Back To Bosworth

Richard_III_earliest_surviving_portraitI’ve taken a bit of interest in Richard III before. Tomorrow – or rather, later on today – , in an improbable pageant, the skeleton of King Richard III of England is going to repeat his last journey from Leicester to the site of the Battle of Bosworth, where he died on 22 August 1485. It will then return to Leicester, to Leicester cathedral, where it will lie at rest for three days before finally being interred in the cathedral on Thursday, 26 March 2015.

Richard III has rather come to life again since his skeleton was discovered under a Leicester car park in September 2012. The skull has been used to create a reconstruction of his face (right), which bears a resemblance to his portrait (left).

richard-iii-society-faceHe will reburied in an oak and yew coffin made by one of his descendants. Several of England’s noble families will be present, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Not everyone is convinced, however, that the right body is about to be reburied. But, on the face of it, it appears that it most likely is the right one. Richard was described as a hunchback, and the skeleton found in Leicester had a twisted spine – a condition known as scoliosis. It was also found in the chancel of Greyfriars, where it was reported to have been buried. Furthermore, the skeleton had multiple head wounds in keeping with reports that Richard lost his crown and helmet after being unhorsed at Bosworth. The maternal DNA of the skeleton also matched those of Richard’s descendants. The sceptics point out that its DNA was for a man with blond hair and blue eyes, whereas Richard’s portrait is of a man with brown hair and brown eyes. And if the maternal DNA is right, the paternal DNA is wrong. They add that there is nothing to directly link the skeleton with the battle of Bosworth. All the same, the other evidence does seem to strongly stack up in favour of it being the skeleton of Richard III.

Not everyone is convinced that he will be returning tomorrow to the right battlefield either. For many years it was believed that the battle had taken place on the slopes of Ambion hill (site 1 below).

battle_of_bosworth

But in 1998, The Field of Redemore by Peter Foss argued convincingly that the true site of the battle lay about 1.5 km further south (2), next to a stream where there would once have been marshes.

And then in 2010, several cannonballs and a silver gilt boar (Richard’s personal emblem) were unearthed near a second stream (3). This is now believed to be the true site of the battle. And it will be at Fenn Lane Farm, just west of this site, that Richard will make his first stop tomorrow.

It’s rather an odd coincidence that, over 500 years after the event, and within a couple of years of each other, the true site of the battlefield should first be found, and then the remains of one of its principal participants.

Clearly Professor Richard Holmes knew little or nothing of either when he made this documentary about the battle of Bosworth:

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About Frank Davis

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20 Responses to Back To Bosworth

  1. Thanks Frank Im a History nut myself with 5 college credits in it. I Wish I had become a Historian.

  2. junican says:

    Despite the uncertainties, I like the pageantry, even if it is a sort of negative pageantry. Re-burying the bones of the possible Richard 3 is entirely correct in this sentimental, emotional, anti-smoker age.
    Who will attend the pageantry? Queen Elizabeth 2? I doubt it.
    Who actually, really, really cares? “Please speak up at the back – I cannot hear you!”

  3. Lepercolonist says:

    I enjoyed a documentary about Richard lll on television last year. It was fascinating when the researcher was trying to locate the site of his body. The original information was difficult to correlate to current maps. He discovered that the site was on a paved area near a church. After permission from the church, he unearthed the skeleton on the first attempt.

  4. waltc says:

    About Richard: Ever read Josephine Tey’s novel, “A Daughter of Time”? (I think that’s the title.) I don’t usually like female Brit crime writers but recall this was intriguing . Contemporary cop (well, c. 1960?) recovering from wounds tries, by diving into old manuscripts, to separate Richard’s myth from his reality.

  5. Letter: Washington judge prevents smoking in home

    Washington judge prevents smoking in home

    Posted: March 22, 2015 – 12:14am

    Washington judge prevents smoking in home

    When the anti-smoking proponents in Lubbck were urging the City Council to ban smoking in the places where smoking is still permitted, I remember thinking smoking bans in this country started out small — on airlines and other public transportation, then to government buildings, then to public places such as restaurants and retail stores — and believing those anti-smoking people would work their way up to ultimately getting smoking banned in private homes.

