Was Francis, Viscount Lovel buried in
All Hallows, church in 1487?
Francis, Viscount Lovel was a close colleague of Richard III. After Henry VII defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth, Lovel played a major part in revolts against him.
Together with John, Earl of Lincoln, he led an army that was defeated by Henry at the Battle of East Stoke about 14km (9 miles) from Gedling on June 16th 1487.
The slab on the left is believed to have covered his grave.
Map of the Trent Valley between Nottingham and Newark
After the battle, Lovel was never heard of again and several explanations as to what had happened to him appeared since although there is little evidence to support any of them. Reports of the discovery of human remains at Lovel’s former home in 1708 gave rise to speculation that he had died in some secret hiding place.
The evidence that Lovel was buried at Gedling comes from a letter written by A. E. Lawson Lowe, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries to the Nottinghamshire Guardian on January 26th 1883 in which he described an incised alabaster slab he saw when he visited the church in 1866. He says that the slab showed the feet of a man wearing armour and the date 1487 so he speculated that it may be Lovel’s burial place.
His letter was reported in the Transactions of the Thoroton Society in 1903 and in Charles Gerring’s History of Gedling in 1908. The issue of whether Lovel was buried at Gedling has arisen in recent years because both of these publication are now available on the internet at
and also at
Lowe's letter about Lovel and his slab
Could Lowe have been right about Lovel?
Alfred Edward Lawson Lowe was a well known and respected historian and as such his letter can be regarded as a faithful description of what he saw. He spent much of his life in Nottinghamshire and later moved to Shirenewton Hall near Chepstow, Monmouthshire from where he wrote his letter.
As shown at the foot of the letter, Lowe was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and articles written by him appeared more than twenty times in The Nottinghamshire Bibliography Online at http://www.thorotonsociety.org.uk/bibliography.htm, which records that he contributed to journals such as Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, The Genealogist and The Reliquary. He wrote on subjects such as family history, archaeology and several of his articles are about inscriptions and monuments.
He also made contributions to J. Potter Briscoe’s, series of monographs published as Old Nottinghamshire and wrote a history of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment and also a guide to Nottinghamshire.
Lowe makes a small error in his letter, when he says that Lovel was ‘in right of his mother, lord of the Manor of Gedling’ because the Lord at the time was, his mother’s brother, William Viscount Beaumont.
Full details of how Lovel may have made the journey and the choices he would have had to make on the way are given in The Route from the Battlefield to Gedling - A Conjecture.
Click HERE to download your copy
and click HERE to find out who else the slab may have commemorated