FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
" The manner of the service in the Church.
""When the corpse was set within the jrails anil the mourners placed, the choir j sung ci rtiiin psalms in English, and read1 three lessons, after which the mourners, according to their degrees, and after them all others who would, offered into the alms-box. This done, Coverdale, the Queen's almoner, preached a good and godly sermon, and in one place thereof took occasion to tell his hearers that they should none there think, say, nor spread abroad that the offering on the present occasion was made for the dead, as it was for the poor only. He also took occasion to say, that lights that were carried and stood about the corpse, were solely for the earthly honour of the person, and for no other intent or purpose ; and so went through with the sermon, and made a godly prayer, in which the whole church joined, repeating the words aloud after him. The corpse was then buried, the choir all the time singing Te Deum in English. This done, the mourners dined, and the rest returned home. All which solemnity was gone through in a morning."
A small tablet, long since levelled to the dust, was erected to the memory of the excellent Katherine Parr. Her chaplain, Dr. Parkhurst, wrote her epitaph in Latin, of which the following is a translation :—
" Γη this new tomb the royal Katherine lies, Flower of her sex, renowned, great, and wise ; A wife by every nuptial virtue known, And faithful partner onec of Henry's throne. To Seymour next her plighted hand she
Seymour, whom Neptune's trident yields.
From him a beauteous daughter blest her
An infant copy of lier parent's charms ;
When now seven days this infant flower had
Heaven, in its wrath, the mother's soul re
In 1782, some ladies searched the ruins of Sudeley for the remains of the last consort of Henry the Eighth. A stone block, in the north wall of the roofless chapel, induced them to open the ground there. About a foot from the surface they discovered the body ; on removing the lead and cere-cloth, they found the face in perfect preservation; but the strange, bright glare of the eyes, and the strong, putrid odour, so alarmed them, that they fled in horror; and. the body, without the fare being enveloped in the cere-doth and lead, was again hastily covered up with earth. In the same summer, Mr. Lucas, the gentleman who rented the land, opened the earth round the leaden coffin, on the ltd of which was the following inscription :—
Here lyeth Qnene
Katherine, Vltli wif to Kyng
Henry the VIIJ. And
After, the wif of Thomas,
Lord of Suddeley. High
Adinyrall of England,
Anil vnkle to Kvng
Edward the V j .
Sep tern ber,
On examining the body, Mr. Lucas found the flesh in a perfect white, moist state—a tolerable proof that she had not been killed by poison, as in such cases embalming does not preserve the body from immediate decomposition. In 1784, some rude persons again opened the grave, and taking the body out, left it exposed on a heap of rubbish, where it remained till the parish vicar procured its reinterment. On the fourteenth of October, 1786, the ltev. T. Nash, E.A.S., made a scientific exhumation of the body, and from his report, published in the
Archœlogia, we extract the subjoined: —
" Delicacy prevented me from uncover
ing the body ; the face was totally de
cayed, the teeth sound, but had fallen out,
and the hands and nails were entire, but
of a brownish hue. The lead that en
cased the body was just five feet four
inches long—[Katherine, therefore, must
have been of low stature]. The cere
cloth consisted of many folds of linen,
dipped in wax, tar, and gums, and the
leaden envelope fitted closely to the body
" I could heartily wish more respect
were paid to the remains of this our first
Protestant Queen, and would willingly,
if permitted by the proper authorities,
have them wrapped in another sheet of