The Richard III Archaeological Dig

Posted By on August 30, 2012

You may have heard that there is an archaeological dig taking place in the Greyfriars car park in Leicester as archaeologists attempt to find the remains of King Richard III, who was buried in the Franciscan friary on that site after the Battle of Bosworth.

You can read daily updates on the dig on the University of Leicester website – click here for today’s update. Obviously someone with a great sense of humour wrote today’s because the subtitle is “Relatively little to report right now. Richard III still dead.” Ha!

You can also read more in the following news reports:

50 thoughts on “The Richard III Archaeological Dig”

  1. Anerje says:

    This is a long shot – I gather Richjard’s body was dug up and thrown in the river, either in the Reformation or during Cromwell’s rule. I gather the Richard III society is providing some of the funds. Much more interesting would be another examination of the bones in the urn of Westminster Abbey to determine if they are the bones of the young princes, and at what age, and what was the cause of their deaths. To think, a mystery could be solved.

    1. Claire says:

      Yes, that is a story regarding his remains, so they may well not find anything. They might find other interesting bits of archaeology though. I’d like to know if those bones really were the princes too.

  2. Melanie says:

    Thanks for the link, Claire!

    It’s possible that Richard’s remains were tossed in the River Soar, but this is a theory or tradition, not a fact (yet). There’s more information here:

    Click on “Richard III” on the left-hand menu; then “The Man” on the next menu, and “Richard’s Death and Burial” on the third menu.

    And, yes, I, too, hope the present queen’s government, or the next king’s, will permit the bones found in the Tower to be reexamined. (Presumably Richard’s descendant, the Canadian gentleman who provided a DNA sample for the Leicester dig, might come up with another one to compare with anything that can be gotten off the bones.)

    1. Claire says:

      Thanks for the link, Melanie!

      Yes, I’d love for those bones to be re-examined.

      1. cherie says:

        I read somewhere that is was thought that queen Elizabeth had a secret child with Robert Dudley. What if that was the case? Could that have been possible? Could the queen have a child and no one know about it?

  3. Marilyn R says:

    Just been reading about this in the Daily Telegraph, a quality newspaper that is supposed to have its wits about it, but appears to be getting as sloppy as the rest. How can this Canadian gentleman be ‘a direct descendant’ of Richard III if he is a 17th generation NEPHEW? Related he might be, but descendant he isn’t – unless there was some very unsavoury stuff going on at Middleham Castle, or thereabouts…

    1. Claire says:

      I’m always being contacted by people who say that they are direct descendants of Anne Boleyn, which is obviously impossible unless you believe that Elizabeth had illegitimate children. Oh dear, I do expect more from the Telegraph.

  4. cherie says:

    In his portrait above he looks to be fiddling around with his ring. I saw a Tv special that says he did that because he had a nervous nature. Do you think that started after he killed the two PRINCES?

    1. Claire says:

      We don’t know that he did kill the princes, Cherie, we just don’t know what happened to them.

  5. Sonetka says:

    My favourite comment I’ve seen so far (on a news website) was “A hearse! A hearse! My kingdom for a hearse!”

    It sounds like a long shot, but I’d be very curious to see what they can find. Which sister is the Canadian descended from, I wonder? And I agree with Anerje that the skeletons which are supposed to be the princes should be examined again — forensic science has come a long way since the last time they were looked at — though at this stage I’d be surprised if a cause of death could be definitely established, absent some really obvious violence.

    1. Marilyn R says:

      I think in the Daily Telegraph it says the man’s ancestor is Richsrd’s sister Anne. Hadn’t realised it’s only a two week dig – so they finish next Friday. Probably get an extension if they find anything??

      1. Claire says:

        I’d be there digging day and night if I only had 2 weeks – not long!

  6. Esther says:

    Further testing of the bones that are supposedly the Princes would be nice …. but I don’t see it happening. As to this dig … Even if they don’t find Richard III’s grave now, would they be doing more digs at a later to find out more about the church?

    Also, I checked an ebook on the correspondence between Emperor Charles and iis ambassadors that said that Cardinal Wolsey was supposedly in the same tomb as Richard III (supposedly called the “Tyrant’s Sepulcher”). Anyone know if this is true, so they might find Wolsey, too?

