Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Royal Resting Place - Richard III and more

 The Skull of Richard III

Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch's family.
Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, told a press conference to applause: "Beyond reasonable doubt it's Richard."
Richard, killed in battle in 1485, will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral.

Mr Buckley said the bones had been subjected to "rigorous academic study" and had been carbon dated to a period from 1455-1540.
Dr Jo Appleby, an osteo-archaeologist from the university's School of Archaeology and Ancient History, revealed the bones were of a man in his late 20s or early 30s. Richard was 32 when he died.
His skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull, at around the time of death. Two of the skull wounds were potentially fatal.
One was a "slice" removing a flap of bone, the other was caused by bladed weapon which went through and hit the opposite side of the skull - a depth of more than 10cm (4ins).
The above is how the story was reported on the BBC website but it doesn't tell the full tale. Although the remains were found in Leicester and in the 21st century the law states that the body should be buried in the nearest consecrated ground, which is Leicester cathedral, there is a counter claim.

Middleham Castle, Leyburn, Yorkshire

This was the childhood home of Richard and is reportedly the burial place of his son Prince Edward of Middleham.
He also had very close connections with York. King Richard visited York several times during his short reign, and stayed for three weeks in 1483.  He was met by the mayor and alderman, and was sprinkled with holy water at the entrance to the Minster.  Presents worth £450 were given to him.  The young prince was crowned Price of Wales at the Archbishop’s Palace behind the Minster.
Richard even planned to be buried at York Minster, a radical ambition as English monarchs were traditionally interred at Westminster Abbey.  He planned to build an enormous chantry chapel at the Minster where 100 additional chaplains would pray for his soul.
So there you have it. Yorkshire will once again be fighting to have its King returned - let's hope the House of Lancaster doesn't get involved or it will be War of the Roses 2!
Then of course there is the mnemonic for the colours of the rainbow Richard of York gave battle in vain - not Richard of Leicester. What more evidence do the powers that be require?
Richard III

Body in Leicester
Warm heart beating for Yorkshire
Living must decide
©David L Atkinson January 2013

God Bless