This week’s interesting fact was supplied by Michael Jecks whose latest title, A MURDER TOO SOON, is available now.
Woodstock was an ancient palace? Long before the rock festival, there was a fabulous royal palace. It was originally a hunting lodge built by Henry I, with seven miles of walls about it to protect his park, where lions and leopards are said to have roamed. It was here that Henry II had his first argument with Thomas a Becket, and Henry III liked the place so much he had a chapel and made the buildings more secure.
However, by the time of Queen Mary, the palace had fallen into decay. Mary herself must have had a poor opinion of the place, because it was here that her mother was installed when Henry VIII became infatuated with Anne Boleyn and married her. This galling experience clearly influenced her when she chose the place later to imprison her half-sister, Elizabeth. The irony of placing Anne Boleyn’s daughter in the palace where Mary’s mother had once been held must have been delicious to her – especially when she chose Sir Henry Bedingfield as Elizabeth’s guard, the son of the man who had been steward and gaoler of Queen Mary’s mother, Catherine of Aragon.
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