A mutilated body found in an abbey graveyard has been identified as that of a notorious medieval villain rumoured to have been the gay lover of Edward II.
The remains, which bear the hallmarks of having been hanged, drawn and quartered, are thought to be those of Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger, who was executed as a traitor in 1326.
Sir Hugh had been favourite of Edward II - who was widely believed to have been homosexual - but was brutally executed before a mob after the king was ousted from the throne.
The decapitated remains, buried at Hulton Abbey, Staffs, have intrigued experts since they were uncovered during the 1970s and now Mary Lewis, an anthropologist, says she has uncovered compelling evidence of their true identity.
The manner of execution, carbon-dating of the bones, and the absence of several parts of the body all point towards Sir Hugh being the victim, she said... (Telegraph)
From most accounts, Hugh was a paricularly nasty rogue and the brutal nature of his execution demonstrates just how hated he was. Some of this was probably related to persistent rumors that he was the homosexual lover of Edward II, but there was far more to why the man was despised. He was accused of cheating and murderering several people, including members of his own family. Edward II was a failure as King, which is why he was deposed and possibly murdered, and apparently his choice in male lovers wasn't any better. Interesting find though.