Scientists have confimed that 500 year-old
remains found under a car park in Leicester are those of Richard III.
University of Leicester researchers say tests on a battle-scarred
skeleton unearthed last year prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that
it is the King.
"Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England, has been found,'
the University's deputy registrar, Richard Taylor, said.
And how did this all begin?
A Ricardian and screenwriter, Philippa Langley was convinced that
Richard's grave had not been desecrated during the Dissolution of
the Monasteries. After
the battle, there was some evidence that his body was placed in the
Newarke at Leicester, i.e. the Church of the Annunciation of Mary
The church at the Newarke had long-standing Lancastrian associations
and it has been documented that Richard III remains were moved to
the Greyfriars in the friary's Church.
As I mentioned in the previous chapter,that although his remains
were finally buried in the chapel of the Greyfriars, his bones supposedly
were dug up and thrown into the River Soar.
In 1538, Henry VIII decreed the Dissolution of the Monasteries and
England's abbeys and other religious houses were demolished. Valuable
lands and sites were sold off and amongst these was the Greyfriars
site, which now belonged to Alderman Robert Herrick. Reliable records
from 1612 say Herrick had a stone pillar to mark Richard III's burial
Ricardians had researched and published this over the years. The
garden still contained a commemoration of his grave site and old maps
of Leicester showed it lay in the area of the Greyfriars. Only parts
of this area had been built on over the years and three sections were
now used as city council parking bays.
Philippa managed to generate interest from the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), The Richard III Society, under the leadership of chairman Phil Stone, stepped up to fund it along side the city council's help. An anonymous sponser who originally pulled out, agreed to help once more. On 25 August 2012 Philippa Langley's quest for the lost grave of Richard III finally became a dream come true!
Please read The Richard III Society Homepage below for all the exciting details. This only scratches the surface.