Human remains found at Richard III burial site

The archaeologists digging under the Leicester parking lot for the Greyfriars church where King Richard III was buried in 1485 started out with a long list of ifs and maybes. They weren’t sure they had the right location for the church which had been destroyed during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1538 and built over for centuries. Even if their research on the location did turn out to be have been correct, there might be no remains left after the Tudor destruction and subsequent development. If there were physical remains of the abbey and church left to be found, they might not have found them in the two trenches they planned to dig. If they did find physical remains of the church, they might not have been sufficient to map an accurate ground plan and find the choir area where Richard was buried. If they did locate the choir area, there might be nothing there. If they did find human remains, they wouldn’t necessarily be significant since many people were buried in abbeys in churches.

Knowing how the long the odds were of discovering anything pertinent at all, the University of Leicester’s excavation team was not so much cautiously optimistic as just plain cautious. They underscored that the archaeological search would nonetheless provide a fascinating window into the long-lost history of Leicester even when/if nothing Richard-specific was discovered. It was an exercise in managing expectations, as they say in the corporate world, not just the public’s but their own.

Then something completely unexpected happened: everything went right. The two trenches immediately revealed the remains of tiled walkways which proved to be the eastern cloister walk of the friary. They found part of the wall of the chapter house abutting it. Spurred by these promising discoveries, the archaeological team dug a third unplanned trench into a neighboring parking lot and found the walls of the church within the friary.

The next discovery was more than anyone had dared hope, or at least voice. Outside of the church perimeter to the south, the team unearthed a stretch of paving made of recycled medieval tiles of different sizes and wears laid in a random pattern. They believe these are the remains of the garden of Sir Robert Herrick, mayor of Leicester. Herrick bought the abbey land in the early 1600s and built a mansion and gardens on the site. Christopher Wren, future father of the famous architect, was tutor to Herrick’s nephew. He recorded that there was a pillar on the grounds inscribed “Here lies the body of Richard III, some time King of England.”

Meanwhile, in the third trench inside the church area, archaeologists found large chunks of window tracery and a lead window H-section (part of the support for a stained glass window). There was a large window behind the high altar in the east of the church. The choir where Richard III was buried was in the east side of the church. They also found a medieval silver penny, a stone frieze they think was part of the choir stalls and copper alloy letters that might have come from tomb inscriptions.

Given these giant glaring exes marking the spot, and the huge turnout of 1,500 people who lined up to see the dig during the three hours it was open this past Saturday, the Leicester City Council agreed to extend the dig for at least one more week. It was supposed to have stopped Monday, but they couldn’t quit when they were so close, and the dig has been a huge boon for Leicester making the press all over the world.

Then, early this morning, the University of Leicester announced that human remains have been found. That’s all they said. No further details until the press conference today at 11:00 AM BST which is being tweeted live on @uniofleicester. If you don’t want to follow on Twitter, the UoL website will be posting live updates on this page. The press conference will be carried on BBC and Sky television and will be streamed live on the BBC website. I’ve tweeted Leicester to ask for a link to the live stream because I can’t find it.

Wake up, everyone! This is too exciting to sleep through. :boogie:

Okay I’m doing my own version of live updates just because I’m nerding out like a crazy person. UL is tweeting that they’ll be referring to people at the press conference using their initials so they just posted a bunch of names with their initials. One of the people listed is Dr. Turi King (TK), from UL’s Department of Genetics. Does that mean they’ve got something to DNA test?

BBC News live stream here! And it works in the US too! Head asploding!

* Richard Taylor: the search has resembled something out of a Dan Brown novel in terms of the twists and turns it has taken.

* Peter Soulsby, Mayor of Leicester went over a couple of historical highlights of the city. Thanks the public employees for giving up their parking and says given today’s announcement, they are going to have to go without their parking lot a little longer.

* Richard Buckley, co director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services, is describing the site, the layout of the trenches and what was found where.

* Richard Taylor, Director of Corporate Affairs: They have found the remains of two people: one fully articulated skeleton of an adult male found in the choir of the church and one disarticulated human skeleton, one female found in the presbytery.

