The Rev. John Newton 1725-1807 slave-trade abolitionist (once a slave-trader himself), lived at Marchfoot House in Aveley parish as a youth and began his sea career here at Long Reach. His hymn still touches hearts worldwide: 'Amazing Grace... that saved a wretch like me'.
A correspondent tells us, "Marshfoot House where he was born was at the junction of the new A13 and the A1306. It is said that he had a life changing experience on his way from Aveley to Purfleet that led in later life to him writing Amazing Grace."