John Islip

John Islip street runs behind Tate Britain. Ever heard of him? Me neither. But the wonders of Google  on the move revealed much.

He was the Abbot of Westminster, dying in 1532 - which doesn't look promising as that made him a senior churchman at ground zero for the Catholic Church in England - the king's divorce. The story is actually a happy one. He was an influential abbot, overseeing the building of the Henry VII chapel and the west tower, becoming a privy councillor under Henry VIII and representing the king's case to the Pope. He had the great good fortune to die before his abbey was suppressed and  he was forced into the lethal moral choices accepted by Thomas More. He was buried with much splendour in his own mortuary in his own abbey. 

And he has a street named after him. Born lucky you could say. 

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