King Henry I came to the throne in 1100 and for 6 years continued the violent quarrel previously waged between his eldest brother Robert and his deceased brother William II. He captured Robert in 1106 and so became undisputed king of England and Duke of Normandy.

Wanting to develop national and international trade he planted a business centre on Dunstable crossroads; to encourage this and, to provide a royal presence he had a palace built and installed a ‘housekeeper’ (steward).
Kingsbury Palace was finished and furnished ready for a royal visit in 1109. From then on there were numerous royal visits, the most important being Henry’s and Stephen’s Christmas courts, and the peace conference between King Stephen and the future King Henry II. When the building got older and more costly to maintain, King John gave it to Augustinian Priory but there were later informal visits and in 1329 it hosted a royal tournament.

Just before the Dissolution, Sir Thomas Wolsey`s secretary, George Cavendish, bought it. In 1525 he was president of the prestigious Dunstable Fraternity.

By 1600, William Marshe and his wife Elizabeth were living at Kingsbury and their three surviving children grew up there.


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