Operations Carried on in the Jewellery Quarter

What’s the link between Vyse Street and the Great Pyramids at Giza? Well that’ll be Richard Howard Vyse, landowner, soldier, politician, and explorer of the Upper Nile.

Trace back the history of the Jewellery Quarter and you’ll find that the area was once divided up into the estates of several wealthy families. The names Gooch, Colmore and Vyse will continue to pop up and it’s upon a member of the latter family that this story will focus.

The Vyse family were originally landowners from Hertfordshire, and they acquired land north of Warstone Lane in the 18th Century through marriage with the respected Smalbroke family. When General Vyse died in 1825, his only son Richard Howard Vyse was determined to develop the estate and cut several of the roads we know so well today, including Hylton Street, Branston Street, Spencer Street and of course Vyse Street.

Away from the Jewellery Quarter, Richard Howard Vyse led a colourful life. He served as a soldier in the British Army, rising to the rank of Major General in 1846, and was also active in politics. It was as an Egyptologist that he would make a lasting impact on the wider world. At Giza Vyse discovered four chambers in the Great Pyramid. Amongst the artefacts found was the cartouche of Pharaoh Khufu, which provided evidence that this wonder was built for him.