Monthly Archives: May 2013

Enemies of King Richard III ?

 


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After long announcements – finally – the work on the research content is steadily continuing.
First results are visible under:

 

If you wrote to KRA during the hectic February / March / April months of 2013 and did not get feedback, please be so kind and get in contact again.
A local computer break down cost KRA quite some mails, though I hope I was able to reconstrue everything halfway. I tried to remember and answer all requests.
But if you still are waiting for an answer, please get in contact again, as your mail might be among the lost.
Thank you very much for your kind understanding!

 
 

Untidy Grave Beneath a Car Park

 


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The academic publications about the research results begin with:
 
‘The king in the car park’: new light on the death and burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars church, Leicester, in 1485
 
by Richard Buckley, Mathew Morris, Jo Appleby, Turi King, Deirdre O’Sullivan, Lin Foxhall
 
(The full article in “Antiquity” No. 87 (2013), p. 519 – 538, is available here and is fully accessible worldwide as a pdf-file.)
 
The research comes to the same result as the early mentions of King Richard III’s burial, e.g. by Polydores Vergil, who said that Richard III was buried “without any pomp or solemn funeral“.
 
 
Some of the results revealed in the article are:
 

  • King Richard III was buried in a hastily dug up grave.
  • The grave had an untidy ‘lozenge’ shape, where the bottom was much smaller than it was at ground level.
  • The king’s head was propped up against one corner of the grave, which suggests that the gravediggers had made no attempt to rearrange the body once it had been lowered into the grave.
  • There were no signs of a shroud or coffin in the grave.
  • The grave of King Richard III in the previous aspects is very untypical for a grave of that time and is in stark contrast to the other medieval graves found in Leicester, which were neatly dug in the correct length and with vertical sides.
  • The form of the grave might indicate that the gravediggers were either in a hurry or had little respect for King Richard III.
  • Someone might have stood in the grave to receive his body, which his body position in the grave rather to one side than placed centrally might suggest.
  • There is evidence to suggest King Richard III’s hands may have been tied when he was buried.
  •  
    The article further contains speculations about the layout of the friary, based on the finds in and around the grave of King Richard III.
    The team feels confident to have identified parts of the eastern range, the chapter house and the eastern end of the church, including the transition between the choir and the presbytery.
     
    For archaeology to find a named individual is rare enough, but for academics to work closely with non-specialists, enhances the rarity of this “public archaeology project initiated by Philippa Langley“. The article expresses this as follows:

    The Grey Friars Project has been unusual in the nature of the collaboration between professional and academic archaeologists, an amateur group (the Richard III Society) and the City of Leicester. However, this also means that the project has addressed two different but overlapping sets of research questions, not all of which specialists would routinely ask. […]
    What is somewhat different from the ways in which archaeological professionals and amateurs have generally worked together is that in this case the non-specialists played a role in shaping the intellectual frameworks of the project, although the final project design (including how questions could appropriately be asked of the evidence), and the execution of the project in practical terms remained in the hands of the archaeologists.

     
    Further research results, like the full outcomes from the bone analysis and DNA tests, will be published in subsequent papers in “Antiquity”.
     
    New excavations at the Grey Friars site will be executed in July 2013 and are hoped to clarify details around the disposal of the body.
     
     


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    • The York Press: Visitors flocking to see Richard III ‘tomb’, by Mike Laycock (23.05.2013) – Unfortunately not the real one as designed and planned by the Richard III Society. Nothing is decided in that regard yet. – The Richard III Museum in York created its own shrine for King Richard III which draws visitors.
    •  

    • ThisIsLeicestershire.co.uk: Tour follows Richard’s journey from fight to finding, by Leicester Mercury (23.05.2013) – A forgotten king starts to noticeably change a city. Royal theme tours to Bosworth.
    •  

    • The Spectator: Bosworth, by Chris Skidmore – review, by Leanda de Lisle (25.05.2013) – Can’t really say the review convinces me of the value of the book. Accusing King Richard III of the murder of his nephews while no new evidence turned up in the meantime just seems an attention grabbing argument for a historian, though possibly a better one for a politician. But I will say no more and will hold back judgement till I had a chance to read the book.
      The new information included in the book about King Richard III’s gruesome death through the wounds found in the examination of his bone injuries certainly extends the knowledge about the Battle of Bosworth.
    •  

    • BBC Radio 3: BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival of Ideas (23.05.2013) – Apply now to join this Radio 3 – show with Mark Ormrod (University of York) and Helen Castor (author of “She-Wolves”) about King Richard III in York (The Ron Cooke Hub) on 16 June 2013.

