Stained glass window depicting Arthur, Prince of Wales (1486-1502), eldest son of Henry VII and elder brother of Henry VIII. Created by the glass artist Thomas Williment for the west window of St Laurence’s Parish Church, Ludlow. Dates to 1860.
On 2nd April 1502, Arthur died at Ludlow Castle, possibly of the sweating sickness. His body was buried in Worcester Cathedral, but his heart was allegedly buried in St Laurence’s. ‘Heart’ here refers more specifically to Arthur’s internal organs. The parts that could not be embalmed were probably laid to rest here. The antiquarian William Stukeley visited Ludlow in 1712 and remarked,
‘Here is a very good church...and an inscription upon the north wall of the quire relating to prince Arthur, who dy’d here. His bowels were bury’d in this place. One told me they took up his heart and not long since in a leaden box’.
This leaden box was allegedly sold to a Ludlow plumber named Robert Pitt. But when the Rector, Charles Fenton, discovered this, the box and contents were soon repurchased and restored to the formal location. Fenton served as rector from 1702-1741, and it seems that the urn was removed around 1721 and returned by 1741.
Arthur’s tomb, at Worcester, can be seen here: