The King in the Car park

It comes to something when you’re an unwell remembered King that you are found in the foundations of a Leicester City Car park. Or what’s left of you that is. Pieces of you are carefully excavated wrapped in archaeology grade tissue paper to protect them before they are carefully catalogued and in some cases delicately drawn before either being placed in a museum or returned to their original placement and then covered in concrete that was found from a local company. Should you be in need of some concrete you can find a number of companies across the country including Edinburgh, Birmingham and Kent Ready Mix Concrete

Richard of York, who gave battle in vain if you need to be reminded of the colours rainbow has been found at last and perhaps so of the things written about him can also be laid to rest like he can. Richard is painted as the bad guy. He is the last of the Plantagenet kings before the Tudors completed a hostile takeover and finally settled the Wars of the Roses. There were few things levelled at him. First of all, he killed the rightful heirs to the throne allegedly there’s never been any real proof that he did it and the remains weren’t saying. He’s also supposed to be very ugly and has a humped back. There are two reasons for this. One, History is written by the winners and the ones who can actually be bothered to record it. Shakespeare is very much to blame as he is the one to come out with all the “now is the winter of our discontent” stuff whilst the actor leans over and shuffles about. Shakespeare knew which side his bread was buttered and he wanted to be in with the Tudors as they might become his patron, so the pen was just as mighty as the sword that did for Richard.

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Secondly there is the painting of Richard that is not very flattering at all. In fact, you can see the hump as someone painted his right hand side a bit lower to give the impression that he had one. There is some talk that his nose was painted wrong as well to make it look too big. Bingo then when you find his bones. And here is the thing, whist there is mild curvature of the spine there is nothing to suggest he was as deformed as Shakespeare and the painting make out. So, let’s just say then that Shakespeare was economical with the truth. To be fair he did the same thing with Macbeth later in his life to curry favour with James the first of England and sixth of Scotland. Well it worked the first time.

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It’s becoming clear that as this all happened hundreds of years ago we do need to ask ourselves if it really matters. It’s very unlikely that we are going to find a ”smoking gun” or smoking parchment if you prefer as they didn’t have guns back then. He was obviously deeply unpopular as he was killed by a sharp stab to the head and then, to add insult to total death they stuck a sword in his bum for good measure. Amazing what a skeleton can tell you.