21 August 1535 – Acton Court welcomes Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

Nicholas Poyntz by Hans Holbein the Younger
Nicholas Poyntz by Hans Holbein the Younger

On 21st August 1535, Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn visited Acton Court, in Iron Acton, south Gloucestershire, as part of their progress to the south-west.

Acton Court was the home of Sir Nicholas Poyntz, a man who was known for his support of religious reform. In preparation for the royal visit, Poyntz added an entire new wing of state apartments to Acton Court, a moated manor house, for the exclusive use of the king and queen. He decked it out with the latest luxury items, such as Venetian glass, and continental furnishings, and modelled the rooms on Hampton Court Palace. The wing was built so quickly (within nine months) that it didn’t have any foundations!

You can read more about Henry and Anne’s visit to Acton Court in Nasim Tadghighi’s article Acton Court, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn – The Royal Progress of 1535, which includes a run-down on a talk by David Starkey. You can also find out more about Acton Court at www.actoncourt.com

The royal couple also visited Little Sodbury Manor, the home of the Walsh family who were also pro-Reform, on their progress – click here to read more.

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2 thoughts on “21 August 1535 – Acton Court welcomes Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn”
  1. I have only just found this site, it is wonderful. I have always had a great liking and sadness for Anne and it pleases me to know that she must have had some fun times with
    Henry. At 74 I thought I knew most things about my beloved history, on reading through your blog I find I know very little, I have some catching up to do. Thank you so much for all the wonderful information and for making my favourite people become even more alive.

  2. This was more than a mere holiday progress; Henry and Anne were on a tour of the reformation hot spots and the monastic houses close by. It was a fact finding mission as well as a progress and it certainly wandered into the midlands. I think Anne and Henry did want to concolidate their power and the new monarchy by visiting the local gentry who ran the place; getting and keeping them on side was essential, and a mark of royal favour to visit as well. Henry and Anne’s 1535 progress especially seems designed to pinpoint areas were trouble may brew and to make the royal presence felt in a suttle but effective way. Henry was also gaining support and being generous and gracious and gaining allies from former supporters of queen Katherine of Aragon. A royal visit, however, was an expensive affair, not only did it mean rebuildng and making sure the place was big enough and smart enough to hold 500-1000 people; but to feed and water and entertain them for a few days as well at your own expense. A sign of favour, yes, sometimes, but also Henry is finding out what is what; and it is one expensive headache.

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