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Dark Facts About Hampton Court, Henry VIII’s Cursed Palace

Dark Facts About Hampton Court, Henry VIII’s Cursed Palace


Whereas the Tower of London lives in English infamy, few individuals know in regards to the haunted historical past of Hampton Courtroom Palace, the bloody crown jewel of King Henry VIII’s reign. In-built scandal and lasting by means of years of intrigue, the palace noticed the rise and fall of kings, queens, and cardinals alike—forsaking various ghosts. If these partitions may speak, they might scream.


1. It Had Unholy Beginnings

In 1515, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, one in all King Henry VIII’s favourite courtiers, began constructing Hampton Courtroom as a deluxe pleasure palace. For the subsequent decade, Wolsey spared no expense on his brickwork bauble, pouring over 200,000 Crowns into its development. Sadly for Wolsey, the palace’s darkish historical past began nearly instantly…

2. The Penthouse Suites Have been Match for a King

King Henry VIII graced his Cardinal’s “humble” new abode along with his presence just about proper after it was completed in 1525. As was befitting of a King of England, Henry stayed within the state residences at Hampton Courtroom, which had been principally the penthouse suites of the Tudor interval. Because it seems, this was a deadly mistake.

3. It Was the Middle of a Harmful Recreation

Wolsey received valuable little time to take pleasure in his new digs. Shortly after Henry’s go to to the palace, the cardinal fell from the tempestuous monarch’s favor. Determined to appease the chop-happy king and understanding that Henry VIII had appreciated his keep, Wolsey “gifted” Hampton Courtroom to him round 1529. It wasn’t sufficient.

4. Its Unique Proprietor Met an Notorious Finish

King Henry VIII snatched up the palace immediately—it could, in any case, change into his most favored residence. Then he dealt Wolsey a merciless betrayal. Maybe by no means intending to revive Wolsey to favor, Henry reduce the Cardinal out of his life anyway, and the holy man died simply two years later. The palace’s first curse was full…however Henry was simply starting.

5. It Was Presupposed to Host Anne Boleyn

King Henry VIII’s first doomed spouse, the bewitching Anne Boleyn, is tragically linked to Hampton Courtroom. When Anne was nonetheless alive and in possession of all her important physique components, Henry constructed lavish residences for his queen on the palace. Or, properly, nearly. In yet one more courtroom curse, Boleyn confronted the chopping block earlier than development was completed…however that’s not the final we’ll see of Anne.

6. King Henry VIII’s Solely Son Was Born There

In 1537, pleasure lastly got here to Hampton Courtroom Palace…form of. That yr, Henry VIII’s third queen Jane Seymour grew to become pregnant with the king’s baby. Henry desperately needed a son, so he was overjoyed when Seymour gave start to a wholesome and bouncing child boy, the longer term Edward VI. However tragedy was simply across the nook.

7. It Was the Website of a Horrific Labor…

Jane Seymour had an extremely troublesome time with being pregnant, and had even miscarried a baby earlier than bringing Edward to time period—however her labor with the brand new prince was a lot worse than her miscarriage. The newborn was possible in a breach or another awkward place, and the painful labor lasted a grueling three nights. Henry’s response to this was really disturbing.

8. …And a Horrific Ultimatum

When docs knowledgeable Henry of how badly his spouse was doing, the King’s reply was completely ruthless. He made it clear that if it got here all the way down to the newborn or Jane, he was completely satisfied to throw his spouse below the bus. The monarch reportedly advised them, “In case you can not save each, at the least let the kid stay, for different wives are simply discovered.” Nicely, that’s precisely what occurred…

10. It Had “Fashionable” Facilities

Consider it or not, Henry VIII was a reasonably fashionable monarch. In an effort to accommodate his monumental courtroom at Hampton, Henry constructed an entire block of medieval “bathrooms” he referred to as “The Nice Home of Easement” down by the river. When it was nonetheless standing, it may match 14 individuals at a time! In the meantime, Henry received his personal non-public bathroom: a “throne” coated in sheepskin, black velvet, and ribbons.

11. A Queen of England Perished There

On October 24, 1537, simply naked weeks after the start of her son, Jane Seymour handed throughout the partitions of Hampton Courtroom Palace. Debate rages to this present day about the reason for her demise, with some historians speculating a couple of retained placenta, bacterial an infection, or perhaps a pulmonary embolism. One factor is definite: It was not a great way to go.

12. Henry VIII Mourned Inside Its Halls

Regardless of his mercenary remark to the docs, Henry was devastated at Jane’s passing. He wore black for months afterward, at the same time as he courted his subsequent queen, Anne of Cleves. Historians imagine Jane was his favourite spouse…as a result of she gave him a boy. It was sufficient intrigue to final a lifetime, however Hampton Courtroom had way more drama to come back.

