Anne Neville: Queen to Richard III (Englands Forgotten Queens series)

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Buck attacked the "improbable imputations and strange and spiteful scandals" related by Tudor writers, including Richard's alleged deformities and murders. He located lost archival material, including the Titulus Regius , but also claimed to have seen a letter written by Elizabeth of York, according to which Elizabeth sought to marry the king. Documents which later emerged from the Portuguese Royal archives show that after Queen Anne's death, Richard's ambassadors were sent on a formal errand to negotiate a double marriage between Richard and the Portuguese King's sister Joana , [90] of Lancastrian descent, [] and between Elizabeth of York and Joana's cousin Duke Manuel later King of Portugal.

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The most significant of Richard's defenders was Horace Walpole. In Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third , Walpole disputed all the alleged murders and argued that Richard may have acted in good faith.

He also argued that any physical abnormality was probably no more than a minor distortion of the shoulders. He argued that Henry VII killed the princes and that evidence of other "crimes" was nothing more than rumour and propaganda. Legge argued that Richard's "greatness of soul" was eventually "warped and dwarfed" by the ingratitude of others. Some twentieth-century historians have been less inclined to moral judgement, [] seeing Richard's actions as a product of the unstable times.

In the words of Charles Ross , "the later fifteenth century in England is now seen as a ruthless and violent age as concerns the upper ranks of society, full of private feuds, intimidation, land-hunger, and litigiousness, and consideration of Richard's life and career against this background has tended to remove him from the lonely pinnacle of Villainy Incarnate on which Shakespeare had placed him.

Like most men, he was conditioned by the standards of his age. Other contemporary historians still describe him as, a "power-hungry and ruthless politician" who was still most probably "ultimately responsible for the murder of his nephews.


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Apart from Shakespeare, Richard appears in many other works of literature. Two other plays of the Elizabethan era predated Shakespeare's work.

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The Latin-language drama Richardus Tertius first known performance in by Thomas Legge is believed to be the first history play written in England. Both portray him as a man motivated by personal ambition, who uses everyone around him to get his way. Ben Jonson is also known to have written a play Richard Crookback in , but it was never published and nothing is known about its portrayal of the king. Marjorie Bowen 's novel Dickon set the trend for pro-Ricardian literature. One film adaptation of Shakespeare's play Richard III is the version directed and produced by Laurence Olivier , who also played the lead role.

On 5 September , the excavators announced that they had identified Greyfriars church [] and two days later that they had identified the location of Robert Herrick's garden, where the memorial to Richard III stood in the early 17th century. Improbably, the excavators found the remains in the first location in which they dug at the car park.

Coincidentally, they lay almost directly under a roughly painted R on the tarmac. This had existed since the early s to signify a reserved parking space. On 12 September, it was announced that the skeleton discovered during the search might be that of Richard III.

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Several reasons were given: the body was of an adult male; it was buried beneath the choir of the church; and there was severe scoliosis of the spine, possibly making one shoulder [] higher than the other to what extent depended on the severity of the condition. Additionally, there was an object that appeared to be an arrowhead embedded in the spine; and there were perimortem injuries to the skull.

These included a relatively shallow orifice, which is most likely to have been caused by a rondel dagger , and a scooping depression to the skull, inflicted by a bladed weapon, most probably a sword. Additionally, the bottom of the skull presented a gaping hole, where a halberd had cut away and entered it. Forensic pathologist, Dr Stuart Hamilton stated that this injury would have left the individual's brain visible, and most certainly would have been the cause of death. Dr Jo Appleby, the osteo-archaeologist who excavated the skeleton, concurred and described the latter as "a mortal battlefield wound in the back of the skull".

The base of the skull also presented another fatal wound in which a bladed weapon had been thrust into it, leaving behind a jagged hole. Closer examination of the interior of the skull revealed a mark opposite this wound, showing that the blade penetrated to a depth of It is generally accepted that postmortem, Richard's naked body was tied to the back of a horse, with his arms slung over one side and his legs and buttocks over the other. This presented a tempting target for onlookers, and the angle of the blow on the pelvis suggests that one of them stabbed Richard's right buttock with substantial force, as the cut extends from the back all the way to the front of the pelvic bone and was most probably an act of humiliation.

It is also possible that Richard suffered other injuries which left no trace on the skeleton. In , the British historian John Ashdown-Hill had used genealogical research to trace matrilineal descendants of Anne of York , Richard's elder sister. Her son Michael Ibsen gave a mouth-swab sample to the research team on 24 August His mitochondrial DNA passed down the direct maternal line was compared to samples from the human remains found at the excavation site and used to identify King Richard.

This conclusion was based on mitochondrial DNA evidence, [] soil analysis, and dental tests there were some molars missing as a result of caries , as well as physical characteristics of the skeleton which are highly consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard's appearance. However, there were numerous perimortem wounds on the body, and part of the skull had been sliced off with a bladed weapon; [] this would have caused rapid death. The team concluded that it is unlikely that the king was wearing a helmet in his last moments. Soil taken from the remains was found to contain microscopic roundworm eggs.

