Monthly Archives: September 2012

Two Kings & Two Towns & One Book

 


♕ Two Kings ♕


 
 
Mr. Armitage just appeared as King of the Dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield, in a new video preview to the major cinema production by Sir Peter Jackson “The Hobbit”, which will start with the first part in December 2012.
First trailer (Link to YouTube).
Second trailer on YouTube, just published last Wednesday, 19th of September 2012, during J.R.R. Tolkien Week.
 
Servetus presented King Richard on her blog Me+Richard Armitage, as Thorin Oakenshield last week got so much attention that she thought, our king might get jealous.
 
But there is also so much news and the lively discussion about his last resting place, that King Richard III needs not to worry:
 
 


♕ News of Two Cities ♕


 

 


♕ Collective Reading ♕


 
Servetus introduces the Twitter procedure of the collective reading and shows, how the discussions will work.
 
Here on KRA, we will also give room and create a separate page for the collective reading, to enable discussions and non-time-sensitive discussions to take place.
We will try to get the discussion started here with posts (approximately on Mondays), collecting information and questions.
 
The first discussion of chapter 1 – 5 will start next Sunday, 30th of September 2012! So it is high time to get the book and start reading ;o)
 
 
If you want to join in and still need a copy of the book, please consider to make your purchase via the link at RichardArmitageNet.com, where reference fees will go to the charities selected by Mr. Armitage. Thank you!
 

Amazon.co.uk – Amazon.com Print & Kindle edition
 
Reference fees gained through links at the KRA website also go to the RA-charities.
 
Initiator is Fanny/iz4blue with her blog DistRActed Musings of one ReAlity.
News and schedule will be available at the end of this week at her blog and at the Facebook page ‘Institute of Armitage Studies‘.
 

Schedule of the collective reading

on Distracted in Reality
(Also available for Google Calendar there.)
 
 

To Bury a King

 

York Minster (Source: Wikipedia, Steve nova)

York Minster (Source: Wikipedia, Steve nova)

Leicester Cathedral (Source: Wikipedia, NotFromUtrecht)

Leicester Cathedral (Source: Wikipedia, NotFromUtrecht)

 
It is getting ahead of ourselves – ahead of MtDNA testing. If these are the remains of Richard III. But the question has been raised about the final resting place of this – last of the Plantagenets. (Those most closely involved with the research, advocates of an archaeological project, forensics, genealogy and DNA experts, have been wisely circumspect about the issue.) Still, it is a wee bit an elephant in the room. Just in case it proves to be Richard III. The Palace has also been rather dispassionate with remarks about the issue. Perhaps wisely so. Some might enjoy postulating that the Windsor dynasty could be deemed usurpers. Which would be digging up a whole other can of “bones”.
I don’t think so. Genealogical tracking is a tangled web of relationships. And one dynasty succeeds another. William the Bastard was an invader. The right to the throne between Stephen and Mathilda led to civil war. Henry IV usurped the throne in 1399. Edward IV prevailed and Richard III was also a usurper in the 15th century. Then there were the Tudors… Only, it appears that the Palace is not putting out a welcome mat for Richard III at Westminster or Windsor. Oh well.
 
It appears that if this is our Richard, both York and Leicester might be more than willing to receive the bones, and presumably, to hold a proper (even if not in the faith of the pre-Reformation monarch) and respectful ceremony of re-internment.
 
It is easy to be a fence-sitter about this. York Minster is a glorious cathedral. It is very big. It has the most wonderful architecture of the medieval period. Built to endure. Except, of course, for those medieval monasteries which a Tudor king dissolved. While supporting the conversion of the cathedrals to a religious evolution. So, Leicester or York? I’m a fence sitter.
 
Richard converted York to the Yorkist cause. Middleham Castle in Yorkshire was reportedly, his favourite home, in which he spent his boyhood. The City of York recalls him with a fondness, not found in the South. And York is a beautiful city, retaining so much of its medieval structure.
 
Leicester Cathedral is the fourth smallest cathedral in England. Without the spire, it appears an ordinary town church. (But there are those pointed Gothic arched windows…) Richard was not actually born in the North, but at Fotheringhay in Northamptonshire, in the East Midlands, just a bit south of Leicestershire. Richard fought his last battle in Leicestershire, and died there.
 
