Friday, January 1, 2010

Death of Despenser

This article is a couple of years old now but may be of interest so some.

The mangled remains of one Sir Hugh Despenser are thought to have been found according to the following article by Laura Clout in The Telegraph.:
"A mutilated body found in an abbey graveyard has been identified as that of a notorious medieval villain rumoured to have been the gay lover of Edward II.

The remains, which bear the hallmarks of having been hanged, drawn and quartered, are thought to be those of Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger, who was executed as a traitor in 1326.

The decapitated remains, buried at Hulton Abbey, Staffs, have intrigued experts since they were uncovered during the 1970s and now Mary Lewis, an anthropologist, says she has uncovered compelling evidence of their true identity.

The manner of execution, carbon-dating of the bones, and the absence of several parts of the body all point towards Sir Hugh being the victim, she said."

I like the way Sir Hugh is portrayed as a "notorious medieval villain" - yes, that was him skulking around castle corridors in the dead of night en route to some secret tryst with young Ned II, or off having his way, forcefully of course, with some recently widowed heiress.

Anyway, the article also contains a lovely "before and after" view of Sir Hugh - sorry still chuckling over the "after" picture .... medieval casanova!

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