    1. Claire says:

      Wolsey was buried at “Leicester Abbey Church” graveyard, but that was the Abbey of Saint Mary de Pratis which is to the north of Leicester, and not Greyfriars as far as I’m aware. Not sure!

      1. BanditQueen says:

        Yes Claire, that is correct: the Abbey is a public park north of the city centre and the Greyfriars was the priory of the Franciscans which is right opposite the now Cathedral that is where they wish to bury Richard III. There is a stone to mark the site of Cardinal Wolsey, but it is uncler as to whether there are remains. The University now plan to do a full survey of the area and to confirm if they can find the Cardinal’s remains. I wonder who will want his body: Ipswich where he was born, Cambridge or Oxford where he had his colleges or even York or Lincoln where he was bishop and also had a house. Or may-be he will be also left alone and allowed to remain in the place that he died and is buried.

  7. Dawn 1st says:

    I’m sure they will find something of interest, not holding my breathe on finding Richard though, but good luck to them…And yes I’m in total agreement, there are plenty of bones that could be DNA tested to solve some of our historical mysteries and give us more understanding, the supposed Princes, and of course good ol’ Henry VIII himself, Oh how I wish they would, and be quick about it, I’m going grey waiting, lol, 🙂

  8. CAC says:

    I rather like this site, but I really wish that people would stop taking every romance novelist’s view of history or half baked TV documentary as literal truth. It may make a good story, but that’s what it is. Only a story.

    For the record, not that anyone will pay attention, the overused pseudo psychology of Richard ‘twisting’ his ring is utter and complete nonsense.

    The portrait is one of a series of the Kings and Queens, begun when portraiture was just beginning. The motion of the ring indicated that the person was married and visually referred to the portrait of the consort. Only a few of the series remain, but the paired Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville highlights this.

    All of the monarchs play with their rings, but only Richard’s is used to point out his “Nervous Disposition” and his “Guilty Conscience”. This especially wearing as the portrait is touched up or as we would say “Photoshopped” to refer to the Tudor myth of the squinting Hell born hunchback that the “Noble” Henry VII replaced.

    I sincerely doubt that a man, battle scarred, a survivor of exile and multiple reign changes by the tender age of 18, was much given to a nervous disposition. As for a guilty conscience, there were far too many people who had better reason than Richard to kill the princes. It’s easy enough to blame the dead, especially when you are a conqueror or a historian with the need for a bestselling book with too sources that contradict you. The evidence isn’t there because much of it was purposely destroyed.
    (Don’t believe me? Check the actions of Henry VII’s pet Italian historian Polydore Virgil)

    I don’t know if Richard killed his nephews, I am not convinced one way or the other on the basis of analysis that a real historian on any other topic would declare one step up from what they’d use to line a parakeet’s cage. Most of what’s out there is the National Enquirer of historical fact.

    As for the Car park, it’s not unlikely. Too many of the standard churches went in the English religious upheaval. There are many lost churches all over England. I’m not sure what sources they used to zero into this particular location. That’s all been a little vague.

    Matrilineal DNA has been used to solve other historical mysteries. It would be interesting to view this Canadian’s genealogy. The likelihood of a surviving Yorkist bloodline, non royal, is not outside of possibility, though it would take a SOLID review of the man’s claim of direct unbroken descent.

    Too much is taken on the fly, with anyone who thinks that they know the ‘answer’ writing books or making a documentary without doing the research. Right now, I have to fight the battle of “Marie Antoinette was NOT a Contemporary of Elizabeth I who was NOT a Contemporary of Eleanor of Aquitaine”. If you think that I’m exaggerating, you should have seen the explosions when my young cousin corrected her teacher in that Disney’s Pocahontas was not the way it actually happened!

