Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hugh Despenser's body may have been discovered

Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger's mutilated corpse may have been unearthed at Hulton Abbey, according to the Telegraph: Abbey body identified as gay lover of Edward II.

From the article:
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. "If the remains are those of Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger, then this is the first time such an execution victim has been identified," she added.

Sir Hugh insinuated himself into the king's favour by backing him in his battles with the barons. Through a series of ruthless deals, he consolidated a huge fortune, winning himself a legion of enemies in the process, including Edward's wife, Queen Isabella.

His downfall came when the queen and her ally, Roger Mortimer, deposed the king in 1326. Sir Hugh was judged a traitor and a thief. He was hanged and, still conscious, castrated, disembowelled and then quartered before his head was displayed on London Bridge.

No comments: