Family and foes reunited: Historic reception hosted by University of Leicester brings together people connected by a bloody history

Posted by ap507 at Mar 25, 2015 12:05 AM |
Descendants from the Battle of Bosworth – where King Richard III was killed – are brought together for the first time ahead of the reinterment by research from the University of Leicester

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 25 March

PRESS CALL:

First media opportunity to meet the descendants of opposing sides at the Battle of Bosworth who are meeting for the first time at a reception hosted by the University of Leicester on:

Wednesday March 25

5pm-7pm

Hotel Maiyango

13-21 Saint Nicholas Place

Leicester LE1 4LD

There will be an opportunity to interview Professor Kevin Schürer whose research discovered the Bosworth descendants as well as a number of relatives who are associated with Richard and the Plantagenets or with the Tudors.

There are no opportunities to meet the Bosworth descendants before the press call from 5pm-7pm

Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images.

Over 500 years after a brutal and bloody battle put to death England’s last warrior king Richard III and changed the destiny of the country, descendants from the warring factions are to come together for the first time in Leicester.

Thanks to research by University of Leicester Pro-Vice-Chancellor for research and enterprise, Professor Kevin Schürer, who conducted  geneaological research on Richard III, descendants and relatives of some 20 families who fought at Bosworth have been identified.

They will meet, with members of the families directly related to Richard who donated their DNA as part of the identification process (the Somersets, Ibsens and Wendy Duldig) together for the first time – many are distant cousins, separated by generations.

Some have flown in from Australia, South Africa, Canada and travelled from different parts of the UK for an historic occasion when they will literally retrace the past – including a trip back to the Bosworth battlefield.

They will meet at a reception on Wednesday 25 March hosted by the University of Leicester at the Hotel Maiyango in Leicester City Centre, a venue just yards from Leicester Cathedral where Richard will be reinterred on 26 March.

Among those identified by Professor Schürer are relatives whose ancestors include:

  • A man who fought both at the battles of Bosworth and Floden (aged 71) and died swallowing a frog while drinking a glass of water
  • A man credited with finding Richard’s crown hanging on a hawthorn bush
  • A man credited as ‘the architect of Richard’s defeat’ because he knew the local terrain at Bosworth and advised Henry of the best battle positions
  • People who had been Sheriffs of Derby and Nottingham
  • People associated with the Stanleys who had famously changed sides at Bosworth and turned the tide of the battle
  • People who had been tried for treason  and been associated with the gunpowder plot

Professor Schürer said: “Tracing the descent of various (non aristocratic) families who fought at Bosworth has been an amazing journey, one that has been challenging and one that that has thrown up all kinds of interesting stories along the way.

“The stories are a mixture of continuity and change, with a fair measure of fame and glory thrown in. The inter-relation between some of the families from Bosworth is another interesting feature – in some regards it truly was a battle of cousins. Bringing together these families for the first time in over 500 years will be a remarkable event.”

Ends

Media enquiries to University of Leicester press office - 0116 252 3335 pressoffice@le.ac.uk

Interview opportunities:

You can interview Professor Kevin Schürer about this research on:

Tuesday 24 March, 9.30am at the Grand Hall, St Martin’s House, next to the Cathedral in Peacock Lane

Professor Schürer and geneticist Dr Turi King (along with other academic colleagues) will be at a press conference to discuss this work and other aspects of the Richard III project. Please note the content of Professor Schürer’s research  is embargoed until 00.01 hours on Wednesday 25 March.

Other interviews by arrangement depending on availability- contact Ellen Rudge: er134@le.ac.uk

There will be further interview opportunities with Professor Schürer and geneticist Dr Turi King on:

Wednesday March 25

5pm-7pm

Hotel Maiyango

13-21 Saint Nicholas Place

Leicester LE1 4LD

This will be the first chance to meet and interview the descendants that Professor Schürer has traced.

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