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.
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