The remains of King Richard III have been found under a car park in Leicester. Scientists have confirmed the skeleton shows evidence of two fatal head wounds and the body was brutally hacked, presumably by his victors, having died on the battlefield in 1485.
After extensive tests, dig project leader, Richard Buckley said, “It is the academic conclusion that beyond reasonable doubt, the individual exhumed at Grey Friars in September 2011 is King Richard III — the last Plantagenet king of England.”
King of England and Lord of Ireland, Richard III was killed in the bloody Battle of Bosworth Field, in 1485. This battle ended the Wars of the Roses, leaving Henry VII as King, the first of the Tudor dynasty.
At the time of his death Richard III was reported to have been buried in Grey Friars, in Leicester City, which is today a council car park. Four years ago the Richard III Society embarked on a push to finally uncover the truth of his final resting place.
The figure of Richard III was known, worldwide, as the hated character in Shakespeare’s play. He was perceived for his weakness and hunched back, two characteristics which archaeologists found evidence of. The skeleton evidently has a curved spine and a slender frame.
King Richard’s bones have remained unsettled for over 500 years, just a meter underground. They will not be removed to the City’s Cathedral.
Canon Chancellor David Mantieth of Leicester Cathedral called the days of this discovery “momentous” and said King Richard III’s body would “rest in peace and rise in glory.”
In examining the remains, scientists looked at King Richard’s DNA, radio-carbo dating and the battle wounds found.
Archaeologists from the University of Leicester recovered a body which showed signs of battle injuries including 10 separate wounds, and scoliosis, in tune with unflattering historic accounts of the monarch.
Significant weight was placed on the DNA evidence, linking Richard to a living descendant, Michael Ibsen, through the female line of Anne of York.
The bones reveal a man in his late 20s to late 30s (the king was killed at 32). Radio-carbon dating showed he died in the second half of the 15th century or the early 16th century, consistent with the Wars of the Roses.
The bones also showed he was five-foot-eight-inches tall and “unusually slender” for a male.
The body had ten wounds, including two head wounds, which would have killed him. Other injuries included several other head wounds, a cut to his ribcage and a pelvic wound.
The discovery of his remains has called for historians to call for a revision of his achievements and how he was viewed. Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society, said, “When he fell he was stripped naked and his scoliosis (curved spine) became known and was used to denigrate him. Today, we find the idea of using physical disability against a person as abhorrent. Let this now be a break from the Tudor medieval mindset.”
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