Dame Anne Packington, who died sometime around 1560, left a considerable amount of property in Islington to The Clothworkers’ Company. She was one of four children of Henry Dacres, a citizen and Merchant Taylor, and his wife Elizabeth. Her father was an Alderman of London for the ward of Farrington Without from 1526 to 1528. In 1528, he was appointed Sheriff of the City of London. Twice married, she outlived both her husbands, and amassed a considerable fortune by the time she died. Her first husband Robert Fairthwaite died in 1521; it was thanks to her second marriage to Sir John Packington, of Hampton Lovet in Worcestershire, that she became a Dame. Packingham had considerable landholdings including some interests in London. When her father died Anne was given a share of £600. In his will, Sir John Packington bequeathed Anne the lease of the parsonage of Chaddesley in Worcestershire, which had significant lands attached. He also requested that some of his farm lands at Harbington would continue to be occupied by his nephew John Packington, who would pay Anne rent for use of the same. Packingham also gave Anne half of his corn, malt and grains; all of his household goods; half of his horses, geldings, mares and cattle; and his great chain of gold and £200 in cash. In her will of 1558 she granted her Islington property to a group of trustees to regulate and manage, giving all the rents to The Clothworkers’ Company, to whom she charged a number of annual tasks. The property comprised a messuage or tenement called the Crown in Islington; 14 acres and one rood of land next to it called the Prebend field and three roods of lands known as Great Coleman’s field. She appointed George Dakers, John Byrche, John Rolle, John Payne, Francis Payne, Robert Shakerley, Rowland Shakerley, William Forrest, John Eve, Thomas Calowe, William Iremonger, Robert Marten, John King, Roger Webbe, William Watson, Edward Wright, William Walker, Richard Marten, John King and John Iremonger, as the trustees. At the time of her will, the lands at Islington brought in an annual income of £16 16s 9d. Under the terms of the grant, she required The Clothworkers’ Company to pay £3 13s 4d to the poor of the parish of St. Dunstan’s in the West. Furthermore, the Company undertook to pay £8 to the parish in which she was buried, giving £3 towards the education of students and £3 to the poor. Further monies were to be expended on the preaching of a sermon in her name in this church, and the remaining 40 shillings was to be paid in alms. Anne gave any leftover money from the rents to the Company. The Packington Estate consisted of Packington Street, Bevan Street, Linton Street, St Paul Street, Prebend Street, Rector Street, the southern part of Union Square, Arlington Street (now part of Arlington Avenue), Ann Street (after 1911 Bevan Street), Dame Street and Arlington Square. John Hebb acted as contractor for several builders and the work was completed by 1861. Harry Moncrieff, architect, was commissioned to design blocks of flats for the Islington Council’s £2,000,000 Packington Estate re-development scheme. The Estate was purchased in 1963 from private developers to whom it had been sold in 1960 by the City Parochial Foundation.
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