History could be rewritten if remains of Richard III have been discovered, say Leicester historians

Posted by pt91 at Nov 09, 2012 11:25 AM |
University researchers have commented on how the discovery of a skeleton with apparent battle wounds and curvature of the spine could impact on our knowledge of the time
History could be rewritten if remains of Richard III have been discovered, say Leicester historians

Credit: Geoff Wheeler

For Professor Norman Housley and Dr Andrew Hopper of our School of Historical Studies, if the remains found by the University of Leicester are Richard III's, it would rewrite history by bringing closure to the fate of the mysterious king. In addition, by observing that Richard's deformity may have been a result of scoliosis, the idea of him being a 'hunchback' will fade away.

History textbooks often tell children and young students that Richard III was a hated king whose body was cast into a river after the victory of Henry Tudor over the House of York during the War of the Roses. This perspective very much correlates with Shakespeare's depiction of Richard III in his titular play, where the character of the last Plantagenet king adopts a villainous role.

However, the potential discovery of the 'real' Richard III could cast these aspersions into doubt: if Richard III was buried at the Grey Friars dig site in Leicester, then it will change the way in which his mysterious death is viewed.

The University of Leicester, in association with Leicester City Council and the Richard III Society, is leading the Search for Richard III.  The University announced in September that it had discovered a set of articulated remains which are currently being subjected to rigorous laboratory examination.