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Cheated of feature by dissembling Nature
September 12, 2012 11:15 AM   Subscribe

"So it was right after we had the rest of him uncovered, and [the spine] was really obviously curved and we looked at each other and said 'Wow, this is a really good candidate'. - archeologists in England uncover what is likely to be the burial place of Richard III under a car park. Having traced an all-female line of descent direct from Richard’s sister, Anne of York, to a lady living in Canada, the team (and the world) eagerly await the results of the DNA tests.
posted by Marauding Ennui (60 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
archeologists in England uncover what is likely to be the burial place of Richard III under a car park. parked car.

Better.
posted by Fizz at 11:16 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the car park buried.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:18 AM on September 12, 2012 [38 favorites]


"A horse, a horse--where the bloody hell did I park my horse?"
posted by yoink at 11:20 AM on September 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


archeologists in England uncover what is likely to be the burial place of Richard III several million copies of Atari's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial under a car park.

Better.
posted by oulipian at 11:23 AM on September 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can only hope this is like the female 'gladiator' they dug up in London, because watching serious people make arguments that boil down to 'she had arms! and arms are used...for holding swords! and there were lamps with gladiators in the graves! ergo she was a gladiator' is always a hoot.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:25 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, dear, Richard the Third...
posted by briank at 11:27 AM on September 12, 2012


So, you find Richard III. Then what do you do with him?
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:28 AM on September 12, 2012


Wait, I thought "hunchback" was a slur by that Tudor usurper Henry VII and promulgated by that craven lackey Shakespeare.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:28 AM on September 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


The main link felt like coming in at page two. This article, linked there, gives some context.
posted by eruonna at 11:30 AM on September 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


So, you find Richard III. Then what do you do with him?

Keep him away from your kids.
posted by maryr at 11:31 AM on September 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


CSI: London is hoping to reopen the Princes in the Tower case.
posted by Zed at 11:32 AM on September 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


So, you find Richard III. Then what do you do with him?

Off with his head?
posted by ceribus peribus at 11:32 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, I thought "hunchback" was a slur by that Tudor usurper Henry VII and promulgated by that craven lackey Shakespeare.

I was just about to say the same thing. If that's Richard III, there are going to be a lot of historians saying Oops.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:32 AM on September 12, 2012


Does the lady in Canada inherit the commonwealth? I thought that was how this sort of thing worked.
posted by mhoye at 11:33 AM on September 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Possibly finding and identifying Richard's remains?

Truth is the Daughter of Time, indeed...
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:35 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Queen of the North" I believe we'd call her. Then we determine who gets the Seastone chair.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:35 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's the full statement from the University of Leicester.

It includes this bit on the spinal abnormalities.

The skeleton found in the Choir area has spinal abnormalities. We believe the individual would have had severe scoliosis – which is a form of spinal curvature. This would have made his right shoulder appear visibly higher than the left shoulder. This is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance. The skeleton does not have kyphosis – a different form of spinal curvature. The skeleton was not a hunchback. There appears to be no evidence of a “withered arm”.
posted by missmerrymack at 11:36 AM on September 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Does the lady in Canada inherit the commonwealth? I thought that was how this sort of thing worked."

I wish! But the Tudors won the throne by right of conquest, or somesuch thing. It's legal if you're the one writing the new laws.

It really sounds like these archaeologists have a good case for the body being Richard III. Pieces of medieval church decorations, buried in the choir, arrow in the back... It might be enough evidence for a court of law, if they prosecuted five-hundred year old war crimes.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:39 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, you find Richard III. Then what do you do with him?

On a very special episode of Survivor: U.K. ....
posted by Fizz at 11:44 AM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


the Tudors won the throne by right of conquest, or somesuch thing

That's a funny way to say they kidnapped and murdered some kids.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:46 AM on September 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


The idea of King Richard III's body being lost sounds like the plot of a medieval road trip comedy.

Two wacky British soldiers are charged with transporting Richard's body from Bosworth field to London. On the way, they run into a variety of misadventures, many of which involve them having to pretend that Richard is still alive. In fact, they use the King's body to get into a bunch of places they'd never be allowed to get into on their own. When they get to London, however, the body is missing.

