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THE STORY OF A WALTHAMSTOW WORTHY
HIS FOUNDATIONS AND BENEFACTIONS


BY GEORGE F. BOSWORTH
PUBLISHED BY THE WALTHAMSTOW ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY 1916

 

WHEN MONOUX LIVED.


George Monoux, one of Walthamstow's greatest benefactors, lived during a most remarkable period of our history. He was born about the time when Caxton introduced printing into England (1477), and he lived to see the triumph of that invention, when a copy of the Great Bible was placed in the Parish Church of Walthamstow (1540). Monoux lived through the transition from mediaeval to modern history, for as a lad he saw the Plantagenet feudalism come to an end at the battle of Bosworth (1485), which heralded the New England and the New Learning of the Tudors. When he reached manhood, his outlook on life was coloured by the news of the discoveries of Columbus and Cabot in the New World, of the voyages ' of Vasco de Gama and other navigators in the Old World, and by the resulting foundation of The English Royal Navy. The Tudor period developed dramatic changes in Church and State, and Monoux passed through the years when the Church of England was separated from Rome, when the Pope's authority in England was abolished, when Henry VIII was declared °supreme Head of the Church of England', and when that rapacious King plundered the monasteries and sent the learned More and pious Fisher to the block. In those tragic times and amid all that welter, Monoux kept his head, although he saw the entry and exit of Henry's six queens, the ri5e and fall of Wolsey, the rise and execution of Thomas Cromwell, the beheading of the Countess of Salisbury, who owned the manor of Salisbury Hall, Walthamstow, and the death of many others who opposed the fruition of the state policy of Henry VIII.
Such was the age in which George Monoux lived. And now after the passing of four centuries, and when the Grammar School bearing his name is about to enter on a new phase in its history, it seems right and proper that there should be some record of the Founder and his work. Citizen and merchant of London and Bristol, Alderman and Lord Mayor of the City of London, benefactor and philanthropist of Walthamstow, where he so long resided, George Monoux has left his mark on the history of our parish; and St. Mary's Church, the Monoux Almshouses, and the Monoux School are abiding memorials of this Tudor worthy who left Walthamstow better than he found it. "