Now find Cardinal Wolsey! After remains of Richard III were found, the undiscovered bones of Henry VIII"s Lord Chancellor are next on the…

Now find Cardinal Wolsey! After remains of Richard III were found, the undiscovered bones of Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor are next on the historic wish listChurchman is known to have also been buried in Leicester's abbey in 1530Historians think his tomb was destroyed later in Henry VIII's reignAttempts to locate Wolsey's remains in 1820 and the 1930s drew blanks

By
Leon Watson

PUBLISHED:

02:21 GMT, 14 February 2013

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UPDATED:

02:27 GMT, 14 February 2013

The successful search for the skeleton of Richard III has prompted calls for a fresh bid to locate the remains of another major historical figure buried in Leicester.

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey is known to have been buried at the city's abbey in 1530, but his bones have remained undiscovered.

The churchman, Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor, died at the abbey while travelling to London after being accused of treason when he failed to secure the annulment of the king's marriage to his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

Hunt: The bones of Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor Cardinal Thomas Wolsey remain undiscovered

Hunt: The bones of Henry VIII's Lord Chancellor Cardinal Thomas Wolsey remain undiscovered

At the time of his death Wolsey was arguably England's second most powerful person after the king.

The ruined abbey can be seen in Abbey Park close to the city centre.

Confirmation last week that a skeleton found under a council car park in Leicester in September, last year made the city the focus of media attention worldwide.

City councillor Ross Willmott said: 'The discovery of Richard III is wonderful news, yet there remains something of a mystery about what happened to Wolsey, who rivaled Henry VIII in wealth and power and was one of the most significant political figures of the era.

'Arguably, he is far more influential than Richard III. To discover his remains would help tell the story of another historic figure linked to the city.'

'There have been digs over the years to try to find him but they have not succeeded. I would like another go.

Victim of a Tudor smear campaign: The truth is that Richard was a popular and liberal king during his brief reign, who introduced financial reforms and the right of bail for those accused of crimes

The remains of Richard III were found under a council car park in Leicester in September last year

A magnificent job: The remains of King Richard III were found in a hastily dug grave beneath a council car park in Leicester last September, in what were once the precincts of Grey Friars church

A magnificent job: The remains of King Richard III were found in a hastily dug grave beneath a council car park in Leicester last September, in what were once the precincts of Grey Friars church

The Battle of Bosworth: Richard was killed in battle more than 500 years ago at Bosworth field, in a battle which marked the end of his line and the rise of the Tudors

The Battle of Bosworth: Richard, pictured on the
white horse, was killed in battle more than 500 years ago at Bosworth
field, in a battle which marked the end of his line and the rise of the
Tudors. Wolsey served as royal chaplain to Henry VII, who seized the throne

'It would bring more tourists to the city and further excite the interest in history and archeology that we are now seeing.'

Wolsey served as royal chaplain to Henry VII, who seized the throne after Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

It is likely he was buried with great ceremony at the abbey but historians think his tomb was destroyed later in Henry VIII's reign, when abbeys were dissolved in the late 1530s after England's split with the Catholic Church.

Attempts to locate Wolsey's remains during digs in 1820 and again in the 1930s drew blanks.

However, Leicester Civic Society chairman Stuart Bailey said: 'His bones may have been scattered and any remnants destroyed, but for years they said that about Richard III.

'I think it would be marvellous to have another look.

'It was a great fluke that Richard was found but we know Wolsey was buried in the Lady Chapel of the abbey church, which is not all that big.'