This Day in History: 1476-07-21

On Sunday 21st July 1476, the bodies of Richard, 3rd Duke of York and his son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, were exhumed at the Priory of St Richard near Pontefract Castle, both killed at Wakefield some sixteen years before. Their coffins were placed beneath cloths of gold coverings bearing a white satin cross with so many burning candles surrounding the caskets that the church’s doors had to be kept open and some windows removed. A life-sized effigy of York kneeling in prayer above his coffin, was dressed in dark blue gowns trimmed with ermine, the mourning clothes of a king. His claim to have been King by Right of England and France was reinforced by an angel holding a crown just above his head.