Saturday, February 02, 2013

Church Langton and the Princes in the Tower

If it was the skeleton of Richard III they dug up from under the car park of Leicester's child protection team, then the fate of the Princes in the Tower will probably return to public attention.

One of the key sources for the case against Richard is the work of the Tudor court historian Polydore Vergil. Originally from Italy, he settled and spent most of his life in England.

According to Wikipedia, he held a number of sinecures from the Church, including the living of Church Langton in Leicestershire.

Turn to the Victoria County History entry for the village and the story is confirmed:
There were several celebrated rectors in the 16th century. The historian, Polydore Vergil (d. c. 1555), who was presented to the living in 1503, was apparently non-resident.
But that entry goes on to tell another remarkable story:
His successor, Lawrence Saunders (d. 1555), appears to have spent some time in Church Langton, although he had another living in London. Both he and his curate at Langton, George Marsh (d. 1555), (fn. 73) were executed for heresy during Mary's reign and became well-known Protestant 'martyrs'.
Another piece of local history to investigate.

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