The 15TH-CENTURY EXPANSION
The fifteenth century saw a building boom, especially as far as the archbishops and their manors were concerned and indeed the palace at Croydon benefited greatly. Thomas Arundel, archbishop between 1396 and 1414, was responsible for the Guard Chamber, John Stafford had the Great Hall rebuilt in 1443-52, and Thomas Bourchier is thought to have overseen the construction of the present chapel. John Morton extended the chapel, and added a dining room next to the Guard Room and a wing linking the house and chapel. Morton was archbishop to Henry VII, whom he entertained in grand style at Croydon and whose mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, had plumbing and glazing work undertaken at the house in 1504-5.
THE TUDORS: Thomas Cranmer, who served Henry VIII during the turbulent years of his reign, spent much time at Croydon, where he kept his library. In 1533 he interviewed there John Frith who had been arrested on charge of 'heresy', and was reportedly summoned from Croydon to the King's deathbed in January 1547. Cranmer was at Croydon in 1551 when a freak earthquake and an outbreak of sweating sickness hit the town.
Elizabeth I's three archbishops all spent time at Croydon. Matthew Parker entertained the queen there on at least three occasions, although her enormous retinue stretched the resources of the place! Edmund Grindal retired to Croydon for health reasons, but took a local collier to court for letting smoke drift over his estate. Grindal was no favourite of the queen, though his successor John Whitgift was, entertaining her several times at Croydon. Whitgift also founded a school and a hospital nearby. In 1587 Sir Christopher Hatton received from Elizabeth the Great Seal of England in the Long Gallery at Croydon.
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