Sir Martin Bowes (1496 – 1566) was Lord Mayor of London in 1545. He owned a mansion called Tower Place in Woolwich Warren, which was the earliest part of the Arsenal site, having purchased land in Woolwich, Plumstead, and Bexley, Kent, from the church in 1540. Three years later he received another large grant of lands in Kent, which he appears to have re-sold before his death; in 1546 he bought the manor of North Cray, Kent, from Sir Roger Cholmley and in June 1553 the manor of East Wickham from the Crown. In his political life he represented the City of London in Parliament from 1547 to 1553. He was one of the interrogators of Anne Askew, a Protestant martyr, who was burnt at the stake for heresy in 1546. This is part of the Progress Estate which was built to house the munitions workers at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich during the First World War. Most of the street names have a connection with military history and the Arsenal.
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