Arrogant, proud and ambitious Sir Richard Grenville (June 15, 1542 – September 10, 1591) was one of the great sea heroes of the Elizabethan age. It was as captain of the appropriately named Revenge that he died at the Battle of Flores, fighting against overwhelming odds. He was the eldest son and heir of Sir Roger Grenville, who was captain of the Mary Rose when it sank in Portsmouth Harbour in 1545. Having inherited large estates in Devon and Cornwall, he spent his life looking for adventure, taking part in various campaigns abroad, including attempting some early settlements of North America. In England he developed his estates transforming the fishing village of Bideford into a busy market town. When the Spanish Armada came he captained one of the ships. But it was back in the Americas that he met his end in 1591, when faced with a fleet of 53 Spanish vessels. After days of often close combat fighting he was seriously injured and finally succumbed to his wound, screaming that his men were “traitors and dogs”. This is one of a cluster of New Addington streets that are named after some of Tudor England’s most prominent figures in reference to the fact that Henry VIII used to own a hunting lodge for the duration of his reign on what became the grounds of Addington Palace. According to Addington Palace’s website it is rumoured, although never conclusively proved, that the king held clandestine meetings with Anne Boleyn there, during which time he taught her to hunt among other things.
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