Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk is a beautiful fortified manor house which is well worth a visit.
It was built in the 15th century by the Bedingfeld family. Throughout the reign of the Tudors, the Bedingfeld’s played host to Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, were Steward to Katherine of Aragon, assisted in putting down the Kett rebellion, escorted Mary I to safety at Framlingham Castle, helped put down the Wyatt rebellion and acted as jailor to Princess Elizabeth.
Henry VII and Elizabeth of York visited the Hall in 1487. ‘The visit is commemorated in the names of the King’s and Queen’s Room.’ (1) p.39
Edmund Bedingfeld…was appointed Steward and Comptroller of Katherine of Aragon’s household during the last year of her life at Kimbolton Castle. (2)
‘In 1549 a Norfolk farmer named Robert Kett led a rebellion against the enclosure of common land. Sir Henry took part in putting down the rebellion but was taken prisoner and nearly murdered by the rebels. He was rescued by King Edward IV’s most powerful minister, John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and became his protégé. When Dudley was created Duke of Northumberland in 1551, Bedingfeld was knighted.
Sir Henry was a strong supporter of the Catholic Queen Mary. In 1553, when Lady Jane Grey made a rival claim to the throne, he gave the Queen an armed escort of 140 horsemen to take her to safety at Framlingham Castle. For his loyalty, he was given a position on Mary’s Privy Council….her marriage to King Philip of Spain caused open rebellion, which Bedingfeld helped to suppress.
The Queen’s Protestant half-sister, the future Elizabeth I, was implicated in the rebellion and imprisoned in the Tower of London, where Sir Henry Bedingfeld was Constable. From there she was escorted to Woodstock by Sir Henry, and kept by him under house arrest until spring 1555…Queen Mary rewarded Sir Henry by promoting him to the post of Lieutenant of the Tower in October 1555.’ (3)
The King’s Room
On display in the King’s Room are various historical documents including:
Grant of right to hold a fair by Henry III (12 February 1249)
Grant of right to fortify Oxburgh by Edward IV (3 July 1482)
Henry VIII writing to Lady Bedengfeld about the burial of Katherine of Aragon
Letter from Mary I to Sir Henry Bedingfeld appointing him Lieutenant of the Tower of London.
Letter from Elizabeth I to Sir Henry requesting his assistance in suppressing a northern rebellion in 1559.
My husband enjoyed trying out the priest hole!
Although Mary, Queen of Scots was never held prisoner at Oxburgh Hall, some of the tapestries worked by Mary and Bess of Hardwick are on display here.
1. Garnett, O. (ed) (2014) Oxburgh Hall, National Trust, p.39.
3. ibid, p.40.