Untidy Grave Beneath a Car Park

 


♛ King Richard III Research ♛


 
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.
     
     


    ♛ King Richard Everywhere ♛


     

    • 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.

     

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    KRA NewsStream


    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)


    August 22, 2019

    10 things you need to know about the battle of Bosworth (by Chris Skidmore, BBC History Extra)


    June 16, 2019

    Philippa Langley on RIII – Podcast: BBC Interview of 6th January, 2015 (RadioPublic.com)


    February 20, 2019

    Richard III: Leicester Cathedral £11.3m plans approved (by BBC East Midlands, BBC News)


    October 4, 2018

    The battle for Bosworth field: Historians react to decision to build on battlefield where Richard III died (by Rachel Dinning, BBC History Extra)


    May 23, 2018

    Richard III find historian John Ashdown-Hill dies (BBC News)


    April 9, 2018

    The secret intimacies of Edward IV: multiple marriages and a same-sex affair? (by Dr. John Ashdown-Hill, History Extra)


    October 24, 2017

    EXCLUSIVE: “Sleepwalker” star Richard Armitage is Living the Dream (by Izumi Hasegawa, What’s Up Hollywood)


    September 12, 2017

    Was Richard III a loyal brother or murderous tyrant? 60 seconds with Chris Skidmore (by Rachel Dinning, History Extra)


     

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