Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire History & Archaeology
Thursday, 14 February 2013
News - Could Scots king be buried under the Post Office? (Doncaster)
A SCOTTISH king who ruled nearly 700 years ago could be buried beneath a Post Office in Doncaster town centre.
the amazing verdict of historians and archaeologists who believe one
time King of the Scots Edward Balliol could have his last resting place
in the town.
news comes hot on the heels of the discovery of the remains of English
King Richard III beneath a car park in Leicester in a story that has
gripped the globe.
the news that we could be queuing up for books of stamps on the grave
of a monarch of the glens adds further fuel to speculation that
Doncaster could be part of Scotland.
year, the Free Press exclusively revealed how our town was seized by
the Scots nearly 900 years ago - and may never have officially been
experts have discovered that Edward Balliol, who ruled north of the
border from 1332-36, died in Doncaster, with speculation mounting about
where his bones could be.
Robinson, museums officer in human history at Doncaster Museum said:
“We know that Edward Balliol lived here for a while and died here, but
the location of where he was buried, and where his body is, are now are
would be like looking for a needle in a haystack but not impossible for
someone with the means and interest to be able to conduct enough
research into where he might be.”
Edward, son of John Balliol, briefly ruled Scotland during the late Middle Ages, before being de-throned in 1336.
later years, he lived in the Wheatley area of Doncaster - possibly in
the medieval Wheatley Hall, roughly where the Parklands Sports and
Social Club now lies on Wheatley Hall Road, and died here in 1367.
that’s where the trail runs cold. There are no burial records and the
location of his grave remains unknown - but Peter says there a number of
locations in Doncaster where he could rest, including underneath the
town’s main Post Office in Priory Place.
said: “The current Post Office is built on top of a huge burial ground
and at that time, that’s where a lot of eminent figures would have been
laid to rest. At that time, the area was home to a large Carmelite
friary and that’s one of the places where Edward could be buried.”
there are a number of other locations scattered across the borough
where Edward’s remains could be - including Doncaster Minster and
Peter: “His mother was Isabella de Warenne, and the de Warenne family
owned Conisbrough Castle so that’s another place that would fit the
“One of the other most obvious locations would be the Minster as again, a lot of key figures would have been buried there.”
like Richard III, whose remains were unearthed from beneath a car park,
Edward too could be another monarch who shares his final resting place
with scores of vehicles on a daily basis.
another potential burial site could be the Greyfriars car park,
sandwiched between the Church View Tesco supermarket and St George’s
Bridge - also the site of a friary - hence the name - in bygone days.
Peter: “There is no archaeological evidence to say he is actually
buried in Doncaster. There has never been any excavation which has
turned up anything that suggests exactly where he may be buried.
may well have been taken and buried elsewhere, or even back to Scotland
- this may just be one of those mysteries that remains forever
Michael Brown of St Andrew’s University and an expert in Scottish
history, said that Edward was not a key figure in the nation’s past,
unlike Robert The Bruce and William Wallace.
He said: “He’s not really well known and there hasn’t been a great deal of research about the Balliol family in the past.
“We know that he was ejected from Scotland and spent time living in estates and castles in Yorkshire and the north east.
was never fully accepted as the Scottish king and he had to fight hard
to be recognised as such. He was very much regarded as a puppet of the
English king at the time and we do know he was regarded as a not very
Brown added that the monarch was however regarded by historians as an
“effective and energetic leader” and in his later years, broke into the
Queen’s park near Knaresborough where he was caught poaching deer.
was certainly rough around the edges by all accounts and spent his
retirement in and around the Doncaster area before his death at
news strengthens Doncaster’s claim to be an enclave of Scotland with
the town under Scottish rule for 21 years from 1136 to 1157. But while
the town was officially signed over between the kings of England and
Scotland, it seems it was never formally handed back.
Last year, tourism bosses were hopeful the revelation would spark a Tartan Army invasion.
manager Colin Joy said: “I love it - it is an intriguing story. It
would be wonderful if Doncaster had its own answer to Richard III.”
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Pat returns to give a talk on the life of one of Britain’s most renown monarchs. The talk will delve into the early years of Victoria’s life explaining how she became Queen. The talk will also delves into Victoria’s relationship with Prince Albert and how she interacted with the other European monarchies.
The talk starts at 7.30pm on Thursday 5th February at the Innings Public House, Gloucester Road, Prospect, Worksop S81 0RS. Entry is only £3 and there will be a bar on. There is also a large free car park outside.