13. Henry VIII Preferred the Palace for a Merciless Cause

Throughout Henry VIII’s time at Hampton, the palace had an extremely merciless design operate. Its rooms type an extended chain main from essentially the most common receiving room to the king’s inside chambers, with a guard at every doorway. The construction acted as royal “face management”: You needed to be a part of Henry’s cool crowd to get anyplace close to his non-public areas.

14. It Pulled in Henry’s Different Doomed Spouse

Whereas King Henry VIII’s fourth spouse Anne of Cleves left Hampton Courtroom together with her head intact, her successor Catherine Howard wasn’t practically so fortunate. Just like the palace itself, Catherine truly began out with scandal. She started as Anne’s lady-in-waiting and met Henry at courtroom, the place they began a bootleg romance. However karma was ready for the lady.

15. Henry and Catherine Howard Made It “Official” There

Henry annulled his marriage to Anne of Cleves after simply six months of marriage on July 9, 1540. Now a free agent, he wasted zero time making it official along with his sidepiece, Catherine Howard. The pair married a scandalous 19 days after his annulment and used Hampton Courtroom to make the announcement official. And if that wasn’t sufficient drama…

16. It Was A part of an Illicit Romance

Though she was now Henry’s queen, Catherine was hiding ruinous secrets and techniques. Whereas she was nonetheless a maid-of-honor to Anne of Cleves, Catherine was additionally courted by a favourite of the King, Thomas Culpeper. When she grew to become queen, her relationship with Culpeper didn’t cease, and the pair had secret conferences throughout Henry’s many palaces.

This may be her downfall.

17. It Was the Website of a Royal Reconciliation

In public, Anne of Cleves didn’t appear to resent her outdated lady-in-waiting Catherine in any respect. Anne even visited Hampton Courtroom Palace for one Christmas and gifted the couple some horses. In flip, Catherine gave her ex-boss a hoop and two puppies as Christmas presents, and the 2 danced collectively within the nice corridor on the palace.

Too dangerous these good instances got here to a crashing halt.

18. Its Bedchambers Had Darkish Secrets and techniques…

Ultimately, the king received wind of Culpeper and Howard’s relationship and gave investigators permission to tear aside Culpeper’s chambers. What they discovered was the ultimate nail within the coffin. They uncovered a letter from Howard to Thomas Culpeper, written in her distinct handwriting. Nevertheless it wasn’t simply any outdated letter—it contents all however buried her.

19. …And Even Darker Letters

Within the fateful letter, Catherine reveals that her coronary heart belongs to Culpeper, not Henry. As she wrote, “After I suppose once more that you just shall depart from me once more it makes my coronary heart die to suppose what fortune I’ve that I can’t be at all times in your organization.” She signed the letter “Yours so long as life endures.” That life wouldn’t endure lengthy.

20. The Palace May Be Completely Disgusting

Tudor monarchs regularly moved from palace to palace. This wasn’t simply because they may—it was additionally out of a disgusting necessity. After the mass of courtiers had just a few gut-busting feasts, the citadel sewage techniques received very backed up. Shifting the courtroom gave servants the required time to scrub the vacated palace. Ew.

21. Its Chapel Grew to become a Den of Sin

Henry used Hampton Courtroom to attempt to “win the breakup” with Howard. Though it’s very possible he already knew about Catherine’s treason, Henry oh-so-conveniently organized to be praying in Hampton Courtroom’s chapel when the official warrant for her arrest got here down. That manner, he appeared further good and merciful as he signed away his spouse’s life.

22. Catherine Howard Tried to Escape It

In response to one story, Queen Catherine’s arrest couldn’t have gone extra horrifically. Apparently, she briefly escaped her captivity and ran to the place King Henry was listening to mass, once more in Hampton Courtroom’s chapel. Earlier than she may make it to the door and beg for her life, the younger Queen was dragged again to her residences, kicking and screaming all the way in which.

23. A Ghost Haunts the Halls

The story of Catherine Howard’s determined escape and try to plead for her life is now one of the well-known ghost tales in royal historical past. In case you go to Hampton Courtroom Palace, they are saying you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of a screaming specter in white, speeding down the “Haunted Gallery.” That might be Catherine’s ghost, making an attempt and failing to avoid wasting herself as soon as extra.

24. Henry Practically Used It to Kill His Queen

When King Henry first discovered of Catherine’s dalliance with Thomas Culpeper, he didn’t take it mendacity down. His deranged response is not possible to overlook. Henry reportedly flew right into a rage and referred to as for a sword, all so he may kill his spouse himself, proper then and there. Clearly, he ultimately had the matter outsourced….

25. It Had a Unusual Gown Code

The individuals of King Henry’s courtroom needed to costume to the nines each time they noticed the king. Though it was an outward show of their wealth, being on the reducing fringe of trend may additionally assist courtiers in different methods. The higher you dressed at features, the extra possible you had been to get previous the lads guarding Henry’s most non-public rooms.

