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Anne Mowbray

Anne Mowbray (1472 - 1481), Duchess of York, born 17 December 1472 at Framlingham Castle, Suffolk, was the only (surviving) child of John Mowbray, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and when he died in 1476 he left her very wealthy. On 15 January 1478, when she was 5 years old, she was married in St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, to Richard, Duke of York, the 4-year-old son of Edward IV of England. (They were not betrothed then, as some later writers have said, but actually married, so that the king could get control of her vast estates.)

She died at Greenwich on 19 November 1481, nearly two years before her husband disappeared into the Tower of London with his older brother Edward V of England, and she was entombed in a lead coffin in the Chapel of St. Erasmus in Westminster Abbey. When that chapel was demolished in about 1502 so the Henry VII Chapel could be built there, Anne's coffin was moved to a vault under the Abbey of the Minoresses, run by nuns of the order of St. Clare. That convent disappeared over the centuries.

In December 1964, construction workers in Stepney accidentally dug into the vault and found Anne's coffin. It was opened, and her remains were analyzed by scientists and then entombed in Westminster Abbey in May 1965. Her red hair was still on her skull and her shroud still wrapped around her.

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