Ascham Drive, E4

Place Name

Named after Tudor royal favourite Roger Ascham (1515 – 1568) although born in Yorkshire he spent much of his adult life in London and then around Waltham Forest. After completing his degree at Cambridge he was elected a fellow at the age of 18, and soon became a favourite as a tutor to wealthy families. And when the future Queen Elizabeth I’s own tutor died he was drafted in. A few years later he was appointed secretary to King Edward and then Queen Mary, before joining the court of his former pupil when she came to the throne in 1558. It was then he moved to Walthamstow, taking up residence in Salisbury Hall Manor. In 1568, aged 52, he died of an unidentified illness. On hearing the news Queen Elizabeth was said to remark: “I would rather have cast ten thousand pounds in the sea than [be] parted from my Ascham.” However he left little for prosperity, only a handful of books on education and archery. As one of his biographers noted, the “most interesting” things he ever wrote were his private letters – and they were mostly in Latin.

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