Happily, good sense prevailed soon after Belgium’s State Radio and Television (VRT) broadcast the TV documentary programme on my investigation into the real identity of John Clement. Cardinal Danneels lifted his ban, similarly the Kerkfabriek and the Office of Monuments. We are now invited to make the excavation in the cathedral.
Digging in the cathedral: The cost of work and material is estimated at 5377.56 EURO (216,930.35 BEF), plus 299.95 EURO (12,099.95 BEF), architect's fees. Funding will come from Internet promotions. YOU are paying for the excavation. OK?
The primary question, surely, is why was an obscure English doctor and his wife buried in a place reserved for the sons and daughters of the royal house of Burgundy, at the high altar of Sint Rumoldus, the Westminster Abbey of Flanders? It is simply astounding that this glaring anomaly has not been noticed and examined long before now. However, you may conceivably agree that if Richard, Duke of York, was also known as John Clement, that his paternal aunt was an English princess, born Margaret of York (sister of Edward IV and Richard III), who married Charles the Bold, duke of the royal house of Burgundy. In this connection and long after the death of her husband -- Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy, the leading opponent of the Tudor takeover in England, a great schemer who was outsmarted at every turn by the able Tudor, Henry VII, who had married her niece -- died and was buried in Mechelen, like her nephew, without seeing a reversal of York fortunes. Her court was just across the square from Sint Rumoldus in the former capital of Flanders, the ancient walled-city of Malines, known today as the city of Mechelen. Finally, I believe Clement was exiled, or exiled himself to Flanders, since the risk to a rightful heir and his family in England was unacceptable during the reign of the legal heir, Elizabeth I. OK?
Yes, they did: one son, Thomas, the godson of Thomas More; and five daughters, Winifred, Bridget, Helen, Dorothy and Margaret. For instance, the eldest girl, Winifred, married Thomas More's nephew, William Rastell, and was buried in St. Peter's church, Louvain. Winifred died young of the so-called 'sweating sickness' that invaded Europe from time to time. Winifred's husband died much later and was buried beside her. When he left England for the last time, he had published More's "Workes" and was a respected Judge of the High Court. Messrs. Geo survey N.V. of Louvain found the unmarked Rastell tomb under the floor of the church using geo-radar, which literally finds holes in the ground, precisely where the documents said it was some hundreds of years before. The report of the investigation has been published in Moreana "The More Circle: the Antwerp/ Mechelen/ Louvain Connection". (See: “Bookstall”)
Since it is possible today to identify a related grandparent and grandchild from their DNA, the KUL scientists want to make a DNA profile of Winifred Rastell (née Clement), and then move across the Channel to England, and make a DNA profile of Winifred's supposed grandfather, Edward IV. The DNA findings may offer a solution to the longest-running case of missing persons in the history of royal England and at the same time provide and demonstrate conclusive proof of the most remarkable deception plan discovered to date.
There are no other laboratories involved to date making DNA profiles of John and Margaret Clement. In this connection, I have asked for the investigation to be initiated by the department of human genetics at the University of Louvain (KUL), which has most kindly been agreed, on the grounds that: (1) John Clement was a former student at KUL; (2) There is a credible report (from Erasmus of Rotterdam) that Clement subsequently became a distinguished Reader in Greek at Oxford University; and, (3) Documentary evidence shows Clement registered at the University of Siena where he gained his MD. Six laboratories will be invited to participate, for the scientific interest, and I will keep you informed.
First, may I suggest you read "The Princes in the Tower" for the detailed account. Briefly, one of the oldest universities in Europe (KUL) was the alma mater of John Clement, a distinguished scholar in his own right, long after he gave up medicine and concentrated on Greek studies. Clement and his family were part of the More circle of family and friends who lived and died in Flanders and I doubt if any English family is more proud of their ancestor than the descendants of Thomas More and, as already explained and made clear, Clement was More's son-in-law. Second, KUL is interested in all alumni inscribed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries at a time when university rules permitted the incumbent rector to offer sanctuary to anyone at risk to their lives on condition their names were inscribed in the hand of the rector in the university registers and they had sworn the students' oath. Clement was duly inscribed but did not swear the obligatory students' oath 'for a reasonable hidden cause'.
I have to draw attention that this explanation is unique in the history of KUL registrations. It is not difficult to understand in the case of a person living with a false name and identity. I have further to draw attention that to swear an oath under a false name is a serious offence; namely, perjury -- and an offending perjurer, if denounced, risked losing the remarkable right of protection from prosecution by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, written into the university's constitution by the far-sighted founding fathers. Finally, KUL is part of the history of the sixteenth century and KUL's renewed interest in the history of the Tudors is closely associated with John Clement's real identity and the scientific findings in the department of human genetics. (Centrum voor Menselijke Erfelijkheid)
Sadly, the director of the Saint Peter's Chapterhouse (Voorsitter aan de Kerkfabriek, Mr. Frans GUNS) has refused permission to open the tomb and has adjourned the matter sine die. Some very important persons at KUL have tried to convince Mr. GUNS to change his mind. The Voorsitter has the right to say No and, personally, I have tried and failed, and can do nothing more.
#10 "Isn't it time to start a letter-writing campaign asking Mr. GUNS to change his mind?" (re. opening the Rastell tomb)
Thank you most kindly for the interest. Upon reflection, I believe it reasonable to prove to Mr. GUNS that there is serious interest in my investigation and, since presenting an individually signed petition is not yet a practical reality on the Internet, a letter-writing campaign may be the only socially acceptable alternative. The name and address in the phone book reads: Frans GUNS, Bondgenotenlaan 83, B-3000 Louvain (Belgium).
Last revision 010101