Arragon Road, E6

PLACE NAME

Catherine of Aragon (December 16, 1485 – January 7, 1536) was Queen of England from June 1509 until May 1533 as the first wife of King Henry VIII. The fiercely intelligent, thoughtful and popular Catherine was the daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Following her first short-lived marriage to Arthur, Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the English throne, she served as ambassador of the Aragonese Crown to England, making her the first female ambassador in Europe. She married again in 1509, this time to her deceased husband’s brother, the recently crowned king, Henry VIII. The couple had one daughter, later to become Mary I, but the lack of a male heir infuriated her husband. By 1525 Henry had fallen for Anne Boleyn and sought to have the marriage annulled. This is one of a cluster of local streets, the so-called Boleyn Estate, that were built in about 1880 and named after five of Henry’s wives on account of a dubious local legend linking Anne Boleyn with a local mansion known locally as Boleyn’s Castle, where she is said to have lived and the king is meant to have come to court her. The castle-like mansion with tower was located at the southern end of Green Street. In 1904 its grounds were rented to West Ham Football Club and became the infamous Boleyn Ground.

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