A possible search for the remains of Francis Lovell….!

The above illustration is take from this site, which is not only about this startling news, but also displays the wonderful reconstruction above.

Here are the opening paragraphs of the article:-

“….THE undiscovered body of a 15th-century nobleman could secure the future of a historic village church.

“….The final resting place of Francis Lovell, a key ally of Richard III during the War of the Roses, has never been proven, but some believe his remains lie within the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall, near Witney.

“….Community stalwart, Graham Kew, is now urging Historic England to survey the site, which is next to St Kenelm’s Church in Minster Lovell.…”

How exciting. We all know the old story of Francis’s remains having been found walled up in a room at the hall, but this is new. It actually makes me wonder if there was a grain of truth lurking in the old legend – that Francis was hidden away, but after death, not before, and in the church, not the hall. But that’s just me letting my imagination run. Here is a similar case.

Although it is said in the article that Graham Kew is now urging Historic England to survey the site, it is stated later on that so far Historic England don’t know anything about it. But I’m sure the necessary approaches will be made, hopefully have already been made.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Francis were found? He is one of the key figures in Richard III’s story, and very popular with modern Yorkists.

And in case you do not know of this book about Francis:-

“….Author Steve David, who launched his book on Francis Lovell at the village’s Old Swan hotel in May, believes the nobleman returned to his ancestral home in the village and hid from Henry VII….”




  1. Viscountessw, the article is from last August and a quick search for both Graham Kew and “remains at Minster Lovell” didn’t get me anything beyond what you have posted – BUT they did find a body; whatever is being planned there, housing, tear downs, renovations, will undoubtedly involve having to deal with these remains – that’s good. One would think a variety of university students would jump at the chance to take on excavations at such a site (I know, I know, it’s all what their advisors and department heads and where they are in their studies and if they even have such programs etc etc etc but really, people, think about this!)

    Personally, I do not think it is Lovell, I suspect he made it to Scotland, or more likely refuge in the the Low Countries (Margaret of York) and laid low there but for some time I’ve been convinced that if Richard did have the wherewithal to move his nephews out of London, especially after the rash of pernicious, opportunistic ‘rescue’ plots – and they may have all been unrelated to each other – by August or September it would have been easy enough to get the younger of the two over to Margaret, although not with her (too dicey for her politically) and the older one, Edward, the most convenient, least complicated location is Minster Lovell Hall. Lovell was never there, obviously, but R’s retainers, spies, henchmen, whomever he wished, could easily provision the boy and leave servants of Lovells’ on hand as well.

    The problem for Edward, in such a location, is that Bosworth did not go according to plan, on paper, it should have been a very different outcome, and I think had that been the case we would have seen both nephews return to court as royal bastards in the Burgundian fashion – something R, and the nobility, were well acquainted with – actually London itself would have been familiar with the two dozen royal bastards of Philip the Good, (Margaret of York’s step-daughter Mary’s governess was one, (Anne of Burgundy c.1435-1508) – London’s merchants traded extensively with the Low Countries and most if not all of these royal bastards had highly influential positions and lived well past the 1490’s. Add in E4’s own royal bastards and his own son, John of Pontefract, marry them to appropriate families (assuming the worst offenders were left dead on the field at Bosworth). If R didn’t produce his own heir with the Portuguese bride he still had – as we know – a vast Yorkist ‘nursery’ to fall back on. And there was still Warwick, who I contend, if he hadn’t been neglected like an abused animal in the Tower for over a decade, would have known the difference between a goose and a gander; reversing attainder would not have been impossible, E4 was attainted, twice I believe; so was R. In the 15th c if you were breathing you were likely going to be attainted at some point!

    But H7 handed off Minster Lovell, almost immediately, to uncle Jasper, as well as having the old coot marry the very young (by comparison) widow of Henry Stafford 2nd duke of Buckingham. (Henry’s mother appears to have gotten wardship of the two Buckingham heirs, along with Warwick, that is, until the poor kid was tossed into the Tower ).

    How Lovell could have snuck into his old Hall, with Tudor retainers everywhere, and keep him hidden, fed, protected, is an unknown – and to what end? Considering the Queen’s distaste for having the remains in the urn inspected by modern forensic technology I would guess she would not approve of any remains at the Hall being similarly inspected, IF they were thought to be Edward’s – so, let’s say that they are Lovell’s, and start the excavation!

    Liked by 2 people

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