On the 22nd July 1536*, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, eighteen year old Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, died at St James’s Palace, probably of tuberculosis. Burial arrangements were left to the Duke of Norfolk, who arranged for Fitzroy to be buried at Thetford Priory in Norfolk. He was later moved to St Michael’s Church, Framlingham, Suffolk, due to the dissolution of the priory, and joined there by his wife, Mary Howard, after her death in 1557. St Michael’s Church is also home to the tombs of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.
You can find out more about Henry Fitzroy in the following articles:-
- The Death of Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset – This includes a bio of Fitzroy.
- Henry Fitzroy Marries Mary Howard
- Elizabeth I’s Early Life – Illegitimate Siblings
News – On the 17th June, the BBC reported that laser imaging and X-ray spectrometers are being used to scan the tombs of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, at St Michael’s Church. It is believed that these two tombs were remodelled when they were moved from Thetford Priory to St Michael’s in 1540, and this 3D scanning will allow the tombs to “be virtually broken apart and reassembled into various possible configurations”. Exciting! You can read more about this in the BBC news report – click here.
* David Loades writes of Fitzroy dying on the 23rd July.