Richard III skeleton identified. Shakespeare and other legends

Richard III skeleton identified. Shakespeare and other legends
Isabel del Rio

Richard III. The skeleton found in a parking lot in Leicester belongs to English king Richard III, main character of Shakespeare plays, who made him a legend.

Richard III skeleton identified. Shakespeare and other legends

Richard III skeleton identified. Shakespeare and other legends

Last August 2012, a group of archeologists directed by Richard Buckley started to excavate in Leicester, in the place where was the choir of the church of Grey Friars (demolished in 1538) and where, according to the tradition, it was the tomb of Richard III, buried there after dying in the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

Remembered as the last great battle of the War of the Roses (1455-1485) between the supporters of the House of Lancaster and the House of York, Bosworth Field was the end of Richard III and the beginning of Tudor dynasty with Henry VII (maybe the most famous British dynasty with names like Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn or Bloody Mary).

The research was led by the University of Leicester and driven by the local council and English society Richard III.

The king Richard III was born on October 2, 1452. He was the youngest son of the third Duke of York. Being 8 years old, he lost his father and his older brother, Edmund, in the Battle of Wakefield. Thus, named Duke of Gloucester, in 1483, he reigned two years, after his death in 1485.

It was Shakespeare who made him famous. However, historians deny his dark legend and claim it was an invention of his enemies, a lie beautifully popularized by Shakespeare and now, part of our culture and truths.

The skeleton found is well preserved and nearly complete, except for the feet. It has curves in the spine what indicate that the king was suffering from sclerosis, consistent with the descriptions made of the monarch at that time.

Scientists collected the genetic material of the teeth and femur of the remains and compared with DNA from two descendants of the king. No doubt, it is Richard III skeleton.

Of course, Peter Soulsby, Mayor of Leicester, has announced that once confirmed that the remains belong to Richard III, they will be moved to the cathedral of the town.

View Comments (4)
  • fabulous find – and fabulous story!

  • Wow Wow me too. I always agree with Jenean

  • In fact, I’m very interested in the Middle Ages and English Middle Ages is especially attractive. There are lots of fantastic legends and really bad people. Of course, Shakespeare has contributed to create these legends but, well, I love Shakespeare too. Many thanks Jenean Gilstrap

  • Pingback: Yareah Magazine Issue 33 February 2013: Go On!()

Isabel del Rio

Managing Editor at Yareah® Magazine. Author of ‘Ariza’ (2008) and ‘The Girls of Oil’ (2010)

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