At St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on the 1st April 1813, there occurred the opening of the coffin of King Charles I who had met his fate by execution in 1649. But why was this deemed necessary and what took place at the opening? And why was the vault re-opened yet again in 1888? Let us look at the facts.
A search had been made for the burial place by his son King Charles II, "Yet such had been the injury done to the Chapel, such were the mutilations it had undergone, during the period of the Usurpation [Cromwell's rule], that no marks were left, by which the exact place of burial of the King, could be ascertained."
The published accounts of those who had first hand knowledge of the burial also proved unsatisfactory thus the matter rested. But Sir Henry Halford, Physician to the King and the Prince Regent, writes in 1813 that "an accident has served to elucidate a point in history, which.... had [been] involved in some obscurity."Share
After construction of a vault under the 'Tomb-House' [now the Albert Memorial Chapel], it was in 1813 found necessary to widen the passage to it from under the Choir of St. George's Chapel. In constructing this enlarged passage an aperture was accidentally made into a vault through which the workmen could see three coffins. It was then assumed, from published accounts, that these were the coffins of King Henry VIII, his Queen Jane Seymour, along with that of King Charles I. (Read more.)