* THE MALE SKELETON HAS UPON ON INITIAL EXAMINATION SUFFERED PERIMORTEM TRAUMA. BACK OF THE SKULL CLEAVED. ARROWHEAD FOUND IN THE BACK. SKELETON IN THE CHOIR HAS SPINAL ABNORMALITIES, PROBABLY FROM SCOLIOSIS, WHICH WOULD HAVE MADE HIS RIGHT SHOULDER APPEAR CONSIDERABLY HIGHER THAN HIS LEFT SHOULDER.

* Now Richard is telling me to calm the hell down because this isn’t any kind of sure thing, but it is exciting circumstantial evidence. Next up extensive testing and analysis.

* The location and modesty of the burial is in keeping with the historical sources, but the skeleton was not hunchbacked as Richard was described by Shakespeare and other sources. He was strong and appears to have died in battle. Historical sources invested physical deformity with spiritual deformity and could well have exaggerated Richard’s disability.

* Philippa Langley, lead for the Richard III society, had a dream, y’all. She says we should strive to make our dreams come true. She’s very composed, but I think she’s losing it on the inside.

* Exhumation of the male skeleton began Tuesday, September 4th.

* The archaeological site is not really display quality, so it sounds like the parking lot is going right back on top when they’re through.

* Next up is laboratory analysis at the University of Leicester. They’re hoping to recover mitochondrial DNA that can be compared to the DNA of Michael Ibsen, 17th generation nephew of Richard III. DNA analysis will take up to 12 weeks.

* Only DNA can confirm that these are the remains of Richard III. Osteology can confirm that the skeletal remains matches very well what we know of Richard from historical sources.

* The arrowhead found in the skeleton’s spine was barbed. They can’t say anything more than that right now since the find is so new. The barbed arrowhead was found between two vertebrae, not embedded in the bone.

* They haven’t cleaned the skull yet, but there are a couple of injuries to it visible. They don’t know if the head injuries or the arrow were the fatal blow. The only historical source to give details on how he died was the Ballad of Bosworth Field, widely considered unreliable. In the Ballad, Richard died of a poleaxe to the head.

* Philippa Langley thinks the Tudors constructed a mythological Richard, that to get closer to the truth of what kind of person he was, see the pre-Tudor sources from before he became king.

* She hopes the archaeology of Greyfriars will bring Richard’s story to an accurate and truthful conclusion.

And that’s all folks. Amazing. A. May. Zing.

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92 Comments »

Comment by Allison
2012-09-12 06:18:14

Oh my goodness!

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 06:44:06

Right? I never expected the find to be so exceptional.

 
 
Comment by John A
2012-09-12 06:40:31

I have no words…

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 06:44:16

I’m still in shock.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 06:47:04

I wonder who the female may be. Do they have any thoughts or ideas on that?

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 06:51:35

They didn’t say and nobody asked. The poor lady was quite overshadowed, I’m afraid. I’ll keep my eye out for further info about her, though.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 06:55:48

I am just curious because it seems odd that a female would be buried in a monestary. Especially buried in an area that is only for clergy. Thanks

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 07:12:25

Well, her skeleton was disarticulated, so it’s possible she wasn’t originally buried there. Her remains could have been victimized during the dissolution. I’ve emailed the University of Leicester press office asking if they have any more information about her.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 07:17:17

Hehe, I had already assumed that, since being moved after being buried elsewhere was not unheard of at that time. However, even reburied, it seems strange that they would stick her in a clergy-only area. Thanks again.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 07:28:21

If it was dissoluters, they wouldn’t have had much concern for Franciscan strictures. But I’m jumping the gun by speculating this much. The archaeologists probably don’t even know much more than that she exists at this point.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 07:33:54

I know all of this is speculation. Unfortunately I am just curious as all get-out.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 07:35:01

You and me both. :hattip:

 
 
Comment by Penny
2012-09-12 08:17:20

I freakin’ love this blog. Thank you!

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 08:25:05

Thank you!

