A body found at Hulton Abbey, Staffordshire has been identified as Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger, the supposed gay lover of the Plantagenet king, Edward II.
Sir Hugh died a a gruesome death, hung, drawn and quartered for treason in 1326 after Edward II abdicated.
The remains were found in the 1970s but only just identified by anthropologist Mary Lewis says.
“Research on the bones shows he was stabbed in the throat and probably stabbed in the stomach, but we would not have any evidence to disembowelment unless the knife had hit any bones,” Lewis said.
“It was initially thought that the coffin had been disturbed, but the remains clearly show the body had been cut up.”
Ms Lewis told the Daily Telegraph: “This form of public execution was high theatre that aimed to demonstrate the power of government to the masses. High treason dictated that the perpetrator should suffer more than one death.”
“Dating of the Hulton Abbey skeleton indicates that he died no later that 1385, when this brutal and very public form of execution was handed out only to the most notorious political prisoners. This suggests that the skeleton at Hulton Abbey was a well-known political figure.”
Sir Hugh Despenser, has been consistently named as the King’s gay lover. He ingratiated himself into the king’s favour backing him in his battles with the barons.