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Beaumont Palace, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

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Beaumont Palace, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

Pictured right: Beaumont Palace in 1785

Beaumont Palacebuilt by Henry I outside the North gate of Oxford city was originally intended as a Royal Palace situated conveniently for his royal hunting lodge at Woodstock.

Set into a pillar in Beaumont Street, Oxford, you can find the inscription pictured below:

King Richard the Lionheart was born here in 1157 and his brother John in 1167".

The birth of Henry's grandson, the future Henry II. was celebrated lavishly in the 'nova aula' (New Hall) at Beaumont. The last king to reside there was Edward I and in 1275 he granted it to an Italian lawyer, Francesco Accorsi, who had undertaken diplomatic missions for him. When Edward II was put to flight at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, he is said to have invoked the Virgin Mary and vowed to found a monastery for the Carmelites (the White Friars) if he might escape safely. In fulfillment of his vow he remanded Beaumont Palace to the Carmelites in 1318.

In 1318, the Palace was claimed by John Deydras a royal pretender, arguing that he was the rightful king of England. John Deydras was ultimately executed for sedition.

When the White Friars were disbanded at the Reformation, most of the structure was dismantled and the building stone reused in Christ Church and St John's College. An engraving of 1785 shows the remains of Beaumont Palace, the last of which were destroyed in the laying out of Beaumont Street in 1829.

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