    ‘History repeats itself, mumbles, and generally forgets what happened so it rewrites it for effect. It’s like talking to your grandfather in his dotage…the stories are entertaining and some of them even MIGHT be true.’ – Caslida

    1. CAC says:

      Sorry “Too MANY sources that contradict you”

      1. cherie says:

        I don’t think people take historical romance stories or as you would call them half baked documentaties as literal truth. This is why this site is so amazing. People can come here and ask questions in order to sift through what is fact and what’s fiction. Most of history is fact with opinions mixed in. The fun part, for me at least., is reading as much as I can and watching as many documentaries as I can. Learning the different p.o.v .’s of so many different people is whet makes life and history interesting. So RELAX……

        1. Marilyn R says:

          I think you might be surprised by just how much people do think these novels and documentaries, and some websites nowhere near as well researched as this one, really do represent what is actually known. I went to a lecture at Buckingham Palace a few years ago given by a professional historian who had written a book on Queen Victoria and her youngest child and who, in the book, had pointed out that the Queen loved her children, but was not a hands-on mother and loathed being pregnant to the point that poor Albert was nearly driven to distraction by her mood swings and tantrums. All these references can easily be found, by anybody who can be bothered to look, in their journals and letters: yes, there were times when Albert actually had to resort to writing to Victoria because he couldn’t reason with her face-to-face. Yet the author had received abusive correspondence from people who had ‘researched’ half-baked ‘sources’ of dubious origin and were telling him it had been the love story of the era, their life together was perfection in every way, he didn’t know what he was talking about and ought to be ashamed of himself for maligning a perfect wife and mother.

          I give up to 30 public lectures a year and my worst nightmare is the catalogue of speakers that is printed for the full year and so cannot be altered. The things I have found I am supposed to be going to talk about (including Anne Boleyn’s sixth finger and the recently-deceased Australian fork-lift truck driver who, apparently, was the rightful King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) have sometimes come straight from the pages of novels or the ‘Daily Mail’ and now I just kick off the talk by disclaiming the silly blurb.

          There is a big difference in having a point-of-view on something that is known to be true and choosing to accept or reject something that has no real foundation. For example, it is an indisputable fact supported by extensive contemporary documentation that the British Government would have allowed the Tsar and his family to come to England in 1917 but King George V advised against it. This is now seen either as a brave or cowardly act depending on one’s point-of-view, which should be based on unbiased assessment of the wider circumstances at the time. Claiming that an Australian gentleman is a ‘rightful king’ because he might be descended from Edward IV’s mother, who might have had an affair with an archer, is rather jumping-the-gun somewhat. It is often the rounded assessment and reasoned argument that is missing in so many superficial documentaries and newspaper reports of today. Unfortunately, many people watching or reading do not realise this.

        2. Dawn 1st says:

          I agree with Cherie. Whether a point of view or belief is influenced by fiction, TV, newspapers, historical sources which may or may not be reliable, I can not see this as a problem, as long as what is being posted or said is not rude or offensive. This is how we learn and take what we first thought to a different level, by each others input, backed by souces or not. It is never going to happen that everyone will think in the same way as we all differ for what ever reasons, if we did how boring life and discussions would be, it would be arrogant for any individual to think no other point of view has any worth because of it origin.
          After all ‘Santa’ makes a good story, and how many of us believed that as children ,and as adults we still continue to pass down this story of a jolly man in a red and white suit on a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, far removed from the ‘real’ story of St. Nicholas…and a ‘wee’ bit more far fetched than the concepts and myths that follow historical figures…room for all views, I think anyway.

  9. margaret says:

    about the supposed man in australia who should have been king of england,i saw that documentary and they came to this conclusion because edward iv father was away in battle for eleven months at the time the son was conceived ,they found evidence ie documents to support this so according to this the son in question could not have been edward iv child

  10. margaret says:

    and another point how does anyone know that anne boleyn did not have a sixth finger .is it that anne has been seen as a person without any sort of physical imperfection at all maybe she had many imperfections ,and whats wrong with that ,some people would like to think she looked like as in the hever rose portrait ,she probably did not resemble this portrait at all but reading posts everywhere most want her to look like this they cant accept that she was maybe quite ugly ,until evidence is produced ie lost portraits papers documents ect no one knows anything

  11. Marilyn R says:

    In his own lifetime Edward IV was accused by his own brother of being illegitimate – mainly because he was after his throne. And although his famously fiery-tempered mother did say she would rather declare him illegitimate before she would accept as her daughter-in-law the commoner he had secretly married, none of it proves he was.

