‘Bury me in my best clothes, with a pipe and tied to chair’

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Human remains discovered at a stately home are believed to be those of the man who built it and ordered that he be buried in his best clothes with his pipe as he waited for the afterlife. An excavation of a mausoleum in the grounds of Pentillie Castle in Saltash, Cornwall, is thought to have uncovered the body of Sir James Tillie, who built the home in 1698 and died in 1713.

He asked that on his deathbed he should not be buried, but dressed in his best clothes, bound to a stout chair and placed with his books, wine and pipe in his favourite folly to await resurrection. His servants are believed to have brought him wine for two years until, unable to bear their macabre orders any longer, the remains were interred and a marble statue built in his place.

Mystery has long surrounded his final resting place – but recent renovations of the mausoleum uncovered a brick chamber under granite floor slabs, in which human remains were found…..

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