"How do you lose the body of a King," asks Henry VII.

They both shrug as the frame freezes and we hear a plaintive "Wa Wa Wa."
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:47 AM on September 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Okay, now time to start looking for Hamlet's gravesite!
posted by etc. at 11:59 AM on September 12, 2012


the Tudors won the throne by right of conquest, or somesuch thing

That's a funny way to say they kidnapped and murdered some kids.


Henry VII took the crown after winning a battle. Richard III is the kid-murderer. (allegedly.)
posted by olinerd at 12:01 PM on September 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


To clarify: Henry is the Tudor. Richard is not.
posted by olinerd at 12:01 PM on September 12, 2012


Map of the excavation.

The body would have been found in Trenches 1 or 3, since those cross the choir of the former church.

But the Tudors won the throne by right of conquest, or somesuch thing.

Conquest, and Parliament agreeing. Henry claimed that he was a reasonably legitimate heir of Edward III -- the senior male Lancastrian -- and his marriage to Elizabeth of York meant his heirs were both the legitimate heirs of both York and Lancaster.

Furthermore, when Parliament repealed Titulus Regius (1848) it destroyed the legitimacy of Richard the III's claim to the throne, restoring Edward, Prince of Wales and Richard, Duke of York (The Princes In The Tower) to the line of succession -- which died out when they disappeared. Since Henry was the senior Lancastrian left, he basically had enough leg to stand on

A number of lords, however, didn't agree, and there were several rebellions and a couple of claimants to the throne. There were a number of arguably better candidates of the House of Plantagenet, which had included both the Houses of Lancaster and York, and arguably, the Tudors as well, though the House of Tudor is considered a separate dynasty from the Plantagenets.
posted by eriko at 12:03 PM on September 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Richard III is the kid-murderer. (allegedly.)

Well, if we're playing the "allegedly" game, so is Henry VII.

Personally I favor the Henry-Stafford-2nd-Duke-of-Buckingham-done-it view of history.
posted by snottydick at 12:09 PM on September 12, 2012



Wait, I thought "hunchback" was a slur by that Tudor usurper Henry VII and promulgated by that craven lackey Shakespeare.

I was just about to say the same thing. If that's Richard III, there are going to be a lot of historians saying Oops.


Historians have always acknowledged that he had curvature of the spine (likely scoliosis); there are contemporary reports of his appearance. That was never in doubt. Going from "curvature of the spine" to "crook-backed monster" is the slur part, and yeah, that was put into the public consciousness by his enemies. Not that they had to work too hard; obvious physical abnormalities weren't exactly looked upon as okey-dokey back then--linking a malformed body to a malformed soul was pretty much de rigeur.
posted by tzikeh at 12:10 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Er, on total lack of preview - yeah, so, pretty much what missmerrymack posted.
posted by tzikeh at 12:13 PM on September 12, 2012


Henry VII took the crown after winning a battle. Richard III is the kid-murderer. (allegedly.)
Henry VII (Henry Tudor) following his accession, proceeded to find a legal excuse to execute some of the rival claimants to the throne. He married the princes' eldest sister, Elizabeth of York, to reinforce his hold on the throne, but her right to inherit depended on both her brothers being already dead.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:14 PM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, if we're playing the "allegedly" game, so is Henry VII.

Personally I favor the Henry-Stafford-2nd-Duke-of-Buckingham-done-it view of history.
Or a game of hide and seek gone horribly wrong.



Seriously though, we don't know who killed them. You can make a case against either king.
posted by Jehan at 12:16 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously though, we don't know who killed them. You can make a case against either king.

Pikers. Clearly, it was Francis Bacon.
posted by tzikeh at 12:18 PM on September 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Seriously though, we don't know who killed them. You can make a case against either king.

Given the penchants of Roman historians, I am not sure we can entirely rule out Livia. She gets blamed for everything.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:19 PM on September 12, 2012 [11 favorites]


Seriously though, we don't know who killed them.

Earl of Oxford.

WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!
posted by PlusDistance at 12:22 PM on September 12, 2012 [5 favorites]



> look

You are in a car park.

> dig

So, you find Richard III. What do you do with him?