     

    A Church for the King

     


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    • ThisIsLeicestershire.co.uk: ‘Our best guess at Greyfriars’, by Dan Martin (18.05.2013) – PhD student Asem al Bunni (De Montfort University) built the assumed outlook of the Grey Friars Church in Leicester after assumptions and research done by Dr. Ashdown-Hill in his book “The Last Days of Richard III”.
    •  

    • De Montfort University, Leicester: DMU re-creates Richard III’s long-lost friary (20.05.2013) – Speculations about the Greyfriars’ church and St. Mary-in-the-Newarke, where King Richard III may have been on public display before his burial in the Greyfriars church.
    •  

    • University of York: Richard III: History’s man and Shakespeare’s villain. Speakers at the event on Sunday 23 June 2013: Chris Skidmore, Mark Ormrod and Judith Buchanan (21.05.2013) – Admission to the event in the Berrick Saul Building at the University of York is free, but booking is required!
    •  

    • University of Leicester: Was Richard III a benevolent king or a murderous tyrant? (Press release: 21.05.2013) – Free event and open debate on 6 June 2013. [As reported already in last week’s news.]
    •  

    • Middlehamonline.com: Richard the Third Weekend – 5th – 7th July 2013 – As I can’t link to the event itself, just to a general news page, I will quote the even description here:

      RICHARD THE THIRD WEEKEND
      Friday 5th July 2013:

    • – The weekend will start on Friday from the Chruch of St Mary’s & St Alkeldas with a children’s procession to the Castle where the children will be presented to King Richard & Queen Anne.
    • – The raising of Richard’s personal pennant from Middleham Castle.
    • Saturday 6th July 2013:

    • – Country Market – Market Place Middleham
      A selection of stalls reflecting country gifts, skills and produce
    • – King Richard & Queen Anne will process through Middleham
    • – Wandering Minstrels
    • – Castle re-enactments and audiences with Richard & Queen Anne
    • – Hog Roast
    • – An evening Talk covering Richard’s life and death
      by the Historian Steven Brindle, Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society and Professor Sarah Haisnworth of Leicester University
    • Refreshments included in ticketprice of £18 per person
    • Sunday 7th July 2013:

    • – Middleham Castle
      an audience with King Richard & Queen Anne
    • – Re-enactments archery etc.
    • – Wandering Minstrels
    • – Craft Fair at the Key Centre
    • – Refreshments etc. acailable
    • – Market Place afternoon into evening
    • – Tilt The Bucket
    • – Barbeque food etc.

     


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    Royal News

     


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    • Crossville Chronicle: Small Town Girl: Britain’s missing royalty, by Caroline Selby (09.05.2013) – King Richard III potentially not the child murdering king on the throne of England? The tide seems to turne in the king’s favour. What King Richard III so hard fought for, to have the benefit of the doubt, finally seems to reach the media.
    •  

    • University of Leicester: Richard III Open Day for all the family (13.05.2013) – More information about the schedule for the Richard III Open Day on Saturday 29th June 2013 at the UoL website here.
    •  

    • University of Leicester: Live event – Richard III: Benevolent King or Murderous Tyrant? (13.05.2013) – Debate and question time about King Richard III at this live event on Thursday 6th June 2013, with
      Phil Stone, Chairman, Richard III Society
      Paul Lay, Editor, History Today
      Dr. Mary Ann Lund, University of Leicester
      Questions can be sent in to: lexchanges[at]le.ac.uk
      Tickets for the event are free, though places are strictly limited. So reserve your spot fast.
    •  

    • DigitalJournal.com: Leicester Cathedral hosts past and present English monarchs, by Elizabeth Batt (10.05.2013) – A report about Leicester Cathedral and its history with beautiful images. That even present royalty sees it as a worthy place to visit, might be an argument to make the place more suitable for a ‘past king’.
    •  

