25 September 2014

The brutal death and postmortem mutilation of King Richard III

A sword or battleaxe spike was thrust four inches into the deposed monarch's head by King Henry VII's forces and appears to have claimed his life at the Battle of Bosworth, ending the War of the Roses.  He suffered a total of 11 wounds around the time of his death, nine to his skull and two to the rest of his body, according to the analysis...

Experts believe it was one of two blows to his head or an impact to his pelvis that claimed the Plantagenet King's life, although investigators hinted that the pelvis injuries might have been inflicted after death as an act of vindictive battlefield celebration.
A computer simulation appears to show Richard's injuries are consistent with accounts that his body was thrown over a horse and mutilated by angry bystanders...
Prof Hainsworth said: "Richard's injuries represent a sustained attack or an attack by several assailants with weapons from the later medieval period. The wounds to the skull suggest that he was not wearing a helmet, and the absence of defensive wounds on his arms and hands indicate that he was otherwise still armoured at the time of his death." 
From The Telegraph, where there is an informative video.


  1. I read Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time and became a Ricardian as a result. It's so interesting that his remains were found. I'm glad that Shakespeare's calumny (Tudor propaganda) was somewhat dispelled by analysis of his remains.

  2. Watched a fascinating "Secrets of the Dead" program just today. They found an almost perfect body double with identical spinal sclerosis (who just happened to be a British medieval battle reenactor!) and fitted him with custom armor (accommodating his particular torso shape), taught him that era's battle techniques, how to fight from a horse, etc, in order to see how King Richard would have fared with his similar physical condition. Some unexpected results and he does surprisingly well. Very interesting show.


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