Ann Street, N1

Place name

Originally part of Linton Street. One of a trio of streets that celebrates Dame Anne Packington, born sometime around the turn of the 16thCentury who bequeathed property in Islington to The Clothworkers’ Company to be distributed to various charities following her death on August 22, 1563. She was the daughter of Henry Dacres, Citizen and Merchant Taylor, and his wife Elizabeth. Her father was an Alderman of London for the ward of Farrington Without from 1526 to 1528 and for a time was Sheriff of London. Two advantageous marriages and a legacy from her father ensured that when she died she was a very wealthy woman. Her first marriage was to Robert Fairthwaite, who like her father was a Merchant Taylor, the couple had two children, but he died in 1521. By 1530 she had married again, this time to Sir John Packington, a Member of Parliament for Gloucester and Sheriff of Herefordshire. The couple had two daughters and although she resided most of the time in Worcestershire, he at least kept some considerable business interests in London, records show his payment of tax in 1541 in the Parish of St Dunstan’s, with an assessment to the value of 500 marks. When Sir John passed away on August 21, 1551, he left his fortune to his wife, who returned to her home city. She made two separate wills: In her general will, she made over 20 monetary bequests, including 40s to poor householders in the parish of St Dunstan’s in the West and 33 pounds six shillings and eight pence to her grandson John Tichborne. She was generous to her servants, with one, Roger Webb, noted as the recipient of not only a black gown, but table cloths, hangings and chairs, among other things. She also granted gold rings to the value of 20s to each of her nieces and nephews. Her will betrays something of an exceptionally strong character. She makes numerous references to gifts of loans already given, but not repaid, while she also offers Margaret Tichborne, her granddaughter, 100 marks, but only on the proviso that she takes the advice of both her and her husband in choosing a suitable husband, should she marry before Anne’s death. She also makes separate bequests of her property interests in both Worcestershire and Aldersgate Street, in the City to a selection of her grandchildren. But her second will, written four years before her death, concerned her Islington property interests that she granted to a group of trustees to regulate and manage, giving all the rents to The Clothworkers’ Company, to whom she charged a number of annual tasks. The property comprised a messuage or tenement called the Crown in Islington; 14 acres and one rood of land next to it called the Prebend field, and three roods of land known as Great Coleman’s field. At the time of her will, this produced an annual income of £16 16s 9d. Under the terms of the grant, she asked the Clothworkers’ to pay £3 13s 4d to the poor of the parish of St Dunstan’s; to pay £8 to the parish in which she was buried, giving £3 towards the education of students, and £3 to the poor. Further monies were to be expended on the preaching of a sermon in her name in this church, and the remaining 40 shillings was to be paid in alms. Anne gave any leftover money from the rents to the Company.

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