I read somewhere that Queen Mary dug up and burned her fathers bones saying to the priest “tonight father we are buring a heretic”. Does anyone know if this is just a myth or if it actually happened? Where is Henry VIII resting place today?

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17 thoughts on “I read somewhere that Queen Mary dug up and burned her fathers bones saying to the priest “tonight father we are buring a heretic”. Does anyone know if this is just a myth or if it actually happened? Where is Henry VIII resting place today?”

  1. Kaylaroo says:

    I just read it in a novel called “the kings daughter” by barbara kyle. I know shes just an author….but I always wonder about things when you hear them….wether theres some truth to it or not.Thats why I wanted to ask. I figured it was probably false but was still curious.

  2. Kaylaroo says:

    so I posted this question a lil while before because I read it in babara kyles book the kings daughter…now that im done the book…in her authors notes she wrote that she read it in J.J Scarisbricks biography, Henry VIII. In his book he reports “that for decades after marys reign there was “whispering” that she had secretly ordered this deed done. So when you go to St.George’s chapel at windsor castle and stand on the spot in the aisle where Henry VIII is said to be buried, it may be true that you are walking on the Kings bones…..but then again, maybe not.” was wondering if you read it and looked into it at all.

    1. Beth Brownlee Holmes says:

      I just watched a movie made in 2000 “Monarch” & at the end of the movie, it stated that Queen Mary had given King Henry’s body exhumed and and gave them to a priest and said to him that “Today we burned a heretic”.
      I’d never heard that before. Are there any resources addressing this?

  3. Tina Bennett says:

    I have visited St. George’s Chapel and stood on the marker which indicates that buried in the tomb underneath are not only Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, but Charles I and a stillborn child of Anne I. Back in 2000, I had a chance to talk to one of the guides (who was likely surprised that an American knew anything about the Tudors LOL), mainly to ask who all had access to the tomb. (I was told that those of a supervisory nature, and of course the Queen, and no, no exceptions given to an American who was wild about the Tudors *g*). But back to the question. I think I also had read something about Mary having her father’s bones burned, but was always skeptical because (despite all he had done), I still felt she had good feelings towards her powerful parent. So I asked and while guides are often wrong, I was told it was one of many myths. Also, according to footnotes in Mary M. Luke’s ‘A Crown for Elizabeth’ (the first Tudor history book I ever read), I believe Ms. Luke said that Henry’s grave/tomb wasn’t disturbed until the desecration of many royal locations by Oliver Cromwell. Perhaps someone else has heard or read of this as well.

  4. Mary Ann cade says:

    These questions have bothered me for a long time because I have been unable to find out any other information. I am hoping that someone here might have some answers to these nagging questions.

    What happened to Richard Page and Thomas Wyatt, who were accused along with Anne Boleyn’s five other supposed lovers, after Cromwell let these two go and I don’t remember reading anything further about Page. Does anyone know why they were released and not executed along with Brereton, Norris, Weston, Smeaton, and Boleyn?

    I never understood why Henry didn’t commute Francis Dereham’s sentence to simple beheading. I know he was a commoner but, I believe that Dereham’s crime was not quite as bad as Culpepper’s because Katherine did not know Henry when she was involved with Dereham and I think Dereham thought they would be married. Culpepper seemed arrogant above everyone by presuming to have an affair with his sovereign’s consort. Knowing Henry VIII as he must have, particularly being in the inner circle, this seems like a recipe for suicide.

    When Henry had all of Reginald Pole’s family arrested and his mother and brother arrested, they showed his brother’s son on the episode in which Margaret Pole is dragged away to her grisly execution. I believe the child’s name was Henry Pole. I remember reading about him being in the tower as a child, much like Edward Courtenay, who was released and pardoned in Mary’s reign, but I think Henry Pole disappears from view after around 1543. Does anyone know what happened to him? I find no information on the internet whatsoever.

    Mary Seymour is another character that seemed to disappear much like Henry Pole. After the death of her mother, Catherine Parr (Henry’s last queen) and her father, Thomas Seymour’s execution for treason in 1549, she was sent to the household of Charles Brandon’s widow, Katherine if I remember correctly. The records seem to die out after a couple of years but I also read an account, I think it was in Agnes Strickland’s book, that she grew to adulthood and married. Has anyone ever been able to confirm the truth on this?

    Since there were two Culpepper’s and the one was beheaded because of his involvement with Catherine Howard, does anyone know what happened to the other one? Was he still living when his brother was executed?

    My last question involves Thomas More’s family. Does anyone know what happened to his other children besides Margaret More Roper and his widow? I would imagine they were all living in poverty upon his execution and the crown seizing his assets and I would also imagine that Margaret was trying to care for them as an honor and duty to her father. Does anyone know?

  5. check ‘find a grave’ for infi on margaret pole [plantaganet] and the last of her herd that so annoyed henry.little henry may be amoung them ,but i’ m not clever enough to change pages ,check,and return to this one.you can find pictures of a lot of graves of famous people,even where you’re not allowed to go,like st. peter ad vincula.,and the cemetary outside st. georges at windsor where the useless duke and duchess of windsor are buried. have fun!