    • Simon Fraser University, Vancouver: SFU hosts talk by experts who discovered Richard III’s skeleton (13.05.2013) – Dr. Turi King and Jo Appleby held a talk about the research results about King Richard III in Vancouver. – Unfortunately got the alert to the event by the Simon Fraser University only at the day it was held. Still I hope, we will get further information about the event and its content later on.
    •  

    • ThisIsGloucestershire.co.uk: Citizen Big Issue: Gloucester city councillor and Richard III Society member Seb Field (14.05.2013) – Seb Field’s statement for Gloucester and an open approach to history and King Richard III.
    •  

     
     


    ♛ King Richard Everywhere ♛


     
    You want to play King Richard III? – If you are in the age between 14 and 19, you have a chance here:

    • Brattleboro Reformer: NEYT Casting for ‘Richard III’ (15.05.2013) – King Richard III here unfortunately not a role for Mr. Armitage, but hopefully his part will work out soon. The New England Youth Theatre is giving teens the chance to play “one of Shakespeare’s most murderous plots”.
    •  

    • Times Herald Record: Make your wishes known regarding funeral, burial, by Bonnie Kraham, Guest columnist (09.05.2013) – I wonder whom King Richard III should have given his exact instructions. His wife and son were dead already and none of his siblings or any of his intructions survived long enough to prevent him from being quareld about now.
    •  
      If you want to show where your favours lie, please consider taking part in our poll about adequate procedures for King Richard III’s burial.
       

    • The Guardian: Diary: It’s the Wars of the Roses again. And this time it’s on Facebook. It started under a Leicester car park, and almost inevitably involves a boycott of Walkers’ crisps, by Stephen Bates (15.05.2013) – Took me a while to figure out that the later bullet points have nothing to do with the headline of the article.
    •  

    • Helen Rae Rants (Blog): Literature Matters: The White Queen (16.05.2013) – Ms. Rae reviews the book basis of the soon on TV series “The White Queen” by Philippa Gregory. She shows some of the reasons, why this film and book are no topic on the KRA website, though King Richard III appears in them.
    •  
      You missed Star Wars terribly here on the KRA website? Now here comes a treat for you:

    • On Line Opinion.com.au: Darth Vader – the good guy who lost, by Mark S. Lawson (17.05.2013) – What King Richard III and Darth Vader have in common. You wonder? – Hm…, so do I. But after reading the article, you will certainly try to defend Darth Vader, the misunderstood leader, who’s history was written by the winners.

     

    King Richard Everywhere …

     


    ♛ King Richard Armitage ♛


     
    Richard Armitage currently had a promotion tour for “The Hobbit” in Sydney, Australia.
    In one of the interview sessions with an audience, hosted by Popcorn Taxi, where fan-questions were allowed, the question of his interest in King Richard III turned up. Mr. Armitage gave the following answer (Quoted after the transcript by Groovergreen on fedoralady’s blog TheArmitageEffect):
     

    Does he still plan to play Richard III on film?
    RA: “Many, many plans but they are all in my mind at the moment. There is a possibility but it is a matter of when and how. Maybe I’ll be too old to do it.’’ (Collective groan of disbelief from the Armitage Army in the front rows.)

     
    (Strangely the question, like another already previously mentioned elsewhere, is completely missing in the pronounced full transcript of the Q&A session on TheOneRing.net, while no gap is indicated.
    But already two fans independently reported to have heard this question and his answer at this event, so it is sufficiently confirmed to have been part of the evening in Sydney on May 1st, 2013.)
     
     


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    Please do understand, that the article lists here on KRA will not take up every topic or mention of King Richard III, but strongly select, what really contains some new information and might be of interest to historically interested and film- and Richard Armitage supporting readers of this blog.
     

    A Late Medieval King in Modern Times

     
    A Medieval King certainly needs an impressive royal portrait. Unfortunately, King Richard III was a bit under represented in the art of his time, which might be due to the fact that his successor King Henry VII was not all too fond of his image.
    Now with a bust re-constructed from King Richard III’s skull, we can rectify that.
     
