We take a look at the other lost kings of England and speculate on where their remains might lie.
Stephen I ruled England in a time called the Anarchy, his fate after death was no less tumultuous. After dying of stomach trouble he was placed in a magnificent tomb. Local legend has it that the site was raided for jewels and that Stephen’s body was chucked into a ditch. After this upset, his remains may have been moved to the Church of St Mary in Faversham, though there is little evidence that the mysterious unmarked tomb is really Stephen’s current resting place.
Alfred the Great
Buried at the Old Minster in Winchester, Alfred’s grave was ransacked during the dissolution of the monasteries. In the ensuing chaos his body was lost. If you want to see his legacy visit the exquisite thumb-sized Alfred Jewel, which was found in a Somerset field, at the Ashmolean museum in Oxford.
Tasked to repel the last successful English invasion in 1066, Harold II was famously shot in the eye at Hastings. Harold’s corpse may have been taken to Waltham Abbey by a chorus of pious monks, but no remains have been found there yet.
This king was also fond of the culinary good life, reportedly dying of food poisoning after eating one lamprey too many. His burial site was destroyed in the Protestant Reformation. Like Richard III, Henry’s resting place is far from ideal, it is possible that his remains now reside under St James’ School in Berkshire.
The youngest of the lost Kings, Edward V is the least likely to have ended up in the countryside. He was last sighted in the Tower of London and was murdered, at least according to Shakespeare, by his uncle Richard III. The story has all the ingredients of a mystery novel. The whereabouts of Edward is unknown, though during the fitting of a new staircase in 1789 the bodies of two children were found. It has not been proven who they were.