This Day in History: 1400-03-07

On 7th March 1400, the body of Pontefract Castle’s most famous prisoner, Richard II, was laid to rest at the Dominican friary at King’s Langley, later being re-interred in 1413 at Westminster Abbey on the accession of Henry V. Richard’s remains joined those of his first wife Anne of Bohemia in the tomb Richard had erected for them in the chapel of St Edward the Confessor, next to that of Edward III. The bodies lie in the tomb chest below the effigies. The tomb was made in 1396-1399 by London masons Henry Yevele and Stephen Lote, and coppersmiths Nicholas Broker and Godfrey Prest cast the gilt bronze effigies. The total cost was £933, 6 shillings and 8 pence (£588,000 in today’s money) . Richard and Anne were originally depicted holding hands (as Richard had specified), but they have been broken off. This was the first double royal tomb and the effigies were cast in two sections rather than a single piece like Eleanor of Castile’s effigy.