 
 
Comment by rita Roberts
2012-09-12 09:17:14

Anxiously awaiting the discovery Of this famouse King. Thanks for this post keeping us all alert.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 11:12:42

It will be a few months before the DNA can confirm whether it’s him, but you can trust that I’ll be paying close attention every step of the way.

 
 
Comment by heidi malagisi
2012-09-12 10:32:51

this is blowing my mind right now. the fact that Richard could have been found and underneath a parking lot of all places. bizarre but still fascinating. thanks for the updates.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 11:13:31

My pleasure. Thank you for sharing in my nerdcitement. I’m still on an adrenaline high.

 
 
Comment by Waidmann
2012-09-12 10:42:15

I’m a daily lurker, but seldom poster.

This, however, is so cool. It might not rank quite up there with finding Peter’s bones under the alter, but it’s extremely cool.

Waidmann

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 11:17:50

I think in some ways it beats it, because Peter’s bones have been said to be there all this time, under the close guard of people who love him. Poor Richard’s bones, on the other hand, were said to have been thrown into a river a generation later by the same faction that killed him and hanged his dead naked body for everyone to jeer at.

I considered the possibility that they might actually find Richard’s remains, but it was really entirely academic. I never thought it would happen, and in two weeks, no less!

 
 
Comment by Waidmann
2012-09-12 10:43:22

Altar.

I hate it when that happens.

Waidmann

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 11:19:20

Ah, typos. As irritating as they are, I have come to accept them as old friends I can never be entirely rid of. ;)

 
 
Comment by heidi malagisi
2012-09-12 10:52:35

I read this blog everyday. history nerds unite!

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 11:19:53

Huzzah!

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 10:59:38

AMEN!

 
Comment by heidi malagisi
2012-09-12 11:27:23

Mine is too. I like to study teh Tudors, and really anything to do with the monarchy in England. Just think, those artifacts will probably be in a museum one day.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 11:31:26

Oh for sure. The town of Leicester is on an even greater adrenaline high than we are. They’ll recover every tiny piece of everything they find to put it on display before they get their parking lots back and the site is covered up.

 
 
Comment by heidi malagisi
2012-09-12 11:42:08

but why not move the parking lot and continue the dig? it would definiately put them on the map and besides that church was a big deal for any Henry VIII fanatic. if you cover up the site, would it not erase all that they were accomplishing?

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 12:01:27

I think their reasoning is that the architectural remains on the site itself are not terribly impressive — low walls, a few tiles — so the good stuff can be removed. I imagine like many old cities with tight spaces parking is at a premium, so the lot value may trump the archaeological/tourist value.

Myself, I’d never cover it back up, but low walls and a few tiles are a billion times better than parking from my perspective. City councils have different priorities.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 11:56:39

Why would city council members want to park farther than two steps from thier office building door? According to the above, two parking lots are now involved.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 12:03:48

Yes, it’s two lots now, and even the temporary loss of them has apparently been hardship enough that the council employees got thanked profusely for their patience at the press conference. The mayor was reluctant to fully commit to the site being covered back up and parking returned, though. One of the reporters asked directly and got a very mushy answer.

 
 
Comment by Lapinbizarre
2012-09-12 12:01:50

Seriously cool! Thank you so much.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 12:04:46

Glad to share the great news with my fellow enthusiasts. :)

 
 
Comment by heidi malagisi
2012-09-12 12:07:35

I agree with you. As a history major, it just crushes me to see that happen. Tourism is better than two parking lots any day and a piece of history like this needs to be shown in the right light, politics or not.

 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 12:27:48

Agreed! When I read this this morning, we (my family and I) said that if we lived over there we’d be outside with signs insisting that it be left history instead of going back to a parking lot. All of us are history nuts over here. My pop finds this interesting because military history is his thing, my mom and I are both interested in Britain/Scotland history, so the whole family is interested in this. We do like other things, but this is an article ALL of us can enjoy. So was the thermometer post yesterday.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:26:47

How wonderful that your whole family is one subset or another of history nerd. You must have great dinner table conversations.