    Dr. Michael Jones, whose work was featured in the documentary, is very dedicated and very genuine and I am not knocking what he did at all. His evidence that the Duchess of York was based in Rouen while the Duke was fighting at Pontoise during the 5 weeks in which Edward had to have been conceived was certainly persuasive, but I’m not sure that it was being claimed by the researcher himself as being conclusive, and, for a fine horseman such as the Duke of York would have been, the 60 miles or so between the two towns was no distance at all.

    I used it as an example in my post above, not because it was a bad programme, but because the topic has recently been in the news again and the newspapers were writing up the story as though it were proven that Edward IV was illegitimate, whereas we still don’t know for certain he was, and we still don’t know for certain he wasn’t.

    I agree with what you say in your second post: that nobody knows anything about history until reliable evidence emerges to confirm or disprove a theory, but an awful lot is accepted as fact on the flimsiest of evidence, even on simple rumour or artistic licence, and always has been.

    Perish the thought that the day will ever come when everyone expresses the same point-of-view.

    The point I am making is that people, not on this web site in particular, but in the world at large, often base those points-of-view in good faith on the information they have been given in the newspapers, on the Internet and on television, which they have every right to assume has been thoroughly researched or confirmed before it is put before the public as fact. Sadly this is not always the case, and so by its very nature is misleading them.

  12. Anerje says:

    I agree with Cherie and Dawn 1st – Claire regularly updates this site, and it always provokes a response. There’s over 30 here, so whatever we think of the dig, it has got people posting and discussing different points of view, and extending the original subject. And civilly as well!

  13. kathy says:

    If Ann Boleyn had had a sixth finger, there would have been no need to have her executed on trumped up charges of adultery. They could have tried her as a witch during that time. People were very superstitious and anyone who would have a so called sixth finger would have been considered a witch or a freak and King Henry certainly wouldn’t have married her as it would have been against his religion. And do you honestly think the spies the Pope sent to England wouldn’t have jumped on that had it been fact? They would have trumpeted it all over Europe when Henry was trying to divorce Katherine.

    We may not know everything but historians take what they do know and work with that to try to hypothesize what really happened. And for the record, Ann was most definitely not seen as perfect especially by the Catholics, they said she was not very attractive, had black eyes and was essentially a ‘whore’.

  14. CAC says:

    Thank you all for your insightful responses. I never intended my post as a ‘Dig’ and hope that no one received it as such. I’m just very tired of trying to pull accuracy from the mud so perhaps I sound a little obnoxious. If so I am sorry for that.

    The problem is that most of the people who use this website are above average in intelligence, so some of the outcome of what I pointed out rarely or never occurs to one. Perhaps, you don’t know what it’s like trying to stem the tide of ‘good stories, fantasies and outright lies’ with people who lack this group’s background in the topic. It’s horrible. So in justice to Anne Boleyn, Richard, and everyone else who’s losing side came out as someone’s fun new story, I have to say it.

    A story is a story, until someone teaches it as fact, then it’s a lie.

    Find a story you like and go with it can be a VERY dangerous road, even when it’s only ‘extra’ digits on a Queen’s hand. One story can make a downright lie go down better, then it’s the next one and the next one.

    If I’m forceful on the point (and sorry Cherie – I can’t Relax, I get to deal with the fallout and it’s ugly.) is that what is although most thoughtful people are aware of the fact that novelists and ‘pop’ documentaries are not accurate, they are in fact being used to really ‘teach’ history in the classroom.

    The whole thing about the Three “Contemporary” Queens was done by a TEACHER and the students in her class were TESTED on their understanding of her warped idea of history.

    It’s not a laughing matter when we raise our next generation of scholars, historians, and general populace with the idea that history is so mutable that anything anyone says is officially “Correct”, regardless of accuracy.

    Accuracy has become relative. I’m still getting my own mail about my argument that a woman born in 1798 could NOT have a child born in 1922. The facts in the case dispute someone’s favorite story. Can’t have that, no matter what Logic says.

    And I’m still trying to get over the ‘Richard III was so FAT he couldn’t sit a horse’, or that all three of the aforementioned Queens, as well as Catherine the Great of Russia all had ‘intimate’ relations with the same animal. 50 shades of History anyone?

