Lady Anne Mowbray the High and Excellent Princess
John Mowbray 4th Duke of Norfolk’s only child, a daughter, was born approximately half way through that period of just over thirty years known today as The Wars of the Roses. However, there was a lull in the murderous proceedings throughout Lady Anne’s lifetime, and by the time the death of Edward IV reignited hostilities she was already in her shroud.
In December 1964 a workman on a demolition site not far from the Tower of London came across what appeared to be the burial of a medieval child. The inscription on its lead wrappings revealed the remains were those of 8-year-old Lady Anne Mowbray, who had died in 1481.
It was a mystery. As the child bride of one of the later ill-fated Princes in the Tower, himself even younger than she was, ‘the High and Excellent Princess’ had been laid to rest in Westminster Abbey, where it was believed she still remained. So what was she doing in an ancient vault lying under what had been part of a Victorian railway goods yard? And why did the discovery become so bitterly controversial?
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