Woodstock Palace

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An old print of the Palace of Woodstock Woodstock Palace.jpg
An old print of the Palace of Woodstock

Woodstock Palace was a royal residence in the English town of Woodstock, Oxfordshire. [1]

Contents

Henry I of England built a hunting lodge here and in 1129 he built 7 miles (11 km) of walls to create the first enclosed park, where lions and leopards were kept. The lodge became a palace under Henry's grandson, Henry II, who spent time here with his mistress, Rosamund Clifford. [1]

Timeline

Important events that took place at the palace or manor include:

A chapel or oratory was built for Eleanor of Provence, the wife of Henry III, in 1250. The new chapel was dedicated to St Edward and located above the Queen's Chamber. Externally the chapel had crenellations. [4]

Elizabeth I and the gatehouse

Henry VII rebuilt a part of the palace in the 1490s. The work was supervised by Master George Gainesford, and the mason was William Este. [5] He built the gatehouse in 1507. [6] Elizabeth I as Princess is said to have been lodged in the upper floors of the gatehouse in 1554, and scratched inscriptions on the palace windows with a diamond ring, and written on a shutter with charcoal. Her words were noted by the travellers Paul Hentzner and Henri, Duke of Rohan in 1600. A chamber in the gatehouse had an arched oak ceiling, with carving, painted blue with gilt decoration, and was later known as Queen Elizabeth's Chamber. [7]

17th century

King James I and his wife Anne of Denmark, her secretary William Fowler, and Arbella Stuart came to Woodstock in September 1603 during a time of plague. [8] Sir Robert Cecil criticised the building as, "unwholsome, all the house standing upon springs. It is unsavoury, for there is no savour but of cows and pigs. It is uneaseful, for only the King and Queen with the privy chamber ladies and 3 or 4 of Scottish council are lodged in the house". [9] The court was at Woodstock again in September 1610. [10]

In 1611, King James I gave Woodstock Palace to his son Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, [11] who had a banqueting house built of leafy tree branches in the park, in which he held a dinner for his parents and his sister Princess Elizabeth in August 1612. [12] [13] On 19 February 1617, Woodstock was given to Prince Charles. [14]

In 1649, a survey was made of the manor buildings, mentioning, "a large gatehouse and a courtyard, on the north of which there is range of buildings called the Prince's Lodgings, on the east a spacious hall, adjoining to which there is a chapel and lodgings, known by the name of the Bishop's Lodgings, another courtyard called the Wardrobe, surrounded with the Lord Chamberlain's lodgings and wardrobe rooms, adjoining which is the Queen's Hall and the steward's lodgings. There is a fair staircase leading up to the Guard Chamber, to which joins the Presence Chamber, on the right hand of which is the King's withdrawing room, bedchamber and closet, on the right hand the Queen's lodgings". The rooms were then mostly empty of furnishings. [15]

Woodstock Palace was mostly destroyed during the English Civil War.

Later history

Inescutcheon "of the Honour and Manor of Woodstock", granted by royal warrant in 1722 as an augmentation of honour to the coat of arms of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and borne at his funeral. By a further royal licence in 1817 it was added as an augmentation to the arms of the Dukes of Marlborough. Cross of St George surmounted by the royal arms of France Inescutcheon Of HonourAndManor Of Woodstock.svg
Inescutcheon "of the Honour and Manor of Woodstock", granted by royal warrant in 1722 as an augmentation of honour to the coat of arms of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and borne at his funeral. By a further royal licence in 1817 it was added as an augmentation to the arms of the Dukes of Marlborough. Cross of St George surmounted by the royal arms of France

In 1705, Parliament granted the royal manor and honour (i.e. feudal barony) of Woodstock to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722), in recognition of his victory over the French at the Battle of Blenheim on 13 August 1704. The manor was to be held in feudal tenure from Queen Anne in free socage by service of grand serjeanty "of presenting at Windsor Castle, on the anniversary of the battle, a standard bearing the fleur-de-lys of France". [17] An inescutcheon "of the Honour and Manor of Woodstock" was further granted by royal warrant in 1722 as an augmentation of honour to his coat of arms and was borne at his funeral. By a further Royal Licence, 26 May 1817, the inescutcheon was added as an augmentation of honour to the arms of the Dukes of Marlborough, [18] and is still borne by them today. The arms comprise a Cross of St George surmounted by the royal arms of France. [19]

Blenheim Palace was built in the manor of Woodstock for the Duke as his new seat. Some stone from the old Palace was used. [1] The ruins of the old palace or manor house of Woodstock were removed in 1723. [20]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Pipe, Simon (23 October 2007). "Woodstock's lost royal palace". BBC Oxford. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  2. Davies, John. History of Wales. p. 140.
  3. Edward Marshall, The Early History of Woodstock Manor and Its Environs (Oxford, 1873), p. 135.
  4. Edward Marshall, The Early History of Woodstock Manor and Its Environs (Oxford, 1873), p. 382.
  5. Samuel Bentley, Excerpta Historica: Or, Illustrations of English History (London, 1831), pp. 96, 98.
  6. Edward Marshall, The Early History of Woodstock Manor and Its Environs (Oxford, 1873), p. 135.
  7. Edward Marshall, The Early History of Woodstock Manor and Its Environs (Oxford, 1873), pp. 155-7, 164-5.
  8. HMC Salisbury Hatfield, vol. 15 (London, 1930), p. 243.
  9. Edmund Lodge, Illustrations of British History, vol. 3 (London, 1791), p. 186.
  10. Horatio Brown, Calendar State Papers Venice, 1610-1613, vol. 12 (London, 1906), pp. 40-1.
  11. Horatio Brown, Calendar State Papers Venice, 1610-1613, vol. 12 (London, 1906), p. 207 no. 324.
  12. Mary Anne Everett Green & S. C. Lomas, Elizabeth, Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia (London, 1909), p. 23.
  13. Thomas Birch, Life of Henry Prince of Wales (London, 1760), pp. 331-2.
  14. Edward Marshall, The Early History of Woodstock Manor and Its Environs (Oxford, 1873), p. 177.
  15. Edward Marshall, The Early History of Woodstock Manor and Its Environs (Oxford, 1873), pp. 206-7.
  16. The book of public arms : a complete encyclopædia of all royal, territorial, municipal, corporate, official, and impersonal arms by Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles, 1915, p.862
  17. A P Baggs, W J Blair, Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C J Day, Nesta Selwyn and S C Townley, 'Blenheim: Woodstock manor', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock, ed. Alan Crossley and C R Elrington (London, 1990), pp. 431-435 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/oxon/vol12/pp431-435
  18. The book of public arms : a complete encyclopædia of all royal, territorial, municipal, corporate, official, and impersonal arms by Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles, 1915, p.862
  19. Blazon: On an escutcheon argent the Cross of St George surmounted by another escutcheon azure charged with three fleurs-de-lis two and one or (Montague-Smith, P.W. (ed.), Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, Kelly's Directories Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, 1968, p.747)
  20. Edward Marshall, The Early History of Woodstock Manor and Its Environs (Oxford, 1873), p. 263.

Coordinates: 51°50′45″N01°21′50″W / 51.84583°N 1.36389°W / 51.84583; -1.36389