Penshurst Place

Richard Cavendish visits Penshurst Place, home to the Sidney and Shelley families.

The story of the Sidneys and Shelleys at Penshurst goes back to the glamorous, dangerous world of Tudor politics. The Sidneys were Surrey country gentry who rose in the world through service to Henry VIII. The soldier Sir William Sidney (1482-1554) was tutor and steward to Henry's son, the future Edward VI, from the prince's babyhood. In 1552 he was rewarded with the Penshurst estate in Kent. Sir William's son, Henry, was the young king's closest boyhood friend and it was in his arms, tradition has it, that Edward VI breathed his last.

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