    Again, another teacher, and students, albeit older, still tested on this Junk.

    The above Richard lie cost me personal advancement directly, when it conflicted not just with my Professor, but with the woman he had telling the story to children as part of a Shakespeare festival. (And try, if you can, to imagine what it’s like when two professors have diametrically opposed ‘Stories’ that you have to remember which one you are being Tested on for Final!)

    We may revel in obscure theories or odd possibilities and that’s fine as long as we are aware that they are theories. But when these are taught as fact, it becomes dangerous to the common weal. Who we are has much to do with where we came from. Where we go builds from there. If our past is viewed as if it were an episode of the lowest trash TV out there or the sum of everyone’s favorite pet bizarre theory, then what are we becoming?

    The last regime who fully re-wrote their Nation’s history to someone’s bizarre historical theories; (Several someones, but one in particular) well, let’s say it was easy to get the people to do all sorts of things that they would never have done before or even considered…and we’re still dealing with the horrific aftermath and will be for generations hence.

    Our ancestors have much to teach us, IF we put in the effort to really listen and not judge by what we’re told but by what we find.

    Postscipt here, more on topic – for the record and just for fairness sake (for the accounting in my personal ‘War of the Roses’ yes dear, I know!), noting Marilyn R’s well written post. The brother who accused Edward IV of bastardy was ‘false, fleeting, perjured Clarence’. There is a rather large lack of evidence either way for Richard, himself, using this slander, though he was accused of it. Clarence declared it openly in his bid to oust his brother and rule as a Lancastrian heir. Strange but true.

    1. Dawn 1st says:

      I can see you are very passionate about the truth being told, and its very admirable, and it must be very frustrating for you, especially if you work in this area too, when these inaccuracies are taught in the classroom, I think we all would agree there.
      Heres something I heard on my last visit to Hever Castle, there was a group of children about 12/13 years old with a teacher (I presume), looking at a painting of Henry VIII, she asked them to comment on what they saw, the answers were he was fat and ugly with ginger hair and stupid clothes, then much laughter, the ‘teacher’s’ reply was ‘Yes, that’s right’, looked at me and smiled, then moved them on, I had to bite my tongue, as I was shocked that they were exceptable answers to her, and that she did not elaborate or teach them anything beyond those very basic observations…I am afraid that those of us that appreciate history will never be able to get everyone to feel the same, I decided that getting wound up about it would do no good.
      I think that we all learn, to begin with, by what we are taught at home, school but on top of that we also have the press, books being published quicker than you can blink, TV whether is be good, bad or indifferent, computers, the list seems endless. It also seems, sometimes, the more ways we have to ‘learn’ the more the facts become distorted or sensationalized beyond recognition.
      There are many levels of interlect out there, and people will grab the ‘theory’ that suits theirs, (and I hope no one takes offence at that remark because it was not aimed at anyone on this site), this can’t be changed, and sadly there are many who don’t care because they are simply not interested enough,
      I feel that it’s only when you develop a real interest in a subject that you will search beyond what you have been ‘taught’ through whichever means, whether it be about someone recent, or those from far gone times, it is then you start to uncover the facts, or at least what could be the facts, as not all historical sources are accurate either, look at all the discriptions of Anne written by contemporaries, many different ones to choose from, as far as we know any could be right, depends on how you want to see her.
      This might sound awful, and I will probably get slated for it..:) but to me, just generalizing here, there are more people/teens/kids, that would probably know more and be more interested about their favourite pop/film/sports celebrity that someone from history…sad in some respects, but then again these celebs are history in the making I suppose, who in turn will gather their own myths and legends around them. It’s no good fretting about how others perceive those from the past if they don’t want to know, but concentrating on the few that that start to show an interest will hopefully get more of the truth out there.
      Hope I’ve made sense, had a glass of wine, hic!! 🙂

      1. cherie says:

        I agree dawn 1st. At the end of the day people are going to believe what they want. Ever hear that saying ‘ you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink? That’s what it is. Sadly dome teachers have given up on education and don’t want to bother going into EDUCATING. When you find someone passionate take them under your wing and nurture that passion. Fan those flames!

