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.
Letters & Papers No 235 1533 Volume 6, dated 15 March 1533
King John's Tomb at Worcester Cathedral
Tewkesbury and Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire
Monday 26 Jul 1535
Was Thomas Cromwell the leader of the Henry - Johnite party?
Becket in his day called Cromwell’s sort ‘the untamed beasts’ of the royal court. ‘I am not surprised, ‘said Becket, ‘that evil laymen have constructed such a plot against the clergy.’
Anne Boleyn was not one of those ‘untamed beasts’ of the royal court, Becket’s enemies were supporters of the Angevin dynasty. Anne was aligned to the French Valois – Capet dynasty which, in head long opposition, had granted Becket protection during his years in exile, she had nothing to fear from the superstitions that surrounded the name of the murdered archbishop. Her nemesis was the Henry – Johnite fraternity, which now sought revenge, for deeds past, against the Angevins.
Winchcombe to Tewkesbury is a little over ten miles, and the most northerly point listed as visited on the progress. There is no record of where the royal party lodged at Tewkesbury therefore although the royal household settled in the town for several days, given the trouble Cromwell had gone to obtain Toddington for Tracey from the abbot of Tewkesbury, it is likely that the royal party lodged at the manor there, with the descendants of Thomas Becket’s murderer.
The bridge over the River Avon in Tewkesbury today still bears King John’s name and his body is entombed a few miles away at Worcester. He chose to be buried there, near to the shrine of his favourite saint, Wulfstan I. Years later it was from here that King Henry VIII’s Lancastrian father, the future Henry VII, fled after the battle of Tewkesbury in 1471 to Brittany. He returned through Wales and the west of England, gathering support in 1485 to defeat Richard III at Bosworth and claim the kingdom for the Tudors.
Here also is buried Henry VIII's older brother Arthur.
The abbot who had granted Stanway to Tracy died in 1534 and was replaced by John Wyche (also known as Wakeham). During the royal progress’s visit to Tewkesbury, Wyche promised Cromwell a gelding, which, together with thanks for his preferment, he duly sent him that autumn, along with five shillings to buy a saddle. In the guise of his alias, Wakeham, he became the inaugural Bishop of Gloucester in 1541.
Cromwell’s family hailed from the shadows of Southwell Minster and Newark Castle where King John died. His forefathers rubbed shoulders with the Sheriff of Nottingham and John’s ‘evil councillors’. On the balance of probability, he and his Henry – Johnite adherents visited Worcester Cathedral and knelt before the king’s tomb. Henry maybe went too, but it is difficult to imagine his wholly French queen joining the party.
Thus far Anne Boleyn and her faction had endured digs and gibes from the Henry – Johnites, taunts because of her association with French antagonists of past kings of England, but from Tewkesbury they headed south to Gloucester, now things would turn against her personally, and a past queen of England would provide the propaganda. The lands of the Anarchy lay ahead.