At the end of Shakespeare's Richard III, the Earl of Richmond, now effectively king Henry VII, makes a short speech from the battlefield. Looking around at the dead, he says: “Inter their bodies as becomes their births.” Now, after 530 years, that has been done for his royal opponent at Bosworth. The whole thing was … Continue reading As became his birth
The Leicester Cathedral Quarter Partnership Board has published a provisional timetable for the reburial of Richard III’s remains in March next year. Here is what it adds up to. We really haven’t seen anything like this before! Sunday March 22 2015  12.00 Hearse departs from University of Leicester, to  Fenn Lane Farm … Continue reading Reburying Richard
Forensic archaeology at its best – if perhaps not entirely welcome to everyone. We are now able to read exactly what Richard III’s skeleton tells us about his traumatic death. The description of the wounds, in a multi-authored paper published in the Lancet, changes little of what has already been told (so my summary in … Continue reading Richard III’s death – the grim details
Out today is the fourth peer-reviewed article deriving from the search for Richard III’s grave. It focuses on the king’s bones and teeth, specifically what a few of them might tell us about where he lived at different times in his life, and how his diet changed. And once again, the scientific release occurs on the … Continue reading Richard III’s teeth and bones: why we didn’t know it all before
You might notice a bit of a theme going on here. First Stonehenge opens a visitor centre that is roundly trashed by the press (and subsequently praised by their travel journalists). Then the British Museum’s new extension and Vikings exhibition is labelled boring – and attracts huge numbers of visitors. Now we have a third archaeological … Continue reading What makes the new Richard III Visitor Centre “insulting”?
So Skeleton 1 will be buried back in Leicester next spring. It will be some two and half years since it was dug up, and two since it was identified as the remains of an English king. The exhumation licence proposed in effect that reburial would occur by October 3 2012 (“within 4 weeks”). Extensions … Continue reading Leicester celebrates its king
As I said to the editor Rob Attar, hat’s off to BBC History magazine for its lead news story, “Was the skeleton in the car park really Richard III?” Plenty of people could be accused of exploiting the identification, from the publishers of a seemingly endless supply of Richard III-related books (see selective list at … Continue reading Is the car park skeleton Richard III? Of course not. It’s a skeleton
I was going to start with the king’s eyebrows, but Max Clifford’s penis has to come first. While I watched the dissection of the Plantagenet Alliance’s claims in the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Friday morning, across the river, at Southwark Crown Court, the high-profile publicist heard his anatomy being discussed. A witness … Continue reading Richard III in court
Some think so. Are they right? We’ll need a clear head for this, as some of the allegations imply professional wrongdoing, and the issues reach beyond a dead monarch. The Independent (a national UK paper, on March 4) and the Yorkshire Post (a regional paper, on March 8) recently published the same letter from five … Continue reading Does handling of Richard III’s bones raise serious questions?
Last night I watched a parade of robed chancellors, and listened to the achievements of researchers, and marvelled. Many at the event went on today to receive Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher & Further Education at Buckingham Palace. So much original work across such a wide range of topics is being conducted across the UK, … Continue reading Our universities do wonderful things