Historians in quest for medieval king

editorial image
Have your say

A SCOTTISH king who ruled nearly 700 years ago could be buried beneath a Doncaster post office, historians have claimed.

Archaeologists and historians believe one-time King of the Scots Edward Balliol, who ruled from 1332 to 1336, could have his last resting place in the town.

Priory, place, Doncaster - A parking fine hot spot.  Picture: Liz Mockler D1553LM

Priory, place, Doncaster - A parking fine hot spot. Picture: Liz Mockler D1553LM

He is said to have died in relative obscurity in Wheatley in 1367, aged about 84, but the location of his grave is unknown.

The Doncaster town centre speculation comes hot on the heels of the discovery of the remains of King Richard III – the last English king to die in battle – beneath a car park in Leicester.

Peter Robinson, museums officer in human history at Doncaster Museum, said: “We know Balliol lived here for a while and died here, but the location of where he was buried, and where his body is, are now uncertain.

“It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but not impossible for someone with the means and interest to be able to conduct enough research into where he might be.”

Edward, son of John Balliol, briefly ruled Scotland during the late Middle Ages, before being de-throned in 1336.

In later years, he lived in the Wheatley area of Doncaster – possibly in the medieval Wheatley Hall, roughly where the Parklands Sports and Social Club now lies on Wheatley Hall Road, before his death.

However, there are no burial records and the location of his grave remains unknown.

But Peter says there are a number of locations in Doncaster where he could rest, including a burial ground under the post office in Priory Place in the town centre – where a lot of eminent figures would have been laid to rest, because the site was a Carmelite friary in medieval times.

Colin Joy, Doncaster’s tourism manager, said: “I love it - it is an intriguing story.

“It would be wonderful if Doncaster had its own answer to Richard III.”