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Archaeology & History

Five 'lost' archbishops found beneath church

By T.K. Randall
April 16, 2017 · Comment icon 6 comments

A watercolor of Lambeth Palace painted in the 18th century. Image Credit: J. M. W. Turner
The remains of five former Archbishops of Canterbury have been unearthed under a medieval parish church.
Builders working on renovating the Garden Museum at the site of the church of St Mary-at-Lambeth in London have discovered a hidden crypt containing more than 30 lead coffins.

Dating back to the 1660s, the caskets are believed to contain the remains of five former archbishops - Richard Bancroft, John Moore, Frederick Cornwallis, Matthew Hutton and Thomas Tenison.
One of the coffins even has a crown placed on top of it.

"This church had two lives: it was the parish church of Lambeth, this little village by the river…but it was also a kind of annex to Lambeth Palace itself," said museum director Christopher Woodward.

"And over the centuries a significant number of the archbishops' families and archbishops themselves chose to worship here, and chose to be buried here."

Source: BBC News | Comments (6)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Black Monk 6 years ago
What a great - but a bit spooky - thing to come across.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Totah Dine 6 years ago
I've misplaced at least two archbishops.  They're slippery little suckers.  :/
Comment icon #3 Posted by coolguy 6 years ago
Wow great find very cool Find
Comment icon #4 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
There are some very familiar names in that list. I was surprised to learn they were 'missing' to begin with.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Black Monk 6 years ago
Nobody knew where Richard III was buried until they found him under a Leicester car park in 2012.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
True, but Richard III was deliberately dumped in an unmarked grave after the battle of Bosworth Field. These were Archbishops of Canterbury who, presumably, were buried with a bit more ceremony and record keeping.

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