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Really? Seriously? WOW ! ! ! - dorsetgirl
September 12th, 2012
12:32 pm
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Really? Seriously? WOW ! ! !
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9537600/Strong-evidence-Richard-IIIs-body-has-been-found-with-a-curved-spine.html

OMG I am so excited about this! I honestly never dreamed I would see the day.





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From:jayb111
Date:September 12th, 2012 11:54 am (UTC)
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I happened by chance to catch the press conference live on the BBC website. The man's glee as he detailed all the bits of evidence, building up to the scoliosis, was obvious. Not unpleasantly so - the statement was obviously designed to have maximum impact, and he knew he was breaking a major story. A bit of it is available here:
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-19561018

I have mixed feelings. Obviously it's an exciting discovery, and I'll be following the story avidly, but I wonder if it's right to disturb him just to satisfy our curiosity - rather than because there's genuine archaeological knowledge to be gained, or the site's about to be redeveloped and lost.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:September 12th, 2012 12:08 pm (UTC)
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if it's right to disturb him just to satisfy our curiosity

That's a very fair point. I will say that I had no idea until a few days ago that there was any chance he'd even been given a burial (I've been a devout Ricardian since I was fifteen, but this kind of stuff doesn't exactly make the news very often), and I actually have no idea what they've stated as their motivation.

But I will say that if they can use the interest this may generate to get people questioning the stories and remembering that "history is written by the winners", that would be a worthwhile outcome. And now I'm just waiting for some money to hit the bank so I can re-join the Richard III Society in case they get preferential entry to the cathedral for the re-interment, should there ever be one!
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From:jayb111
Date:September 12th, 2012 12:46 pm (UTC)
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I had no idea until a few days ago that there was any chance he'd even been given a burial

It was always supposed that he was buried at Greyfriars, but there was also a story that at the Dissolutions he was dug up and thrown into the River Soar.

...if they can use the interest this may generate...

Apparently Channel 4 have been filming the dig with a view to making a documentary if anything is found. If there is a tv programme, I hope they keep Starkey far, far away from it!

...preferential entry to the cathedral for the re-interment...

I can understand the City of Leicester wanting to keep him there, for the tourism potential if no other reason, but I do think York Minster would be more appropriate.

ETA: I wonder if he'd be buried with 15th century Catholic rites, since that's what he was?

Edited at 2012-09-12 12:58 (UTC)
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:September 12th, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC)
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I agree with York Minster, and it has also been suggested that he should be buried with his Queen at Westminster Abbey. I think the question should be - where would he have expected/wanted to be buried?

Starkey! Please, no. Channel 4 use Tony Robinson a lot for history-type stuff, and I think he's actually extremely good at putting over the facts in a way that the lay-person can follow very clearly. I learned a lot from his series on crime and punishment through the years. Using him would signal "This is something ordinary people will find interesting" rather than "This is something for serious academic historians only". (I count myself in the former.)

As to the rites - I think he should be given what was right for his station in his time. If religion means anything at all, then what the person themselves would have expected and wanted is surely the proper thing to do. If that means Catholic rites in what is presumably now a Protestant building, so be it.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:September 12th, 2012 12:23 pm (UTC)
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I've just watched the video - thanks for the link - and it's very sweet how the man is barely restraining himself from cackling with excitement (I'm doing the same here, tbh), which might change a few people's minds about how boring academics are!
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From:thesmallhobbit
Date:September 12th, 2012 12:18 pm (UTC)
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That is amazing.

And yes, history written by the winners, or how to justify your right to the throne if you are Henry VII.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:September 12th, 2012 12:33 pm (UTC)
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It'll be interesting to see what position the Royal Family take on the matter, given that they're descended from Henry rather than Richard, but of course they do have ancestors in common, and the idea of a King being reviled and betrayed presumably isn't a comfortable one in their position...
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From:jayb111
Date:September 12th, 2012 12:53 pm (UTC)
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The current Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the Queen's first cousin, is patron of the Richard III Society, so I suppose they take an informed interest at least. It's the sort of thing Prince Charles would probably be interested in.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:September 12th, 2012 01:26 pm (UTC)
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Ah yes, I was forgetting that.
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