I was surprised to read today that the remains of Blanch Mortimer, the daughter of Sir Roger Mortimer have been found.
In a previous post, I described our genealogical relationship to Sir Roger Mortimer, outlining the most infamous aspects of his life, including his hanging at Tyburn Tree for treason.
Blanch Mortimer, who died in 1347, was entombed at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Much Markle and her remains were uncovered in October of 2014.
Admittedly, this news has actually been out for a while, but it is new to me, and I’m excited to read anything about our family’s ancestors.
The find was made during work to restore the church. It was decided to keep the find quiet to enable tests to be conducted and to make her secure once again.
According to Reverend Howard Mayell, vicar of the parish, there wasn’t much left in the coffin, so it’s impossible to be absolutely certain the remains are those of Blanch, but it is believed they are hers.
Blanch’s tomb is topped with an effigy. Although it was not originally clear what was lying beneath, upon further exploration and removal of the stone panels from the front of the memorial, they discovered it was a lead coffin.
It is extremely unusual to find a coffin within a tomb. Usually, the tomb itself is empty and the body is buried beneath.
The remains were subjected to an endoscopic examination to preclude opening the coffin, adhering to archaeological practice and the policy of the Church of England that remains should be disturbed as little as possible.
- BBC News; Hereford and Worcester; “Blanch Mortimer: ‘Remains’ of medieval traitor’s daughter found,” http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-25932288.
- Wikipedia.org; http://www.wikipedia.org
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