KRA-Week 2013-7: Finding Richard III as a Result of Historical Research – Dr. Ashdown-Hill

 
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History’s new potential

 

in the discoveries of Dr. John Ashdown-Hill

 


 
 
Why a special article about Historian Dr. Ashdown-Hill here, during the KRA week, when we already had interviews and present his research work here on the website?
 

 
And other articles already covered the topic of ‘airbrushing’ Dr. Ashdown-Hill out of the story of finding King Richard III:

 
There was something I needed to figure out and I want to present some of my thoughts and results to you here.
 
 

Dr. John Ashdown-Hill

Dr. John Ashdown-Hill


Dr. Ashdown-Hill is an open-minded researcher, who searched for facts, where others readily followed legend – over centuries.
 
As the dissection of legend in the case of King Richard III was so very important, to even allow the beginning of the search, I cannot readily understand, why the one man, doing all the work mostly singlehandedly, strongly believing in the validity of his finds, does not get the praise he deserves.
 
It required already great effort together with Philippa Langley, to even raise sufficient doubt with researchers and officials in Leicester, to get their agreement to do a paid contracted search and give all the required permissions for the digging.
(And here a big motive for the specialists was that they could at least find other historically significant material for Leicester, to make it worth their while, which in the end caused their agreement to start digging.)
 
But why chose exactly this location for the digging, when the supposed location, indicated by a plaque, was so far away from it?
That was the result of a meticulous research of maps and sources about Leicester – done by Dr. John Ashdown-Hill.
He recognized, that some newer maps were inaccurate (the street drawn at the wrong side of the Greyfriars’ church, according to written sources of contemporaries) and the old medieval streets must have been located a bit differently from what reconstructions of historical Leicester so far made believe.
This changed the location and the area of research entirely and was based on the research of Dr. John Ashdown-Hill.
So, why is there no mention of this fact?
 
You would think, after all this research so essential for finding King Richard III, there should be a hall of fame for Dr. Ashdown-Hill.
Perhaps next year’s opening of the King Richard Museum in Leicester will remedy that fact and will give praise where praise so clearly is deserved.
 
We at the KRA website already started our small contribution to a ‘hall of fame’ here and hope to be able to contribute to set things straight.
 
 
One aspect, which especially fascinates me in the work of Dr. Ashdown-Hill, is his research, remaining unbiased by the ‘mainstream’ line of previous historical research and starting to get to the fact beneath layers of wrong and long traded interpretation.
 
This is a fact which exceedingly makes me happy about the research of Dr. John Ashdown-Hill and the finding of King Richard III.
It gives me hope for the art of history in its entirety, that with new perspectives and openness, history with its extensive tools and methods is able to discover great things about the past in the future.
History loses its dust cover and the strictures and rules by some self announced dictators and starts to get truly ‘researchable’ again.
 
 
So the real questions about King Richard III for me are not
will he be buried in York or Leicester or …,
was he a good or bad king,
was he a saint or murderer,
 
but that finding him was able to break up traditional perceptions of a story and a new approach was found and the truth behind it was revealed, after over 500 years!
 
This fact alone makes me absolutely jubilant!
 
History is no static entity any longer, but a playground opened up for new research. (While ‘playground’ not in the slightest means this is an easy task, but what history always has been, hard work and an enormous accumulation of knowledge of all kind.)
 
So go and search and keep your mind open for any possible result!!!
 
 
I hope to find out much more about the developments and events leading to the archaeological research in Leicester in the new book by Philippa Langley announced for the end of October 2013:
.
 
And Dr. John Ashdown-Hill publishes his new research about royal marriage traditions and currently works on a new book about Richard III’s third brother, George, Duke of Clarence:
.
 
Kindle version:
.

 

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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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