Tomb of king’s il­le­git­i­mate son ‘raided’ claims his­to­rian

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - News - By Ai­dan Bar­low abar­[email protected]­m­ @aidan­bar­lowkm

A Can­ter­bury his­to­rian fears that tomb raiders bran­dish­ing crow­bars have prised their way into the fi­nal rest­ing place of King Richard III’S son.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search, Richard Plan­ta­genet was the il­le­git­i­mate son of the last York­ist king, who fell at the Bat­tle of Bos­worth in 1485.

Dur­ing a re­cent visit to the ru­ins of East­well Church, his­to­rian and nov­el­ist Paul Cramp­ton said he found the tomb had been dis­turbed.

He said: “It looked like the stones had been lev­ered off. They were loose and had been moved back into place. I sup­pose the mo­tive was to see if there was any­thing in­side.

“The tomb at East­well is a bit of a hid­den se­cret, but it should be bet­ter treated. I think the dis­re­spect by the van­dals is sad.

“If the tomb is con­tin­u­ally bro­ken into, there won’t be any­thing left to see. This piece of his­tory is im­por­tant, it fires the imag­i­na­tion.

“I sup­pose many more peo­ple are now aware of the his­tory and at­mos­phere at East­well but there is a dan­ger more peo­ple might at­tempt to in­ter­fere with the tomb.”

The body of King Richard III was dis­cov­ered un­der a car park in Le­ices­ter in 2012, and his body was in­terred at the city cathe­dral in March last year.

Mr Cramp­ton said there is solid ev­i­dence that the story of the king’s son holds true, with par­ish records record­ing the death of Ry­chard Plan­ta­genet on De­cem­ber 22, 1550, and his tomb recog- nised at East­well Church, which has been a ruin since 1951.

In 1485 he was told to watch the bat­tle from a safe van­tage point, with the king promis­ing to ac­knowl­edge him in vic­tory, but warn­ing him to hide his iden­tity and flee if de­feated.

The vic­to­ri­ous Lan­cas­tri­ans were led by Henry Tu­dor, who brought an end to the Plan­ta­genet dy­nasty and be­came King Henry VII.

Richard Plan­ta­genet, still only a teenager, fled to East­well where he lived out his days as a brick­layer. He only aroused sus­pi­cion be­cause a noble­man learned he could read Latin, and al­lowed him to build his own cot­tage on the es­tate.

His­to­rian Paul Cramp­ton be­lieves van­dals have tried to prise open the tomb of Richard Plan­ta­genet, an il­le­git­i­mate son of King Richard III, be­low, at a ru­ined church in East­well near Ash­ford

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