Elizabeth Somerset (née Browne), 2nd Countess of Worcester
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Elizabeth Somerset (née Browne), 2nd Countess of Worcester

Name and Title: John Beaufort and Margaret Beauchamp, 1st Duke (also 3rd Earl of Somerset) and Duchess of Somerset (also Lady St John and Lady Welles).

Born: John Beaufort b.1404; Margaret Beauchamp c. 1410

Died: John Beaufort Died: 3 May 1444, London. Margaret Beauchamp Died: before 3 June 1482.

Buried: Wimborne Minster, Dorset.

Read more and see images of the tomb here…

The 1502 Progress: Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire
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The 1502 Progress: Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire

The next significant stop on the 1502 progress after Woolaston was Berkeley Castle, where the royal couple stayed for five days from 29 August to 4 September.

Berkeley Castle still stands largely untouched since it was set in stone during the eleventh, twelfth and fourteenth centuries. 

Berkeley Castle is highly distinctive in appearance. Built on a typical Norman motte and bailey design during the early and mid-medieval period, it has been constructed from local pink, grey, and yellow Severn sandstone, with its roofs mainly made of Cotswold stone, slate, or lead. 

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John and Margaret Beaufort, 1st Duke and Duchess of Somerset.
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John and Margaret Beaufort, 1st Duke and Duchess of Somerset.

Name and Title: John Beaufort and Margaret Beauchamp, 1st Duke (also 3rd Earl of Somerset) and Duchess of Somerset (also Lady St John and Lady Welles).

Born: John Beaufort b.1404; Margaret Beauchamp c. 1410

Died: John Beaufort Died: 3 May 1444, London. Margaret Beauchamp Died: before 3 June 1482.

Buried: Wimborne Minster, Dorset.

Read more and see images of the tomb here…

The 1502 Progress: Woolaston, Gloucestershire
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The 1502 Progress: Woolaston, Gloucestershire

On 28 August, the Queen’s Chamber Books for Elizabeth of York records, ‘Itm the same day to the mariners that conveyed the Quenes grace over the Severn besides Chepstowe’. The temptation is to immediately conclude that a ferry conducted the King and Queen across the River Severn into England at the point where the current bridge spans the river, close to the foot of Chepstow Castle, where the royal couple had been lodged. While this might be true, further close inspection of a later entry in the Chamber Book (dated 27 September) clarifies that the Queen moved from Chepstow to ‘Walstone’ before arriving at the next stop: Berkeley Castle.

This entry is a retrospective payment made to ‘Robert Alyn for his costes prepayring logging for the Quene from Ragland to Chepstowe by the space of twoo dayes, from Chepstowe to Walstone, ij dayes, from Walstone to Berkeley, ij dayes.’…

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The 1502 Progress: Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire
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The 1502 Progress: Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire

After travelling for around four weeks, and lodging for a week at Raglan Castle, Elizabeth of York and Henry VII began their homebound journey.

Bordering Wales and England, Chepstow Castle sits atop of the cliffs overlooking the River Wye in Monmouthshire’s Wye Valley. it was the next stop on the 1502 progress.

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The 1502 Progress: Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire
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The 1502 Progress: Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire

Raglan Castle: Arrival and Family Ties

When Elizabeth and Henry left Troy after five days of hospitality, they had only a short seven-mile journey in a south-westerley direction to reach their next destination, Raglan Castle (or ‘Ragland’ as it was known until at least the early nineteenth century). 

An 1801 account of the road from Monmouth to Raglan describes the scenery the royal couple would have encountered as they began their journey, ‘On leaving Monmouth the road leads for near two miles thro’ a pleasant enclosed valley, skirted by gentle swellings, clothed or cultivated to their summits but gaining the higher ground at Wonastow. The view unfolds itself in a beautiful and extensive manner, over a rich and fertile country…’

The royal party arrived at Raglan Castle on or around 19 August. Their stay there was the apex and, in many ways, the centrepiece of the visit with its incumbent lord, the King’s loyal and erstwhile brother-in-arms, Sir Walter Herbert, playing host…

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The 1502 Progress: Troy House, Monmouth, Monmouthshire
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The 1502 Progress: Troy House, Monmouth, Monmouthshire

Having stayed at Flaxley Abbey overnight, the following day, on the 14 August, the royal cavalcade was on the move again. Troy House was around 15 miles southwest of Flaxley, just a few miles over the Welsh border. The medieval manor house belonged to the powerful Herbert family. It sat in a wide, shallow valley, close to the small village of Mitchel Troy and overlooking the town of Monmouth, which lay just one mile to the north. Here, a twelfth-century castle, in which Henry V had been born in 1386, dominated a strategically important convergence of two rivers: the River Monnow and the River Wye…