Several eggs were found in samples taken from the pelvis, where the king's intestines were, but not from the skull and only very small numbers were identified in soil surrounding the grave.

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The findings suggest that the higher concentration of eggs in the pelvic area probably arose from a roundworm infection the King suffered in his life, rather than from human waste dumped in the area at a later date, researchers said. The Mayor of Leicester announced that the king's skeleton would be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral in early , but a judicial review of that decision delayed the reinterment for a year. The proposal to have King Richard buried in Leicester attracted some controversy. Those who challenged the decision included fifteen "collateral [non-direct] descendants of Richard III", [] represented by the Plantagenet Alliance , who believed that the body should be reburied in York, as they claim the king wished.

However, Michael Ibsen, who gave the DNA sample that identified the king, gave his support to Leicester's claim to re-inter the body in their cathedral. He urged the parties, though, to settle out of court in order to "avoid embarking on the Wars of the Roses, Part Two". The face is described as "warm, young, earnest and rather serious". Richard III thus became the first ancient person of known historical identity to have their genome sequenced. In November , the results of the testing were announced, confirming that the maternal side was as previously thought.

Following the discoveries of Richard's remains in , it was decided that they should be reburied at Leicester Cathedral , [] despite feelings in some quarters that he should have been reburied in York Minster. His cathedral tomb was designed by the architects van Heyningen and Haward. It sits on a low plinth made of dark Kilkenny marble , incised with Richard's name, dates and motto Loyaulte me lie — loyalty binds me. The plinth also carries his coat of arms in pietra dura.

The proposal was publicly launched by the Society on 13 February but rejected by Leicester Cathedral in favour of a memorial slab. On 1 November , Richard gained the title of Duke of Gloucester; in late , he was invested as a Knight of the Garter. Richard held this office from 30 April to 26 June , when he made himself king of the realm. Informally, he may have been known as "Dickon", according to a sixteenth-century legend of a note, warning of treachery, that was sent to the Duke of Norfolk on the eve of Bosworth:.

Jack of Norfolk, be not too bold, For Dickon, thy master, is bought and sold. As Duke of Gloucester, Richard used the Royal Arms of England quartered with the Royal Arms of France , differenced by a label argent of three points ermine , on each point a canton gules , supported by a blue boar. Log in to post an annotation. If you don't have an account, then register here. Categories Map Family tree.

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Log in Register Search. Greyfriars, Leicester originally Leicester Cathedral re-interred, 26 March Edward of Middleham John of Gloucester illegitimate Katherine illegitimate. Armorial of Plantagenet. The ruins of the twelfth-century castle at Middleham in Wensleydale where Richard was raised.


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  4. British Library , London. Detail from the Rous Roll showing Richard with a sword in his right hand, an orb and cross in his left, a white boar his heraldic badge at his feet, framed by the crests and helms of England, Ireland, Wales, Gascony - Guyenne , France and St Edward []. Former memorial ledger stone to Richard III in the choir of Leicester Cathedral , since replaced by his stone tomb as illustrated further below.

    Late 16th-century portrait, housed in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Site of Greyfriars Church , Leicester, shown superimposed over a modern map of the area. The skeleton of Richard III was recovered in September from the centre of the choir, shown by a small blue dot.

    The skeleton as discovered. Bronze boar mount thought to have been worn by a supporter of Richard III [].

    Coat of arms as Duke of Gloucester. Edward III of England [] 8. Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York [] Philippa of Hainault [] 4. Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge [] Peter of Castile [] 9. Isabella of Castile [] Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March [] Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March [] Philippa Plantagenet, 5th Countess of Ulster [] 5.

    Anne de Mortimer [] Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent [] Alianore Holland [] Alice FitzAlan [] 1. Richard III of England Ralph Neville, 2nd Baron Neville de Raby [] John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby [] Alice Audley [] 6. Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland [] Henry de Percy, 2nd Baron Percy of Alnwick [] Maud Percy [] Idoine de Clifford [] 3. Cecily Neville John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster [] Joan Beaufort [] Sir Payne de Roet [] Katherine Swynford []. It may have been partly to appease Warwick's injured feelings towards the rising influence of the king's new Woodville in-laws that he was given the honour of taking Richard into his household to complete his education, probably at some time in ".

    However, any personal attachment he may have felt to Middleham was likely mitigated in his adulthood, as surviving records demonstrate he spent less time there than at Barnard Castle and Pontefract. Richard of Gloucester formed no more of a personal attachment to Middleham than he did to Barnard Castle or Pontefract, at both of which surviving records suggest he spent more time.

    The Guardian. Retrieved 7 December BBC News. Retrieved 4 February Daily Record.

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