a result of an infection following the birth of a boy she name Richard. The Duke of Clarence was executed on the 18th February in 1478 after being found guilty of rebellion, slander and allegiances with the enemy.
Both were laid to rest at Tewkesbury Abbey.
An article written about this opening says
"between the burial of George of Clarence and Alderman Hawling there had been the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Henry VIII had every intention of stripping the Abbey of everything of value and then leaving it to fall into decay. This was averted when the townspeople bought the Abbey from the crown. However, before the purchase Henry’s henchmen would have stripped out anything of value and the vault had been ransacked.' The article then asks the question 'Could the coffins of George and Isabel, especially if they were decorated with gold or silver plates or handles, have been opened and thebodies removed?'
In 1829 the vault was opened again, this time to remove the bodies of the Hawling’s to a new place of burial. The bones, assumed to be those of George and Isabel, were then deposited in a stone coffin. Thirty years later Tewkesbury suffered a flood and parts of the abbey were damaged, this maybe the reason, when the stone coffin was opened it was full of water. In 1830 records show that a glass case was made but there is no mention of the remains of the kings brother ever being placed inside it.
The remains of poor “false, fleeting, perjur’d Clarence” and his heiress lay undisturbed for the next one hundred and fifty years.
At some unknown point during that time the bones, taken to be that of Clarence and Isabel were removed for examination and 'cleaning'...... whatever that means! What was found were two 'separate partial skeletons in poor condition. The male skeleton consisted of most of the leg and hip bones, the upper left arm, left shoulder and the upper part of the skull. The man had what amounted to mild arthritic changes and a degree of cranial closure consistent with late middle age 40 to 60 years. His height was approximately 5 feet 3inches.' and the female remains within the casket consisted of ' almost the entire legs minus feet, hips, upper and half of lower right arm and the upper skull. Examination found advanced localised osteo arthritis and a degree of suture obliteration of the skull which suggests an age between 50-70 years. The height was approximately 5ft 4ins.'
The examined remains were replaced within the glass case, but they are not those of George and Isabel. It is more than likely that Clarence's remains were thrown about the vault by Henry VIII's minions when they searched for anything of value and now are lost too us.
Photography Credit: Karne Ladniuk