Adeliza was the 12thCentury abbess of Barking Abbey. She was the daughter of John fitzRichard, a minor Norman nobleman and sister to Pain fitzJohn, an Anglo-Norman nobleman who rose to prominence as one of the King Henry I’s “new men”, a group of men whose families had not previously been in royal service. It has been suggested that it may have been in recognition of fitzJohn’s support of him for the throne that Henry’s nephew and heir, King Stephen appointed Adeliza as abbess. In Barking Adeliza presided over the wealthiest nunnery in England and took precedence over all the other abbesses in England. She founded the hospital of St Mary the Virgin and St Thomas of Canterbury on Ilford Hill in 1145. The street itself was laid out after 1961 on the site of a former depot.
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