The Black Death may have been eliminated 500 years ago, but it’s coming back to Stony Stratford this weekend.
On Sunday July 10, villagers from the South Northamptonshire village of Grafton Regis will be enacting King Henry VIII’s failed 1528 attempt to visit his Grafton royal palace.
King Henry VIII regularly travelled with his Court through Stony Stratford on his way from London to his royal palace in Grafton Regis. An outbreak of bubonic plague (more commonly known as the Black Death) in 1528 prevented Henry from visiting the palace that year.
The enactment will start at 1.30pm outside the Cock Hotel on the High Street. King Henry VIII and his entourage will come face to face with ragged villagers, their skins covered in the sores of the plague. It will also involve a number of other historical figures, who have travelled through the town over the years, including Queen Elizabeth Woodville, the mother of the Princes in the Tower.
Organiser and Grafton Regis resident Kathy Harry said: “Throughout his reign Henry VIII was a regular visitor to his palace at Grafton Regis. He brought a number of his wives, including Anne Boleyn.
“This area has a very rich history, due largely to the importance of the ancient thoroughfare of which Stony Stratford is part.”
Later in the month the village of Grafton Regis will be hosting a two-day History Fayre on Saturday July 30 and Sunday July 31 from 11am to 4pm.
The Fayre will include two re-enacted battles each day, organised by the local Viking war band, Utlagi Svartulfr (Outlaw Companions of the Black Wolves) and by the British Plate Armour Society.
The Fayre will have a full programme of entertainment including historical traders’ stalls, have-a-go archery and other history-related events. Entrance for adults £5.00, children under 12 £3.00, and children under 5 go free.