I loved the Fahrenheit post too. When I first started writing it, I thought I’d do a quick rundown of his invention of the mercury thermometer, but then once I got to researching the scale, his personal history, his links to other eminent scientists of the time, I ended up with far more post than I expected. Finally I had to just stop myself and submit the thing before I went on into the next day. :giggle:

 
 
Comment by oliver chromwell
2012-09-12 13:52:53

:eek: 35 royalist comments ? Never mind, I’ve seen pictures with the archaeologists digging away and, believe it or not, apparently two enthusiasts standing by IN FULL ARMOUR (!) :D – apparently defending the royal parking lot. … “Alas, my kingdom for a royal thighbone !”

BTW, has “Blackadder” from BBC One been a big hit over there in the U.S. ? If not, You should see the episode about Richard III and the one with the beheading of Charles I

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:15:28

I have the complete set of Blackadder DVDs. The first series is distinctly inferior to the subsequent ones, imo. I like my Rowan Atkinson sarcastic and sharp, not addled and pratfalling all over himself.

I find it a rather odd notion that being excited about an archaeological find of such import somehow translates into support for monarchical rule. Anyway, over on this side of the ocean we dispensed with our king. We didn’t set up a Lord Protector king-in-everything-but-name to take his place either.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 14:00:54

I am an American, so I cannot be a royalist, also, you cannot study the history of any country that is/was a monarchy without stumbling on something royal no matter how hard you try, nor can you just “skip” that stuff just because monarchies irritate you. I cannot even study U.S history without studying more than 150 years of monarchy.

 
Comment by Matthew
2012-09-12 14:04:38

This whole thing just has me floored. Stuff like this isn’t supposed to happen in real life, right?

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for your excellent coverage (and the blog as a whole). Keep up the great work.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:17:08

It really does seem like something out of an Indiana Jones movie. Only with fewer snakes. Also less stealing and less destruction of archaeological context.

Thank you for your kind words and for reading. :thanks:

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 14:13:03

I do not know about the popularity of Blackadder in other households, but I have never seen any, and no one I know has mentioned seeing any either.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:21:02

Oh, almost all of it is exceptional. There are a several episodes that literally make me weep with laughter even though I’ve seen them multiple times over the years. If you have Netflix, it’s available for streaming. Given all the history lovers in your family, I think you would get a big kick out of it.

 
 
Comment by Edward Goldberg
2012-09-12 14:20:44

Yes, LD! This is all very cool… I am speaking softly and slowly… Now unplug your computer, stay seated, breath regularly and think pleasant neutral thoughts. A swat team is on its way to get you out before you start hyperventilating. Then we go in after Philippa Langley.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:54:53

I’m afraid it’s far too late to prevent hyperventilation now. I’ve been panting like a pug in the desert for a good 8 hours. Philippa, on the other hand, kept it together all day only to fall into complete hysterics the instant she got home. One minute crying, the next minute laughing, the next minute doing a happy dance not unlike the electric slide only jazzier.

 
 
Comment by Lapinbizarre
2012-09-12 14:27:24

Thomas Wolsey, buried in the nearby Augustinian abbey in 1530, would be an interesting second act.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:33:51

Is the burial spot unknown? I thought there was a memorial monument marking the burial site.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 14:32:03

What specifically is it about? I mean here our PBS shows british stuff like Keeping up Appearances. I heard that it is comedy stuff, but I have no clues beyond then that. (I do not have Netflix)

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:43:00

Rowan Atkinson, the guy who plays Mr. Bean, portrays a character from subsequent generations of one fictional family whose fortunes degenerate from era to era. In the first season he’s a fictional Plantagenet prince. In the second he’s a lord at the mercy of Queen Elizabeth I. In the third he’s a butler to Prince George, the Prince Regent, a complete idiot played brilliantly by Hugh Laurie (aka Dr. House). In the fourth he’s a captain on the Western Front during World War I. There are a few specials interspersed there, including one dedicated to the English Civil War which our Roundhead friend above referenced.

