Although not the name of a Plymouth street, Carhullen LTC (Lawn Tennis Club), Hartley, is undoubtedly one of the city’s best known, if not the best known, tennis club. An unusual name – there is a Carhullen Street in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia – the Plymouth place name came to us courtesy of William Law, who, from 1892-95 was Lord Mayor of Plymouth.
Law was related to the Earl of Ellenborough in Cumberland, but his branch of the family moved, apparently in the eighteenth century to Carhullen in the parish of Bampton, near Haweswater in the Lake District.
William Law himself was a tea dealer and came to Plymouth in the 1850s and joined Underwood & Co, who operated in Bedford Street and ended up managing the business which employed nearly 100 people in the Three Towns and had 70 branches and agencies in Devon and Cornwall.
Mayor in the time that the civic leader paid for his own expenses, Law’s own hospitality was ‘unbounded’ according to the pen portrait of him that appeared ‘The Comet’ magazine in the 1890s, it added, “he has a magnificent mansion at Carhullen (called after the old home of the family) at Hartley, where he dines the members of the corporation from time to time, and his receptions in the Guildhall are brilliant in the extreme.”
This was undoubtedly the reason he enjoyed three consecutive terms in the post.