York Place was bought by the Archbishop of York, Walter de Grey, in 1270, when the nearby Palace of Westminster became the centre of government in England. The property was enlarged by Edward I and then rebuilt in the 15th century. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey added to substantially it when he lived in it and when he fell from power in 1530 Henry VIII was keen to get his hands on it.

After Wolsey’s downfall, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII went to visit York Place, chaperoned by Anne’s mother, Elizabeth Boleyn, to inspect the building and its treasures and to plan renovations. Anne was lodged there with her mother before her marriage to Henry VIII and Henry used it as his main London residence, and it became known as Whitehall due to the white stone of its buildings.

Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn at Whitehall in a secret ceremony on the 25th January 1533 and he also married Jane Seymour there on the 30th May 1536. Henry VIII died there in January 1547.

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