Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Reburial of Richard III

By now, many of you are undoubtedly aware that human remains found buried underneath a car park last September in the city of Leicester, England have been confirmed this week to be the body of King Richard III.  Here is an image of the mostly intact skeleton of the last of the Plantagenet kings.  The severity of his lateral scoliosis (curved spine) is easily observed. 

Leicester has the remains, but must not be allowed to keep them!

Hopefully, Richard will be given a respectful and honored reburial in York Cathedral.  It is what he would have wanted: Richard endowed a chantry at York and visited many times, stating his intention for burial there.

Richard's rule and person was systematically maligned by the Tudor dynasty (the victor always gets to write the history); Shakespeare picked up the mantle and embellished the myths of the monstrosity of Richard.  Now, perhaps, history will re-examine Richard's reign and produce a more balanced view.  

Aside from my obvious interest in things medieval in general and the Plantagenet dynasty in particular, Richard's maternal aunt, Eleanor Neville (wife of Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland), was my 17th great-grandmother.

Read here for how Richard died: 

UK residents have been urged to sign a petition for Richard's reburial in York.  If the petition receives 100,000 signatures by next September, the matter will be debated in the House of Commons.  I think the goal will be reached: already there are over 5,000 signatures.

This is a forensic re-creation of Richard's appearance:
King richard iii face 2012 02 05

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)