    2. Melanie says:

      CAC, as someone who has been reading both scholarly and popular history for more than 40 years and who was taught by dedicated, rigorous professors, I sympathize with your frustration. There are facts and theories, and there are lies and crackpot nonsense, and the latter can be dangerous when misused. Here in the States, we are plagued by the likes of ideologues such as Glenn Beck who front ghost-written books and Web sites that purport to be “universities,” claiming, for example, that this country’s founders were all devout Christians, a fiction that would have astonished the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Good luck in teaching the truth–which is usually more interesting anyway.

  15. Marilyn R says:

    I’m surprised that nobody has pointed out my (unintentional) misrepresentation of the facts! I typed the post and then mangled it in the cut & paste & I’ve only just seen the gaffe.

    “Claiming that an Australian gentleman is a ‘rightful king’ because he might be descended from Edward IV’s mother, who might have had an affair with an archer, is rather jumping-the-gun somewhat.”

    Should have read,

    “Claiming that an Australian gentleman is a ‘rightful king’ because he might be descended from Edward IV’s uncle, whereas Edward’s mother might have had an affair with an archer, is rather jumping-the-gun somewhat.”

  16. margaret says:

    at the end of the day the king , whichever was in rule at time ,had the deciding vote on who lived or died ,they were the ones who signed death warrants ,so my point is it does not matter how beautiful or ugly you were (as in annes case as no one knows what she looked like).if you were in henrys or any other monarchs favour of their time you were protected and safe ,there was probably many talks and whisperings to monarchs about this person and that person ,if they were not the correct religion and so on ,but at the end of the day the the ruling monarch had the last word,so in annes case it didnt matter what anyone thought of her but henry or how perfect or imperfect she looked he wanted her for a time and when he tired of her he got rid of her, not anyone else .while henry was in the throes of passion after anne she could have had two heads for all the notice he took of anyone else

  17. margaret says:

    also a question on richard if they find bones ,can they take these bones away for testing and do they need permission for this as he was royal ,who gives permission for testing on richard if they find anything at all?

    1. Marilyn R says:

      That’s a very good question. Who will decide these days what is to be done?

      In 1964 the body of Lady Anne Mowbray was found on a building site in London. She was only 8 when she died in 1481 and had married Richard of York, the younger of the Princes in the Tower when she was 5 and he was 4. The police came and then the coroner, and then she was given over into the custody of the London Museum. To cut a very long story short (that I have been researching for a book on and off for the past 4 years) the London Museum had to stop their examinations on her because the Home Secretary had not been informed and so had not issued a licence. The rules were strict for the removal of any remains, not just royal ones, which should have been quietly removed,way from the public gaze: in her case people came out onto the street to look at ‘the mummy’. The family should have been informed, in her case the Duke of Norfolk, and she should have been reburied as soon as possible. All the people who had given their permission for her bones to be examined (Westminster Abbey, where she was buried originally, the police, the coroner and the rest) had no right whatsoever to give it, and so she had to be reburied before the scientific work was completed.

      Anne’s story and the story of Katherine Howard and her old step-grandmother in Lambeth were supposed to be appendices to a book I wrote a few years ago, but the stories are so interesting and the detective work such a challenge they have become book size on their own, and I’m still finding things out.

      If you want to see more about Lady Anne, go to for a very brief summary of my research and photographs of where she was found.

      1. margaret says:

        thank you very much for reply ,i did not know it involved so much red tape,i will be looking on site above to read more on this.

  18. margaret says:

    he did go against his religion to marry her ,he created his own religion putting himself as head ,i was using the extra finger to make a point that theres nothing wrong with physical imperfections and i think whatever she had on her hand,be it a small wart ,a nail it obviously did not matter to henry ,he did whatever he wanted but whatever she did or didnt have it didnt bother him and thats all that mattered back then ,yes they were superstiitious but that would have been explained away like his marriage to katherine for instance ,the legitamacy or illegitamacy of his children ,i just feel that a lot of people put anne on a pedestal making her perfect and beautiful with absolutely no blemishes whatsoever ,of course she had imperfections ,everyone does its normal .

