This is all over the medieval interwebs, but for those of you who haven’t been following: Archaeologists have found the skeleton of Richard III under a parking lot in Leicester, England, England. Richard III was killed in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field which ended the Wars of the Roses, making him the last English king to die in battle. Somewhere along the way, it seems folks lost track of his body. Wikipedia explains:
Polydore Vergil, Henry Tudor’s official historian, would later record that “King Richard, alone, was killed fighting manfully in the thickest press of his enemies”. Richard’s naked body was then exposed, possibly in the collegiate foundation of the Annunciation of Our Lady, before being buried at Greyfriars Church, Leicester. In 1495, Henry VII paid £50 for a marble and alabaster monument. According to a now discredited tradition, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries his body was thrown into the nearby River Soar, although other evidence suggests that a memorial stone was visible in 1612, in a garden built on the site of Greyfriars. The exact location was then lost, owing to more than 500 years of subsequent development, until the archaeological investigations of 2012 revealed the site of the garden and of Greyfriars church. There is currently a memorial ledger stone in the choir of the Cathedral, as well as a stone plaque on the bridge where tradition had suggested his remains were thrown into the Soar.
Now he’s been found — click here for an article about it — and it turns out his back condition (though he wasn’t quite a hunchback) was real, and not invented by Tudor historians to make him look bad. The next interesting step would probably be to reopen the question of the Princes in the Tower.