George England after who this street is named held land in Loughton in 1633 and a thoroughly unpleasant piece of work he appears to have been. In 1637 he was mentioned in a court hearing having been named as the father of his servant Margaret Ray’s child. According to the court records he told her that she should “lay it to somebody else and that she should never want”. But her claim was not believed, on the grounds that the dates did not add up, and instead a John Greene was named as the father of the boy. A decade later and England was upsetting people again by failing to do his share of the highway work from Goldings Hill to Trapce hill. According to the highway surveyors of Loughton England, a group of labourers refused to dig gravel for the repairs. Prior to 1777 the street was known as Ree Lane and was noted as such in 1404. However, the name may go back even further to 1327 when the name William atte Ree was recorded. Ree comes from the Old English word ea for stream, in this case literally dweller at a stream. Historically the population of this area was dispersed and sparse, it remained opened fields until the inter-war period which saw the construction of the first housing estate at the north end of England’s Lane.
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