Henry VIII,the Reign
The Royal Progress 1535
1 Aug 1535
In 1140, when Matilda arrived in England to claim the crown, she at once made for Gloucester and ousted Stephen’s garrison there. ‘Thus the whole country down to the extremities of Wales, partly by force, partly by goodwill’ came across to Matilda’s party. Along with Bristol, Gloucester was her stronghold from which to rebut the de Boulogne claim to the crown.
King John inherited the earldom of Gloucester from his first wife, Isabella, Countess of Gloucester, granddaughter of Robert, Earl of Gloucester.
John was ‘sojourning in this city’ when the kingdom was invaded by Louis the Lion, who claimed the throne. After John’s death, William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, brought the deceased king’s young son – the future Henry III – to Gloucester and the earl delivered a stirring oration there: ‘Let us remove from us this Louis the French king’s son and supress his people, which are a confusion and shame to our nation, and the yoke of their servitude let us cast off our shoulders.’
The assembled barons agreed; they threw off the yoke of French servitude and Henry was crowned at St Peter’s Abbey – now the cathedral – in place of the dauphin of France. He was the last English monarch to be crowned outside Westminster Abbey.
Some three centuries later at Gloucester, Henry VIII was urged to cast off his own yoke of French servitude, Anne de Boulogne.