The University of Leicester has been the linchpin of the project. Its multi-disciplinary resources have been devoted to dig process. There is rather a pleasing aspect to a small cathedral having the responsibility of a properly and well-constructed tomb and internment service, final place for a king who was not necessarily given due respect 500 years, or since.
 
The only contemporary indication we have of what might have been Richard III’s intent, is documentation that he intended a chapel to be built at York, for himself and Anne Neville. Anne is buried in Westminster.
 
So, I am a fence-sitter, and we don’t know yet the DNA results, anyway.
 
fitzg
 


♕ Poll ♕


 
Where do your favours lie in this discussion?
Please let us know in the poll and
 
vote for your favourite resting place for King Richard III
 
 

King Richard III – News

 


♕ King Richard Live on Radio 4 ♕


 
You think it is not possible to hear King Richard III live on Radio 4?
Steven Berkoff made it possible over the weekend.
Listen for yourself:
 


 
Richard the Third: My Car Park Years, by Steven Berkoff on BBC Radio 4
 
You still don’t believe me?
King Richard III is even up to modern challenges and mastered the Twitter technology: Richard_third
 
 


♕ Further News ♕


 

 
KRA has also opened a new page, to collect the press coverage. It is in no way a complete list, but tries to give an overview over current discussions.
We are very grateful for comments and further tips and links.
Thank you!
 
 


♕ Battle of the Churches ♕


 
 
Shortly after the discovery of human remains at the Greyfriars’ church in Leicester, a new discussion emerged, that of where King Richard III should find his last resting place.
 
To give this new discussion a neutral place, as e.g. a Leicester website would necessarily have a certain outcome, while a York-website would have another, and as the discussion already emerged here on KRA, we will host a poll, to find out what you think would be the right location for King Richard III.
 
Vote for your favourite resting place for King Richard III
 
KRA will not take an active position for one side or the other, as politicians and the tourism industry already have discovered King Richard III for themselves, now that it seems a success story.
 
As this is already more of a heated and fiercely fought discussion than the usual polls, e.g. about why you support the filming of King Richard III by Mr. Armitage, the poll will have more security measures, to ensure that poll fraud is minimized.
Currently the e-mail is set as limit, as also couples using the same computer should get the chance to vote individually. Should we recognize poll-fraud, we will switch to more restrictive measures, but I want to remind, this is a fun-poll, which will have no immediate influence on the decision of this question!
 

The entry of your mail address is necessary to take part in the poll to minimize poll-fraud. Your personal details will not be shared or used in any way, but are necessary for the safe handling of this poll. Thank you for your understanding.

 
As we already stated in our post of Saturday, 15th of September 2012, all places have advantages and disadvantages and I am sure, you can add some further points to the discussion.
 
I am really curious what you see as the most adequate resting place for King Richard III.
 
Please leave comments at the poll page, if you have conditions you would like to be met by either of the places or have other suggestions for a resting place.
 
 
Thank you!
 
 
 
 

Full Press Conference Video about Search for King Richard III (12.09.2012)

 
For all who had not been able to attend or watch the press conference live on BBC last Wednesday, 12th of September 2012, the University of Leicester published a full recording of the sensational news about finding humans remains with clear signs of possibly being King Richard III:
 
 

 
 
Now that King Richard III might be found – the mtDNA still needs to confirm the success of the search – a controversial topic dominates the discussions about King Richard III.
 
Leicester, York or Westminster
 
Those are the places brought into the discussion where the best last resting place for King Richard III might be.
 
 
Westminster
 
+ King Richard III’s wife is buried there, though her exact resting place is unknown (Plate was put into the chapel in modern times for commemoration and is not her exact burial location.)
 
church is strongly dominated by the Tudor dynasty on the English throne and heirs to King Henry VII Tudor, the victors over King Richard III at Bosworth.
 
 
York
 
+ King Richard III planned a chapel there, which is thought to have been intended for his own and his families burials.
 
historic structure of the Cathedral, as the planned chapel was not built, might necessitate, that King Richard III needs to be squeezed in.
 
 
Leicester
 
+ King Richard III rested in this parish for over 500 years already.
 
as all the other churches, it is not the religion King Richard III belonged to, as it is a reformed church changed by Tudor King Henry VIII in the 16th century.
 
 
These are only a few of the arguments in this controversial discussion about a controversial king.
 
I wish for the best resting place for King Richard III, wherever that may be.
 
 


♕ Leicester News ♕


 

 
 
The mentioned articles are only a small selection of what is going on right now, but try to give you a consistent idea of the happenings.
 