It’s witty and sarcastic and far more historically erudite than anything you’re likely to find on US television. Definitely worth a rent or a borrow. I don’t care for the first season, as I said, but it does set up the context for the Blackadders’ future failures.

 
 
Comment by D. B. Cooper
2012-09-12 14:37:32

I hope they at least reserve the parking space over his burial site for him.

Reserved Parking
Richard III
KING ONLY
Towing Strictly Enforced!

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:46:14

:lol: That is the absolute least they could do.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 14:40:49

About your history nerd family conversation post. Yes, we all are, and we do have great conversations. However, there are history subjects that we do not share, but this is one we all appreciate, but from different angles. In my opinion, the thermometer belongs in a museum and I hope it ends up there instead of “hiding” in some private collection for another length of time.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:45:41

I agree fervently. How sad is it that we didn’t even know it existed until now? That kind of covetousness does an injustice to us all.

 
 
Comment by Allison
2012-09-12 14:42:49

Me too!

 
Comment by Lapinbizarre
2012-09-12 14:53:34

Wolsey was buried without a monument. The sarcophagus he prepared for himself was ultimately used for Lord Nelson. The memorial at the abbey is a 20th c erection (1930′s if memory serves) and does not mark the spot of his interment, which is unknown.

Re the disarticulated female skeleton in the presbytery – the most sacred part of the church, and perhaps an odd spot for a female burial in a friary, unless, maybe, a major donor – it would be interesting to know if there was a cult at the Greyfriars, associated with the remains of a female saint. The place of burial and disarticulated state of the bones might suggest this. Could it be the last-minute burial, at the dissolution, of remains formerly housed in a reliquary?

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 15:02:50

Ah, very interesting about the Wolsey burial. I suspect the Leicester City Council would be even less willing to dig up their pretty park than they were the parking lot unless archaeologists had a solid idea of where exactly to look.

Re the female skeleton, it’s certainly within the realm of the possible. I wonder if there are any pre-dissolution sources that describe any such prominent woman — donor or saint — buried in the church.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 14:54:25

Hehe, by “here” I just meant our local station, not all of them nationally. I expect different communities prefer different things. It does sound interesting though. :-) I have also never seen too much Mr. Bean, just a minute or two long clip of him giving a bunch of balloons to a baby in a stroller and the baby floating away.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 14:57:14

I don’t know if it’s ever aired on US television. Maybe PBS? It’s decades old by now. I’ve only ever seen them on video.

I’m proud to say I’ve only seen a clip or two of Mr. Bean myself. That sort of comedy is not my bag.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 15:02:33

The only reason I had ever heard of Blackadder is because in some places (not my local PBS station) they do have PBS ads for it, and the last time I saw the ads I was a small child. I have seen the series for sale, but had no idea what it was about, so had no reason to investigate.

 
Comment by Lapinbizarre
2012-09-12 15:18:46

If there are surviving records they may well indicate gifts to a particular cult. City records might also show a related holy day. Leicester’s department of archaeology is extremely good; be v surprised if they’re not on this track already.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 19:34:27

It’s whether any records survived the scourge of dissolution that’s the key. Like you said, I am sure the researchers are on it like white on rice. There are at least two professors of literature on the team who were made available for press questions and interviews. That’s definitely their bailiwick.

 
 
Comment by Heidi Malagisi
2012-09-12 16:56:18

see i am the only one in my family who even cares about history so i come here and feel cool chatting with you guys about this kind of stuff all day long :cool:

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 19:51:11

Maybe you’ll convert them someday. I’ve seen family genealogy, for example, turn the most disinterested people into history freaks. Next thing you know, you’ll be introducing them to your history nerd family here. ;)

 
 
Comment by Lapinbizarre
2012-09-12 17:22:49

Incidentally, they will not need the DNA of the “17th generation nephew of Richard III”. When the tomb of Edward IV, Richard’s brother, was opened in 1789, quantities of his hair were removed from the grave. The Society of Antiquaries owns a lock, presented by the then dean of Windsor in 1790, and according to the “Ricardian Archive”, John Ashdown-Hill arranged in 2007 for a DNA test to be conducted on a sample of Edward’s hair at the Ashmolean. I believe this was done in the context of a possible test on the Westminster “Princes in the Tower” remains, but the Leicester skeleton would give the results of that test a more immediate relevance.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 19:53:38

Were they able to extract DNA from the hair, do you know? It’s easy for hair samples to become contaminated and degraded when you’re trying to secure DNA from archaeological remains. The bone marrow and dental pulp is more protected and therefore more likely to produce results.

