founded as Latimer and Son.