Please feel free to link in further articles or posts about King Richard III in the comments.
Thank you!
 
 

The King: Is it or isn’t it Richard Plantagenet?

 

King Richard III

King Richard III – Source: wikimedia.org


 
The news this week has been exciting. (Understatement)
First, congratulations to University of Leicester multi-discipline crew who have performed such detailed research over a number of years to reach this point! The few publicly available clips of a press conference Sept. 12, indicate that the crew can barely contain their excitement. While measuring their words, as all professional scientists and historians must do. (I have been bouncing on My couch (NOT Oprah’s) while reading the media reports.)
 
However, it seems that the choir area of the Greyfriars church has not only been identified from artifacts found, but yes, human male remains were discovered. (Burial in the choir area indicates the presence of a high-born personage.) Further visual indications strongly suggest a violent death. The skull has a cleavage, consistent with having been subjected to a battle weapon. An arrowhead has been found in the rib area. Again, this is consistent with a contemporary account of the king’s death at Bosworth.
 
An interesting find is that the skeleton appears to indicate scoliosis, a spinal curvature, again consistent with descriptions of Richard III. But far from the Tudor/Shakespeare description of a hunch-backed cripple with a withered arm. Difficult to imagine a one-armed, crippled hunch-back as the battle-hardened warrior also described in contemporary and near-contemporary accounts. If these proves to be the remains of Richard III, it is amazing to imagine the strength of mind and spirit required to build the strength and skill, in the face of the pain and difficulty of managing a severe spinal problem.
 
For me, an additional personal interest (apart from having been deeply interested in this king and his times for decades), are some Canadian connections. The MtDNA is belongs to a British lady who moved to Canada following WWII. Her DNA sample, following a genealogical trace some years ago, indicates her descent from Richard’s maternal family. Dr. Turi King, of the University of Leicester forensic team, is Canadian. Small details, but adding to the personal excitement. The Canadian media has already posted accounts to date of this project.
 
Now, a wait for the MtDNA results. Even if a match does not prove true, or indecisive, the dig will have provided a light into 14th C history. At the least, the probability that this Richard III is high. Remember, the truth of the deaths of his nephews remains unknown, and unproven. Despite disputed origin of bones found at the Tower.
 
A wonderful aspect has been the convergence of history experts, archaeologists, forensic scientists, a university, and Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society, to push this project to this point. And to have been rewarded (understatement) by the current results. And congratulations to all the other supporters of the project.
 
fitzg
 
 

King Richard III News from Leicester

 
The Press Conference in the Guildhall in Leicester today revealed fantastic news.
 
There were human remains found at a very significant and high status area of the choir of the Greyfriars church.
 
Though a definitive statement about if they belonged to King Richard III without mtDNA analysis (taking about 12 weeks) cannot be made right now, the condition of the skeleton has the following significant signs:
 

Site-map of the Medieval Church of the Grey Friars (Credit: University of Leicester)

Site-map of the Medieval Church of the Grey Friars (Credit: University of Leicester)

  • is in good condition
  • is certainly male
  • shows a significant trauma of the head. Parts of the back of the head are missing.
  • has spinal abnormalities, which would result in a clearly visible higher right shoulder compared to the left. – But clearly no hunchback!
  • has a barbed metal arrowhead in the vertebrae of the upper back
  • was in good bodily condition and could have attended a battle

 
So the skeleton clearly belongs to someone died in battle and furthermore shows clear signs of what we know about King Richard III, if the exaggerations of the Tudor propaganda are dismissed.
 
As Philippa Langley from the Richard III Society comments:
 

The victors always write the history.

 
But now, according to Ms. Langley, if King Richard III were present today, he would want us to find the truth about him.

 
Complete confirmation only the laboratory research of the mitochondrial DNA now can give, which will take about 12 weeks to reveal the results.
These researches are based on a comparison with Mr. Michael Ibsen‘s mtDNA, who is a 17th generation relative in the female line to King Richard III, as the research by historian Dr. Ashdown-Hill could reveal.