    1. Dawn 1st says:

      You are right Margaret, I am sure Anne was far from perfect, in appearence, or temperment too at times. There are many desciptions of Anne, and depending whether the people who wrote about her like her or not depended on the discription they gave.
      Personally, I don’t think she was what was considered a beauty for those times, but I do think she was strikingly attractive in looks, backed up by her intelligence and refinements, a hard lady to resist for some. I don’t think Henry’s ego would have tolerated an ‘ugly’ lady on his arm and on the throne either, to me he seems he was very conscious of appearences. Look at his attitude towards poorAnne of Cleeves…

  19. CAC says:

    Update on Richard!

    They are getting closer. The Car park excavation has in fact turned up the remains of a medieval church which may be the correct one. They are now trying to find the location of the high altar, near which Richard was supposed to have been buried.

    -on Anne Mowbray, Very interesting. Her so called Autopsy/examination is often used to claim that the bodies of the ‘Princes’ from Westminster are in fact the correct children. There is a genetic fault that Anne Mowbray has that is reportedly present in the bones from Westminster when they were examined in the 1930’s. If it is true that her examination was not complete, then all of the findings used to verify the identity of the “Princes” is also extremely suspect.

    Thank you for the notation on the Anne Mowbray case, She was the very very young child bride of the younger of the Princes, Richard, Duke of York.

    -on Anne Boleyn’s fingers. I most sincerely doubt that there was ever anything about Anne’s hands that were malformed. She was an accomplished musician, something that drew Henry to her and anything that was ‘wrong’ would have been enough to prevent Henry from marrying her. The concept of physical wrongness would have led to accusations of witchcraft etc. Also the Spanish Ambassadors would have recorded it, gleefully. To my knowledge there is no contemporary comment on her hands. The first comments that I am aware of are from Nicholas Sander’s defamatory work which used all the physical marks used to identify witches to claim Anne was a witch and a whore. That was written by a Catholic polemicist trying to convince people to overthrow Elizabeth. It was pure slander, and people knew so at the time.

    The popularity of the extra digits story has more to do with the romance novelists of the 60’s than anything shown in original documents. As far as Henry marrying a deformed woman to show his Supremacy. It’s an interesting theory, but It flies in the face of everything that we believe we know about Henry. Do you have anything that might corroborate it? I’d like to read it.

    If anyone has a contemporary reference to the deformed, extra, etc fingers of Anne Boleyn, would you mind sending it my way? It’s been a while since I updated my own Tudor files. Thank you.

    I really should move the fingers part of the discussion onto Claire’s page about it, since this page was for commentary on the Carpark dig. If I think of anything more about that topic, I will post it over there.

    So we are closing in on part of the mystery of Richard. I hope they find the King’s body. I could use a rest from the Tudor slanders of him being a hunchback, or as my professor said, a blob.

    As for the other, accuracy is worth the effort. Tell no stories that aren’t noted as stories, have no red face when defending your dissertation. Don’t have to make excuses for being sloppy with your facts. And never ever let that golden teacher who taught you everything you hold dear to feel ashamed for teaching you.

    “History is nothing more than a shared figment of a hallucination. That’s what they tell me, but if it’s the case…What does what it say about us” – Caslida

  20. BanditQueen says:

    Recently at the Bosworth Centre when the face of Richard was on display and glad went there first as the face went on the road so to speak and is now in York. The Leicester museum is of course free to all and the finds from the grave site are here. There are very lovely tiles from the choir and the floor of the Greyfriars on display; a very ornate reliquary that belonged to Richard, not found in the ground but at the Abbey close to the site earlier; there is the famous Sun in Splender Bosworth crucifix with its three roundals, and of course 3D make ups of the skull and interactive of the remains of Richard iii. The latter is actually great fun as you can press buttons and highlight the wounds and things and other information from Richards remains. There was also a nice model of the White Boar Inn where Richard of course stayed the night before he went into Battle. And we did not have to stand in a queque! There are some lovely silver coins from the tine of Richard and some with his head and image on. Some are also from Charles of Brittany who was on good terms with the York family, but who also sent help to Henry Tudor. It was a marvellous exhibition.

    It also had all of the details of the find of Richard and how they did the DNA to identify his remains as the lost King. It was also made more interesting the day we went as some of the science people were on hand and they took some visiting university people round and were explaining to them about the bones. I shadowed them and learnt a lot more.

