Previously called Firth Street, it was renamed after Francis Lovel (1456 – sometime around 1487), a Lord of the Manor of East Wickham. Viscount Lovel, as he became, was an ally and close friend of Richard III during the War of the Roses. Following the final defeat of the Yorkists at the Battle of Stoke Field in 1487 he disappeared, and was assumed to have been killed. But more than 200 years later, in 1708, the skeleton of a man was found in a secret chamber in the family mansion at Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire and it was thought that Lovell had hidden himself there and died of starvation. His Wickham lands were inherited by Henry Lovell, Lord Morley and when he died in 1490, the property was seized by the king.
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