Bowes Close, DA15

Place Name

Named after Sir Martin Bowes (circa 1500 – 1566), a Sheriff of London and the Lord Mayor of London for 1545, who owned 400 acres around Bexley and Blackfen. But it was his role at the Royal Mint, as a master-worker and under-treasurer, for which he was infamous as he personally contributed to the debasement of English currency. As a master-worker Bowes was entitled to a share in the Mint’s profits and it was he, along with three others, who adulterated the silver coinage with base metal netting himself a share of nearly £200,000 during the reign of Henry VIII, a crime for which he went unpunished.

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