 
 
Comment by RM
2012-09-12 17:31:50

That DNA will still be usefull. The more DNA relatives you have on the list then fewer people can say the one test could be wrong. There are people out there who will say that one DNA test doesn’t prove much, since it could have been done incorrectly, but if you have the person related to 20 different people all 20 of those tests are less likely to be wrong. That is what they are doing with mummies in Egypt, figuring out who is who, and related to who and how, especially with unidentified individuals, through DNA tests, if the DNA is still viable. :-)

 
Comment by JoanP
2012-09-12 20:32:17

I was just directed to your blog today, through a link to this post. I expect I will be visiting again, as it’s a very interesting and well-written blog.

And this is SUCH exciting news! Unless the DNA testing were to exclude Richard, I must say, as a retired trial lawyer, that the circumstantial evidence is quite convincing.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 21:36:53

It really is. I’m having a hard time being properly circumspect. One of the reporters at the press conference just out and out said it: “Scientific proprieties aside, you guys totally think you found him, don’t you?” The panel sort of tittered and hedged, but yeah, the case is solid and they know it.

Welcome to the blog!

 
 
Comment by Stephen
2012-09-12 20:55:13

If it turns out to be the King, I wonder if they eventually would also do a facial reconstruction based on the skull. If DNA analysis is not possible, a comparison of facial features to Richard’s portraits might help in the identification, even though that would be a subjective judgement about any supposed resemblance.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 21:34:09

Facial reconstructions are increasingly common these days. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one was attempted no matter what the DNA results show.

 
 
Comment by Rowan
2012-09-12 20:58:14

Oh man, when I read the news in the Belfast Telegraph last night before bed I was hoping you would have something written today. :boogie:

I talked to a co-worker from Leicester who has been in the US now for years, but still has family there. He has been vaguely following the story. He told me that everyone is taught that Richard III was tossed into the River Soar.

I am hoping I have piqued his interest.

Now to try to be patient whilst waiting the DNA testing results!

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-12 21:32:50

The River Soar story comes to us from mapmaker and historian John Speede’s History of Great Britain published in 1610. He probably had sources that have not survived, but in any case the story comes long after the events it purports to describe, and other historians who documented the dissolution era who you would expect to say something about a mob throwing Richard’s remains into the river are silent on the subject. Besides, Speede is known to have searched for Richard’s burial site himself, so maybe even he didn’t quite believe the story.

I can’t believe your co-worker from Leicester is only following the story vaguely! I’d have been lined up at the dig from the crack of dawn on Saturday, man. Give me a little folding chair, a loaf of bread, a hunk of cheese and I’ll wait all day. :D

 
 
Comment by heidi malagisi
2012-09-12 23:24:35

if it is his body what will be the next step for the city and the university?

 
Comment by Lapinbizarre
2012-09-13 02:31:15

I don’t. The report I found only said that Ashdown-Hill had arranged for the test. He is, incidentally, on the current team and apparently located the thistant nephew. Tantalizingly, the dean of Windsor also presented the Society of Antiquaries with a vial of the three inches of liquid that was sloshing around in Edward IV’s coffin, when it was opened – apparently degraded matter from the decomposing king. This has since vanished. No doubt it stank, but it would have been invaluable in the DNA Age.

http://makinghistory.sal.org.uk/ajax2.php?id=27

 
Comment by Lapinbizarre
2012-09-13 02:33:18

I don’t. The report I found only said that Ashdown-Hill had arranged for the test. He is, incidentally, on the current team and apparently located the thistant nephew. Tantalizingly, the dean of Windsor also presented the Society of Antiquaries with a vial of the three inches of liquid that was sloshing around in Edward IV’s coffin, when it was opened – apparently degraded matter from the decomposing king. This has since vanished. No doubt it stank, but it would have been invaluable in the DNA Age.

