Royal Visit 1552
On 25th July 1552 King Edward VI came to Cowdray, in the course of a tour through Southern England. He and his company came to Petworth, and he found that his train was more than the country could support. He wrote: “Because the number of bandis that went with me this progress made the traine great, it was thought good they should be sent home, save only 150, which were pikt out of al the bandis. This was because the traine was thought to be nier 4,000 horses, which were enough to eat up the country, for there was little meadow nor hay al the way as I went.”
This reducing of the King’s train may account for the King being “rather excessively banketted”, as he wrote to his friend Barnaby Fitz-Patrick, who was then in France, accompanying the French King in his campaign against the Emperor . . . “For whereas you al have been occupied in killing of your enemies, in long marching, in pained journeys, in extreme heat, in sore skirmishings, and divers assaltes, we have been occupied in killing of wild bestes, in pleasant journeys, in good fare, in viewing of fare countries, and rather have sought how to fortifie our own than to spoil another man’s. And being thus determined came to Gilford from thens to Petworth, and so to Coudray, a goodly house of Sir Anthony Browne’s where we were marvellously, yes rather excessively banketted. From thens we went to Halvenaker, a pretty house beside Chichester.”
The King remained at Cowdray until 27th July.
The Privy Council sat at Petworth on 23rd and 26th July; at Cowdray on 27th, 28th and 29th; at Halvenaker on the 30th and last day of July, 1st and 3rd of August. The Lord Great Chamberlain was present at the Cowdray sittings.
Extract from The Progress of King Edward VI in Sussex
by John Gough Nichols Esq. F.S.A. S.A.C.
[Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death in 1553. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. Edward was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour and England's first monarch to be raised as a Protestant.]