This Day in History: 1528-05-01

In May 1528, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset, and the illegitimate son of Henry VIII was in residence in Pontefract.  Henry was the result of a ‘liaison’ between Henry VIII and one of Catherine of Aragon’s ladies in waiting, perhaps Elizabeth (Bessie) Blount. Henry Fitzroy had spent the greater part of 1527 and all the early part of 1528 at Pontefract and it is known from a letter written by William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton and brother of Catherine Parr, to Cardinal Wolsey, that a sweating sickness was reported in Pontefract in May 1528. Henry Fitzroy was in good health  but ‘ there has six persones lately disseased within the lordship of Pontefracte … and that many young children bee sick of the pokkes nere thereabouts”. Henry was moved to Ledston (Ledston Hall), a house that belonged to the Prior of Pontefract.