26. It Noticed the Finish of But One other Queen

Folklore says that Catherine’s final phrases as she went to the block had been “I die a Queen, however I’d somewhat have died the spouse of Culpeper.” It is a fable—however her actual last phrases had been much more heartbreaking. Howard was repentant, crying that she deserved “to die a thousand deaths” for betraying a king who at all times handled her so “graciously.” Then the axe got here down.

27. It Was the Website of a Royal Marriage ceremony

Hampton Courtroom noticed yet one more queen earlier than Henry’s reign ended: His final spouse, Catherine Parr. The royal pair even married on the palace on July 12, 1543. Parr was wily, well-traveled, and he or she additionally managed to survive her unstable husband. However whereas Henry handed in 1547, Hampton Courtroom wasn’t carried out with the Tudor monarchs and their tragedies…

28. Henry VIII’s Heirs Used It Too

When Henry’s eldest daughter Mary grew to become Queen of England, she adopted in her father’s grotesque footsteps. A staunch Catholic, the queen’s persecution and burning of Protestants earned her the nickname “Bloody Mary.” However few individuals know in regards to the private terrors the queen skilled inside Hampton Courtroom.

29. It Put the “Pleasure” in Pleasure Palace

Queen Mary adored Hampton Courtroom Palace…at first. In any case, she and her husband King Philip spent their honeymoon ensconced inside Hampton’s purple brick partitions, getting proper all the way down to the baby-making that the British individuals anticipated of them. Sadly for Mary, the baby-making is the place all of it went so, so unsuitable.

30. It Was a Love Nest

Someday after the royal couple’s idealized honeymoon, Mary discovered herself pregnant together with her first baby. Overjoyed, she selected to start the newborn at Hampton Courtroom—because it was possible conceived there, it appeared like omen to convey the inheritor into the world there. The queen posted up on the palace for 5 months…however she quickly realized the horrific reality.

31. It Nursed a “Phantom Being pregnant”

Because it turned out, Mary was with a weird “phantom being pregnant,” the primary of two she would have in her life. All of the indicators had been there—she’d missed her interval, gained weight, and even felt nauseated within the mornings—however there was merely no child. After months of awaiting the start of her “baby,” Mary lastly needed to concede to her utter disappointment. Her womb receded quickly after.

32. It Imprisoned a Princess

Perhaps Queen Mary’s relationship with Hampton Courtroom began to bitter after her false being pregnant, as a result of she additionally used the palace for a merciless private vendetta: She imprisoned her personal sister there. Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth I, was a risk to Mary’s rule, and he or she stored the lady below varied home arrests round Britain, together with Hampton Courtroom.

33. It Helped Change Religions

It wasn’t all doom and gloom on the palace—although imagine me, the worst is but to come back. Hampton Courtroom is also a spot of nice studying. In 1604, King James I held his famed Hampton Courtroom Convention to attempt to come to an settlement with the nation’s offended Puritans. This assembly led to a bit of factor you may need heard of: The King James Bible.

34. It Was a Royal Honeymoon Vacation spot

Within the 17th century, Hampton Courtroom was the setting of yet one more ill-fated honeymoon—however whereas Queen Mary I received off “evenly” with only a phantom being pregnant, King Charles I and his teenaged bride Henrietta Maria had worse luck. Though they spent a lavish honeymoon on the palace, in addition they got here to a few of the darkest fates in all of British historical past.

35. It Captured a Fallen King

Charles I believed in The Divine Proper of Kings, an outmoded mind-set even for the time. Briefly, Charles thought the King of England ought to have absolute, divine energy. This did not work out properly for him: In 1649, the English parliament arrested Charles for top treason and common douchebaggery, forcing his now-impoverished spouse to flee.

In a single fell swoop, Hampton Courtroom turned from Charles’ palace to his jail.

36. It Witnessed a Nice Escape

Charles I nonetheless had numerous battle in him, and sooner or later he made an escape by means of Hampton Courtroom’s magnificent Privy Backyard. It was a valiant effort…but it surely nonetheless failed miserably. Parliamentary chief Oliver Cromwell caught him and shortly completed the job. Charles was beheaded—the primary and solely English King to fulfill that destiny.

37. Even Commoners Couldn’t Resist It

The short-lived English Commonwealth after Charles I’s unprecedented beheading is among the more unusual eras in British historical past, however Hampton Courtroom’s function on this interval is simply as unusual. Whereas individuals on the time went round destroying royal citadel after royal citadel within the title of democracy, Hampton Courtroom nonetheless stood. Why? Olivier Cromwell appreciated it a lot, he made it his residence.

