The Legend of Richard III
|King Richard III|
King Richard III was allegedly taken to the Franciscan Friary of Greyfriars after being killed by Henry Tudor's army at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Richard was allegedly hacked down after being surrounded and the blow which felled him left fragments of his helmet in his skull. His clothes and armour were removed and his naked body carried on horseback to Leicester, where the corpse was displayed in public for three days.
When the friary was knocked down, legend says the body was removed and cast into the river Soar, but historians hope to disprove this. In the past week, two 30-metre trenches have been dug where Medieval window tracery was found, along with glazed floor tile fragments, part of what may be the Greyfriars cloisters walk and a section of wall. The plan is to dig another trench this weekend with the aim of intersecting the church itself.
The friary was destroyed during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, and the exact location of the burial site was lost, but after a study of ancient maps, archaeologists believe they have found the church.
|Battle of Bosworth Field by 1Philip James de Loutherbourg (1740-1812)|
hunchback and a withered arm who killed the 'Princes In The Tower'. Some historians claim this was a distorted image by the Tudors, and reiterated by Shakespeare’s play.
The Richard III Historical Society said it hoped the excavation, which is projected to last two weeks, would end ‘the enormous disparagement’ of his reputation. If any remains are found, their DNA will be compared to that of Joy Ibsen, a 16th generation descendant of Anne of York, the sister of Richard III. Mrs Ibsen
died four years ago, aged 82.
|The Chiddingly Boar, medieval silver-gilt livery badge of Richard III, |
used to pinpoint the location of the Bosworth Field