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The 1535 Progress: The Old Palace of Langley, Oxfordshire

After the court had made the twelve-mile journey from Abingdon Abbey, they arrived at the Old Palace of Langley on 16 July , staying for five days. Today, perched on high ground to the south of the village of Shipton-Under-Wychwood, is the small hamlet of Langley, locally famous for being home to a site where it’s traditionally said once stood King John’s Palace. Although the Old Palace of Langley was extensively remodelled in 1858, the converted building includes Tudor walls and It’s still possible to see the initials H E, for Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, on a stone panel at the front of the farmhouse.

The 1535 Progress: Abingdon Abbey, Oxfordshire
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The 1535 Progress: Abingdon Abbey, Oxfordshire

On 14 July 1535, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn made the ten-mile journey from Ewelme to Abingdon en route to Langley. This was not the first time that the couple had relied on the hospitality of this great monastic house, as they had spent time there in late August 1532.

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The 1535 Progress: Ewelme Manor, Oxfordshire

After staying at Reading Abbey, the second stop of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s 1535 progress was Ewelme Manor. While staying there Henry VIII asked for the property to be returned to the crown. Ewelme once more became a royal residence and was used by the king as a lesser house, a place where he retreated for greater privacy with a select group of friends while on hunting trips.

1502 Progress: Beverston Castle, Gloucestershire
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1502 Progress: Beverston Castle, Gloucestershire

If it were not for a single entry in the Queen’s Chamber Books, dated 27 September 1502, when payment was made to Robert Alyn for preparing lodgings for the Queen (see the quote above), we would be none the wiser about the royal visit to Beverston Castle. This would undoubtedly be our loss, as this lovely location has virtually disappeared from our awareness as a place of significance for those following the Tudor trail.

The main reason for this paucity of information is probably that the visit was fleeting. After five days resting at Berkeley Castle, the royal entourage was on the move and pressing on to reach the next notable destination on the geists: Fairford, where they were to be guests of the wealthy wool merchant Sir Edmund Tame. In a subsequent post, we will hear more about the Tame family and this fascinating location. 

However, even this transitory stay gives us ample excuse to bring Beverston back into the spotlight and discover its unassuming charms.

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The 1535 Progress: Reading Abbey, Berkshire
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The 1535 Progress: Reading Abbey, Berkshire

On 8 July 1535, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn left Windsor Castle bound for Reading Abbey. The twelfth century monastery was founded by William the Conqueror’s youngest son, Henry I, and was the first stop on a summer progress to the West Country and Hampshire, and at only a day’s ride away from Windsor, it was a very convenient staging post. 

Cardinal John Morton, Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury
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Cardinal John Morton, Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury

Name and Title: Cardinal John Morton, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of Canterbury,
Born: Circa 1420.
Died: 15 September 1500 at Knole, Kent.
Buried: Our Lady Undercroft of Canterbury Cathedral.

Read more and see images of the tomb here…

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…