Tag Archives: Pilgrimage of Grave

On this day in 1556 – Sir Anthony Kingston died

Sir Anthony Kingston was born approximately in 1508 to Sir William Kingston but it is unknown who his mother was, it was one of Sir William’s two wives Anne or Elizabeth. Kingston began being noticed within the Tudor court when he served at the head of a troop of men from Gloucestershire who marched under the banner of the Duke of Norfolk during the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536. Kingston was well rewarded by King Henry VIII firstly he was knighted by Henry on 18th October 1537 and received land that once belonged to the monasteries that were now suppressed, many of these lands were in Gloucestershire and included Flaxley Abbey. Kingston was also rewarded with offices at court that included serjeant of the king’s hawks. In 1546 Kingston was the Constable of the Tower of London and charged with interrogating Anne Askew, a poet and Protestant. Askew was accused of heresy and is the only woman to be documented as being tortured in the Tower and burned at the stake. Kingston prospered further under the reign of King Edward VI where he was made Provost Marshal during the Prayer Book Rebellion in 1549 that took place in Devon and Cornwall. Kingston remained in Edward’s service by acting on the council for the marches of Wales. Kingston sat in the House of Commons for Gloucestershire on many occasions between 1539 and 1555. During the Parliament in 1555 Kingston was a knight marshal and also a key supporter of the Protestant religion, a danger position to be in with Queen Mary I. During the 1555 Parliament Kingston took the keys to the house with the approval of the majority of Parliament. However, the day after Parliament was dissolved on 10th December, Kingston was sent to the Tower accused of taking part in the conspiracy to place Elizabeth on the throne over Mary. Kingston submitted after 13 days and was discharged from the Tower after asking to be pardoned. This was not the only time Kingston would be involved in a conspiracy regarding Elizabeth. Less than six months later Kingston was concerned about a plot to rob the exchequer in order to fund another attempt to place Elizabeth on the throne by Sir Henry Dudley. It is unknown if Kingston was involved in these plots but he died on 14th April 1556 either in Cirencester or whilst he was on his way to London to stand trial.