>

posted by davejay at 12:24 PM on September 12, 2012 [23 favorites]


Weekend at Richard's III!
posted by yerfatma at 12:30 PM on September 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


When we were in London a couple of years ago, we spent a good chunk of a day at the British Museum, just in the bits where all the Roman artifacts live. It was fantastic to see so many of the little cards next to gold and silver plates and jewelry and cups and pieces of armor and stuff say things like "Found by a farmer ploughing his field" or "Found by Mary Smith, Age 9, while playing on the riverbank." I'm halfway amazed that the bones were found by bona fide archeologists at an actual dig!
posted by rtha at 12:30 PM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Archaeologists, yes, but they were actually looking for change to feed the meter.
posted by Atreides at 12:42 PM on September 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Okay, now time to start looking for Hamlet's gravesite!

It can't be hard. Historically, how many castles in Denmark spoke English and gave everyone Italian sounding names? Surely not more than four or five.
posted by BeeDo at 1:02 PM on September 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, after naming my home domain after the white rose of York, I am stoked to find out that they've found Richard (hopefully) at long last.
posted by immlass at 1:20 PM on September 12, 2012


> look

You are in a car park.

> dig

So, you find Richard III. What do you do with him?

>

I so desperately want to have the <img> tag back so I can put Ron Burgundy in here, saying "Boy, that escalated quickly."
posted by tzikeh at 2:02 PM on September 12, 2012


To clarify: Henry is the Tudor. Richard is not is the Fordor.

Better.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:04 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It might be enough evidence for a court of law, if they prosecuted five-hundred year old war crimes.

Anyone else hear a weird whooshing noise?
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on September 12, 2012


Richard is not is the Fordord/i>

I read this as "Richard is the Hodor." Which would have made his last words, perhaps, somewhat less and somewhat more memorable.

posted by Joey Michaels at 2:13 PM on September 12, 2012


Anyone else hear a weird whooshing noise?

I don't think the prosecution of war crimes somewhere out in time is a ball the Doctor really wants to start rolling.
posted by Copronymus at 2:16 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, they say if he is Richard III, the remains will be handled respectfully (which should be done anyway, no matter whose remains they are!) and he will be interred properly, with all the rites and ceremonies, at Leicester Cathedral.

Which makes me wonder what all the rites and ceremonies are for the interment of a former king? This was a king who was accused of multiple murders, too. And of course the York line ended with him. Who pays for the rites and ceremonies? I'm just curious about stuff like that.

Richard III is one of my favorite historical characters. Shakespeare greatly exaggerated his infirmities, but as others said before me, historians do believe he had some physical issues, like the curved spine. Couldn't have been too bad, as it was not enough to keep him from fighting on the battlefield(s), or persuading an attractive (by all accounts) widowed teenager to marry him.

It's amazing to me that he only ruled as king for two years, and was not quite 33 years old when he died.

I'm with those that feel that if he did not, himself, murder the young princes, it was no secret that he wanted the throne, and someone close to him might have done the deed for him.

His servant, Tyrell, seems a likely suspect (according to Thomas More, Tyrell smothered the boys with pillows and then buried them beneath a stairwell. The skeletal remains of two children were found under a stairwell in the Tower, lending credence to his account).

Also, since Richard III's former friend the Duke of Buckingham led a rebellion against him, it's certainly possible that one of them either killed--or balked at the other having killed--the boys, leading to the schism between them.

There's also the Perkin Warbeck connection, the Pretender to the throne who claimed to be the escaped younger Prince, and bore a striking resemblance to Edward IV. Though he confessed to being a traitor (after being imprisoned and certainly under some duress), he may actually have had some relation to the Yorks. I personally feel he was most likely an illegitimate child of one of Richard III's brothers (possibly Edward IV), but who knows?
posted by misha at 2:27 PM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I read this as "Richard is the Hodor." Which would have made his last words, perhaps, somewhat less and somewhat more memorable.

Surely Richard III ≃ Tyrion?
posted by misha at 2:31 PM on September 12, 2012


Given the penchants of RomanSopranos historians, I am not sure we can entirely rule out Livia. She gets blamed for everything.