38. It Had a “Honeymoon Curse”

When Charles I’s son King Charles II discovered his manner again to the English throne and reinstated the monarchy, it’s protected to say he did not study from his forbears. No, he didn’t find yourself getting beheaded like his dearly departed dad, however he did resolve to honeymoon along with his spouse Catherine of Braganza…at Hampton Courtroom. The king quickly discovered the Hampton curse alive and properly.

39. The Bedchambers Housed Illicit Lovers

Charles II’s relationship with Catherine of Braganza was notoriously dysfunctional, principally as a result of Charles was head over heels for an additional lady. His ballsy, busty mistress Barbara Palmer was so highly effective, individuals referred to as her “The Uncrowned Queen.” And this “Queen” used Hampton Courtroom to make a scandalous assertion…

40. Scandal Was Born There

By 1662, Barbara had far more affect than Catherine of Braganza—and he or she made her really feel it within the cruelest manner potential. Whereas pregnant with the king’s second love baby throughout the king and queen’s honeymoon, Barbara sailed on as much as Hampton Courtroom to fulfill them. Then, in an insane energy transfer, she truly had the newborn there. Unhealthy broads: They don’t make them like they used to.

41. It Had a Big Makeover

In Hampton Courtroom’s later years below King William III and his spouse Queen Mary, the royal residence underwent a significant makeover. William needed the palace to rival the spectacle of Versailles in France, and employed the famed architect Christopher Wren to assist him. Accordingly, he tore down chunk of King Henry VIII’s structure. Wren started to interchange it with a extra baroque facade…after which all of a sudden stopped.

42. It Killed a King

After Queen Mary handed, King William misplaced curiosity of their royal pet mission and principally ceased development. If he ever supposed to take it up once more, he by no means received the possibility to. Sooner or later whereas out using the grounds of Hampton Courtroom, William fell from his horse, later succumbing to his accidents in Kensington Palace.

43. Its Royal Days Ran out…

After King William III’s passing, Hampton Courtroom appeared to lose a few of its luster—or perhaps monarchs had been lastly glomming onto the truth that the pleasure palace had some majorly darkish occasions clinging to its bricks. Both manner, King George II was the final ruler to ever reside at Hampton Courtroom…however that doesn’t imply it stayed empty.

44. …And a New Period Started

Though the royals deserted Hampton Courtroom within the 1700s, so-called “Grace and Favour” residents moved in to interchange them. These had been impoverished aristocrats who took up the residences rent-free in alternate for his or her providers to the crown. But when that sounds posh and glamorous to you, it actually, actually wasn’t.

45. The Royal Flats Have been Disgraceful

You didn’t precisely find yourself within the “Grace and Favour” residences at Hampton by your individual free will. Author Charles Dickens as soon as described the residents as “civilised gypsies…going away the second they may get something higher.” These light nobles lived in quiet desperation numerous the time—till it became a full-blown nightmare.

46. A Deadly Hearth Practically Destroyed It

In 1986, the widowed Girl Daphne Gale was staying in one of many Grace and Favour residences when she began a large fireplace. The blaze was so wild, it even unfold to the outdated king’s residences. Responders rushed to the scene, however they had been too late. Hampton Courtroom itself was salvageable, however Girl Gale had misplaced her life.

47. It’s Not What It Used to Be

Immediately, the Grace and Favour residents aren’t only a dying breed—they’re fully gone. The crown stopped accepting candidates within the 1980s, though they allowed any present residents to remain the place they had been. By 2005, solely three of the outdated guard remained, and by 2017, that they had all handed. Relaxation in peace, you OGs.

48. It Has Undesirable “Guests”

Catherine Howard will not be the one specter that haunts Hampton Courtroom Palace. Folks have additionally claimed to see the ghost of Henry’s beloved spouse Jane Seymour on the Silverstick Stairs, close to the place the ill-fated queen gave start. Edward VI’s moist nurse Sybil Penn can also be reportedly the “Gray Girl” who roams Hampton’s halls.

49. The Gardens Have a Weird Declare to Fame

The English Kings did love their food and drinks, and Hampton Courtroom’s “Nice Vine” stored them loads sated. The grape vine, which grows plump Black Hamburg grapes, might be the oldest and largest on this planet; Lancelot Functionality Brown planted it in 1768. The plant looms over the conservatory on the palace grounds.

50. It Retains King Henry’s Largest Heartbreak

Anne Boleyn might have met a tragic destiny, however Hampton Courtroom nonetheless holds one in all her secrets and techniques. Though Henry tried to have all portraits of and references to Anne destroyed after her execution, should you lookup within the carved arches of Hampton’s Nice Corridor, you’ll be able to nonetheless see the initials “A” and “H” intertwined. This element was leftover from when Henry was nonetheless increase the palace for his doomed bride.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Initially Revealed by – Dancy Mason

Unique Supply – www.factinate.com

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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