Sunday, November 04, 2018

Question from Linda - Exhumation of a daughter of Elizabeth Woodville

I read in Allison Weir's book about a beautiful daughter of E. Woodville being exhumed. Ms. Weir said they found her with blue eyes open and long blonde hair. Also said it was obvious she had been beautiful. Any information on that? Thank you Linda

1 comment:

  1. Could you give us a little more information that might help us track down an answer? *Which* of Weir's many books contained this information? Which of Woodville's several daughters was supposedly exhumed? Did Weir cite a source for the details of the exhumation? How reliable is that source (i.e., was the exhumation performed and described by nineteenth-century non-scientific amateurs or by a modern forensic anthropologist)? The two details you offer ... blue eyes and blond hair ... already raise a bit of suspicion in my own mind since I know that both of those "body parts" tend to change color somewhat as a result of half a millennium sealed inside a lead coffin surrounded by the chemicals produced by decay.

    Among Woodville's 6 daughters to survive childhood, two are buried in Westminster Abbey. It is exceedingly rare for tombs there to be opened, especially in the modern era. The tomb of a third daughter, Cecily, was lost during the Reformation. The body of daughter Anne was relocated from the dissolved Thetford Abbey to the Church of St Michael the Archangel in Framlingham in the 1540s. Catherine was buried at St Peter's Church, Tiverton, but I cannot find record of any exhumations there since the 1850s. The last daughter, Bridget, was buried at Dartford Priory, Kent, but the priory no longer exists intact.


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