Sunday, 22 March 2015

Richard III - The good is oft interred with their bones?

Richard III remains are being re-buried today in Leicester Cathedral.

The quote of course refers to Julius Ceasar by Shakespeare, but could easily fit Richard III too.

Left is a sketch I did from a photograph of his skull. His skeleton was recently found underneath a car park in Leicester.

The sketch doesn't show the whacking great holes in the back of the skull. The largest injury is a hole where part of the skull has been completely sliced away. This could only have been caused by a large, very sharp blade wielded with some force. Whilst it is not possible to prove exactly which kind of weapon caused this injury, it's probably a halberd or something similar. An injury like this would have been fatal.

And secondly, a potentially fatal injury; a jagged hole on the right side of the skull. A sword or similar bladed weapon has been thrust through the bone. Close examination of the interior of the skull revealed a mark opposite this wound, showing that the blade penetrated to a depth of 10.5cm.
Richard was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 and was hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars in Leicester, which was subsequently lost during redevelopment. Some remains were discovered in 2013 under a car park in Leicester and DNA examination with the one surviving relative proves beyond doubt that they belong to Richard III.

His death paved the way for Henry VII. But of course life is never that simple and a whole and great intrigue surrounds Richard and whether or not he should have been King in the first place. It all rather hinges on two of his nephews, 2 young boys who were Edward IV's sons, Edward and Richard, and whether they were murdered in the Tower of London by their very nasty uncle, or perhaps the Tudor factions.

We know now, that there were several interested parties who may have murdered the children, and much has been made of propoganda against Richard by Henry VII and Thomas More, but we'll never know.  It's a fascinating story in a very turbulent period of history.

Anyway his bones are to be reburied today and you can read more about it here....
I shall be watching it all on the TV very avidly.

1 comment:

  1. Yeesh! Man can be a gruesome creature. Your description of the head wounds conjures up a frightful image of hate as well as the frenzy of hand to hand battle. And the thought of murdering children to secure power of the thrown...well as I said, man can be a gruesome creature.