  6. Ann says:

    Mary Seymour just disappears from the records as a toddler. Agnes Strickland did say that there was “a tradition” in her own part of the country that Mary grew up and married a country gentleman named Edward Bushel.

    We know she lived until 17 March 1550, because an Act of Parliament restored her property (jewels, clothes, and possibly papers of her mother’s). For myself, I think it’s more likely that she died very young. Little Mary was the first cousin of Edward VI, and her Parr uncle, Lord Northampton, survived the Seymours, et al., by some decades; her Parr aunt died in 1552. The only child of a former Queen, first cousin of the King, Mary would not have disappeared into an obscure life. Even without an ample dowry, her marriage would have been of value, since it would bring a husband’s family close to the King without the risk of being thought to have designs on the throne. I believe the reason nothing like this happened was that Mary died young.

  7. Baroness Von Reis says:

    It would’ent surprise me a bit Mary 1 was really a not right in the head,but thats still just a myth.

  8. Sarah says:

    MYTH!!. Three hundred years after the Tudors in the reign of Queen Victoria. The vault in St George’s Chapel where Henry is buried was opened, his skeleton is still there. They recorded that Henry was 6ft2. And that he was a redhead, as some hair was was still attached to his skull.

    1. B Tate says:

      Thank you for the reminder of the measurements and hair records reportedly made when Henry’s coffin was opened in the early 1800s; I read that somewhere, too. So I was surprised when I recently came across a non-fiction book that said Mary I had her father’s corpse dug up and burned. (Burning reference found in “Four Princes” written by John Julius Norwich.) Not to split hairs with the claim that the inventory of vault holding the broken coffin off King Henry VIII occurred in Victoria’s era, but I read it happened during the reign of King William IV and that he commissioned the aisle marker for the vault that exists today.

  9. Maria Burke says:

    I also read this in Peter de Rosa’s book, Vicars of Christ, the Dark side of the papacy. Some of the popes make HenryV111 look like a cherubic schoolboy, but if this was wrong, what else in the book was wrong……………

  10. Olivia says:

    Saw the same story in the book Katherine of Aragon by Patrick Williams. Never heard of this story before, but he states it as fact–he attributes Scarisbrick’s Henry VIII book.

  11. Gregory Martin says:

    Henry VIII had no tomb at the time of his death. There was one planned by Elizabeth I, though this was never completed. Mary I may have also considered it. So while there are primary records that show Elizabeth planning a tomb for her father, there are no records concerning Henry being exhumed for the purpose of burning. Clearly, Elizabeth must have believed her father’s body was intact, and without disturbance, to bother planning a tomb for him to rest in. I find it more interesting that Thomas Cromwell was executed in the Catholic faith, and that Oliver Cromwell was exhumed and beheaded for regicide! So history can already be quirky without the need to make things up.

  12. Banditqueen says:

    The fact someone asked such a ridiculous question shows they can’t tell the difference between myth and history. Which comic did you read this in? People need to read the facts, the books, the correct articles, such as those on this site, the contemporary sources and not journalists posts or forums. This is a complete myth.

    Henry Viii and Jane Seymour lie in a vault below the Chapel of Saint George in Windsor Castle, in coffins, which have been opened and examined, repaired and replaced. Henry’s marble sarcophagus was later removed and became the tomb of Horatio Lord Nelson under Saint Paul’s Cathedral. King William iv had their vault marked with a black marble stone and inscribed. Originally it was designed based on that for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and taken by King Henry Viii and it would have had mythical beasts, lampstands, angels and other representations, a beautiful tomb and sarcophagus and would have been a wonderful thing to be seen. There are online images of it. However, it was too extravagant and too expensive and the reformers, not Mary I took it down. Mary could not afford to complete the work. The vault is under the Choir the most important part of the Chapel. The vault also has one infant child of Queen Anne and the coffin of King Charles I.

    1. Patsy a says:

      Amen to fact based information. Thank you.

  13. Kay says:

    Had she done that, it’s unlikely she would have picked on her father alone. In those days everyone blamed ‘evil counsellors’, so she would have also exhumed and burned all the dead men who had arranged the Boleyn match. And alas we seem to have no record of this.

  14. Patsy a says:

    The information which is rumor or unfounded is often included in the MANY Tudor FICTIONS, fictional books VERY loosely based on fact, often with personal information that no one could possibly ever know unless it had been dictated to an autobiographer, or it’s completely made up, to embellish the fiction. Therefore, if you are truly interested in actual HISTORY, make the effort to read one or several historical and fact- based Tudor biographies. Many of these books are extensive and pithy and require some intellectual exercise (they’re not romance novels), but your reward will be a greater understanding of this family dynamic and the era in which they lived. Their lives were just as messy and wonderful as ours…..

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