Sir William Paulet (about 1483/1485 – March 10, 1572), 1st Marquess of Winchester, styled Lord St John Basing and Earl of Wiltshire, was a Tudor statesman who served as Lord High Treasurer, Comptroller of the Royal Household, and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. He was a member of the powerful Basing family, originally from Basingstoke, Hampshire, who were prominent in the City from the beginning of the 13thCentury. In about 1287, by which time they had already produced two Lord Mayors of London, the family acquired land in Camberwell. Paulet’s political career began in 1529, when he was elected knight of the shire for Hampshire. In 1532, he accompanied King Henry VIII to France, and the following spring, he accompanied the Duke of Norfolk to join King Francis I of France in a proposed audience with the Pope, to discuss Henry’s divorce from his first wife Catherine of Aragon. He became steward of the bishopric of Winchester, and a close associate of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and friend of Thomas Cromwell. The family’s manor house stood just to the west of the northern end of Rye Lane and existed until at least 1812 when, according to the local historian William Blanch, the land was sub-divided into many parts and passed to several owners, thus permanently breaking up the estate. The street itself dates to the 1870s and was built on the former estate of Hughes Minet, a French Merchant banker who acquired it in 1770.
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