Worsley Grove, E5

place name

William Worsley (about 1435 − 1499), the Lancashire-born doctor and preacher who was a dean of St Paul’s Cathedral between 1479 – 1499. Worsley owned a large manor house, which he almost certainly built, at today’s Upper Clapton Road north of the junction with Kenninghall Road. At the time this area was a green and pleasant land popular with wealthy Tudors keen to escape the city. Worsley held the deanery throughout the reigns of Edward V and Richard III, but in 1494 got involved in a plot led by the Flemish pretender, Perkin Warbeck to overthrow the king, Henry VII. Worsley was arrested, confessed and found guilty of high treason. Unlike his fellow conspirators he managed to avoid being executed on account of his order. The manor, with a fine hall, chapel, gallery and library, was later acquired by Henry Percy, the Earl of Northumberland, who was briefly engaged to Anne Boleyn before she became queen as the wife of Henry VIII. The earl’s mismanagement of the estate paved the way for the king himself, who hunted locally, to acquire it. Henry triggered a major refurb and used it as an occasional residence. This is one of a small number of local streets, including Brooke Road and Walsingham Road, that have Tudor and Elizabethan connections. It appears to have been built in the early 19thCentury.

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