Body of Richard III Identified

Click here to view the embedded video.

History is always a subject without end.  The body of the last Plantagenet king of England, Richard III has been identified:


“The verification came after scientific tests were used to match DNA samples taken from Canadian-born Michael Ibsen, a direct descendent of Anne of York, Richard’s elder sister.

“For me it’s an absolute privilege to be a part, even in a small way, of such a historically significant series of events,” said Ibsen, a furniture-maker in London.

The debate that has risen out of this finding has provoked the nation to rethink the legacy of Richard III, cast in British history by Shakespeare as a deformed villain, who locked his young nephews — rivals to the throne — in the Tower of London, where they are thought to have met their demise.

Richard III’s grave, which was found underneath the Leicester site in the remains of Greyfriars friary, had been lost during the religious reforms of Henry VIII. Richard, the last king of England to fall on the battlefield, was slain in the 1485 Battle of Bosworth Field while defending his crown against the raiding upstart, Henry VII. He was famously depicted in Shakespeare’s “Richard III” crying out before his death: “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!””

Go here to read the rest at The Washington Post.  (“Religious reforms” of Henry VIII?  Only if one includes wholesale destruction, plundering and tyranny under the rubric of “religious reforms”!)  This allows us to ponder yet again whether Richard was the utter villain portrayed by Sir Thomas More and Shakespeare, or was this so much Tudor propaganda?  My own view is that Richard did have his nephews murdered, and after that is said any more attacks on his character is mere blackening of coal.  However, Henry VII, miser and tyrant, was not the glorious savior portrayed by both More and Shakespeare.  I do feel a small bit of pity for Richard however.  The genius of Shakespeare has made his crimes, real and supposed, immortal, and Richard does not benefit from the weight of years hiding from almost all mortal eyes the evil of his reign.

Click here to view the embedded video.



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Donald R. McClarey (1546 Posts)

Readers Comments (5)

  1. Charles E. Miller,BA,MA February 4, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    My name is Charles E. Miller, and I am a descendant of Sir John Wynn of Gwydyr. His stepmother was Catherine Tudor of Berain, a descendant of Henry Tudor, King of England and Earl of Richmond. I also descend from King John of England, a Plantagenent, through King Llewllyn of Wales who was killed bu his cousin, King Edward I, in 1282. Even though Richard III MAY not have been the kindest man in the world, I feel he should be given a proper burial in a church yard. Since he was Roman Catholic, he should be buried as one.

  2. Charles E. Miller,BA,MA February 4, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

    I wish to add something else as a Christian and a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Chesapeake,Virginia. From the viewpoint of a Germanist and an historian, I am not sure concerning the late King Richard’s crimes. There is one KING who will judge all justly, and he is the Lord Jesus. He is the perfect King to whom we should all turn. Only the righteous shall see heaven: Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9.

    Charles E. MIller, BA Germanistik, MA Religion

  3. Charles E. Miller,BA,MA February 4, 2013 @ 7:49 pm

    In response to the question above whether King Richard III was Catholic, he must certainly was. He was baptized in the Roman Church when he was born. This does not mean that he took his faith seriously, however. The Church of england separated from Rome during the reign of King Henry VIII of the House of Tudor.

  4. Charles E. Miller,BA,MA February 5, 2013 @ 11:32 am

    Dear Mr. Ibsen,

    I am not sure that you wrote the question above; however, we would be cousins through King John of England since we both descend from him. As I have mentioned above, I am also related to the Tudors through Catherine Tudor of Berain, wife of Morris Wynne. My ancestor, George Wynns, settled in Virginia in the seventeenth century. Please do not let the different spellings of my great-grandmother Cowan’s maiden name fool you; it is the same family. I am sorry your grand-uncle was killed by Henry Tudor; however, that was politics in the Middle Ages. Now, however, government operates differently. We live in a more enlightened age. God bless you and your family. Charles

  5. Charles E. Miller,BA,MA February 5, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

    I disagree that Richard III should be buried in an Anglican Church even though I am a Methodist. He should be buried in a Roman Catholic Church in England.

    Charles E. Miller, BA in German Studies, MA in Religion

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