In 1797 the tomb of King John at Worcester Cathedral was opened at the prompting of the engraver Valentine Green (1739-1813). Green had written a history of the city of Worcester, and had come to doubt previous descriptions of the tomb and its contents, among which was a long-standing contention that John had been buried elsewhere within the church. The effigy was removed first, followed by the slab on which it rested; inside the tomb chest, a stone coffin was discovered, containing the royal remains. The Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral were immediately summoned, and inspection made of the King’s body. Green describes how thousands thronged to see King John before the tomb was restored the next day and the coffin closed to sight. Opposite the title page of Green’s account is this engraving, inscribed, ‘The body of King John, as it appeared on opening his tomb in Worcester Cathedral, Monday July 17 1797’.
- Article by:
- Nicholas Vincent
- Medieval origins, Clauses and content
The agreement at Runnymede in 1215 had broad consequences for medieval England. Professor Nicholas Vincent explores the immediate impact of Magna Carta, considering the Civil War, the re-issue of the charter and the formation of early forms of parliament.