Livia and Paulie's mom in the car park with the lead pipe!
posted by Diablevert at 3:22 PM on September 12, 2012


That's a funny way to say they kidnapped and murdered some kids.

Can we PLEASE not turn this into yet another Tudor vs. York thread? MetaTalk is your option.
posted by zvs at 3:34 PM on September 12, 2012 [37 favorites]


I can't believe no one has dropped this into the thread yet.
posted by garrett at 4:34 PM on September 12, 2012


Can we PLEASE not turn this into yet another Tudor vs. York thread? MetaTalk is your option.

Written like a reader of RedRose.com. All of us WhiteRose readers scoff at you.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:12 PM on September 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seriously though, we don't know who killed them. You can make a case against either king.
posted by Jehan at 12:16 PM on September 12


I think that Richard III is most likely responsible, mainly because the princes in the Tower were not seen after the summer of 1483.

In 1674, the bones of two children whose ages agree with the missing princes were discovered buried in the Tower of London. Those bones haven't been examined since 1933. The skulls are said to have dental abnormalities similar to each other and also to the remains of Anne de Mowbray, the child bride and first cousin of Richard, the younger missing prince.

Hopefully this discovery will motivate the authorities to allow the childrens' bones to be examined and genetically tested.
posted by knoyers at 6:29 PM on September 12, 2012


*Anne Mowbray was their third cousin
posted by knoyers at 6:33 PM on September 12, 2012


"because it is one of the fiddliest parts"
-Scientist
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:46 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Going from "curvature of the spine" to "crook-backed monster" is the slur part...

I believe the phrase you're looking for is "poisonous bunch-backed toad".
posted by steambadger at 9:41 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


lesbiassparrow, check the New Scientist article:

Any other evidence?
Yes. The man who became this skeleton took a beating. He has a small penetrating wound to the top of the head, and a much larger wound where a slice has been cut off the skull at the side and back – consistent with the swing of a blade.


tldr: remains of man who lived during violent era display evidence of wounds consistent with violence of era. Ergo, remains are those of particular famous man of said era.
posted by 7segment at 10:08 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Canadian descendant of Richard III is asked to give DNA after 'grave' find
posted by homunculus at 10:12 AM on September 13, 2012


BBC subheading says this is a "powerful and historic story" with "shades of Dan Brown" ... so, the story is weak, and will be made into an even worse movie?
posted by caution live frogs at 10:42 AM on September 13, 2012


I think that Richard III is most likely responsible, mainly because the princes in the Tower were not seen after the summer of 1483.
Sure, Richard stands out as the most likely. I also agree with you that the found bones thought to be the Princes should be tested further
posted by Jehan at 10:43 AM on September 13, 2012


Richard III, Henry VII, Tyrrell, Buckingham. No matter how you slice it, it was just a bunch of rich kids.
posted by snottydick at 1:15 PM on September 13, 2012


David Baldwin's article 'King Richard's Grave in Leicester' (Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological & Historical Society, vol. 60, 1986) sets out the reasons for believing that Richard III is buried on this site. It's all very circumstantial, with an inconvenient 400-year gap since the last sighting of the burial place, or what might have been the burial place (even then 'overgrown with weeds and nettles .. very obscure and not to be found') in 1612:

What, then, became of the King's body? There can be no reasonable doubt that it was buried in the church of the Grey Friars, and that Henry VII afterwards caused a 'faire' -- if un-aweinspiring -- monument to be placed over it, a tomb which, in the event, did not long survive the suppression of the friary in 1538. It is likely that the grave was still remembered when Alderman Herrick erected his pillar at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and there is nothing to substantiate the lurid story that the body had at some point been disinterred. But thereafter our sources fail us.

As for this latest discovery, I'm sure the archaeology is sound, but the dig is being sponsored by the Richard III Society, which has a strong vested interest in proving this to be the King's body. (The instigator of the project, Philippa Langley, is a screenwriter trying to get funding for a movie about Richard III.) The DNA evidence is questionable, and the geneticist working on the project will only say: 'It's prudent to have a second set of eyes go over the [family] tree and to use other historical data to try and verify it', which I think is a polite academic way of expressing scepticism.
posted by verstegan at 1:13 PM on September 15, 2012


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