Richard III: His Reputation and the Discovery of His Bones


Late 16th Century portrait of Richard III, housed in the National Portrait Gallery.
Late 16th Century portrait of Richard III, housed in the National Portrait Gallery.

Reputation

Richard III was a soldier, and proved an ‘excellent’ king – laws were to be followed, forced loans were abolished, and he protected the rights of the Church.[i] This is a more modern view. However, Richard III is often considered to be the most ‘evil’ of our nation’s kings.[ii] This idea has been built on from Tudor propaganda which was used to strengthen the Tudors own claim to the English throne. The main incident which inherently damaged the reputation of Richard III was the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower around 1483. It provoked ‘shock and indignation’ particularly as the princes were still children and had done nothing wrong.[iii] People believed that the Princes were in danger even before they vanished. People believed in Richard’s guilt. But this has more significance historically than whether Richard actually committed the crime.[iv] The disappearance of the Princes rather than the death, adds fuel to the idea that Richard was in fact innocent of their murder.[v] Edward IV displayed the body of Henry VI after his death, so that people would know he was dead, and not use him as a figurehead for rebellion. Continue reading “Richard III: His Reputation and the Discovery of His Bones”

Book Review – ‘The Search for Richard III: the King’s Grave’ by Philippa Langley


The Search for Richard III: the King's Grave by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones
The Search for Richard III: the King’s Grave by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones

Philippa Langley & Michael Jones, ‘The Search for Richard III: the King’s Grave’ (London: John Murray, 2013) Hardback, ISBN 978-1-84854-890-9

Title: The book was released in Britain as ‘The Search for Richard III: the King’s Grave’ and in America as ‘The King’s Grave: the Discovery of Richard III’s Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds’. The difference between the two (aside from America’s being more long-winded) is that, possibly, the Americans required more explanation, not being as familiar with the period and particularly English geography, as the English are.

Preface: I think the Preface to this book was particularly good compared to others that I’ve read. Possibly this is because the writers aren’t just writing from a historical point of view, but also in hindsight of the amazing discovery that was made, and their own personal bias about Richard III. It’s not really a historical work, but more a work to explain to the general public the importance of this find. The summary of the book is neat, in the final sentence of the Preface: “this is the story of one of history’s most infamous kings – now restored to us – and the man behind the Tudor myth”. It’s clear, concise, and immediately sets out their arguments. Continue reading “Book Review – ‘The Search for Richard III: the King’s Grave’ by Philippa Langley”

Burial of Richard III Getting Out of Hand


 

Richard III Head Modelled from Skeleton Found in Leicester
Richard III Head Modelled from Skeleton Found in Leicester

Burial of Richard III Getting Out of Hand

The burial argument over whether to bury the remains of Richard III at York or Leicester is getting out of hand. A decision has now been postponed until 2014. Although I think both cases have merit, I wish they would agree on one and let this tormented king rest. Surely that is more important than the where. That he is finally at peace in a recognised burial place where people can visit and pay their respects.

Click the above link for the full story from the BBC.