This year Gloucester celebrated the 800th anniversary of the Coronation of King Henry III with a re-enactment in Gloucester Cathedral
On Saturday, the 10th of September the city of Gloucester celebrated the 800th Anniversary of the Coronation of Henry III with a re-enactment of his Enthronement in Gloucester Cathedral.
A Gloucester Schoolboy was chosen to be King for a Day. Eleven-year old Fraser Martin played the role of a lifetime, (quite a few lifetimes actually!) as he portrayed Henry III on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of his coronation in Gloucester. King Henry was crowned as a nine-year old boy at St Peter’s Abbey (the old name for Gloucester Cathedral) following the death of the infamous King John. The event in 1216 was the last time an English or British monarch was crowned outside of London and Westminster Abbey.
Fraser, who won the ‘Search For A King’ competition organised by Marketing Gloucester, was joined by his ‘footmen’, eight-year old Harry Morris and eleven-year old Toby Sellers on Saturday. A re-enactment of the coronation parade processed through Gloucester City Centre in which The ‘King’ was carried aloft on a ceremonial chair from Blackfriars Priory, along Southgate Street towards The Cross, turning on to Westgate Street before making its way to the Cathedral via College Street.
The Henry III Coronation Re-enactment was presided over by The Right Reverend, Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester.
Following the Coronation and the Enthronement Ceremony, there was a planting of a yew tree in the Cathedral grounds as part of a national initiative to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.
After the coronation the new ‘King Henry’ was entertained by his new subjects (played by the Plantagenet Medieval Society) on the Cathedral Green.
Fraser Martin, who was portraying the young Henry III, said: “I am really excited about being King for the day and am looking forward to being crowned in the Cathedral. I’ve had a costume fitting – it looks just like it would have been at the time. I get to wear a red cloak, some really weird trousers and the shoes are great, really old looking.”
Celia Thomson, Canon Chancellor, Gloucester Cathedral said: “We are delighted to be hosting a series of events in September and October in partnership with the History Festival, Museum of Gloucester and Marketing Gloucester, to commemorate the crowning of King Henry III 800 years ago.
Further Henry III celebration events including lectures, talks, a medieval banquet, children’s activities and a concert of coronation music will be taking place throughout September and October.
Please see the special events leaflets or look at www.gloucesterhistoryfestival.co.uk
Henry III, a young king, a divided kingdom: good King or bad ruler?
New Exhibition at Museum of Gloucester
13.09.2016 – 01.01.2017
The exhibition will see some of Gloucester’s most important medieval treasures on display to explore the reign of Gloucester’s boy king. As part of the exhibitions, visitors to the museum will be able to see masterpieces of art alongside weapons of war and symbols of division showing England at an uncertain time in its history. At the end, it’ll be down to visitors to decide: was it a golden age of prosperity or time of fear for the citizens of Gloucester?
An excavation at the site of Gloucester Castle earlier this year uncovered more items, which will be displayed for the first time at Museum of Gloucester. Other items on display will include a Bishop’s crozier decorated with gold and champlevé enamel and pennies of Henry minted in Gloucester.