 
Comment by kristine
2012-09-14 20:49:43

Great blog!! Seems to be a good way to keep up on the most recent news. This is beyond my wildest dreams. I had never read the chronicles that talked about his burial still existing. I’ve gone thru 40 years believing he was at the bottom of the river, never to be found. Thanks again for givin us a place to share.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-15 02:30:41

Thank you! I thought I’d be keeping up with some cool medieval fragments of church, at best. Who knew the denoument would be so exciting?

 
 
Comment by Lenora
2012-09-15 01:38:56

I am so excited for this find! I am a Canadian that is somewhat distracted by anything Archaeological, Historically accurate (as best one can get) Celtic histories, and Genealogy.

This just blasts me off the planet, the vindication of King Richard the Third….how truly exciting!

I can’t wait for more tid bits on this…!!!

Congratulations !

Cheers,
Lenora :0)

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-15 02:29:36

You’re a countrywoman of Michael Ibsen’s, the guy who is donating the DNA for comparison, so it’s a great day for Canada too. :D

 
 
Comment by Lenora
2012-09-15 01:41:11

Yes what would be interesting is any similarities to the male descendant they have found and DNA tested.

 
Comment by Lenora
2012-09-15 01:44:23

Could it have been Richards wife?

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-15 02:27:52

Nope. Anne Neville died in March of 1485 when Richard III was still king. She was buried in Westminster Abbey. Her tomb wasn’t marked, but it was never broken into or desecrated or anything. Being in Westminster Abbey kept her remains safe.

 
 
Comment by heidi malagisi
2012-09-15 02:49:22

who knows how many more famous people and treasure are left inside that church. There is something about history it gets cooler with age :lol:

 
Comment by lineasaved
2012-09-17 21:52:07

Read these out of order, but I have to say this almost convinces me there is life after death; someone long thought lost is suddenly on a particular persons mind, who suddenly feels driven to dig in a particular place, puts huge effort into raising money and talks a city into giving up precious parking for some indefinite period on an oh-so-tiny chance of finding the bones of a murdered king whose murderers defamed and attempted to wipe from history. Maybe some dreams were tampered with, some pressure was applied from beyond the grave, and someone who was treated abominably in life got some “post-mortem” satisfaction. Please keep this blog up for as long as you can, they are full of info, but short enough for me to keep up with.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-09-17 21:59:00

Oh, I’m never taking it down, you can count on that. As long as I’m alive, these archives will be online. :)

 
 
Comment by Philippa
2012-09-30 12:43:21

Hello all. I live in Leicester, five minutes walk away from the digs. They are very interesting. I was stunned at how small his place of burial was. He could not have been very big. It is really exciting being in a city that could reveal the burial and the remains of Richard III. It makes every thing I have read about in history books come to life. (pardon the pun) I can’t wait for the results!

Comment by livius drusus
2012-10-01 02:54:54

How wonderful that you had the opportunity to see the dig site. Are the trenches still open, do you know?

 
 
Comment by Philippa
2012-10-04 21:28:12

Two have been filled in so to try to preserve the sites., but the one iwhere the supposed bones were found is under a protective tent, until they have decided what to do with it. Our Mayor seems to be sure that the bones are Richard III’s.

 
Comment by Vivienne
2012-12-25 14:31:24

This find is really interesting. My mum was born in Leicester and as a child I stayed quite often with my great aunt and uncle who lived on Castle View in the city centre. was wondering if that’s near the car park? Good luck to Leicester – hope it brings lots and lots of tourists!

 
Comment by Lenora
2013-02-05 01:59:38

The results are in! It has been confirmed to be King Richard the III s Remains! wow, I’m so excited!

Comment by livius drusus
2013-02-05 20:58:11

Me too! :boogie:

 
 
Comment by Lenora
2013-02-05 02:00:02

:boogie:

 
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