In July 1907, blood began to flow from the coffin of Lord John Lucas, an English baron who died in the 17th century. The witnesses were amazed by this incredible miracle …
Here the full article published on September 1st, 1907 in Sunday Times:
A weird and startling incident that occurred in a.n ancient Colchester church has caused much speculation as to its nature.
Some workmen employed in restoring the historic church of St. Giles were carrying away a leaden coffin containing the remains of Lord John Lucas, who was buried in 1671. As they moved the heavy casket they in some way fractured it, and were astonished to see a large quantity of red fluid, having the appearance of blood, running from the hole in the lead.
They at once concluded, that the fluid was blood, and tho discovery naturally caused great consternation among them, seeing that the coffin is 236 years old.
The rector and others were called to inspect tho fluid, and they also were convinced that it was actually blood that oczed out of the coffin. Anyway, the incident is probably unique in the annals of sepulture.
The bodies of Lord John Lucas and Lady Anne, his wife, have long rested in the vault under the vestry at St. Giles' Church.
The coffin containing the remains of Lord Lucas bears an inscription in Latin to the effect:
‘Sacred to the Memory of the most noble John Lord Lucas, Baron Shenfield, who died July 2, 1671, aged 65.’
This Lord Lucas was the first lord, and founded the family now represented by Lord Lucas, better known as Mr. Auberon Herbert. Lord John was the elder brother of Sir Charles Lucas, whose execution after the siege of Colchester by the Cromwellians is commemorated by an obelisk in the local Castle park.
The incident recalls many superstitions as to the bleeding of bodies after death, such as being signs to the living that deceased had met with foul play, or was anxious to warn survivors of impending disasters.
A practical solution of tho occurrence was given by the president of the Essex Archaeological Society, and a great authority upon matters scientific. He at once said that it was not blood at all that came out of the coffin. ‘If you get a body buried in an hermetically sealed lead coffin,’ he added, ‘liquid exudes, and can not get out or dry up. It is a red liquid’, and when cleavage is n;ade it runs out, looking like blood, but is not blood at all.’ He went on to explain that the lead coffins of to-day were not so perfect as in olden times. Then they were cast. Modern ones are made of rolled lead, and the joints give way where they have been lead soldered. In the old coffins of cast load there were no joints to give way.
The old Roman coffins were made with burnt joints, and are perfectly good to day, us witness specimens in Colchester Museum.
- A weird discovery, Sunday Times, 01th September 1907
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