The precise location of the errant remains of Richard III has proven itself a problem to historians and archaeologists over a period of centuries. The last monarch from that noblest of lines the House of York, Richard III died a soldierly death in the year 1485 during The Battle of Bosworth – the final desperate struggle in the infamous War of the Roses. Contemporary historical accounts suggested that the unfortunate king’s body could be found buried at Greyfriar’s church in Leicester (though some contrasting chronicles claimed that the regent’s corpse had been slung indecorously into the river Soar). Over the past few months, a team of archaeologists corralled by The University of Leicester has been investigating the recently unearthed site of the Greyfriar’s church, and last Wednesday the academics discovered what may well prove to be the royal skeleton.
Skew-wiff with scoliosis and studded significantly with an arrowhead, the remains found in the choir of the church positively scream ‘Richard III’. If that is indeed the person to whom they belong, we just might be in for a royal burial of an unprecedented scale here in York. Amidst calls to provide the former monarch a proper send-off from a plethora of historians, the two potential resting places which keep recurring throughout the debate are London’s Westminster Abbey, and York Minster. Whilst Westminster is a more conventional site for such happenings, York Minster was always the king’s preferred burial ground. Add into the equation the fact that Westminster Abbey is already packed to the rafters with decomposing dignitaries and it seems like a Minster burial for the last king of the House of York would make a lot of sense. Would you be stood there wearing a white rose if it were to go ahead?
If you’re interested in Richard the Third to any extent whatsoever, why not pay a visit to the Richard III museum in Monk Bar, Goodramgate. Information and contact details pertaining to the museum are available here.