Friday, 31 August 2012

The Legend of Richard III

King Richard III
This isn't my article, I have shamelessly cribbed it from ITN News. A small news item last week showed two guys in armour having a sword fight in a Leicester car park - however today, archaeologists confirmed they have found the Greyfriars Friary where Richard III's remains are believed to be buried.

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)
Richard was King of England for two years, and his death at the age of 32 marked the end of 30 years of the Wars of the Roses as well as the dawn of the Tudor dynasty and the demise of the Plantagenets. Traditionally Richard III was seen as a tyrant who murdered his way to the throne, disfigured by a
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

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Petrea Burchard said...

Yes! We've read about this, it's very exciting. I'm eager to learn what they find.

Sue Bursztynski said...

I have read about this, though I didn't know his family had any direct descendants. How fascinating! I have been in the Richard III Society, so I'm waiting on further details ith bated breath! His birthday is coming up.

Anita Davison said...

And the evidence seems to be stacking up too, a man of noble birth with an arrow in his back and sclerosis of the spine. Wonder how they will do the DNA match though but they seem to have it covered.

Petrea Burchard said...

They have all but said it's him. We watch for news every day. I wonder what it is about the likes of us, or I should say the likes of me, who find this so much more interesting than today's news?