George Shaw of Saddleworth: The man who unwittingly rescued a royal treasure
In 2010, a curious and elaborately carved piece of furniture was bought from a Chester auction house. It was thought to be early Tudor and extremely rare. In 2013 Dr Jonathan Foyle began researching its puzzling symbolism and old surfaces and in the course of two years discovered strands of evidence revealing it to be the marriage bed of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, made for her in 1486. As the only surviving medieval royal bed it was the historical find of a generation. But lurking at the heart of the story is George Shaw of Saddleworth and a tale of criminal deception.
Dr Jonathan Foyle is Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln with a PhD in early Tudor palace architecture. An author of books on the cathedrals of Canterbury and Lincoln and a contributor to the Financial Times, he is best known for his appearances on Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’ and the History Channel’s ‘Lost Worlds’.