Where do you find a dead body? In a grave, of course!
This little historical tidbit has very little to do with A Noble Masquerade, but I thought it a very interesting bit of 1813 and wanted to include it in the book.
When our hero is reading the paper he comes across a story about the discovery of the body of King Charles I.
King Charles I reigned in the early 1600s. They were years filled with war, financial instability, and political upheaval. In the end, he lost, and was beheaded in January of 1649. To prevent riots and such he was buried at St. George’s in Windsor instead of Westminster.
After another decade of upheaval, a new king was crowned. Charles II took the throne in 1660. At some point he was charged with moving Charles I’s body to a proper resting place in Westminster. The only problem was that no one remembered where the body was. Whether or not their forgetfulness was real or convenient is unknown, but with no body to be found, Charles II pocketed the money allotted for the new tomb.
Fast forward 150 years to 1813. During some renovations in St. George’s a vault is uncovered. It’s the resting place of Henry VIII. Tucked inside with Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, and the stillborn daughter of Queen Anne was Charles I.
The casket was opened and sure enough, there was the body of the king, complete with pointy beard and severed head.
There’s some irony in finding the lost body in the tomb of Henry VIII. Many of the other kings whose bodies have been lost over the years went missing because of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries.
You can read more about the reign of King Charles I here.
And if you want to know more about the missing kings or yore, you can check out this BBC article.
A detailed article on the actual uncovering of the tomb can be found here.
Image from wikicommons. Click picture for details.