 
Video by the University of Leicester about the archaeological research and procedures, with lots of material and explanations by Richard Buckley:
 

 
 

Live Streaming of Press Conference now on BBC

For all who are as curious as I am, about the research results,
here the link to the Press Conference – live stream on the BBC website starting now (11 a.m. U.K.):
 


 
It just was announced by the University of Leicester on Twitter:


 

Charity and News

 


♛ KRA Charity 2012 ♛


 
Our Charity Winner of the KRA Quiz, who as price could decide where the collected money in the amount of £ 91.- would go to, IngeD3, chose her favourite charity among the selection on Mr. Armitages JustGiving page:
 
The donation goes to: ChildLine
 
IngeD3 is a blogger in the fandom of Mr. Armitage and writes witty and thoughtful comments and articles at Crispin’s Eclipse and solves scavenger hunts about King Richard III.
 
The donation was made yesterday. Here the receipt and donation message (with deleted personal account details – for security reasons):
 
KRA Week 2012 - Charity Donation
KRAQuiz-Charity Donation 2012
 
 


♕ Leicester News ♕


 
Today, at 11:00 a.m. in the Guildhall in Leicester, a press conference will reveal a “dramatic development in the search for King Richard III.
 
Richard Taylor, Director of Corporate Affairs at the University of Leicester and one of the prime movers behind the project, sais about it:

What we have uncovered is truly remarkable and today (Wednesday September 12) we will be announcing to the world that the search for King Richard III has taken a dramatic new turn.

 

Leicester_Guildhall_Great_Hall_3 (Wikipedia.org NotFromUtrecht)

Leicester Guildhall, Great Hall (Source: Wikipedia.org, NotFromUtrecht)


The archaeological research has unearthed human remains.
 
More details will follow in today’s press conference, where members of the team behind the digging will reveal more.
 
I certainly would like to be in the Guildhall in Leicester today, not only because it is a beautiful old building, but to immediately hear the news.
 
Here the official announcement by the University of Leicester about the press conference and the new developments.
 
 

One More Week to Find King Richard III


♕ Leicester News ♕


 

The Search for King Richard III extends for at least another week!
 
Richard Buckley, head archaeologist of the University of Leicester describes the success of the last two weeks:

There was an incredible turnout at the dig and the level of public interest in our work is phenomenal. I would like to thank the public for their generous support and it has provided huge motivation for us to continue our quest.
 
We are now tantalisingly close in our search and will investigate the choir where Richard is presumed to be buried. Whether we find Richard or not, this dig has been a huge success in terms of revealing the heritage of Leicester and I am proud that the University of Leicester has played a pivotal role in the telling of that story.

 
The success of the archaeological research already has been impressive and has convinced City Mayor Peter Soulsby to authorise the digging team to continue for at least another week.
Here a short overview of what they already found out:
 
The archaeological research

  • determined the location of the Franciscan friary
  • found the eastern cloister walk and chapter house
  • located the church within the friary
  • uncovered the lost garden of former Mayor of Leicester, Alderman Robert Herrick (who is reported to have still known the location of King Richard III’s burrial place in the early 17th century)
  • found medieval floor tiles from the cloister walk of the friary, window tracery, elements of the stained glass windows of the church, a mediaval silver penny and a stone frieze believed to be from the choir stalls.
  • won wide interest and support, so that 1.500 visitors stormed (in well ordered groups of visitors) the digging area in the three hours on opening day, Saturday 8th of September 2012, and wanted to know more about King Richard III.
  •  
    The extended time period for the digging now enhances the chance to find King Richard III, as the choir of the Greyfriars’ church in Leicester is located and part of it already opened, as photos from the Opening Day last Saturday reveal:
     

    Trench 3 at Leicester (Source: Richard III Society)

    Trench 3 at Leicester (Source: Richard III Society, shared on Facebook 09.09.12)


     
    Site Map of the digging (Source: Richard III Society)

    Site Map of the digging in Leicester (Source: Richard III Society, shared on Facebook 09.09.12)


     
    King Richard III is believed to have been burried in the choir of the Greyfriars’ church.
     

    Further good news is:

    The digging is being filmed by Darlow Smithson Productions for a documentary to be shown on Channel 4 later this year!
     