    The gravesite is of course on the other side of the small road from the Cathedral next door to the Guildhall. The site has several boards with information, and we went onto a platform to look into the trenches that Richard was found in and the Greyfriars Church as well. On the day we went the first of the two early medieval coffins was being taken out of the ground and a digger had gone to raise the outer soil. It was all very exciting stuff and have followed it since. With the lovely experience at the Cathedral, again free to all, where you can see the memorial plate of Richard III placed in its own choir and place of honour you can see, and a lovely lady guide took us straight to see it.

    It was very moving to see the stone with white roses on it to commemorate Richard and it humanized the King whose bones we had seen all over the media during the previous months. We were also guided to the site that the tomb will hopefully be and the work that has been done is impressive. The Cathedral have remodelled the alter and the central ailes of the church and have made preparations for the one million pound project including a 3 quarters of a million tomb paid for by the Richard III Society. The design is based on one that stood over the grave until the late Reformation period. It was actually still there in the reign of James i and then removed but a post and memorial marked the spot. That vanished long ago. A house was on the site and then various Victorian social buildings. A model can be seen in the Cathedral along with a portrait of Richard III.

    Taken together with the grave site and the guide around the Cathedral and the exhibits and the battle experiences the entire two weeks was a very soul warming experience and I can still picture Richard in many of the sites we went to: St James at Sutten Cheney where Richard had his final mass the night before Bosworth; the city centre that hailed him the day before the Battle and to which his body was brought home in sad circumstances. The bridge that he rode over and from which rumour had his bones being thrown; a story put about by a Victorian antiquarian who had gone to look for it in the wrong place; the Battlefield Church at Dadlington; the Abbey of St Mary Merevale where Henry Tudor met with William Stanley, Whitemoore which had a sign stating that on this site nothing happened in 1485; but which tradition has as Henry’s camp; the bed in which Richard slept his last few nights on earth; and of course the many moving memorials around the battle sites themselves. I feel very linked to Richard at the moment and feel for him as a person, especially due to the disgraceful wrangle over the resting place of his bones.

    I do not mean to be rude to anyone but this lot making false claims to be his relatives are just 40 people out to make trouble. The law and the license are with Leicester and to be honest after the time and effort and the fact that they have made this exhibit free of charge I believe they have the right to say that he is rested in their Cathedral. York and Westmisnter already have all the money and the tourists: leave Richard where he is and has lain for the last 500 years. I know sanity will prevail and he will be buried in Leicester no matter what this idiot judge says. He is not the law and obviously does not care or know the law. The University could have merely stated that they own the bones and this is a find that gives them the right just to place him back in the ground where he came from. Instead they have bowed to public interest and said they will allow him to be buried in the Cathedral with honours. It is highly unusual for this to happen with bones. They are normally sent to the community and quietly rebuired where they are found: that is in the choir at Greyfriars. If this is not possible as they have been rescued before a site is buiut over then some other arrangement is made. The remains are not normally honoured with a tomb and so on. It is just that he is a high status person of importance and he some how belongs to the nationn; so he has a more important burial. The real relatives; the people who provided the DNA want him buried in Leicester and are happy with the Cathedral. Also Leicester is central to the rest of the country and easy to get to from all parts of it. The Cathedral does not charge entrance and will not charge. Windsor, Westminster and York do! And do they! It is already concession of £16 to get into Westminster and that is when it is not closed most of the time: so how much more would they charge itf they have Richard III? In any event it belongs to the Queen and she has kept out of it up to now: thankfully! Windsor is a good choice as here are the rest of the Lancaster and York Kings. May-be they could put him next to either Lord Hastings or Henry VI whom he murdered!

    No he has laid at Leicester for 500 years and this is the nearest and best holy place. Leave him alone and stop haggaling over his bones! Remember instead before God, the soul and person of Richard Plantagenet, the last of his line, who was tragically slain at Redmore near Bosworth on Monday 22nd August 1485, and laid to rest close to this place of honour at the site of the Church of the Greyfriars and may he finally here in this Cathedral of Leicester finally rest in peace. Amen.

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