Friday, September 14, 2012

Those missing monarchs in full

They were digging up the road outside my office in Leicester today. Perhaps, emboldened by the apparent discovery of Richard III in  the city, they were looking for another king?

To help them, the BBC Leicester pages have posted a guide to the English kings whose bodies have gone missing.

They are:
  • Alfred the Great (he may be somewhere under Winchester)
  • Harold II (who was shot in they eye at the Battle of Hastings - what happened next is unclear)
  • Henry I (it might be worth searching under Reading)
  • Stephen (last seen in Faversham in Kent)
  • Edward V (he may be buried in Westminster Abbey, but may well not. Richard III adds: They always drag that up, don't they?)
  • Oliver Cromwell (shurely shome mishtake?)
  • James II (and VII of Scotland - he died in exile in Paris, and his tomb was sacked in the French Revolution)
The article also suggests that Charles I was mislaid for a good while:
Workmen rediscovered the vault by accident in 1813 and found a velvet draped coffin with the missing monarch's name on it. To satisfy their curiosity, a group of notables opened the casket and, sure enough, found a body with a detached head and a pointy beard.


Richard T said...

I thought Harold II was buried at Waltham Abbey but with time and the dissolution of the monasteries, his grave is lost.

Jonathan Calder said...

Is it certain he was buried at Waltham? I can find lots of sources saying it is "believed" or is a local legend, but no authoritative sources.

But if he is at Waltham then there may be hope. Grey Friars in Leicester was dissolved far more thoroughly than Waltham, but it looks as though they have still found Richard.