Henry VIII,the Reign
The Royal Progress 1535
Bristol was included on the itinerary but the visit may have been abandoned because of the plague.
Robert of Gloucester had made Bristol the ‘Western Capital of England’ and the city was the centre of Anglo-Angevin power against Stephen and his quest to bequeath the English crown to the de Boulognes. The city had strengthened its position during the reign of Henry I and as a result of Henry’s marriage to Elenore of Aquitaine, establishing trade routes from the port to France.
Robert of Gloucester was an illegitimate son of Henry I. He reinforced Bristol Castle, which formed the centre of power and command against Stephen and Matilda de Boulogne. Robert was grandfather to King John’s first wife Isabella, Countess of Gloucester.
In 1362, John Wycliffe accepted the pretend of nearby Aust, on the banks of the River Severn across the water from the Seymour place at Penhow. He was also a cannon at Westbury on Trym, in the suburbs of modern-day Bristol. In 1368, he became the curate of Ludgershall, Wiltshire. Thomas Cromwell was recorder of Bristol from 1533 to 1540.
For about a year, Henry II lived alongside Roger of Worcester, one of Robert’s sons, and was instructed by a Master Matthew. Robert’s household was known for its education and learning. The canons of St Augustine’s Abbey in Bristol also helped in Henry’s education.
A half-dozen miles south-east of Bristol is Keynsham. There had been a religious settlement in Keynsham during the ninth and tenth centuries, but the main abbey was founded by William, Earl of Gloucester and son of Robert of Gloucester (of the Anarchy) in 1166.
Jasper Tudor is buried at Keynsham. The abbey was bequeathed to him by Agnes Cheyne, whose husband Sir John Cheyne was a staunch Lollard and implicated in the John Oldcastle rising of 1413. (Former American vice president Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney is a descendant of this family.)