Henry VIII,the Reign
The Royal Progress 1535
Painswick to Wolfhall
Page 2 of 4
In March 1533, Henry promised that he would repair the insult to Kings Henry II and John, who had been tricked into offering the realm in tribute to the Holy See. He was also determined to reunite the crown with the goods churchmen had appropriated from it.
At Painswick was Sir William Kingston, the man who had been privy to Wolsey’s deathbed speech in fear of a Lutheran takeover. It was the height of summer when Anne de Boulogne was received at Painswick – the last summer of her life. In spring the following year, her host would receive her again, in the Tower of London as his prisoner.
Kingston’s wife, Mary, was quite probably also at Painswick when Anne arrived. We can be quite sure, however, that Mary was at the Tower with her husband nine months later because their evidence was instrumental in Anne’s conviction for treason’.
Leonard Stanley, Gloucestershire
The entourage took a one-night stopover at Leonard Stanley en route to Berkeley Castle. The manor at the time was owned by the Wykes family, who coincidentally shared the same surname as Thomas Cromwell’s deceased wife.
Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire
2 Aug 1535
Berkeley Castle is the ancestral home of Robert Fitzharding (c. 1095–1170), an Anglo-Saxon nobleman from Bristol who was granted the feudal barony of Berkeley in Gloucestershire. He rebuilt Berkeley Castle and founded the Berkeley family, which still occupies it today. He was a wealthy Bristol merchant and a financier of Henry Plantagenet (Duke of Aquitaine and later Henry II), and was an enemy of King Stephen (c. 1135–54) during the Anarchy. Fitzharding founded St Augustine’s Abbey, which after the dissolution of the monasteries became Bristol Cathedral. Many of the Berkeley family were buried there. Fitzharding was one of the few Anglo-Saxon noblemen who retained noble status in Norman England.
Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire
9 Aug 1535
Edward Stafford, third Duke of Buckingham, began building Thornbury Castle in 1511. It was well advance but not finished when he was executed for treason ten years later. By his daughter Elizabeth, who married Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, Edward was grandfather to Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son.
Acton Court, Iron Acton, Gloucestershire
21 Aug 1535
Nicholas Poyntz added the east wing to his manor house at Acton Court. The Poyntz family, it is believed, came to England with William the Conqueror and held the manors of Tockington in Gloucestershire and Curry Mallet in Somerset. There are only fifteen proven companions of William the Conquer. One was William Mallet, and several towns and villages in addition to Curry Mallet bear that name. Another of the fifteen was Eustace de Boulogne, whose kinsmen also settled for a time in Somerset.
Nicholas Poyntz married the heir of John IV de Acton (d. 1362) and thus inherited the Acton estate. Nicholas’s son married Elizabeth Clanvowe, descended from the Hereford family of Lollard Knights who originated from the hotbed of anti-papists north-west of the city.
Little Sodbury, Gloucestershire
23 Aug 1535
Continuing the Lollard theme, next on the route was Little Sodbury Manor, home of Sir John Walsh, who employed William Tyndale as a chaplain and tutor to his grandchildren in 1522–23. By tradition, Tyndale began his translation of the Bible there.
Although supported by Cromwell, in 1530 Tyndale wrote The Practice of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII’s planned annulment of his marriage with Catherine of Aragon and so allow him to take a second wife, Anne Boleyn. Tyndale argued that the annulment would be unscriptural and that it was a plot by Cardinal Wolsey to get Henry entangled in the papal courts of Pope Clement VII.
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.)
Bromham House, Wiltshire
26 Aug 1535
Next on the itinerary was Sir Edward Bayton’s home at Bromham. The manor had been granted to Sir Edward by the king during the dissolution of the monasteries. Sir Edward was a prominent servant of Henry VIII and one of the greatest Wiltshire landowners; indeed, the Bayntons ranked, with the Hungerfords and Thynnes, below only the Seymours and the Herberts in the region.
In May 1536, Sir Edward declared his belief that, although Mark Smeaton was the only prisoner who would admit to adultery with Anne de Boulogne, there were other culprits on whose silence their mistress was relying.
Wolf Hall, Wiltshire
2 Sep 1535
Originally from south Wales, the Seymours became established in Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire with decent from Beauchamp of Hatch, and Stermy of Elvetham and maintained a significant influence in Wiltshire and the surrounding counties.
Wolf Hall, near Marlborough, in the Savernake Forest, was principal home of Jane Seymour.. The castle at Marlborough as one of King John’s most important strongholds, where he established a treasury. He was married at Marlborough and in 1209 called thousands of men to gather at the castle to swear allegiance to him by taking the Oath of Marlborough. Jane’s Sturmy ancestors were entrusted by William the Conquered to administer the Savernake Forest.