Grey Friars dig could unearth headless monks

Posted by er134 at Jul 09, 2013 10:38 AM |
University of Leicester archaeologists digging at Richard III site could unearth a group of Leicester friars who were beheaded for treason by Henry IV

Archaeologists carrying out an excavation at Grey Friars church may discover Richard III was not the only one to be buried there after suffering a grim fate.

Throughout July, archaeologists from University of Leicester Archaeological Services will carry out an excavation at the site where the skeletal remains of the King were found in September.

The team are hoping to ‘put to rest’ a longstanding mystery involving three Leicester friars who were beheaded, and their heads put on display, in London in 1402.

The friars were put to death by order of Henry IV after spreading rumours that the deposed Richard II – who had died in 1400 - was alive and well and planning to reclaim his throne from Henry IV.

Chronicles suggest the friar’s bodies were collected and brought back to Leicester, however, it is also possible they were simply buried at a friary in London.

  • The Dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society.  The originator of the Search project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society.