A fortune teller had prophesied that the King would die in Jerusalem. Knowing that he was close to death, he came to the abbey to pay his last respects at Edward the Confessor’s shrine (Question 75) before setting out for the Holy Land. Unfortunately, his illness overtook him:
‘While he was making his prayers at St Edward’s Shrine to take there his leave and so speed him on his journey, he became so sick that such as were about him feared that he would have died right there. Wherefore they, for his comfort, bore him into the Abbot’s place and laid him down before the fire in this chamber.
‘On coming to himself and learning that he was in the chamber named Hierusalem, then said the King, “Laud be to the Father of Heaven! for now I know that I shall die in this chamber, according to the prophecy made of me beforesaid, that I should die in Hierusalem,” and so he made himself ready, and died shortly after.’
The incident featured in William Shakespeare’s play Henry IV Part 2. According to Shakespeare, the future Henry V did something outrageous with his father’s crown while the old man was still alive.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 37. What did the future Henry V do with Henry IV’s crown in the Jerusalem Chamber?
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