    I (a non-smoker, by the way) read in the March 11 A-J a judge in Washington, D.C., issued an order preventing a man from smoking in his own home. The story said a neighbor complained about smoke coming through a hole in a basement.

    Rather than simply telling both parties to close the hole, that judge (more than likely a liberal Democrat) issued his stop-smoking order. I’m sure this will embolden the anti-smoking faction to press their demands to include all private homes.

    Look out, folks. Big Brother is on the move!

    BOBBY BOWMAN/Lubbock Texas

    http://lubbockonline.com/editorial-letters/2015-03-22/letter-washington-judge-prevents-smoking-home#.VQ6XBWN_ljo

  6. Advocacy groups say tobacco fight is underfunded

    For local nonprofits like The Prevention Project (also known as the Dothan-Houston County Substance Abuse Partnership), the funding that is essential to accomplishing their goals has largely dried up.

    Prevention Project Executive Director Susan Trawick said her group, which battles various substance abuse issues, now relies primarily on fundraisers.

    http://www.dothaneagle.com/news/local/advocacy-groups-say-tobacco-fight-is-underfunded/article_e3805ab6-cf75-11e4-8783-333b11d6b58b.html

  7. Rose says:

    Considering that they stripped his body naked, tied it over the back of a horse and dumped him in a hole too short for him, I think that Richard 111 would be more properly buried at York.

    “In Leicester, on Henry VII’s instructions, the body was exposed to the public gaze so that all might know for certain that Richard was dead.

    Beyond this the new king seems to have made no immediate provision for the disposal of his predecessor’s remains. It was the Franciscan Friars of Leicester who apparently took the initiative of requesting permission to inter Richard’s corpse. Henry VII’s court historian, Polydor Vergil, reports that Richard was ‘buryed two days after [ on 25 August? ] without any pompe or solemn funerall … in thabbay of monks Franciscanes at Leycester’.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/myths_legends/england/leicester/article_1.shtml

    To add further insult to injury, when the solemnities are over Leicester expects lots of visits to his tomb as a tourist attraction.

    Still he is remembered in the rainbow – Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.

  8. Place your cigarettes! Plan for multi-million pound outdoor casino so gamblers can dodge smoking ban
    Outdoor casino earmarked for Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, Central London
    Casino clients will be able to enjoy a cigarette and gamble at the same time
    Gaming tables will be placed on a new roof garden extension at the hotel
    Hilton Park Lane Casino opened last year with membership costing £1,000

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3006072/Place-cigarettes-Plan-multi-million-pound-outdoor-casino-gamblers-dodge-smoking-ban.html#ixzz3V6uOTiMu

    • LittleHelper, Boston, United Kingdom, 17 minutes ago

      I used to smoke, don’t now, gave up before the ban but even so I disagree with this nanny state telling people what they can and can’t do in their own business. If they want a ‘smoking casino’ let them have one – the only people who are allowed in are over 18 years old and as such could make their own decisions about breathing in second hand smoke or smoking themselves. Same with pubs – you don’t have to go in if the pub states it allows smoking

  9. Rose says:

    Well done to the people of Leicester, they are lining the route in their hundreds and holding single white roses. I somehow missed the 21 gun salute with a replica cannon.

  10. Frank Davis says:

    Cortege in Leicester 5:30pm today:

  11. Sound familiar…………………..lol Smokers stayed home to! I guess the leftist progressives will now say well those restaraunts had a bad business model!

    Seattle’s $15 Min. Wage Is Making Something Happen That City Leaders Never Expected

    Early indicators suggest the $15 minimum wage will not be as positive as City Hall intended.

    In the case of restaurants, consumers have access to the ultimate substitution – they can stay home.
    Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/15-minimum-wage-looms-seattle-restaurants-close-doors/#UHSwtmHDijs0MmCw.99

    • The restaraunts took a 30% haircut easily when the smokers were kicked out so the new lower profit margins became the new norm for all of them affected. Now they either raise the prices yet again to cover the losses from smoking bans and now for the lol living wage these tards screamed for just killed the golden goose……..Those tax revenues from bankrupt businesses dont payoff!

  12. Gerald says:

    Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.

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