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King Richard's Friend for Life

Skeleton of Lord Lovell -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • Francis Lovell was only nine when his father died and he became Lord Lovell.
  • He inherited lots of land and was looked after by the Earl of Warwick. He lived in Yorkshire and became friends with the Earl's young cousin, Prince Richard, Earl of Gloucester.
  • Francis grew up during the Wars of the Roses. The Earl of Warwick was a very important soldier during the Wars.
  • Francis married the Earl's niece and helped him in a rebellion against King Edward IV (Prince's Richard's brother). The Earl was killed and Francis was forgiven.
  • Francis eventually went to live at Minster Lovell Hall, near Witney, in Oxfordshire. He inherited more titles, like Lord Grey of Rotherfield (near Reading) and was made a Viscount.
  • He built himself a 'hunting lodge' at Ufton Pole Manor (Ufton Court). His sister, Frideswide, married, Sir Edward Norreys from nearby Yattendon Castle.
  • In 1483, Prince Richard became King Richard III. He made Lord Lovell his Chamberlain of the Household. So he was in charge of all the palaces and servants.
  • He was also made Constable of Wallingford Castle. He probably stayed at Ufton & Wallingford on his route between London & Minster Lovell. He could also visit his sister.
  • In 1485, the King's cousin, Henry Tudor, killed him at the Battle of Bosworth and made himself King Henry VII.
  • Francis fled abroad. He returned to take part in a rebellion against the King, but disappeared after the Battle of Stoke.
  • All his lands were confiscated by the King.
  • Over two hundred years later, a secret underground room was discovered at Minster Lovell Hall. Inside, sitting at a table was the skeleton of a man. It was Lord Lovell!
  • Poor Francis had hidden away in a blocked up room, fed and watered by an old servant. But the servant died and he was left to starve to death!

       What happened next at Ufton Court?


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