King Richard III – Scoliosis and Bodily Deformity

My sister just came back from an exhibition about the 30 Years War in Germany. Though 1 1/2 centuries later than King Richard III, the times and hardships had not so significantly changed, yet.
What mostly stayed in her memory of the exhibition, were bodily deformities, bone-changing illnesses, e.g. flee bites (I did not even know, their infections could be so severe as to affect the bones), and bone shattering fights and battle-wounds.
One skull with a head-wound about two weeks old, especially held here interest. How could this man with such a severe wound possibly get onto a battlefield again to finally get his deadly head-wound which partially cut his skull away?
But one thing she clearly took away from this exhibition was, that it was a wonder to survive longer than about 30 years.
Your teeth were gone. Not because one lost them, but because they were ‘shrubbed’ down to aching stumps of teeth, which must have hurt abominably and might explain the high alcohol consumption of the time.
A lot of illnesses of the time could have been avoided or cured by nothing more than dry and warm living quarters, but often enough caused death. Considering that open fire in military tents and the usual lit fires in open fireplaces were not able to really heat a room, but mostly the only available or maintained fire in a house or tent was used for cooking.
But why do I mention this all, when I primarily want to talk about King Richard III and his possibly visible bodily deformity?
With this information about the first half of the 17th century as a background, I did not want to let the press release of the Richard III Society about the deformity of King Richard III go unmentioned.
Not so much the modern attitude towards deformity there got my attention, but more the attempt, to give King Richard III a new chance to be evaluated anew from a modern perspective.
But does King Richard III need to be seen anew?
From his lifetime, no reports about a deformed and devilish king are reported or survived till in our days. The bedevilment of King Richard III started well after his death to legitimise his successors.
Nicholas von Poppelau, who personally met King Richard III, does not even mention his deformity, though he in general was an observant reporter of his journeys. Foreign correspondents and ambassadors did not report this bodily impairment.
Could it have been that King Richard III well hid it beneath clothes and specially stuffed and adjusted layers of fabric?
What always made me wonder in the reports about King Richard III is that he after his death was exhibited in Leicester – without clothes. The cruelty of the new Tudor King Henry VII to expose him naked to the crowds must have had a reason.
Why naked?
– To show the cruelty of the battle?
That would not have been necessary, as surely the battlefield and other wounded were proof enough for that.
– To show the cruelty of the new king?
Might have been a by-point to frighten possible opponents.
– To show that the ‘old’ king was dead?
This only works, when the subjects exactly know how the king looks like up close. That is not too likely, because the king would have passed them in a distance, the battle wounds would have scarred and marked him and death, especially after severe battle wounds, can make a face unrecognizable. So hair colour, even blood stained, would have had to suffice as approximate indicator that it really was the king.
The heavy head wounds of the king also make it rather unlikely that the face was especially recognizable.
Also it is said and especially now in the battle between towns for the human remains of King Richard III proclaimed, that King Richard III had no closer connection to the town of Leicester. So citizens might not have recognized him, except if he had a clear sign to recognize him by.
To exhibit King Richard III’s body, king Henry VII must have had a clear reason to present him in this certain way to proof that the ‘old’ king was dead.
This sign furthermore must have been in a way, that it could be hidden beneath clothes. Though certainly the blood stains on the clothes from the severe battle wounds of the king must have been a further incentive to remove them.
This all are suggestions, conclusions from circumstantial evidence and documented happenings around King Richard III’s death. Those can be interpreted in one way or another, depending of what the researcher finds likely to have been the motive or the likely intention of the actors in a certain event.
With King Richard III’s human remains found and therefore a certain prove for his actual bodily strength and agility as well as a clear medical indicator for the extent of his bodily impairment, the legend and truth can be separated far further than it was possible so far.
It will necessitate a great amount of new research and a renewed looking at old sources with a new perspective and attention to so far dismissed details.
So in my view, whatever the laboratorial research will reveal, the circumstantial evidence of the human remains will necessitate a new research into the life of King Richard III and a new perspective on later propaganda.
King Richard III deserves a new chance !
Philippa Langley, originator of the digging in Leicester, well summarises this necessity for a new perspective and new research about King Richard III:

It seems that despite Thomas More, Richard did not have a withered arm, that despite William Shakespeare, Richard did not have a hunchback. And despite John Speede, Richard’s remains were not exhumed and taken to the river Soar.

If the remains are identified as being those of King Richard these are just some of the myths that have already been busted. And, having watched the exhumation, I believe there may be more myths to follow.

Let’s give King Richard III a new chance!
Let’s show his life in a film!
Let’s support Mr. Armitage in giving King Richard a new life on screen!


Thank you for all your kind help with the film-petition!


2 Responses to King Richard III – Scoliosis and Bodily Deformity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

Petition - Status !

As of July
22nd 2022, 6 p.m. (CET)
we have 2482 signatures.

Go to sign...


Search the Site:

Subscribe to News-Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

KRA NewsStream

January 23, 2022

Royal Family: The deadly sickness that killed Henry VIII’s brother and thousands of others before vanishing without a trace (by Bea Isaacson,

January 8, 2022

Can new evidence clear the name of Richard III? (by Chris Lloyd, Darlington & Stockton Times)

December 29, 2021

Did Richard III actually save the boy king he’s accused of killing? (by Lydia Starbuck, Royal Central)

April 23, 2021

Steve Coogan movie The Lost King begins filming (by, British Comedy Guide)

January 31, 2021

Barnard Castle boars date back to King Richard III (by Andrew White, The Northern Echo)

January 12, 2021

Alternate history: what if Richard III had won at Bosworth? – Professor Emeritus Michael Hicks interviewed by Jonny Wilkes (by Jonny Wilkes, Professor Emeritus Michael Hicks, BBC History Revealed)

September 11, 2020

Steve Coogan and Stephen Frears to collaborate on The Lost King (

April 9, 2020

Steve Coogan confirms Richard III movie ‘next year’ (by BBC East Midlands,

November 1, 2019

Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth – By Mike Ingram (HeritageDaily)

October 8, 2019

Painted as a villain – how the Tudors regarded Richard III (by Christina J. Faraday, APOLLO.The International Art Magazine)


(To further news & commented NewsStream)

Subscribe to NewsStream-Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


KRA BookTips

KRA-Banner Quiz 2015
KRA-Banner Quiz 2014

♛ Recent Posts ♛

KRA-Week 2013 - SideBanner 1

♛ Post Archive ♛

King Richard Fan Art Fan-Art banner small