Created on: February 14, 2013 Last Updated: February 15, 2013
Headlines across the globe recently shared the major news that the 500-year-old skeleton of King Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, were positively identified. The king's remains were identified after a series of tests after the bones were excavated from underneath a parking lot in Leicester.
With this successful archeological find, calls to try and locate the remains of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey have been reignited. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey died in 1530 and is known to have been buried at an abbey located in Leicester, but the precise location where his remains were laid to rest are not known. However, researchers have a general idea of where the Cardinal's remains may be.
"The discovery of Richard III is wonderful news, yet there remains something of a mystery about what happened to Wolsey, who rivaled Henry VIII in wealth and power and was one of the most significant political figures of the era," said City councillor Ross Willmott, according to This is Leicestershire. "Arguably, he is far more influential than Richard III. To discover his remains would help tell the story of another historic figure linked to the city."
"There have been digs over the years to try to find him but they have not succeeded. I would like another go," said Willmott.
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey is probably best noted for his connection to King Henry VIII as Lord Chancellor. He also served under Henry VII as royal chaplain, the king that had seized the throne from Richard III.
Wolsey was the churchman who Henry VIII enlisted to help secure his annulment from first wife Catherine of Aragon, and after that failed, the once highly powerful and influential Wolsey was accused of treason. He was en route to face trial in London at the time of his death at the abbey in Leicester, according to the UK's Telegraph.
It is believed by historians that Cardinal Wolsey's tomb was likely destroyed during Henry VIII's reign during a time when the abbeys were dissolved after England split with the Catholic Church. However, there is reemerged hope that maybe his skeletal remains are still in the vicinity.
The ruins of the abbey still remain, so is it possible the Cardinal's remains could be found? Previous attempts over the last two centuries have yielded no results.
Leicester Civic Society chairman Stuart Bailey said: "His bones may have been scattered and any remnants destroyed, but for years they said that about Richard III," reported the Telegraph.
Will archeologists again turn to seeking centuries-old remains in Leicester? Time will tell, but either way, the links to the past that technology has been able to bridge may be a good incentive to move forward.
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