    LDixon157 based her portrait on the new research as well as on one of the earliest surviving portraits painted after his death and created an impressive royal portrait of King Richard III:
     

    King Richard III - Portrait by LDixon157

    King Richard III – Portrait by LDixon157


    King Richard III - Portrait by LDixon157

    King Richard III – Portrait (pre-study) by LDixon157


    LDixon157
    contributed her wonderful water colour painting of King Richard III.
    See more of her work here: LDixon157 on Flickr
     
     


    ♛ King Richard III ♛


     
    King Richard III is found, but still, lots of questions remain to be answered. Only one of those questions is, where King Richard III should be buried. Though a fast answer seems unlikely, now that this question goes to court and an answer to this delicate problem of ancestry, relation and prerogative of distant descendants needs to be found there.
     

    • University of Leicester: Archaeology Team Bids to Extend Search at Historic Church Site (30.04.2013) – The archaeological Sevices of the University of Leicester have applied to the Ministry of Justice for a further exhumation licence (a stone coffin has been found, presumed to be of a medieval knight called Sir William Moton, buried at Grey Friars Chruch in 1362) and to the City Council, to extend the previous dig and find out more about the Church of the Grey Friars where King Richard III was buried.
      City Mayor Peter Soulsby about the digging request:

      Our aim is for the gravesite located within 6-8 St Martins to become part of the new visitor centre, and the removal of part of the wall will be necessary to make this happen. This application is therefore a step forward in the development of the site.

      The archaeological excavation is planned to start at the beginning of July 2013 and will last about 4 weeks. The public is intended to get opportunity to see the work in progress.

    •  

    • The York Press: Richard III legal fight to start next week, by Kate Liptrot (27.04.2013)
    •  

    • Green Valley News & Sun: Genealogy Today: Richard III reinterment in dispute, by Betty Malesky (28.04.13) – Discussions that King Richard III’s grave should show his good and bad sides, just do not get my full support. For one, who are we to decide which one’s of his sides were which and for another, when we know so little about him for sure, how can we decide at all? A further reason, why I don’t like this discussion, started by the Cathedral of Leicester, is that other kings, obviously and certifiedly having murdered people in bulks, did receive glorious funerals and graves. Why should we now diminish King Richard III’s status in comparison to other kings who were not an ounce better, but possibly worse? Is proven infamy for kings the way to a glorious funeral and suspicion diminishes the likelyhood?
    •  

    • ThisIsLeicestershire.co.uk: Legal test for burial of Richard III, by Leicester Mercury (30.04.2013) – If King Richard III has ‘living relatives’ has to be decided in court, though the decision making process will take some time and is anticipated in a couple of weeks.
    •  

    • The Guardian: Richard III archaeologists to return to Leicester site in search of lost knight. Excavators plan to search for Sir William Moton, who is believed to have been buried at Grey Friars church in 1362, by Maev Kennedy (30.04.2013) – King Richard III’s popularity will pay for further research in the area of the Grey Friars’ Church.
      Richard Buckley about the continuation of the search, which will be funded by the University of Leicester and the Leicester City Council:

      This will be a great opportunity to confirm the plan of the east end of the Grey Friars church to learn more about its dating and architecture, and will give us the chance to investigate other burials known to be inside the building.

    •  

    • The Telegraph: King Richard III’s teeth and jaw reveal monarch’s anxious life and violent death, by Richard Gray, Science Correspondent (01.05.2013) – The skeleton now reveals more about King Richard III’s life. His dental records will reveal much about his habits, but already brought scientist to suggest that “he ground his teeth with stress“.
      In a time where children were married early, because otherwise they were seen as unattractive as they started to lose their teeth at the age of about 20 years, I had wondered, why King Richard III still had so many and in rather good condition. Though especially women tended to start earlier, as even still in modern times there was – and some dentists will tell you still is – the rule of one tooth per child.

     


     
    P.S. (= Petition Signatures):
    I must excuse myself. While trying to repair the comment functionality of this blog (which currently suppresses notification mails), I accidentally pushed the button to send out all repeated confirmation mails to those signers of the petition who did not confirm their signatures so far. I normally do this only after prior notice. Sorry for those unannounced mails!
    I still hope, you will have a look, if you did get the mail and confirm, if you have not already done so. We would have over 2.000 signatures by now, but with the unconfirmed signatures not counted, just stepped over the 1.800 mark.
     
    Thank you for all your help and continuing support !!!
     

    Petition - Status !

    As of October
    3rd 2017, 5 p.m. (CET)
    we have 2444 signatures.

    Go to sign...

     


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