This road takes its name from Sir John Henry Pelly, 1st Baronet (March 31, 1777 – August 13, 1852), whose estate was in Upton. He served as the Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, a vast trading organisation that explored, and exploited, huge parts of Canada. He later went on to become the Governor of the Bank of England. Locally he was commissioner of sewers for southwest Essex, a county magistrate and chairman of the West Ham Poor Law Union. He gave to St Mary’s Church in Plaistow, where he is buried. As well as Pelly Road, Pelly Bridge and the now-demolished Pelly Memorial School were all named for him.
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