I have been fascinated by Bishop Fleming and his cadaver tomb  at the east end of Lincoln Cathedral. Eleanor of Castile, Bishop Christopher Wordsworth and the remains of St Hugh’s Shrine all vie for attention in this area. Add in the Imp and the Gilbertine memorials and you have more than enough to detain you. Hard by the North East Corner of the Angel Quire however there is a martial tomb of an impressive looking individual. It is not now very well interpreted but with a little research I have discovered it is the tomb of Bartholomew Burghersh. The two tombs directly behind the St Hugh memorial, and opposite Bartholomew are those of his brother a former bishop of Lincoln and their father.

Bartholomew was an important right hand man of Edward III. He had several “big jobs” including Constable of the Tower of London, Warden of the Cinque Ports and Lord Chamberlain. Most importantly of all he was the Kings “Warrener” and at his feet in the tomb you can see a representation of Peter Rabbit style creatures peeping out of burrows. He was not just a “cuddly” character however. He fought at the battle of Crecy and was heavily involved in the military activities around the breakdown of the rule of the ill fated Edward II. He died in 1355, 7 years after the arrival of the plague which almost 100 years later was to be the inspiration for Bishop Fleming and his weird/scary tomb which overshadows this equally important and colourful but now largely forgotten soldier and diplomat of significant national standing.