Momentum builds in search for Wolsey

12th February, 2013

The call to discover the remains of Cardinal Wolsey gathered momentum today as the Leicester Mercury published the story on its front page.

I agree with the Mercury that this is a bit of a ‘long shot’ given the size of the Abbey and the number of previous excavations. However the Abbey site is very interesting and is always worth further archeological investigation.

Such a long shot, if it excites interest in history and archeology has to be a good thing. Already we have seen a revival of interest in local history as it is linked in the imagination by bones, artifacts and places, to great historical events.

The story of Cardinal Wolsey, like that of Richard III is full of intrigue and excitement taking place on a world stage. The physical evidence if King Richard’s body leads us to be ever more sceptical about contemporary accounts as to his nature. It is ever more likely that he was a victim of one of the most successful ‘political’ assassination attempts in history as part of the effort to reinforce Henry Tudor’s claim to the throne.

We have also learnt more about our city, the location of the Grey Friars Priory and something of the life lived there.

I hope all of this awakens an interest, a curiosity in the place we call Leicester and all the people who have and do live here. History is made by ordinary people, as well as kings and cardinals and their lives and struggles are equally fascinating.

Wolsey was at the centre of a struggle between state and religion, a struggle still manifest in our world today, and impacting on the lives of millions of people.

I hope that as a consequence of this interest more people will understand the importance of history in shaping how we are now.  Perhaps leading a few more of us to place greater value on our heritage as a window, not just into the past but into hearts and minds.


Thanks to the Mercury for the story and Photo

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