The discovery of King Richard 3rd’s body below a Leicester City tarmac seems a little bit of a let down for one of the most debated monarchs that England and Wales have ever had. He gets a bad rap mainly because as he lost the battle of York, and history is written by the winners, or rather those that can be bothered to write it, he was never going to come out of it well. The Henry Tudors lackeys that followed were not in the mood to talk him up anytime and considering how long the War of the Roses between the Yorkists (Richard’s side) and the Lancastrians (Henry Tudors side) had been going on people were pretty much happy to be done with it. There is also the small matter of the murder of two young Princes, a dodgy painting and an unflattering William Shakespeare play.
Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth field, but his burial place was lost to history. It was discovered, much to the surprise of the local builders, who then knew a delay was coming from rescue archaeologists and they would need the support of a Derby Ready Mix Concrete company to replace the ground surface following the excavations. Anyway, DNA testing proved the bones were Richards. A solid stab to the head did for him and then the Tudor soldiers decided to stick a blade in his bum if only to give themselves a laugh. Cheery. He wasn’t an overly popular guy and there are a few reasons why they had considerable beef with him.
He wasn’t the rightful King. He was a Prince but the next in line to the throne were his brother’s kids, two boys Edward 4th and Prince Richard. He was given the job of Royal Protector of his nephews but, it seems, he decided that he fancied being in charge and had them done in the Tower of London where they were living, ironically, for protection. This meant that the word usurper was being quietly whispered about the land. Henry saw this as a chance to finally end the Plantagenet houses reign which had been going for 330 years.
The War of the Roses was going to be over, it was a winner takes all affair. This suited the general populace who had more important things like the harvest failing or the Black death coming back to worry about. Richard was told he was going to lose before kick-off by a seer but in Medieval times last minute diplomacy was very lacking, and Henry Tudor was in no mood to stop. Then the character assassinations started. Whilst a suspect, there is no evidence he killed the Princes. Henry Tudor and others are also under suspicion. Shakespeare’s play paints him as a hunchbacked villain but he was writing to impress Henry Tudors ancestors and get in with them. The skeleton showed mild curving of the spine, but not severe deformities written about. It’s all debatable which keeps Historians in a job.