Stop the Presses: King Richard is Found

Richard_III_of_EnglandToday, archaeologists announced the certain identification of the remains of Richard III, the Yorkist King of England. Last year, a skeleton was discovered underneath a parking lot. The fact that it had numerous battle wounds and a spinal curvature seen in scoliosis convinced the excavators that they had stumbled on the remains of Richard III. After extensive testing—DNA, soil analysis, and dental tests—researchers announced that the skeleton was that of Richard III. They announced that the skull had a mortal battlefield wound from a sharp blade. Contemporary sources relate that Richard was fighting valiantly when a blow to the back of his head pushed his helmet into his skull. The skeleton’s skull had that exact wound at the base of his skull. The final proof offered was DNA evidence from Michael Ibsen, a direct descendent of Richard’s niece, Anne St Leger. The remains will be interred in the nearby Leicester Cathedral in 2014. A comprehensive TV special is in the making. Check out the earliest portrait of Richard III from the early 1500s and a pic of the skeleton (Credit –  University of Leicester). Check out the curvature of the spine of the skeleton.

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Richard Plantagenet and his Yorkist relatives had warred with the Tudor family for the throne of England. Richard’s oldest brother Edward had reigned as Edward IV. When Edward died young, he left two young sons with Richard as Lord Protector. Richard convinced his sister-in-law, Queen Elizabeth Woodville, to allow the children to leave sanctuary and travel to London for Edward to be crowned king. The oldest son who should have reigned as Edward V and his younger brother entered the Tower of London and were never seen again. Many suspect the children (known as the Princes in the Tower) were murdered at Richard’s order, insuring his own succession to the throne. The discovery of the remains of two young children buried in the Tower is cited to support this theory.

Richard became King but reigned for only two years while defending his Crown. He was killed at Bosworth Field in 1485 when he was 32 years old.. His body was mutilated and put on display before being interred in Leicester. Henry Tudor, the victor of Bosworth, reigned as Henry VII who was succeeded by Henry VIII who was in turn succeeded by his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. The victors write the history and the plays, so Richard has been portrayed as a poor king who valued only power.       Tomorrow, back on schedule with Mary, Queen of Scots. Rita Bay

2 Comments

Filed under Person of Interest, Wednesday's Words

2 responses to “Stop the Presses: King Richard is Found

  1. Rita, I find the discovery of Richard’s skeleton fascinating. Have you heard how it ended up in under a parking lot?

    • Richard’s body was initially buried in Greyfriars Church. The church was one of those destroyed by Henry VIII after he broke with Rome and then destroyed the political power of the clergy. Archaeologists had a good idea where it was located, close to the Leicester Cathedral, and began excavations there. Finding his body was icing on the cake. Rita

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