Henry VIII,the Reign
9 Sep 1535
On 9 September, from his house at Kenninghall in Norfolk, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, wrote to Cromwell that he, ‘wishes to know, if the bailiff of Troyes has come, how Cromwell thinks matters between the King and the French king will fare? Thinks of sending his younger son to France for a year, but not unless the love between the Kings is like to continue.’
A good question indeed, but thus far the bailiff had not arrived.
Twelve miles almost due south of Wolf Hall was Thruxton. The Lisle manor there lay less than five miles west of Andover. Anne de Boulogne’s claim to French ancestry made her an important part of the history of the area.
Andover was destroyed with fire by the forces of Matilda de Boulogne in 1141 during the lead-up to the Rout of Winchester. The extent of the damage to the town may be judged by the obliteration of its written history for the twelfth century. Matilda’s adherent William of Ypres also fired Wherwell Abbey, just south of the town.
Arthur Plantagenet (Viscount Lisle) had come to Thruxton by marriage to Elizabeth Grey (sixth Baroness Lisle), mother by her first marriage of John Dudley, the future Duke of Northumberland. John Dudley probably organised the royal progress’s visit on his step-father’s behalf; he had already offered the king hospitality (again on his step-father’s behalf) at Painswick and Kingston Lisle.
The Lisle, also known as Insula, family rose to prominence in the reign of King John, and Brian de Lisle was one of the group that has become known as King John’s ‘evil counsellors. Lisle marriages over the years included unions with Pevrils, Beauchamps and Seymours.
Later, Arthur Plantagenet was arrested in 1540, on suspicion of collusion with the French. He was released about two years later but died of a heart attack upon receiving the news. John Dudley inherited the title; he became a principal governor of England in the reign of Edward VI and advocated Lady Jane Grey as queen. A little over four miles from Thruxton is Ludgershall, where John Wycliffe became curate in 1368.
In 1141, Matilda took refuge in Ludgershall Castle as she fled from King Stephen’s army. She was accompanied by Miles Fitzwalter of Gloucester, first Earl of Hereford and Lord of Brecknock, and escaped disguised as a corpse to Devizes and then to Gloucester.
King John improved the castle as a hunting lodge in 1210.
John Dudley, the future Duke of Northumberland, later, of course, was the undoing of the Seymour party, but for now there was trouble brewing with Anne de Boulogne’s France, and it seems at Kenninghall the wily Duke of Norfolk had more than a whiff of it.
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