Boleyn Road, E8

Place Name

Anne Boleyn (about 1501 – May 19, 1536), the second wife of King Henry VIII, was Queen of England between 1533 to 1536. Their marriage and Anne’s execution for treason made her a key figure in the political and religious drama that marked the start of the English Reformation. The connection here however is decidedly more local. Before becoming queen, Anne had briefly been engaged to Henry Percy, the Earl of Northumberland, who had a house just to the north east of Newington Green. The king himself also had a residence at Newington Green, where he would hunt the wild boar, bulls and stags that still roamed in this part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex. Rumour has it the king did more than hunt at his lodges and would seduce his mistresses there, although this seems unlikely in Anne’s case given her notorious resolve in keeping Henry at arm’s length until they were married. While Anne did indeed get her prize and become queen, the relationship soured after it failed to produce a son and heir. Within three years of marriage Anne was accused of adultery, incest and treason and swiftly imprisoned. The story circles back to Henry Percy who found himself a member of the jury that convicted and sentenced her to death by beheading. The Tudor saga is remembered in the naming of group of local streets, including King Henry’s Walk, Wolsey Road, King Henry Street, Tudor Court, and Queen Margaret’s Grove. This street appears to have been laid out in about the 1830s. Some of the area’s Tudor architecture, including S H Ridley’s Tudor Gothic style asylum, is much later, the asylum dating to 1836.

 

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