    More impressions and findings from the digging in Leicester:
     

    A 14th-century inlaid floor tile from the church of the Greyfriars (Credit - University of Leicester)

    A 14th-century inlaid floor tile from the church of the Greyfriars (Credit – University of Leicester)

    Copper alloy letters found on the site, perhaps from tomb inscriptions (Credit - University of Leicester)

    Copper alloy letters found on the site, perhaps from tomb inscriptions (Credit – University of Leicester)

    Stone Frieze which may be from the Choir stall. (Image credit - University of Leicester)

    Stone Frieze which may be from the Choir stall. (Image credit – University of Leicester)

    Medieval inlaid floor tiles from the friary (Credit - University of Leicester)

    Medieval inlaid floor tiles from the friary (Credit – University of Leicester)

    Architectural fragments from the friary buildings (Credit - University of Leicester)

    Architectural fragments from the friary buildings (Credit – University of Leicester)

    Karen Ladniuk (Richard III Society) cleaning a path made from re-used medieval tiles (Credit - University of Leicester)

    Karen Ladniuk (Richard III Society) cleaning a path made from re-used medieval tiles (Credit – University of Leicester)

    Medieval remains uncovered on site (Credit - University of Leicester)

    Medieval remains uncovered on site (Credit – University of Leicester)

    Checking the trenches (Credit - University of Leicester)

    Checking the trenches (Credit – University of Leicester)

    Philippa Langley (Richard III Society) showing a group of visitors around the site at the public open day (Credit - University of Leicester)

    Philippa Langley (Richard III Society) showing a group of visitors around the site at the public open day (Credit – University of Leicester)

     
     

    More news about Leicester:

    • Report about the Opening Day, last Saturday, 8th of September 2012 at the website of the University of Leicester. They show exhibits of finds, the location and confirm that the digging will go on for another week!
    •  

    • This is Leicestershire about the news of being ‘tantalisingly close’ to King Richard III (10.09.2012)

    A Historical Chance…

     


    ♕ Fall in Splendour ♕


     
    The schedule is set for our collective reading of
     
    “The Sunne in Splendour” by Sharon Kay Penman.
     
    Fanny/iz4blue has announced the details on her blog!
    Distracted Musings of one ReAlity
     
    If you want to join in and still need a copy of the book, please consider to make your purchase via the link at RichardArmitageNet.com, where reference fees will go to the charities selected by Mr. Armitage. Thank you!
     

    Amazon.co.uk – Amazon.com Print & Kindle edition
     
    Reference fees gained through links at the KRA website also go to the RA-charities.
     
     


    ♛ KRA Solutions 2012 ♛


     
    KRA Quizmaster Servetus
     
    Servetus, our quizmaster of the KRA Quiz 2012, has a wonderful collection of information about and around the correct answers and where the solutions to the scavenger hunt can be found.
    It is a wonderful collection of information about Mr. Armitage and King Richard III and interesting to read, even if you did not try the scavenger hunt:
     
    King Richard Armitage Week 2012 puzzle solution [sources]
     
     
     


    ♕ Leicester News ♕


     
     
    For all of us, who can’t attend tomorrow’s opening of the Leicester carpark to see the archaeological progress for themselves, the University of Leicester publishes updates and news. Here the latest very promising news of today: University of Leicester
     

    Ms. Philippa Langley describes the latest finds in Leicester:

    The discovery of Herrick’s garden is a major step forward and I’m incredibly excited. In locating what looks like one of the garden’s pathways and, potentially, its central area which could have once held the three foot stone pillar marking the location of King Richard’s grave, we could be that bit closer to finding the resting place of Britain’s last warrior king.

     
    Here are some images and examples of the finds:
     

    1. Fragments of what could be the east end window of the church. (Image credit - University of Leicester)

    Fragments of what could be the east end window of the church. (Image credit – University of Leicester)

    2. Fragments of what could be the east end window of the church. (Image credit - University of Leicester)

    Fragments of what could be the east end window of the church. (Image credit – University of Leicester)

    Lead window came (The H-section leading that supports stained glass windows) from the Grey Friars church (Image credit- University of Leicester)

    Lead window came (The H-section leading that supports stained glass windows) from the Grey Friars church (Image credit- University of Leicester)

    Medieval silver penny found at the site. (Image credit - University of Leicester)

    Medieval silver penny found at the site. (Image credit – University of Leicester)

    Philippa Langley, from the Richard III Society, in Herrick's garden. (Image credit - University of Leicester)

    Philippa Langley, from the Richard III Society, in Herrick’s garden. (Image credit – University of Leicester)

    Stone Frieze which may be from the Choir stall. (Image credit - University of Leicester)

    Stone Frieze which may be from the Choir stall. (Image credit – University of Leicester)

     
    The official announcement of the opening day tomorrow, 8th of September, 2012 from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m., by the Leicester City Council.
     
     

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