Find Me On FaceBook!

MichelleMoran.com


December 2006July 2007August 2007September 2007January 2008February 2008March 2008April 2008May 2008June 2008July 2008August 2008September 2008October 2008November 2008December 2008January 2009February 2009March 2009April 2009May 2009June 2009July 2009August 2009September 2009October 2009November 2009December 2009January 2010February 2010March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010August 2010September 2010October 2010November 2010December 2010January 2011February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011July 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011July 2012August 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017July 2017September 2017October 2017December 2017February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018

Welcome to History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site. From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History Buff wants to know.

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author








RSS: BLOG FEED

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]



Logo designed by Shaun Venish

Blog designed by Mia Pearlman Design

2.19.2008

Abbey body identified as male lover of Edward II

By Laura Clout

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.

Edward II
Sir Hugh was executed after Edward II was deposed from the throne in 1326

Sir Hugh had been favourite of Edward II - who was widely believed to have been homosexual - but was brutally executed before a mob after the king was ousted from the throne.

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.

Miss Lewis, a biological anthropologist at the University of Reading, found that the Staffordshire skeleton had been beheaded and chopped into several pieces with a sharp blade, suggesting a ritual killing.

There was also evidence of a stab wound to the stomach.

She said: "This form of public execution was high theatre that aimed to demonstrate the power of government to the masses. High treason dictated that the perpetrator should suffer more than one death."


Read the rest on The Telegraph.