Lost kings’ bodies

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A king’s reburial in England this week made me muse over the plethora of Scotland’s royal remains awaiting discovery.

The body of James IV may lie beneath the 14th fairway of a golf course in Richmond, his skull under a restaurant in the City.

Edward Balliol, usurper of David Bruce, lies, perhaps, under a post office block in Doncaster.

Murdo Fraser MSP is keen on excavating the site off a Perth street where James I (murdered) and his Queen were buried, close to the grave of Margaret Tudor, James IV’s wife, whose marriage made way for the Union of Scotland and England. Perhaps most intriguing of all is the site in Stirling (partly beneath a car park) where James I’s uncle Albany, Governor of Scotland, is interred. He arranged the “disposal” (it is rumoured) of his young nephews.

And who is said to lie near him? The mysterious figure known as the “Mammet” (puppet), who appeared at Albany’s court claiming to be Richard II of England (presumed murdered), succoured by the Scottish court as a useful pawn against the usurper Henry IV till his death at Stirling in 1419.

HAMISH ALLAN

New Skinner’s Close

Edinburgh